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What sustainability means to Summit

Marc Lefkowitz  |  11/05/07 @ 10:26am

Sustainability is a natural progression when your organization’s mission is to acquire, conserve, and manage natural resources. But, Metro Parks, Serving Summit County, is taking nothing for granted, pursuing sustainability with a zeal worth noting.

Take its current green building project at Sand Run Metro Park, a former private residence that is being expanded to make room for the park district’s ranger and resource management departments. “When complete, it could be the first ‘Platinum’ LEED-certified building in Ohio, incorporating solar and energy-efficient lighting, geothermal heating, low-flow water fixtures and more,” the park reports here.

Pointing the way for the park system is its official Sustainability Policy (pdf) which calls for “resource and energy conservation and education program based on awareness and implementation of continual improvements in technology, design and operational efficiency when considering all purchases, services, operations and facility expansion.”

A popular concept known as Green Teams—where one or more representative from each department provide the organizational structure to conceive and follow through on ideas—is also in the park’s plans. And living up to its billing as “the environmental conscience of Summit County” means doing things like issuing a Green Challenge, which asks individuals to try and adopt twelve changes to reduce their personal carbon footprint.

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