Shade helps buy Metro top grade in sustainability

Shade helps buy Metro top grade in sustainability

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The Metro has drawn four star praise for becoming a lot more shady lately.

"That award comes from STAR Communities," Mayor Greg Fischer told a gathering at Spalding University Saturday morning. "It's a national organization that specializes in evaluating the sustainability efforts of communities nationwide."

The Mayor was standing under Spalding's signature tulip poplar tree, almost 200 years old and four stories tall.

"If anyone doubts the efficacy of trees in an urban environment--stand here, " Spalding President Dr. Tori Murden McClure said. "Or go stand in the parking lot twenty feet from here, and you will feel the difference."

Sustainability theory and practice maintain that preserving, conserving, and improving a community's health and efficiency will keep it growing, by attracting employers and residents who consider environment a priority.

Louisville becomes only the 13th city to receive four-star status.

"We've finished a tree canopy study, " Fischer said. "One of the things we've seen accelerate is the amount of foundation support. They like to invest in places with plans and support."

"We're about to propose a huge new tree plan--take a decade to finish. That's why recognitions like this are so important. To get that level of support."

The STAR Community Rating System "provides a clear, data-driven approach to assessing social, economic and environmental progress," according to a written statement from the Mayor's office.

A perfect score is 800 points. Louisville scored 404, achieving its highest ratings in three of the seven performance categories: Natural Systems, Health & Welfare, and Economy & Jobs.

Louisville Metro has its own Office of Sustainability within the Mayor's cabinet. The Office and the Sustainability Council will host a Sustainability Summit in November to gather ideas and financial support.

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