Patterson on National Green Infrastructure award

Oakland County, Michigan, is among three regions in the nation which will receive the National Green Infrastructure Implementation Award February 24, 2011, at the upcoming National Green Infrastructure Conference in Shepherdstown, West Virginia.

“Oakland County continues to serve as a national model for others to follow,” said Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson.  “The National Green Infrastructure Implementation Award recognizes the excellence of one of our many green initiatives.”

Oakland County’s Green Infrastructure Vision is a collage of local open space efforts among its 62 communities, intended to guide and coordinate local and multijurisdictional preservation efforts. The process takes a broad-based ecosystem approach to planning for the protection and stewardship of sustainable biological diversity. The county’s vision also provides a roadmap into the future and creates opportunities to connect to the land through trails, parks, open space and waterways.

“We are extremely honored to receive this award,” said Jim Keglovitz, a senior planner for Oakland County. “It gives us the opportunity to celebrate the hard work of several hundred individuals and the many organizations that shaped our Green Infrastructure Vision.”

The panel selecting the final award winners was comprised of representatives from The Conservation Fund; the US Department of Defense; the US Environmental Protection Agency; the US Fish & Wildlife Service; the US Forest Service; the US National Park Service; the Federal Highway Administration; the American Planning Association; the National Association of Clean Water Agencies; the Clean Water America Alliance; and the Green Infrastructure Community of Practice.

Oakland County’s Green Infrastructure Vision is one among several green initiatives by the county. The others include:

  • Construction of the nation’s first green airport terminal slated to open this summer at Oakland County International Airport. The terminal will feature wind and solar power, and geothermal heating and cooling, among other energy saving technologies.
  • The formation of a Green Team to identify and implement energy saving procedures and devices on the government campus. Since 2005, Oakland County has saved taxpayers more than? $4 million on utility costs.
  • The OakGreen Challenge issued by Patterson in May, 2010 to encourage local residents, businesses and governments to reduce their energy consumption 10% by the end of 2012. Oakland County is working to reduce its energy consumption 15% by 2015.
  • Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants to identify and fund energy saving retrofits to county buildings which will save taxpayers up to an additional $500,000 a year on utility bills.
  • Oakland County’s Emerging Sectors job retention and attraction strategy is fostering the growth of alternative energy companies in the region. Currently, alternative energy is the county’s second fastest growing sector next to life sciences.

Find out more about what Oakland County is doing to go green here.