The Atlanta Regional Commission has awarded the city of Dunwoody re-certification as a Green Community at the Silver level.

The ARC’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, according to an ARC press release.

All winners earned certification points for sustainable measures implemented in their communities. Some measures that earned Dunwoody certification points include:

  • Working to become electric-vehicle ready by providing EV charging stations, available for public use, at the Dunwoody Nature Center and at Brook Run Park
  • Carrying out its Greenspace Plan by acquiring almost 30 acres of green space. This green space provides the public with four additional parks and the space for a future park.
  • Replacing more than 500 trees on its property as part of the city’s No Net Loss of Trees Policy
  • Helping residents properly dispose of household hazardous waste by holding collection events twice a year
  • Encouraging youth engagement in sustainability. Starting in 2017, the city’s Sustainability Committee has been joined by two high school students serving as advisory members. These youth members participate in monthly meetings and annual retreats.
  • Improving the intersection of North Peachtree and Tilly Mill, adding turn lanes, sidewalks, and bicycle lanes to improve safety and convenience for vehicles, cyclists, and pedestrians

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.

“We applaud these local governments for reducing their environmental impact,” said ARC chairman Kerry Armstrong in the press release. “As they do so, they lead the way in creating a greener and more livable region.”

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.

Other municipalities recognized are:

  • Cobb County – Recertified, upgraded to Gold
  • City of Roswell– Recertified Gold
  • DeKalb County– Recertified Silver
  • Douglas County– Recertified, upgraded to Silver
  • Rockdale County – Upgraded to Silver
  • City of Chamblee – Certified Bronze
  • City of Suwanee– Recertified Bronze

Programs that earned these cities and counties their certifications and re-certifications:

  • City of Chamblee – installing end-of-trip bicycle facilities at all its complexes and requiring at least three bike parking spaces at many types of new developments.
  • Cobb County – setting up a wildlife and rain garden demonstration site that showcases methods for stream bank stabilization, residential and commercial rain gardens, as well as habitat creation.
  • Douglas County – putting in place extensive LED light fixtures, estimated to save nearly $16,000 annually.
  • Rockdale– providing educational materials about glass recycling as well as providing a collection location.
  • City of Suwanee – hosting Georgia’s largest organic community garden as well as a rainwater cistern and a new community orchard.
  • DeKalb County – using methane gas produced and refined at its Seminole Road Landfill to supply its fleet of compressed natural gas vehicles.

Dyana Bagby

Dyana Bagby is a staff writer for Reporter Newspapers and Atlanta Intown.