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July 23, 2013

Green City Committee expands to spread green initiatives

By Mary Beth Almond
C & G Staff Writer

ROCHESTER — The Green City Committee has set its sights on establishing the city of Rochester as a leader in the green movement.

Originally formed in 2008 as a sub-committee of the Rochester Downtown Development Authority, the Green City Committee was the first committee of its kind in the nation to be part of a DDA, according to city officials. A few months ago, city officials decided to expand the Green City Committee’s scope of work by making it a subcommittee of the City Beautiful Commission.

“Being a subcommittee of the DDA, they were restricted to work in just the downtown district. By placing them under the City Beautiful Commission, they now can work on projects throughout the city,” City Manager Jaymes Vettraino said.

Designed to bring together Rochester-area government, businesses, nonprofits and residents interested in green initiatives and community engagement, the Green City Committee encourages green policies and practices through educational workshops and new programs.

Since its inception, City Beautiful Committee Chair Lynn Marie Oates said, the Green City Committee served as the catalyst for the first Earth Day Expo in downtown Rochester, the bicycle event Two Wheelin’ It To Rochester and the sustainability series at the Farmers Market, and also reinstated the DDA district recycling program. Earlier this year, the committee’s founder, Marilyn Trent, was inducted into the MI Green Hall of Fame, an honor reserved for Michigan’s most significant green leaders in business, community service, academia and the media.

Oates believes the Green City Committee is a great addition to the CBC, and said the committee will continue its commitment to inspiring the community to invest in its future through the adoption of green initiatives.

“The committee basically determines what their projects are at this point, and there is a huge interest in bike-ability and recycling,” Oates said.

The next event the committee is hosting is the Farmer’s Market Sustainability Series, with workshops July 27 and Aug. 17. The focus of the July 27 workshop will be “Bicycling in Rochester,” where the public can receive cycling information and maps, and participate in a bike-ability survey. On Aug. 17, the public can learn about recycling from Rochester Recycling during the “Don’t Throw It Away. Recycle it” workshop. The committee is also currently making plans for another Two Wheelin’ It to Rochester event for next summer, Oates said.

The Green City Committee is currently made up of chairwoman Sue Neal and members Cathy Daldin, Nina Ignaczak, Lonna Harlow, Scott Reader and Marilyn Trent. The committee hopes to fill its one remaining open seat within the next month. For more information or to apply, email cbc@rochestermi.org or visit www.rochestermi.org.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Mary Beth Almond at malmond@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1060.