St. Louis Sustainability News - December 2017 / January 2018

December 2017 / January 2018 - News and Updates on Sustainability events around Saint Louis

December 21, 2017 | 4 min reading time
holiday trees lights Christmas

This season, there are lots of opportunities to have fun, get involved, and give the gift of sustainable green in your home, outdoors, and in the community. My favorite holiday tradition is creating wildlife-friendly decorations for evergreen trees. I use a simple birdseed ornament recipe like this one. 

At the end of the year, it seems appropriate to take a look back at some notable sustainability achievements in the City of St. Louis. Please check out the State of Sustainability Report and theUrban Vitality & Ecology Retrospective. Below are some additional climate and urban ecology highlights, and a peek ahead to what the new year will bring to the City of St. Louis. Christmas came early for the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, as we just learned we have been awarded supporting roles in two grant-funded projects from the Urban Sustainability Directors Network:

  • Preparing for Electric Vehicles in the Midwest (led by Columbia, MO)

  • Tools to Scale Urban Biodiversity Inventory (led by San Francisco, CA)

URBAN ECOLOGY: In addition to leading the St. Louis Partners for Places community tree-planting grant project from The Funders’ Network, 2018 will mean greater emphasis on developing an urban biodiversity inventory, increased citizen science events, and additional efforts to promote and assess eco-literacy. Of course, there will be continued urban monarch conservation efforts, too. April, in particular, is packed with sustainability events, such as the STL City Nature Challenge. For now, please note on February 17th the National Park Service and St. Louis Audubon Center will host special birding activities at the Arch for the Great Backyard Bird Count. In the meantime, consider practicing your observation skills by participating in the Audubon Christmas Bird Count.

CLIMATE: A new video clip describes the OLGA Award East West Gateway gave the City Energy Project for exemplary Public/Nonprofit Collaboration between the City and USGBC. The City’sEnergy Benchmarking Ordinance is in effect, and the City’s Facilities and Buildings Division have  benchmarked 16 municipal buildings. Thanks to their efforts, three of the City’s buildings will earnENERGY STAR certification: 1520 Market (96/100), Carnahan Courts (86/100), and City Hall (88/100). These certifications effectively double the number of ENERGY STAR buildings in the City, with three existing certifications at the Missouri Botanical Garden Commerce Bank Education Center and Nestle Purina Checkerboard Square Buildings C & E. Please take advantage of free energy benchmarking information and support sessions that will be held in January and February, in advance of the April benchmarking deadline for buildings in the community.

My New Year’s Resolution? After my hot water heater went out this morning, I intend to see whatenergy efficiency improvements I can make to my home through Set The PACE St. Louis, as the City now offers PACE financing for both commercial and residential properties. Ygrene Energy Fund administers the residential PACE financial components of Set The PACE St. Louis, and it received the Community Partner Award from MOKAN Construction Contractors Assistance Center for its efforts to connect minority businesses with access to stronger energy-contract job opportunities. For more information about these efforts, check out this video.

Get Involved, Voice Your Opinion & Take Advantage of Sustainability Opportunities:

  • Design a Climate Change Solution: Enter the Biomimicry Global Design Challengecontest with your nature-inspired innovation (a product, service, or system) that combats climate change; cash prizes available.

  • Enter a Fictional Writing Contest: Stories of the Nature of Cities 2099  Cash prizes available for Urban Flash Fiction. Tell your fictional account of what nature in our cities will look like in 2099. Please let me know if you enter a story written about St. Louis!

  • Download a Transit Safety App: Citizens for Modern Transit is sponsoring free downloads of SafeTrek; click here to take advantage of this opportunity.

  • Volunteer to Help Those in Need: Holiday Volunteer Opportunity with United Way of Greater St. Louis.

  • Share Your Thoughts with the Chouteau Greenway Quarterfinalists: Meet the Designers Night for the Chouteau Greenway Design Competition will be held on January 4 from 5:30-7:30pm at the Local 36 Sheet Metal Workers Union Hall on Chouteau.

  • Complete an art survey:  Regional Arts Commission Downtown Public Art Plan survey.

Attend A Free Sustainability Event In The City of St. Louis:

Wishing you a warm and wonderful holiday season, and a happy, healthy New Year. The next Sustainability eNews will be sent the first week of February 2018. Thank you for all you do to advance sustainability in the City of St. Louis.

With kind regards,
Catherine L. Werner
Sustainability Director
City of St. Louis Office of the Mayor
Twitter: @GreeninSTL

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