As the summer season heats up, the Clean Air Partnership continues to recognize various local organizations and municipalities that have worked hard to better the environment and create a sustainable way of life. Over the past decade, 233 businesses, municipalities and non-profits have participated in the St. Louis Green Business/Green Cities Challenge, influencing more than 155,000 employees and nearly 470,000 residents in total. This month, we are excited to shine a spotlight on the Village of Godfrey, Ill., for their ongoing sustainable efforts and green innovations that are having a great impact on the region’s air quality.
During the 2019 Challenge, Godfrey was recognized with the Award of Achievement for their work in the Green Cities Challenge component of the program. Green Cities participants work with a menu of fundamental sustainability policy and action options geared toward greening municipal business operations, including various resources to educate and engage residents.
Founded in 1991, the Village of Godfrey is one of Illinois’ newest municipalities and has been rapidly developing in recent years. While practicing sustainability is good for the environment, it’s also good for the municipal budget bottom line, which is a win-win for the Village of Godfrey. The village partnered with Grow Solar Metro East to promote clean, renewable solar energy for homes, business and farms in Madison, St. Clair and Monroe Counties. Godfrey also teamed up with Madison County to secure a Solar Parks Grant for Glazebrook Park to help offset the cost of high electricity usage for athletic fields and reduce emissions that lead to poor air quality.
Additionally, the Village of Godfrey vowed to cut down on waste and go paperless in all village board meetings by using BoardDocs, which is a tool that allows users to access information and conduct meetings virtually.
To further reduce environmental impact and lead local bars and restaurants down the path of sustainability, Godfrey hosted the Green Business Forum with Old Bakery Beer Company to emphasize the importance of composting all food waste and using energy efficient appliances.
Among their many eco-friendly innovations to receive recognition in the Challenge is the institution of a Village Stormwater Committee to address flooding and erosion solutions that features green infrastructure methods. Since the committee identified the prevention of water pollution a top priority, the village partnered with Heartlands Conservancy to conduct the Piasa Creek Watershed Study and contribute to the forthcoming Watershed Plan. The plan will assist with flood risk management and long-term planning to repair the fish and wildlife habitat in the area.
For additional information on the sustainable efforts underway by the Village of Godfrey and how your municipality can get involved in the Challenge, subscribe to the bi-monthly E-Newsletter or visit www.stlouisgreenchallenge.com. To learn more about the link between sustainability and air quality, explore our website, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter at @gatewaycleanair.