Council approves GreenStep conservation group

Published 10:10 am Tuesday, July 19, 2011

City Council members most likely made Captain Planet proud Monday night.

Council members voted unanimously to approve a GreenStep Cities Task Force to direct the city as it moves toward becoming a greener, more environmentally friendly community.

Council member-at-large Janet Anderson said she is excited about the GreenStep Cities program and hopes to be a member of the task force, which will include up to 15 community members and green initiative group representatives.

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“I would like to see a lot of citizens get involved,” Anderson said. “We want citizens, whether they’re affiliated with (local environmental groups) or not, to give their opinions.”

Anderson said the GreenStep Cities program will be helpful to give the city a framework for becoming more sustainable.

The GreenStep Cities program gives city officials and council members a list of ideas and practices for reducing cities’ carbon footprints and making towns throughout the state better places to live.

Some of the best practices include reusing existing buildings instead of building new ones, constructing new buildings that meet a green building standard, improving the efficiency of lighting and signals, and encouraging higher housing density.

“I’m excited about it — you have to be environmentally responsible,” Anderson said. “There’s always room for improvement.”

The next step is for council members and Mayor Tom Stiehm to appoint members to the task force. Interested citizens can contact their City Council representatives for more information.