Dearborn, Ferndale, and five other communities in metro Detroit were recognized June 6 as part of a clean energy and environmental leadership event hosted by the Michigan Green Communities Network.
The MGC is a statewide, environmental network of local officials and university staff that promotes sustainability initiatives at the local, regional, and state levels. Each year, the organization orchestrates the Michigan Green Communities Challenge, where cities across the state create sustainability projects, such as green infrastructure upgrades and renewable energy projects. The most successful projects are then awarded a gold, silver, or bronze certificate.
Benefits of the program include establishing a benchmark system for the progress of the project, creating a roadmap for sustainability initiatives, and competing and comparing with other communities. The challenge is offered annually but is available for the rest of the year as a tool for cities to benchmark sustainability.
Many communities participated in the MGC challenge for the first time this year, including Clinton Township.
“Clinton Township is honored to achieve a silver certification from our first MGC challenge,” said Elizabeth Vogel, the city’s deputy supervisor. “We are proud of the work we have accomplished, especially stormwater runoff mitigation efforts achieved by investments at the Township Civic Center. Indeed, these ‘green’ infrastructure investments will improve water quality in the Clinton River, and benefit the health of residents.”
Receiving a gold certification was the city of Dearborn for integrating sustainability as a basic component of its 2030 master plan. Novi was also awarded a gold certification for incorporating sustainability into its capital improvements planning process.
Receiving bronze certifications were the cities of Ferndale, Pleasant Ridge, River Rouge, and West Bloomfield Township. Ferndale implemented sustainability into its master plan, while Pleasant Ridge teamed up with Detroit-based nonprofit, EcoWorks, to record energy use of all government buildings in the city. The city of River Rouge was recognized for creating a revolving energy fund to support energy improvements at the local library, and the government of West Bloomfield requires the use of low-impact design and green infrastructure through ordinances
Organized in 2009, the MGC is a partnership of the Michigan Municipal League, Michigan Association of Counties, and the Michigan Townships Association.