City of Traverse City Receives Gold Certification from Michigan Green Communities
The City of Traverse City was recently honored with the Michigan Green Communities Challenge Gold Certification. The Michigan Green Communities Challenge is an annual program that serves as a guide to help communities measure their progress towards sustainability.
The Challenge offers three levels of certification – Bronze, Silver, and Gold and includes several categories. This year's application contained 160+ questions and provided insights into strategic areas of improvement and activities related to the City’s Green Team and resilience goals. Each category is comprised of action items that include Planning for Inclusive & Lasting Impacts, Climate Resilience & Adaptation, and Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, to name a few. Communities earn points by completing these action items. Participation is free and open to any local government in Michigan.
“Investing in green initiatives for a more sustainable future continues to be implemented throughout the City’s municipal services. As the City anticipates continued efforts toward its renewable energy goals, staff is working diligently to implement clean, sustainable, and environmentally friendly solutions that are attainable, and will serve as a more equitable and prosperous future for City residents, visitors, and businesses,” says City Manager Martin Colburn.
In December of 2016, the City Commission passed a Clean Energy Resolution committing the City to meet 100% of operational electricity demands as reflected by the yearly total of all municipal electric meters with clean, renewable energy sources by 2020. Renewable was defined as wind, solar, geothermal, and/or landfill gas. The City developed the Green Team, composed of both department and community liaisons, to create a plan to become “carbon neutral before mid-century.” SEEDS was engaged to manage the City’s efforts. The Mission of SEEDS is to implement local solutions to global issue at the intersection of ecology, education, and design.
“SEEDS is honored to have walked with Traverse City for over a decade, supporting continuous improvement on its ‘green’ goals. This gold status is a celebratory achievement and marks Traverse City as a municipal leader in Michigan. While the work is far from done, opportunities and allies are growing within the City, across the state, and beyond,” says Sarna Salzman, SEEDS Executive Director.
Michigan Green Communities is a statewide network of local government and university staff that collaborate with one another, through peer learning and information sharing, to promote innovative sustainability solutions at the local, regional, and state level. The annual Michigan Green Communities Challenge is a key part of the program and allows participants to track and benchmark their sustainability progress.