GREENCASTLE -- Spartanburg, S.C. leaders are looking to Greencastle as a model sustainable community.
Seeking to shape local sustainability initiatives, Mayor Bill Barnet and a recently formed group of interested citizens invited Greencastle Mayor Sue Murray and Sustainability Commission Chair Steve Setchell to Spartanburg for a series of conversations. Murray and Setchell visited the South Carolina city of nearly 40,000 residents recently.
Coining a new phrase, Mayor Barnet said, "The Greencastle Effect is a model for broad citizen engagement in creating sustainable communities." Barnet referred to the more than 100 local citizens who helped create "The Sustainable Greencastle Report: Environmental Solutions to Strengthen Our Community, Economy, Culture, and Quality of Life" (available on the City of Greencastle home page: www.cityofgreencastle.com).
A number of the citizen-led reports recommendations are now being pursued in Greencastle, including:
* Distributing local food for neighbors in need
* Appointing a sustainability commission
* Creating an energy conservation challenge
* Planting a community garden
* Strengthening community supported agriculture (CSA) programs
* Gathering a local food producer directory
* Promoting a "Buy Local" campaign
* Building awareness for continuing existing and building new recycling and waste disposal programs
"I appreciate Mayor Bill Barnet and other Spartanburg leaders' recognition of Greencastle's community-wide sustainability effort," said Mayor Murray. "I also want to thank our many citizens who continue to provide leadership and other contributions to these meaningful outcomes for our quality of life."
Out of appreciation for Murray and Setchell's visit, the Spartanburg sustainability group will make a contribution to Greencastle's community garden project north of Franklin Street and adjacent to the A-Way Home Shelter.
Located in South Carolina's Upstate region, Spartanburg is home to six higher education institutions, a major BMW manufacturing facility, and the world headquarters of Extended Stay Hotels, Advance America, QS/1 Data Systems, Milliken & Company, and Denny's. It is also the county seat to 275,000 residents of Spartanburg County.