Woodstock named green city by ARC
Going green is reason to celebrate these days in the city of Woodstock.
The city was recognized by the Atlanta Regional Commission for leadership in policies and practices that contribute to efficient and sustainable use of resources, the ARC announced Wednesday.
“Sustainability is one of Woodstock’s core values,” said Katie Coulborn, Woodstock’s long-range planner. “Focusing on sustainability allows us to meet our current needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”
Woodstock was one of five local governments in the metro area to receive the honor for its green efforts at the ARC’s January board meeting.
The city was given Silver certification in 2011 for its commitment to sustainability.
“Woodstock is to be commended for making the city a more sustainable place,” said Kerry Armstrong, ARC board chairman. “The city’s efforts to conserve energy, reduce waste and protect natural resources set an example for the entire region.”
This year they also recognized the cities of Atlanta, Norcross, Peachtree Corners and Rockdale County alongside Woodstock for certifying or upgrading their certification.
The ARC developed the Green Communities program in 2009.
Woodstock has accomplished a variety of sustainable measure including offering curbside recycling to all residents, installing a 6.8 kilowatt solar array on the roof of the Chambers at City Center, offering incentives to developers who build green through the city’s Sustainable Woodstock Building Partnership, rewriting the parking ordinance to encourage sustainable parking lot practices and developing plans and policies that provide incentives to encourage smart growth.
“Efficiency also saves us money, which in turns saves money for the taxpayers. One of our major sustainability efforts is green infrastructure, which includes the construction of the Greenprints Trail System. The Trails have definitely improved the quality of life for citizens,” Coulborn said. “Another example is the installation of electric vehicle charging stations around town, which not only helps to make the electric vehicle market more viable in general, but increases convenience for electric vehicle owners.”
These accomplishments have led to the city winning the Cherokee County Chamber’s Mayor’s Recycling Challenge three years in a row for collecting the most recyclable materials, the solar array generating enough energy to power 30,000 homes and Walton Homes helping reduce energy bills for Woodstock West apartment residents.
They have also implemented rainwater harvesting and storage and the usage of permeable pavement and paving materials that have a high solar reflectance value. They created the Town Center LCI plan and the Highway 92 corridor plan to include civic space.
The City Vision statement, Coulborn said involves sustainability and reads “Woodstock is a sustainable city with hometown pride. Our city is a community for a lifetime with first class neighborhoods, a vibrant downtown and natural and designed beauty. Our residents enjoy convenient living and active lifestyles.”
The nationally recognized Green Communities program showcases the ways in which local governments are helping transform the region by reducing their environmental footprint. For six years, 20 jurisdictions in the 10-county region have been certified by the ARC.
The ARC is the official planning agency for the 10-county Atlanta Region, including Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry and Rockdale counties as well as the City of Atlanta and 70 other cities.
For more information on ARC’s Green Communities Certification Program, visit www.atlantaregional.com/greencommunities.
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