A round up of news on green building, green infrastructure, and clean water issues in Northeast Ohio for this day, June 9, 2014
Green building advocates were disheartened to learn this week that Cleveland State University plans to dig out and throw away its green roof on its Recreation Center. In 2009, LeeAnn Westfall and Erin Huber, leaders of the school's student environmental group, helped cut the ribbon after a two-and-a-half year effort that ended with the school committing $250,000 to install a green roof. A load of volunteers even helped place the modular system with sedum, a type of hardy grass, around a large seating area. It was hailed as the city’s first multi-purpose green roof. But, the roof reportedly needs repairs, and “they have currently decided to not reinstall the green roof after necessary roof repairs,” says Westfall. The graduate has started a petition at MoveOn to ask CSU President, Ronald Berkman, to keep the green roof, and continue the school’s commitment to sustainability.
Green pocket park
The Sewer District will host a public meeting tonight (Monday, June 9) to gather input on its green infrastructure project for the corner of Fairhill Road and MLK Drive (near the future extension of the Lake to Lakes Trail). As part of its agreement with federal authorities to capture stormwater with green projects, the Sewer District is proposing to build a bioswale and pocket park at this highly trafficked corner.
Cleveland is looking for a full-time coordinator for its community gardening program, Summer Sprout.
Climate preparedness and resilience
Cleveland State University Levin College of Urban Affairs just announced that Paula Brooks, Franklin County Commissioner and Ohio member of the bipartisan White House Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience, will discuss this important topic on June 23.
End to Safe Routes?
With interest in biking and walking growing, it was inexplicable to supporters why Congress zeroed out the popular Safe Routes to School program in its transportation budget. While a few local communities like Cleveland and Cleveland Heights got their application in under the wire, it is unlikely to reach the funding levels of the past, observers in those cities tell GCBL. As a stop-gap, the national group Transportation for America is working with House and Senate sponsors to introduce legislation to create a “TIGER-like” program in each state. If it survives the legislative process, It would take funding off the top of a number of transportation programs and then require the state DOT to set up selection panels and criteria, and hold competitions for local transportation projects.
Small box, big ideas
GCBL wrote about the Warehouse District’s Small Box project which will recycle shipping containers into micro-retail “stores” over neatly landscaped parking spots. The District says it has two retailers lined up for its 2014 launch, and is looking for more ideas on what will serve the downtown neighborhood. Stop by W. 6th and St. Clair and jot down your thoughts—the District placed an idea board at the corner.
Plastic beads in Lake Erie, and in your water glass?
At the 2013 Cleveland Museum of Natural History Museum’s Conservation Symposium, Dr. Sherri Mason revealed that 60% of the plastic she found in Lake Erie were micro-beads. The primary culprit is make-up and facial cleansers. Mason was recently featured on NPR for her research, and her plans to look at the impact to human health of micro-beads in our drinking water.