Mayor Graham Richard today announced the City has started a Green City Public Outreach campaign designed to inform and educate the community on the importance of conserving energy and improving air quality.

The public outreach campaign includes plans for nationally-recognized and community leaders to present communitywide speeches and open forums to discuss the importance of green initiatives.

City Utilities customers are receiving energy and air quality information and tips as part of the August bill stuffer that reaches more than 85,000 customers. City TV Comcast Channel 58 will air a program at 7 p.m. August 24 with members of Mayor Richard'€™s Green Ribbon Commission to discuss what the community can do to make a positive difference. City staff will also begin a series of community information sessions. Neighborhood, School and Business Green Teams will be available to speak to various clubs and organizations. Workshops at the Home Depot are also in the planning stages.

“Public outreach is critical as we work to enhance our community and region with practical, efficient measures to reduce energy and improve air quality,” said Mayor Richard. “We want to raise awareness and encourage residents and businesses to engage in energy savings and productive air quality practices. Energy and environmental best practices will assist us retaining and gaining jobs.”

The Green City Public Outreach campaign is part of the City'€™s overall Green City Initiative that was created last year to improve government services and make the City more environmentally friendly.

In addition, a Green Ribbon Commission, made up of government, business and neighborhood leaders, is creating a comprehensive energy and air quality plan. The Commission'€™s action plan will include goals and performance measures to reduce energy costs and consumption and improve air quality. Their recommendations will be presented to the community this fall.

A new Director of Energy and Environmental Services has been hired. Wendy Barrott is leading efforts to develop energy policies, clean air programs and green build practices to name a few. Individuals interested in participating in the City'€™s Public Outreach program can contact Barrott at 427-1381.