The Greening of Grand Rapids | Environment
by Heidi Stukkie
Recent national awards have positioned Grand Rapids as an environmental leader known for its commitment to sustainability, energy efficiency and climate protection. The city’s focused efforts to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions began a few years ago and are already showing significant cost savings and numerous social and environmental benefits.
Earlier this summer, the U.S. Conference of Mayors(USCM) awarded Mayor George K. Heartwell first place in the large city category of the 2012 Mayors’ Climate Protection Awards. The award recognizes mayors for their innovative practices to increase energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The first place award, sponsored by USCM and Walmart, granted $25,000 to the City of Grand Rapids to pass along to nonprofit organizations making a difference with sustainability and climate protection issues. The West Michigan Environmental Action Council (WMEAC) and Friends of Grand Rapids Parks each received $12,500 for their...