It took six months of focused effort by Michelle Wright, planning director for Douglasville, to complete the lengthy process which ultimately earned the city the Atlanta Regional Commission’s Green Communities designation.
Douglasville and Milton are the latest jurisdictions to earn Green Communities certification, according to Tad Leithead, ARC chairman.
“The cities of Milton and Douglasville are now recognized as Bronze level Green Communities,” he said.
The next step, according to Wright, is to work on a silver or gold designation.
“Basically, in going green, we have become a more sustainable community,” said Wright. “We are looking to demonstrate the sustainability to the community and bring a better life to our citizens and community.”
There were several components that were implemented by the city to reduce environmental impact and promote sustainability, said Wright.
Among the components was achieving LEED Silver Certification for the Douglasville Public Safety and Municipal Court Complex, said Wright. In addition, the city requires all city-owned buildings not LEED certified to achieve Energy Star or EarthCraft Light certification.
The city also adopted an Energy Star purchasing policy to purchase energy-efficient equipment appliances and adopted a lights out/power down policy requiring employees to turn off lights and other non-essential electronic equipment when not in use.
High-efficiency plumbing fixtures, significant greenspace, captured water irrigation ponds at Hunter Park and West Pines Golf Club and a comprehensive recycling program are just a few of the components which brought the green designation to the city, said Wright.
Douglasville’s popular Main Street Farmer’s Market, operated by the city’s Main Street program, going paperless and redevelopment of government facilities that were once greyfield sites also contributed to the designation.
“The city of Douglasville is proud to be going green and becoming a more sustainable community,” said Persons. “We will continue to demonstrate leadership in being a good steward of environmental sustainability.
“We are a ‘live, work and play’ community trying to bring a greater quality of life to our citizens and businesses.”
The Green Communities designation was presented to the city of Douglasville Dec. 5 at the Atlanta Regional Commission board meeting.
Since the program began in 2009, only 18 communities within the Atlanta Regional Commission area, including Douglas County, have earned the Green Communities designation.