City Awarded Platinum Certification for 2018 Green Government Challenge
At the Virginia Municipal League annual meeting in Hampton, the City of Williamsburg was presented with the 2018 Green Government Challenge Platinum Certification. The City first achieved platinum status in 2016 and has held that level since. The Green Government Challenge is a friendly competition designed to encourage implementation of specific environmental policies and practical actions that reduce the carbon emissions generated by both the local government and the broader community.
Over the years, the City’s commitment to environmental stewardship has not only benefitted the City and reduced the City’s carbon footprint, it has helped to score more challenge points. Public Works Director Dan Clayton explained, “Environmental actions don’t end after a few projects are completed or changes are made. We are always looking for ways to continue our mission to be an environmentally friendly community.”
New green initiatives added in 2018 include:
- The Police Department collected gently worn and new shoes for those in need in the community while also highlighting a unique way to recycle.
- The Parks & Recreation Department offers programming such as Water Exploration Day and a Butterfly Event to help raise the awareness of everyday environmental issues.
- The Planning Department continues to help coordinate and promote bicycling events such as Bike the Burg, Bike and a Movie and the Mayor’s Ride while also finding ways to increase bike lanes and paths in the City.
- Williamsburg-James City Schools now participates in the Back to School Write As Rain Campaign where students now see motivational environmental messages on the sidewalks when it rains. The campaign was created to inspire students to think about our Hampton Road environment in new ways.
- The Public Works Department held its first Residential Recycling Day for hard to recycle items such as tires, car batteries, motor oil, and scrap metal. A second event is scheduled for Saturday, October 20.
- Public Works also created Litter Cleanup Kits consisting of gloves, safety vests, bags and litter pick-up tongs for clubs or organizations who volunteer to hold a litter clean-up event.
- Public Works facilities maintenance staff continues to find ways to phase in LED lighting and lighting timers in City buildings as well as finding other opportunities to conserve energy and water.
Mayor Freiling presented the award to Interim City Manager Andrew Trivette at the October 11th City Council Meeting.