INDIANAPOLIS -- For the second time in as many years, Greencastle has been named IACT's (Indiana Association of Cities and Towns) Green Community of the Year. The award will be presented during the annual meeting of the Association on Monday in French Lick.
"It is with great pride that we accept this award for the second year in a row," said Greencastle Mayor Sue Murray.
Last year's honor was shared with Bloomington. This year the Association recognized three communities for their efforts: South Bend, Dyer and Greencastle.
Since last receiving the designation, a citizen driven Core Committee on Sustainability, chaired by Steve Setchell, was established. Input and energy from at least 100 people has helped push the city forward in its efforts to become a more sustainable community.
It is this citizen activism, drawing people of all ages and from all walks of life, combined with the continuing city-wide efforts to better care for our natural resources and decrease our carbon footprint, that brought the city this year's recognition.
The Sustainability Commission has a mission statement that summarizes well the Greencastle repeat: "It will take a village to achieve environmental solutions to strengthen our community, economy, culture and quality of life."
IACT launched the Green Communities Initiative to identify potential cost savings to communities facing budget shortfalls, promote economically competitive quality of life concepts, and ultimately serve as role models for citizens while better protecting our environment. The initiative will expand educational opportunities for municipalities and create a consolidated clearinghouse of data and programs that can be accessed by municipalities.
Greencastle had to fill out a 51-question survey in the areas of purchasing, operations, measuring success, and sample projects. Not only did the city meet the minimum score required to be recognized as a Green Community, but ranked highest among other communities its size.
The Indiana Association of Cities and Towns is a coalition of municipal officials who seek to improve the quality of life in Indiana through effective government, and is a member of the National League of Cities. Founded in 1891, IACT is one of the oldest state municipal organizations in the country, with 470 cities and towns as members. IACT advocates for municipalities as the official voice of municipal government in Indiana, and promotes good government through education, training and leadership.