City News

Newest sustainable neighborhood

National award-winning program to certify another sustainable neighborhood

Lakewood’s national award-winning Sustainable Neighborhoods Program will certify the city’s newest sustainable neighborhood with a ceremony at 6:30 p.m., May 13 at Green Gables Elementary School, 8701 W. Woodard Drive.

During an annual potluck, residents of the Southern Gables neighborhood will be presented a full-size mockup of the signs that will be put up in the neighborhood showing it is an Outstanding Sustainable Neighborhood. Mayor Bob Murphy, City Council members Tom Quinn and Karen Harrison and state Sens. Andy Kerr and Brittany Pettersen will present the residents with the signs.

The Southern Gables neighborhood, with about 900 homes northwest of the intersection of Wadsworth Boulevard and Morrison Road, started a water-wise program to replace high water-use landscaping in yards; created a waste reduction, composting and recycling effort; provided workshops for residents on reducing energy use at home and conducting home energy audits along with several other projects.

Lakewood’s Sustainable Neighborhoods Program recently received the first-ever Sustainable Development Project Award from the American Planning Association. This award of excellence honors projects, policies, plans and people who show exemplary leadership and inspiration in sustainable planning and implementation. Lakewood’s program also serves as a model and leader for other communities such as Denver that are starting their own sustainable neighborhoods program, creating a Sustainable Neighborhoods Network that also received the APA award.

Started in 2012, Lakewood’s program gives residents the opportunity to become active partners in making their city a sustainable community. Neighborhoods participating in the program work toward certification using guidance from Lakewood staff to organize workshops, projects and events that enhance the livability of their neighborhoods and reduce residents' ecological footprint. Participating neighborhoods earn credits for their efforts and can receive Lakewood’s designation as a Participating Sustainable Neighborhood or an Outstanding Sustainable Neighborhood based on their credits.

Neighborhoods certified through the program find that it enhances the environmental and social strength of a neighborhood and increases residents’ sense of community.

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Posted on: Thursday, May 08, 2014