Greenfield Eyes “Greening” Grants to Further its Economic Development Goals
GREENFIELD, MA – Greenfield is taking numerous steps to make it a “Green Showcase Community,” marrying its interests in economic development and the environment.
“Revitalization of Downtown and Bank Row, the Wisdom Way Solar Village, and the soon to be constructed zero net energy transit station are putting Greenfield on the map,” says Mayor William Martin. “These efforts will improve our economy, our downtown, and the environment, and favorably position the Town to secure additional grants for future work”.
The Town of Greenfield recently collaborated with the Greening Greenfield Energy Committee (GGEC) and applied for a “Climate Showcase Community” grant from the Environmental Protection Agency. The $448,000 proposal would enable Greenfield to promote itself as a showcase community and take further steps to make it even greener. In particular the grant funds would enable the Town to explore creating a public power company committed to generate zero carbon electricity and/or heat; expand the citizen-initiated Greenfield 10% Challenge; upgrade Town-owned buildings and work with an Energy Service Company (ESCO) to cut energy use and climate change emissions; work with young people in the schools to institute a Zero Waste program, and rewrite our 8-year old Master plan using sustainability as its overarching theme.
Additionally, Greenfield is actively working to become designated a “Green Community”. This designation from the state will provide opportunity to access millions of dollars in state and federal monies as well as help Greenfield get recognition for energy work done to date. To facilitate this, the Town has applied for a grant to provide technical assistance to move forward quickly to meet the Mayor’s goal of obtaining the designation this fall. Last week the Mayor and his staff meet with James Barry, the new Regional Coordinator for the Green Communities Division, who was impressed with the Town’s progress to date toward the Mayor’s goal.
Greenfield is also working with the DEP to institute an composting program in the schools; Siemens Building Technologies, the Energy Service Company chosen for Franklin County, started doing detailed energy audits on the schools last week; and Greening Greenfield representatives have been working with the Franklin Regional Council of Governments and the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission on a $5 million grant proposal for an Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG), which is part of the stimulus packet funds.
“It was tremendously exciting to work with Mayor Martin and his staff on the Climate Showcase Communities grant,” said Nancy Hazard, co-chair of the Greening Greenfield Energy Committee. “To write the grant we looked all the great things the Town has done, or is in process of doing, and then looked for additional areas where we could all benefit economically as well as environmentally - and we found a lot of opportunity and common ground. Everyone’s efforts in Town have made it possible for us to submit what we believe is a very competitive proposal that will further the goals of the Greening Greenfield campaign and the Town as a whole.”
The Greening Greenfield campaign is a collaborative effort of the Town of Greenfield and the Greening Greenfield Energy Committee (GGEC) which aims to revitalize Greenfield using “greening” as the economic and inspirational engine to build a sustainable Greenfield so that current and future generations can enjoy life in this beautiful abundant valley. To find out more about the campaign, hit the Greening Greenfield button on the Town of Greenfield web site or go directly to www.GreeningGreenfield.org or call 774-5667.