A Newsletter of ARC's Green Communities Program

September 2016


Celebrate Something We All Share: Our Public Lands 

Volunteers for National Public Lands Day

From the National Environmental Education Foundation 

On September 24, you can help celebrate our nation's public lands by volunteering at a park for National Public Lands Day (NLPD). From neighborhood parks and beaches to our nation’s awe-inspiring national parks, public lands of all sizes and varieties are places where we live, learn, play, exercise and relax.

NLPD is the nation's largest, single-day volunteer effort for public lands. And NPLD is a fee-free day for all federal public lands and many state parks. Whether you volunteer for NPLD or enjoy some boating, hiking, fishing or camping or simply learn more about your public lands and the plants and wildlife that live there, we hope you will take some time on September 24 to enjoy the great outdoors and celebrate our public lands for all they give to us.  

To participate, search for an NLPD event near you or register for a NLPD event you are planning, and learn more about National Public Lands Day.


Green Communities Spotlight

Local Government Greenspace Plans 

(Green Communities Measure #29)

map of South Gwinnett Park

Master plan for South Gwinnett Park

Local governments can earn points in ARC's Green Communities program for developing effective greenspace plans. Eligible plans must include natural areas, open spaces and greenways that provide connectivity.

Gwinnett County has an exemplary greenspace plan that outlines the following primary goals:

  • increase recreation opportunities
  • protect and improve water quality
  • increase connectivity via a system of greenway trails
  • reduce environmental impacts of development.

With 46 award winning parks, Gwinnett County has more than 9,000 acres of greenspace that protect natural lands and increase recreational activities in the county.


Make it Personal

Lend a Hand to Public Lands

How can you support your favorite public lands? 

  • Check out volunteer websites – Sites like serve.gov and volunteer.gov help you search for volunteer opportunities and sort them by location and other criteria. 
  • Help out at a Georgia state parkGeorgia State Parks need people to maintain trails, assist visitors and help preserve historic sites. 
  • Join a local “friends group” – Many parks have organizations of concerned residents who meet regularly to raise awareness and work to improve conditions in these special places. Park Pride coordinates several groups and has tips on how to start a friends group at a park near you. 

Here are some more ways you can support public lands.


Sustainability News Clips

Green News from Near and Far

Georgia EPD declares level 1 drought response, encourages water conservation

Atlanta on track to create low-cost financing for green energy at homes, businesses

Georgia World Congress Center honored for stellar zero waste practices

Solarize Decatur-DeKalb launches

Glass recycling makes a comeback in DeKalb

A look at the largest landfill gas-to-energy project in metro-Atlanta

Transforming glass from a headache to an asset

GreenCircle label deflates greenwashing with verified performance data

A community garden became an alternative to juvenile detention

Five great GreenBiz videos about water

Strengthening emergency preparedness through alternative fuel vehicles

EPA adds waste and materials tracking to portfolio manager

Quantifying the value of trees

The health benefits of solar power

Conservation vs green growth: Which is going to win?

7 Tips to maximize LED retrofits

WELL Food Production: Reinventing urban spaces into nutrition hubs

How local governments handle sustainability


Get Green for Going Green

American City and County Municipal Leader of the Year 
Nominations due Sept. 24

Free Smart Growth Technical Assistance
Applications due Oct. 6

Every Body Walk! Collaborative Micro Grants 
Applications due Oct. 15

Wild Ones Seeds for Education Grant 
Applications due Oct. 15

Georgia Nonpoint Source Implementation Grant 
Applications due Oct. 31

Whole Kids Foundation School Garden Grant 
Applications due Oct. 31

AmeriCorps Grants 
Letter of Intent due Dec. 7

Walk Friendly Community Designation 
Applications due Dec. 15

Walmart Fdn. Community Grant 
Applications due Dec. 31

Bicycle Friendly Community Designation
Applications due Feb. 9

Ford Fdn. Sustainable Development Grant 
Applications ongoing

Kresge Fdn. Healthy Housing & Neighborhoods Initiative 
Applications ongoing

SolSmart Community Designation 
Applications ongoing


Green by the Numbers

Park Stats!

  • 1: Acres of trees that can absorb the CO2 produced by driving a car 11,000 miles. 
  • 50: Percent decrease in violent crime that resulted in Macon, GA, after the revitalization of a park.
  • 25:  Percent increase in physical activity that occurs when parks are built.

Source & Infographic


Sustainability Happenings

2018 International Energy Conservation Code Update Series 
Sept. & Oct. | Webinar

Georgia Tech Serve-Learn-Sustain Environmental Justice Series 
Fall 2016 | Atlanta

Tailgate for Trees 
Sept. 22 | Atlanta

2018 IECC Key Commercial Code Change Proposals 
Sept. 22 | Webinar

Atlanta Streets Alive 
Sept. 25 | Atlanta

4th Annual RayDay 
Sept. 25 | Chattahoochee Hills

The Sustainable High Growth Revolution 
Sept. 26 | Atlanta

Intro to Virtual Power Purchase Agreements 
Sept. 28 | Webinar

Sustainability is Growing in Atlanta Luncheon 
Sept. 29 | Atlanta 

Brownfields Assessment and Remediation to Support Community Revitalization 
Sept. 29 | Webinar

Just Energy Summit 
Sept. 30 | Atlanta

8th Annual Solar Summit 
Oct. 20 | Atlanta

2016 SEEA & AESP Southeast Conference 
Oct. 25 & 26 | Atlanta

GAWP 2016 Fall Conference 
Nov. 15-16 | Dalton

The Green Matters e-newsletter is designed to give you a glimpse of important sustainability initiatives happening around the metro Atlanta region and beyond. Whether it's the latest research, new educational offerings, environmental stewardship efforts or potential funding opportunities, this e-newsletter will help you stay abreast of what's happening in this important subject area.