This just in from the City of Spokane:

City of Spokane Recognized for Planning Work Around Sustainability, Climate Change
Mayor’s Sustainability Task Force helped lead the way

The City of Spokane has been recognized for its planning work to lessen its impact on climate change and encourage sustainable practices.

The City of Spokane, has received a 2010 American Planning Association (APA) and Planning Association of Washington (PAW) Joint Planning award for its “Greenhouse Gas” inventory reports and Sustainability Action Plan. The award honors the City’s superior planning efforts and will be featured by PAW in The Western Planner Journal and APA Washington in The Washington Planner.

The award also extends to those assisting with these efforts, including the Mayor’s Sustainability Task Force, Task Force Chair Roger Woodworth, and two interns—Brandon Betty and Leon Letson—who assisted with the work.

“The City of Spokane is committed to facing the climate change challenge head-on,” says Mayor Mary Verner. “Working with our elected officials and the Sustainability Task Force, Spokane will implement plans that address this challenge.” The Mayor continues, “Winning this award for our planning efforts truly marks years of efforts.”

In 2001, the City of Spokane joined more than 350 local governments in the U.S. and 800 local governments worldwide in ICLEI’s Climate Protection Campaign. In 2007, former Mayor Dennis Hession signed the U.S. Conference of Mayor Climate Protection Agreement, and under that agreement Spokane aims to meet or exceed Kyoto Protocal targets of a 7 percent reduction in greenhouse gas inventories by 2012.

These efforts were further established through a resolution developed by then Council Member Verner and passed by the City Council also in 2007, which established support for work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other sustainable actions.

In 2008 and 2009, the Mayor’s Sustainability Task Force further developed these ideas in the City’s Sustainability Action Plan, which also was adopted by City Council.

The work complemented the City’s work to develop its Greenhouse Gas inventory and related reduction targets. The City has determined trends and evaluated the effects that certain policies and actions have on greenhouse gas emissions. The City of Spokane is doing its part to assist in a statewide reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 10 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent, reducing such emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2020.

In recent years, the City has taken a series of steps designed to reduce its impact on the environment, curb greenhouse gas emissions, and become more sustainable. Among other things, the City is:

* Promoting the use of alternative transportation options and the complete streets concept.
* “Greening” our City fleet. We’re using re-refined motor oil, adding all-electric vehicles, and more.
* Adding community gardens throughout the City.
* Finding new uses for recycled products, including using recycled glass in street projects.
* Encouraging people to conserve water and offering rebates for making good water choices.
* Adding educational materials at City Hall and our libraries.

Implementing the latest in technology to save energy, including a new program that turns off our computers when they’re not in use.
* Accepting food scraps in our yard waste carts for composting in the middle of July.
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For more information about Spokane’s sustainability efforts or to read the greenhouse gas inventory reports, visit GreenSpokane.org.