GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — For the second straight year, the City of Grand Rapids has received gold certification from the Michigan Green Communities Network in the Michigan Green Communities Challenge.

Gold certification is the network's highest honor.

Highlights from the city's application include:

  • Approval of a four-year strategic plan that includes sustainability as a core value and health and environment as a strategic priority and focuses on carbon reductions, increasing and enhancing green space, water quality, waste minimization and diversion, and health disparities.
  • Approval of the Bicycle Action Plan.
  • Participation in the Zero Cities Project, which includes identifying policies and programs that can reduce the energy and carbon footprint of commercial and residential buildings throughout the community with an equity lens.
  • Approval of a composting facility at the City’s yard waste drop-off site.
  • Evaluation of the solar potential of eight City facilities and analysis of the City’s zoning ordinance, resulting in amendments to the zoning ordinance that make it easier for residents to install solar.

Mayor Rosalynn Bliss posted to her Facebook page Monday night, saying the City is being recognized "for creating a sustainability road map and establishing benchmarks for the Grand Rapids community's progress toward sustainability efforts."

Michigan Green Communities connects leaders through training, education, communications and its annual challenge program. It is a partnership of the Michigan Municipal League, Michigan Association of Counties, Michigan Townships Association, Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy and Michigan Economic Development Corp.

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