Issues of Sustainability and Environmental Significance Considered
Sedona, AZ (August 12, 2011) – What is the Sedona Sustainability Commission? The Sustainability Commission is a group of nine local volunteers, chosen by the Sedona City Council, to serve as an advisory board on issues related to environmental sustainability for Sedona. The Sustainability Commission was formed in 2010 and began holding monthly meetings in January 2011. This newly formed Commission consists of nine passionate citizen volunteers dedicated to preserving Sedona’s beauty and bringing positive and thoughtful sustainability programs to Sedona. The Commission meets once a month to discuss work program items and discuss local actions and sustainable opportunities. Public comment and participation is greatly appreciated!
The Sustainability Commission’s mission is to advise City Council regarding policies, programs, regulations, and strategies that will increase public awareness, knowledge, and action through best practices in sustainability with measurable outcomes to enhance and enrich the community
Over the past few months the Commission has met to discuss core issues regarding local sustainability, and based on City Council direction have completed a Work Program to focus efforts to successfully address sustainability and bring more awareness and action to Sedona in the realm of eco-friendly and sustainable living. Some of our current projects and proposals include:
1. Creating alternative biking and hiking routes to SR 89A to get across the city of Sedona in a safe and scenic manner.
2. Supporting Parks & Recreation in the creation of a Community Garden at Sunset Park.
3. Engaging the community by building awareness of our goals and mission, and educating Sedona citizens about why sustainability matters. Community-building events are essential to this process.
4. Assisting in the update of the Community Plan to make sure that issues of sustainability and environmental significance are considered and included in the discussion.
5. Developing a set of Community Indicators, which are a set of measurable tools and metrics. The intent of this is for the City of Sedona to be able to clearly measure its progress on the road to sustainability.
6. Assisting the city of Sedona in attaining a Dark Skies City designation.
7. Helping city Administration “walk the talk” and become more environmentally friendly and sustainable in office and business practices. The community won’t buy into sustainability if the city Administration doesn’t demonstrate it first!
8. Creating a series of Green Building and Energy codes for Sedona, based on other Southwestern cities with similar codes, such as Santa Fe and Scottsdale.
9. Working towards Sedona’s goal of becoming a Zero Waste Community.
10. Working towards the adoption of a Pay-As-You-Throw program, in which waste management companies offer different sizes of garbage receptacles, and charge a corresponding fee based on size. The less trash generated (and the more you recycle and compost), the less money you pay!
11. Long-term goals of requiring recycling bins in all City parks and buildings, mandatory recycling at all community events, and creating a community compost center for Sedona businesses and residents.
12. The aridity of our climate brings front and center the importance of water conservation, and we are working on broad educational programs to support grey water usage and rainwater harvesting in the City of Sedona. We also support water conservation educational programs.
13. Looking into the feasibility of banning single-use plastic bags and polystyrene take-out packaging throughout the City of Sedona.
The Commission consists of the following citizen volunteers: Brent Bitz, Jeff Heidt, Sarah Irani, Meghan Kincheloe, Marlene Rayner, Charlie Schudson, Ernie Strauch, Kristopher Spector, and Bill Welter.
The Commission meets on the 4th Wednesday of every month from 9 to11a.m. in the Vultee Conference Room at City Hall. The public is invited to attend these meetings and there is time set aside for public comment towards the beginning of every meeting.
For more information about the Sustainability Commission and its work program, visit the City’s web site at www.SedonaAZ.gov/sustain or contact Audree Juhlin, staff liaison to the Commission at 928-204-7107 or email ajuhlin@SedonaAZ.gov.