Archive for the ‘Sustainable Communities’ Category

Large Scale Rainscaping Grants Program Deadline October 31,2016

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Rainscaping is any combination of plantings, water features, catch basins, permeable pavement, and other activities that manage stormwater as close as possible to where it falls, rather than moving it someplace else. Below ground level, improved soils store and filter stormwater, allowing the surrounding area to slowly absorb it over time. Above ground level, native plants, basins, and water features create public green spaces that also help store water. Used effectively, rainscaping can reclaim stormwater naturally, reduce sewer overflows, and minimize basement backups.

The Rainscaping program of MSD Project Clear has announced  the fifth round of a rainscaping cost-sharing opportunity. MSD seeks to continue to build partnerships with municipalities, local government agencies, schools, community development organizations, and private developers through the Rainscaping Large Scale Grants Program.

Visit the Project Clear Website for the rules and requirements for partnering with MSD Project Clear, an application form, and a map showing the program area for the Rainscaping projects. Please note that the application deadline for the 2016 round of Rainscaping Large Scale Grants is 5:00pm on October 31, 2016.




New Partners for Smart Growth Seeks Session Proposal – due June 30

The nation’s largest smart growth and sustainability event will be in St. Louis next year and they are seeking YOUR expertises for sessions. The conference will be February 2 – 4, 2017 at the Marriott St. Louis Hotel. The theme for the 2017 conference is “Practical Tools and Innovative Strategies for Creating Great Communities,” with an emphasis on implementation tools and strategies, and new technologies that will help communities now. 1200 smart growth leaders from across the country attend this conference.

Session proposal are due June 30, 2017. Thematic categories can include:

  • Communications and Engagement
  • Community Resiliency & Energy Independence
  • Equitable Development and Environmental Justice
  • Financing, Real Estate and Development
  • Health
  • Implementing Smart Growth
  • Land Preservation
  • The New Economy, Market Trends and Demographics
  • Partnerships for Success
  • Planning Tools and Technologies
  • Redevelopment
  • Small Cities and Rural Areas
  • Transportation, TOD, and Streets
  • Water and Coastal Areas

Learn more at www.newpartners.org




5th Annual Photo Contest Deadline Extended!

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USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter’s Marketing Committee is pleased to announce our fifth annual photo contest!

We are seeking photos that will help us celebrate our theme of “Green Buildings Are Better . . . for Living, Learning, Working, and Playing.”

The contest is open to all residents of the Missouri Gateway Chapter territory (see territory map). The contest deadline has been extended until September 15!  Winners will be announced on October 18 at our monthly program.

For more information, check out the Photo Contest Rules or the Photo Contest website at www.usgbc-mogateway.org/photo-contest-2016/

 




Applications Open for Complimentary Congregational Energy Audits

The USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter and Missouri Interfaith Power & Light are pleased to announce that a limited number of complimentary energy audits are once again available for congregations.  This effort is part of the 25 x 20 Voluntary Energy Benchmarking Campaign.

Applications will be accepted through March 18 at 5:00 pm CST and are available online here.

In 2014, a grant from the national USGBC funded 10 complimentary energy audits for houses of worship. Energy auditors from Microgrid Energy and Ross and Baruzzini conducted the audits.

Auditor Annie Smith wrote about her experience on Ross and Baruzzini’s blog and the national EdenKeeper Blog posted a three part series of stories about St. John’s Episcopal Church’s experience with their energy audit, written by local blogger and congregation member Jeff McIntire-Strassburg. You can read their stories here.

The 25 x 20 Energy Benchmarking Campaign was launched by the St. Louis Regional High Performance Building Initiative which is coordinated by the St. Louis Regional Chamber and U.S. Green Building Council – Missouri Gateway Chapter, and supported by 19 building stakeholder organizations. The campaign challenges buildings to benchmark their energy use, aiming for a 25% reduction in regional building energy consumption by the year 2020. Learn more and take the 25×20 pledge online here.

The 25×20 Campaign encourages the use of ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager, a free and secure online tool that tracks energy and water consumption, as well as greenhouse gas emissions. Any building can use ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager to manage energy and water use – schools, governments, congregations, businesses and retail stores.

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Healthy Cities

Joyce LeeBy Joyce S. Lee, FAIA, LEED Fellow, President, IndigoJLD

Join the USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter for two upcoming in-person events featuring Joyce Lee: “Healthy Cities + Policy Implications” on May 12 and “Green Design + Human Health + Social Equity” on May 13!

Health is a state of complete physical mental and social well-beig and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity,” according to the World Health Organization.

Healthy cities – what comes to your mind? Fresh air, citizens walking, bicycling or jogging, smiling faces, just to name a few. This article discusses why a comprehensive approach is needed and delineates a selection of examples around the country that could serve as inspiration for other communities.

The Washington Post, in early 2014, hosted a forum called “Health beyond Healthcare” that highlighted community infrastructure and investment to improve health. Below is a convergence of factors that play a role in healthy communities:

Housing | transportation | food access |socioeconomics | Education | work environment |built environment |natural environment |public safety |Prenatal and Child development | Community and social capital

The economics are equally compelling. According to the Trust for America’s HealthTrust for America’s Health, “A $10 per person annual, investment in community-based prevention over five years could produce 5% reductions in type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart and kidney disease, and stroke — with ROI of $5.60 for every $1 invested.”

Smart Scale Experiments – Wellville
How is the country responding? One of the latest small city competitions is called HICCup for Health Initiative Coordinating Council. A well-known tech investor, Esther Dyson, has started a grand experiment to enlist small cities in a friendly challenge to help communities become healthier places inhabited by healthier residents. Selected from 42 contestants, five small cities or counties—each with a population of 100,000 or less—are taking part in “The Way to Wellville.” They are Muskegon, Michigan; Lake County, California; Spartanburg, South Carolina; Clatsop County, Oregon; and Niagara Falls, New York.

In addition to existing community partnerships, Ms. Dyson launched an investor mindset to health promotion. “The Wellville Challenge fits perfectly into the work of greater Muskegon, to achieve the ‘1 in 21’ goal, led by the Muskegon Health Department and the Rotary Club, to become the healthiest county in Michigan by 2021. It also amplifies our health mission at United Way,” says Christine Robere, President and CEO of United Way of the Lakeshore.

Healthy Corridors and Land Use
As health is a core component of thriving communities, the Urban Land Institute (ULI) Building Healthy Places Initiative is building on work that links human health and development. Auto-dependent roadways have long been an area of health concern. With support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, ULI is investigating best practices to reinvent under-performing suburban and urban arterials in health-promoting ways.

The first examples are: Los Angeles, Denver, Nashville, and Boise, Idaho. Rachel MacCleery, Senior Vice President from ULI, said, “Too many commercial corridors are dangerous, dismal, and dirty. This project is working to re-envision them as healthier places, with active transportation options, better land use patterns, better food access, and other health-promoting characteristics.”

Philadelphia Food Trust
The Food Trust, based in Center City of Philadelphia, ranked #2 “high-impact” nonprofit in America in children’s health and nutrition. In its two decades’ history, the Food Trust has worked with neighborhoods, schools, grocers, farmers and policymakers in Philadelphia and across the country to change how Americans think about healthy food and increase its availability.

With partners, the Trust brought supermarkets to communities in food desserts, helped corner store introduce fresh produce, low-fat dairy and whole grains, introduced healthier food options in schools. A recent study by the Philadelphia Department of Public Health found that – for the first time in decades – the obesity rates among Philadelphia school children decreased by 5 percent between 2006 and 2010. The healthcare cost savings can be significant when the years of care are reduced dramatically.

Intersectoral Collaboration – Stair Week
Policy interests could be ignited in many ways. Designers as a non-traditional health partner create new alliances or invigorate existing ones. Stair Week is a program that brings together the health officers and the built environment sectors to focus on physical activity and good design. As Americans spend more than 90% of waking hours indoors, good stair design motivates students, employees, retirees alike. And while it seems like a small change, taking the stairs routinely can have a big impact on health.

The Stair Week proclamations received from governors in Illinois, Maryland, and Michigan are an affirmation of these smart choices. “We know ‘place matters’. Design and health is a strong emerging issue at the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and their sustainability priorities. It’s a great topic for local advocacy where architects can make a big difference in health outcomes,” said Mary Ann Lazarus from St. Louis, AIA Resident Fellow.

Join the USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter for two in-person events featuring Joyce Lee: “Healthy Cities + Policy Implications” on May 12 and “Green Design + Human Health + Social Equity” on May 13. 




10 Congregations selected to receive free energy audits

Missouri Interfaith Power & Light and the U.S. Green Building Council – Missouri Gateway Chapter are partnering to provide free energy audits to 10 congregations within the USGBC-MGC territory. The effort is part of the 25 x 20 Voluntary Energy Benchmarking Campaign, and audits are courtesy of a grant from the national USGBC.

Applications for free audits were due on August 29, 2014. Over 20 congregations applied, and the following 10 were selected to receive a free energy audit:

  • Congregation Shaare Emeth Creve Coeur, MO
  • Grace and Peace Fellowship St. Louis, MO
  • Immacolata Catholic Church Richmond Heights, MO
  • Lafayette Park United Methodist Church St. Louis, MO
  • New Life Community Church East St. Louis, IL
  • New Northside Missionary Baptist Church St. Louis, MO
  • St. John’s Tower Grove St. Louis, MO
  • St. John’s United Church of Christ Chesterfield, MO
  • St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church Ferguson, MO
  • University United Methodist Church University City, MO

Energy auditors from Microgrid Energy and Ross and Baruzzini will be conducting the 10 audits over the coming months.

Energy Efficiency Resources for Congregations

There are numerous resources available to congregations interested in tracking and reducing their energy use. We are encouraging all congregations to take advantage of the following:

  • We encourage all congregations to take the 25×20 Pledge to benchmark their energy use! Energy benchmarking is the process of measuring how much energy a building consumes and comparing that to other buildings. As the saying goes, you can’t manage what you don’t measure!
  • The EPA’s ENERGY STAR for Congregations program is designed specifically for congregations benchmarking their energy use, and has numerous resources available to help congregations benchmark. Their Tip Sheet on No and Low Cost Energy Savings for Congregations is a good place to start, and a full list of resources is available here.
  • Missouri Interfaith Power & Light engages faith communities to be stewards of God’s creation by addressing the environmental and social justice consequences of climate change. They have resources available to congregations interested in reducing their energy consumption.
  • Ameren Missouri offers financial incentives for energy efficiency improvements through their BizSavers program. Congregations can learn more or apply for these incentives on Ameren’s Bizsavers website.
  • Laclede Gas offers rebates for the implementation of natural gas energy efficiency measures, including part or all of the cost of an energy audit that is performed in support of any measure that receives a rebate. Congregations can learn more about these rebates on Laclede Gas’s website.

Questions? Contact the USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter at usgbc-mogateway@mobot.org or (314)577-0884.




USGBC-MO Gateway Seeking Climate Action Intern

USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter is currently seeking one full-time intern for fall 2013 to work with one municipality on the Greenhouse Gas Inventory Module of the Regional Environmental Internship Program (REIP) – Climate Action Internship.

This is a paid internship. The Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Inventory Module involves conducting a GHG inventory and estimating future GHG emission trends. It is primarily a technical internship. It involves studying energy use in the major sectors of the local government’s operations and the major sectors of the community as a whole. Using this data, the intern is able to construct an estimate of the amount of energy used, its cost, and the amount of GHG emitted. In addition, using estimates of future economic, population, and energy intensity trends, the intern is able to construct an estimate of future energy use, energy costs, and GHG emissions. Interns will work directly with municipalities to develop an inventory.

Intern applications are due electronically on Friday, August 9, 2013. For more information, download the job description or contact Emily Andrews at 314-577-0854.

REIP Climate Action Internship was internship was developed by the FOCUS St. Louis Environmental Sustainability Implementation Committee, which was tasked with implementing the Environmental Sustainability Roadmap: A Toolkit for Local Governments published by Focus St. Louis in 2009. For more information about the Environmental Sustainability Roadmap: A Toolkit for Local Governments, see the full report here.




Learn about the 2013 Growing Green Awardees!

Once again we extend our congratulations to the 2013 Growing Green Awardees! Read more about their amazing work to transform the built environment here.

2013 GGA Winners

2013 Award winners pictured above from left to right: Sean Thomas, Old North St. Louis Restoration Group; Michael Smith, Southwestern Illinois College; Erik Lueders, Parkway School District; Hunter Beckham, SWT Design; Patty Maher, Tiger Lily Development; Tino Ochoa, Old North St. Louis Restoration Group; Jim Wolterman, SWT Design; Brock Piglia, SWT Design and Ted Spaid, SWT Design. Congrats!

Download a list of all the nominees or learn more about the Growing Green awards here.

 




Green Buildings & Green Sites – March 15

Join the Engineers Club of St. Louis and USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter Speakers Bureau Volunteers for

Growing Green Buildings & Sites

A half-day how to improve building and site performance, featuring Marc Lopata, Paul Todd Merrill and Lois Sechrist from the USGBC-MO Gateway Speakers Bureau; Jason Peterein from MSD and Steven Ibendahl from the Heartlands Conservancy.

WHEN: Friday, March 15, 7 am – noon

WHERE: The Engineering Center at 4359 Lindell Blvd. (63108)

COST: $50 for Engineers Club or USGBC members; $75 for non-members.

RSVP: Contact Kurt Krispin at kurt.krispin@engineersclub.net Or call 314.533.9333

For more information, download the event flyer.




City of St. Louis Draft Sustainability Plan

The City of St. Louis Sustainability Plan is now available on the City’s website as a Draft For Public Review. The Plan was developed with the help of a team of experienced consultants over an 18-month period that included both public outreach and community engagement activities.

The City’s Sustainability Director, Catherine Werner, is giving several presentations including one at the Sustainable Cities Summit on November 3 at Washington University in St. Louis. There will be a Public Hearing held by the Planning Commission on November 7, 2012, at 1520 Market Street at 5:30 pm. And written comments will be accepted on the City’s Sustainability Plan through November 14

You can find all 260 pages of the Plan – along with the comment form – on the City’s website here.