Douglas County was recognized for its commitment to the environment by achieving certification as a Green Community, advancing to the Silver level.
The Atlanta Regional Commission, the regional planning and intergovernmental coordination agency for the 10-county Atlanta region, made the announcement at its Board Meeting held in downtown Atlanta on Wednesday, January 24, 2018.
Douglas County Board of Commissioners Chairman Dr. Romona Jackson Jones led a small contingent of officials to accept the award. Those who accepted on behalf of Douglas County were Douglas County’s Development Services Director James Worthington, Assistant County Engineer Travis McDonald and Director of Communications and Community Relations Rick Martin.
The Atlanta Regional Commission’s Green Communities program is a voluntary certification program that helps local governments implement measures that will reduce their environmental impact. It recognizes their commitment to environmental stewardship and their leadership in sustainability practices.
“We worked very hard to achieve this goal and I’m so proud of Douglas County being recognized for the commitment to live in a better and greener environment,” said Douglas County Commission Chairman Jones. “It’s truly an honor and I’m humbled by the recognition.”
In addition to Douglas County, the Atlanta Regional Commission announced that Cobb, DeKalb, Rockdale counties and the cities of Chamblee, Dunwoody, Roswell, and Suwanee have been certified through the agency’s Green Communities program for their leadership in sustainability practices.
The Atlanta Regional Commission announced in a news release that all winners earned certification points for sustainable measures implemented in their communities. Some measures that earned Douglas County certification points include:
- Putting in place extensive LED light fixtures, estimated to save nearly $16,000 annually
- Constructing the county’s E-911 building with two on-site 20,000-gallon cisterns. Each cistern is used for site irrigation and to flush toilets in the building.
- Protecting the primary supply of drinking water for the county, the Dog River Basin, with an undisturbed 50-foot buffer along both sides of the streams, twice the state’s minimum. This is more than double the required state standard and helps improve water quality as well as provide habitat and tree protection.
- Purchasing homes damaged by devastating floods in 2009, and turning those 10 acres of land into Wren Circle Park. The park now allows for future flooding while also offering park space to the community.
In metro Atlanta, 20 local governments — 13 cities and seven counties – are currently certified under the ARC Green Communities program. This is the first program in the country to promote sustainability through a green certification program for local governments.
ARC developed the Green Communities Program in 2009 to recognize local governments that invest in programs and policies that lead to a more sustainable region. The nationally recognized program showcases the many ways that local governments can reduce their environmental footprint.
Together, the green efforts of these local governments have had the following cumulative impact over the past four years:
- 3.7 million gallons of water saved or reused
- 381 additional acres of green space
- 19,100 tons of household hazardous waste collected
- More than $1.4 million in utility savings
- 19,700,000 kWh of energy saved