Category: environment

How the Last Fire on the Cuyahoga River Kick-Started the Clean Water Movement

Many American rust belt cities have risen high, fallen hard, and come back to life – and a case could be made that none rose so high nor fell quite so far as Cleveland, Ohio. The fortune of this city on the shore of Lake Erie has ebbed and flowed in tandem with its iconic

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You Can’t Meet Energy and Climate Goals Without Building Efficiency

This is guest post by Bill Fay, Coalition Director, Energy Efficient Codes Coalition There is no national policy issue that is as largely in cities’ hands to develop as writing building energy codes. With little effort and no expenditure of public funds, cities, towns and villages can help write the nation’s building energy code. All

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How Northeastern Illinois Aims To Become the Greenest Region

Solar power development is skyrocketing in Northeastern Illinois, communities are gaining new sustainability coordinators, and mayors are taking a literal seat at the table in global environmental conferences. It’s all fueled by the nation’s largest regional collaboration on sustainability called the Greenest Region Compact (GRC). With 115 municipalities and 10 councils of government as signatories, and

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14 Local Leaders Are Taking Action On Contaminated Drinking Water

PFAS substances are a group of man-made chemicals that were made and used in a variety of industries around the globe—and these chemicals are making their way into drinking water systems across the country, particularly in communities near military installations or industrial sites. 14 local leaders from the National League of Cities (NLC) Energy, Environment,

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In This Community, Nature Activates a Healing Power in Its Young People

This is a guest post written by Michael Anthony Nutter, former mayor of Philadelphia. The Fairmount Park system is one of Philadelphia’s greatest assets, with more than 11,000 acres of greenspace spread across nearly every area of the city. It is a mecca for big events and a refuge for small moments of quiet. Fairmount

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How to Reconnect Your Youth to the Natural World

A young boy having a positive outdoor experiences

“With access to nature, we have real racial disparity in our city. If you are a middle-class kid, your parents or scout troop are making sure you have positive outdoor experiences. This is not the case for a kid struggling with not having enough food and the trauma of everyday life,” said St. Louis Mayor

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Local Leaders Will be Our Climate Change Heroes

As another Earth Day approaches, I feel the need to make a confession related to something I heard at a climate conference two years ago. The speaker (who will remain anonymous), exclaimed to the jam-packed and dumbfounded room, “Folks, somehow, I am able to hold two totally contradictory ideas in my head at once: ONE

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Leadership Academy: An Opportunity for City Leaders to Connect Children to Nature

This is a guest post by Alejandra Pallais, who provides communications support to the Children and Nature Network (C&NN). City leaders interested in getting more young people outdoors and connected to nature can now apply to the 2019 Cities Connecting Children to Nature (CCCN) Leadership Academy in Denver. The Leadership Academy is a fully subsidized

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A Growing Number of Cities are Concerned About Contaminated Drinking Water

From Florida to Washington and many communities in between, local officials are facing drinking water contamination from per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). More cities, towns and villages are now becoming aware of the contamination and there is growing concern across all levels of government regarding health risks and how to address the issue. PFAS substances are

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How Detroit Created a Green Oasis in the Middle of Motor City

Three years ago, the first Detroit Outdoors campers in Scout Hollow admired a pair of Red Tail Hawk parents feeding their chick nestled in a huge nest perched in a tall Sycamore Tree. The hawks’ vantage point gave them a commanding view of the 5-acre meadow and Detroit’s only campground, which had been unused for

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