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Photo credit: George Sydlowski

TOLEDO-LUCAS COUNTY
SUSTAINABILITY COMMISSION 

TLCSC ELSEWHERE

TOLEDO-LUCAS COUNTY SUSTAINABILITY COMMISSION
F O L L O W on F A C E B O O K
F O L L O W on T W I T T E R
Winter Update

INSIDE THIS ISSUE

Welcome
New AmeriCorps Member
What We Are Working On
Other Updates
Holiday Recycling Guide
Calendar of Events

WELCOME TO OUR FIRST NEWSLETTER 

The Toledo-Lucas County Sustainability Commission is excited to launch this new newsletter, which will keep you up to speed on the exciting things going on in Toledo-Lucas County, how we are tracking our progress, and how to get involved. Since 2008, the Toledo-Lucas County Sustainability Commission has spearheaded sustainability efforts in Northwest Ohio. We are a partnership of local government, businesses, and nonprofits that work to put sustainability into action in Lucas County. In the spring of 2014, The Sustainability Commission completed Greater Toledo: Going Beyond Green, our region's sustainability plan. The plan outlines a framework of projects that protect the environment, promote social equity, and create economic development opportunities for the community through metrics such as water quality, green infrastructure, complete streets, our local food system, and energy efficiency. Since the adoption of the plan, we have been implementing exciting projects to address environmental challenges in our community. For example, in order to address harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie, we are developing the Western Lake Erie Nutrient Source Inventory. The inventory is an interactive mapping tool that can identify potential sources of nutrient runoff are contribute to the harmful algal blooms that threaten our local water supply. When the tool goes live later this month, we will announce it to the community. Follow us on our Facebook page for the announcement details. We have also been working to promote our sustainable business recognition program. The program highlights businesses using sustainable practices and provides technical assistance to businesses that would like to incorporate more sustainability into their operations. These projects along with many others are among some of the exciting things we are working on. Read on to learn more. 

WELCOME BEN PUSHKA

We would like to welcome our new LISC AmeriCorps member Ben Pushka to TLCSC. Ben started with us in October and will be with us through July. His background is in education and has taught at both the high school and collegiate level. There are a number of initiatives that Ben will be focusing on during his tenure. Some of the projects Ben has started working on include creating TLCSC’s very first newsletter, helping grow our Sustainable Business Recognition program, working with residents to implement green infrastructure in their neighborhoods, working with homeowners to make their homes more energy efficient, and increasing our social media presence. If you would like to contact Ben, he can be reached at bpushka@co.lucas.oh.us or by phone at 419-213-4569. Welcome aboard, Ben.

WHAT WE ARE WORKING ON

NUTRIENT SOURCE INVENTORY
The Lucas County Board of Commissioners, in partnership with The City of Toledo through TLCSC, have produced an interactive GIS map showing potential sources of nutrients in the western Lake Erie watershed. The map will be an important tool in the effort to reduce the phosphorus that leads to toxic algal blooms in Lake Erie by 40%. We will announce when the tool is live later this month. Follow us on our Facebook page for details on the announcement.

 
SUSTAINABLE NEIGHBORHOOD CHALLENGE
Grant Opportunity

The Toledo-Lucas County Sustainability Commission has funding available for neighborhood groups in Lucas County seeking funding for sustainable projects in their community. Projects that lead to increased sustainability for their neighborhood as a whole will be prioritized for funding. Sustainability includes consideration of social, environmental, and economic factors that support neighborhood resiliency. Creative projects that capitalize on community assets are strongly encouraged.  The goal of this funding opportunity is to promote sustainability in our region through place-based engagement at the neighborhood level. We have up to $1,000 available for 3-4 projects. Applications will be due March 31, 2017. 

We strongly encourage applicants to take advantage of TLCSC’s Neighborhood Sustainability Toolkit when writing their grant. 

The grant application and additional details can be found here.
GREEN STORMWATER INFRASTRUCTURE (GSI) TASK FORCE
The Green Infrastructure Task Force members were busy in 2016 evaluating vacant parcels in Lucas County for possible green infrastructure project implementation, serving as a resource to discuss projects on local redevelopment sites. We have invited nationally recognized GSI experts to help us identify where projects could improve water quality in the Wolf Creek watershed. In December, members of the Task Force set priorities and activities for 2017. We will also learn about another local prioritization project done by University of Toledo and American Rivers, which uses computer modeling to identify sites for GSI that will reduce pollutants going into Lake Erie. Please contact us if you would like to participate on the Task Force.
SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS RECOGNITION PROGRAM
A sustainable economy that encourages the business community to act in a manner consistent with the goals of Going Beyond Green is crucial to the success of our sustainability plan as a whole. The TLCSC launched the Sustainable Business Recognition program in 2015 to acknowledge those businesses in our community working to improve their impact on not only the natural, social environments but the economic environment as well. The initiative is catching on. More businesses today recognize that integrating environmental practices into their operations is just good business. Development of such practices offers businesses the opportunities to save money, improve workplace morale, and enhance public perception.
 
Businesses that are interested in participating in the recognition program are asked to fill out an easy-to-complete survey. The questionnaire asks about a number of essential sustainability metrics, including waste reduction & recycling, sustainable purchasing, energy efficiency, transportation, water conservation, employee training & involvement, and healthy living. The recognition is flexible enough to be adapted to many businesses, whatever their sector or their size.

Once recognized, a company will be recognized for two years and will receive a Going Beyond Green sticker they can display to communicate to their employees and the public their commitment to the sustainability plan. Through a partnership between the Lucas County Solid Waste District, The University of Toledo College of Engineering and the Sustainability Commission, a free assessment is available to participating businesses and can be utilized to establish cost-saving energy use efficiencies and waste management practices.

Already, 18 businesses are in the program. If you are a business owner or a manager in Lucas County or know a business who would be interested, we invite you to apply so your business can be recognized for going beyond green!

UPCOMING PROJECTS


Press Release 10/11/2016

EPA Awarding $1.3 Million to Revitalize America's Urban Waters and Surrounding Communities

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is awarding $1.3 million to 22 organizations in 18 states to help protect and restore urban waters and to support community revitalization and other local priorities.
 
"Often underserved communities in our nation's cities face disproportionate impacts from pollution, and too often they lack the resources to do something about it," said Joel Beauvais, EPA Deputy Assistant Administrator for Water. "EPA provides support to empower these communities to improve the quality of their waterways and to help reconnect people and businesses with the water they depend on."
 
The Toledo-Lucas County Sustainability Commission in collaboration with The University of Toledo, Vistula Management, United North, and North Toledo Community members were awarded $60,000 to develop a plan to incorporate green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) at low income, multi-family housing sites. See our updates in future newsletters.
 
To learn more about the funded projects, visit https://www.epa.gov/urbanwaters/urban-waters-small-grants
 
Information on EPA's Urban Waters program: https://www.epa.gov/urbanwaters


TLCSC is pleased to announce that we will be holding our first meeting with the residents of the Vistula neighborhood on January 17, 2017
 

HOLIDAY RECYCLING GUIDE

CALENDAR OF EVENTS

These are just some of the events that TLCSC will be participating in the coming months.

Science Alliance for Valuing the Environment, Inc. (S.A.V.E.) Lecture
Tuesday, January 24
7:30-9:00 pm
Franciscan Center
Additional information about this free lecture series can be found on our Facebook page

Toledo International Film Festival
TLCSC is sponsoring the showing of Hunt for the Wilderpeople
Saturday, February 11
8:00 pm
Ohio Theater and Event Center
For tickets and more information, visit the Ohio Theatre website and follow the event on the TIFF Facebook event page.  


Toledo GROWS Seed Swap
Saturday, February 25
12:00-3:00 pm
Scott High School


For a complete list of events, please check out our full calendar of events.

Volunteer Opportunities

We are seeking a variety of individuals – we’re looking for all ages, professions, and interests. TLCSC will be participating in outreach programs in the coming months. Lending a hand not only fosters community well-being, but is sure to be a rewarding experience. Please contact us if you would like to help TLCSC in the community. 
Copyright © 2016Toledo Lucas County Sustainability Commission, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
One Government Center
Suite 800
Toledo, OH 43604-2259
http://www.lucascountygreen.com/

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Toledo-Lucas County Sustainability Commission · One Government Center · Suite 800 · Toledo, Oh 43620 · USA

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