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Henderson creates website to educate residents about sustainability

The city of Henderson decided to bring best sustainability practices to the community by launching a new website, ourhenderson.com, in late June.

Tom Piechota, chairman of the Citizen s Advisory Committee that reports to the City Council about community development, said the CAC was asked about a year ago to make sustainability relatable to the everyday person. The website was the brainchild of the council and the C ommunity D evelopment D epartment .

” ‘Sustainability’ is kind of a broad term,” Piechota said.

The CAC decided to focus first on cutting utility costs, which is beneficial for people and the environment.

“People are still struggling in this economy,” said Stacie Welsh, a project coordinator with the Community Development Department.

The website hopes to offer simple solutions to help people cut costs wherever they can while being environmentally friendly.

Welsh said there is a lot of great information out there, but not all that data is centrally located .

The website also showcases news and information about sustainability and provides links to information about recycling, city weatherization programs, rebates and special incentive programs.

“Where you decide to plant your trees can help reduce your utility bills,” Welsh said. “Wouldn’t that be great to know before you start landscaping?”

Another component the CAC plans to look at is how to promote recycling.

“The city has a pilot recycling program,” Piechota said. “The council will have to determine later this year whether they are going to keep the program and make it city wide or not.”

The current program, which is available in selected neighborhoods , replaces the traditional red, white and blue bins with one recycling bin that is picked up weekly.

As a tool to really pique residents’ interest, ourhenderson.com is featuring a “Share Your Story” section where the residents can write about people who are making a difference.

Featured on the ourhenderson.com page are Lexi Lopez and Lucas Shaw, two youths who took on sustainable projects in their communities.

“It is that peer-to-peer accountability,” Welsh said. “It’s great because kids see (Lexi and Lucas’) stories and take what they have learned and help to ‘green’ their parents.”

The City Council recognized Lexi and Lucas at its June 21 meeting.

“It really is the kids that are teaching us,” Councilwoman Debra March said. “They are not limited by (negative) thoughts and keep an open mind about trying new things. We can learn from their example. It is exciting to see these grass-roots efforts coming from students.”

March has looked into starting a community garden as Lopez did at her school.

“It is amazing to watch a child manifest one of my goals,” March said. “I think community gardens help bring in a sense of community and can teach people about how food is grown.”

Piechota hopes more stories will be accumulated.

“The stories serve as great examples of what’s already going on in the community,” Piechota said.

In the future, the website plans to recognize businesses that practice sustainability.

The CAC is slated to go before the council with its next report in November.

For more information, visit ourhenderson.com

Contact Henderson and Anthem View reporter Michael Lyle at mlyle@viewnews.com or 387-5201.

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