Life Is Good In The Green Triangle

Don Burch speaking at a press conference back in May.

Don Burch spoke at a press conference in Crescent Hill last May.

Before long we’ll have more green spaces for playing and enjoying nature, fewer cars and more bicycles, more trolleys, businesses with a new look and services that are more environmentally friendly. How do I know this? I live in The Green Triangle.

Little did I know, back in May, when I stumbled on a press conference in front of Heine Brothers Coffee, that The Green Triangle was taking shape right there and then. Right now it’s as much a state of mind as it is a space or place. But that’s about to change.
The Green Triangle is “… a future that we believe is very achievable because the vast majority of people in Louisville’s Ninth District recognize the importance of sustaining our environment,” the district’s Councilwoman Tina Ward Pugh said. That was back in May, 2010.

(I remember talking with Tony Hyatt, who rode his bike to the press conference and wrote the press release where I got most of these facts. Thanks, Tony! By the way, that’s him in the picture below.)

How it got started

After several months of online surveys, community meetings and information gathering, Ward-Pugh unveiled the Green Triangle Vision for the Ninth District last spring. It includes three main components:

  • Green spaces for people to connect with nature and each other
  • Green options for transportation
  • Green thinking that promotes the conservation of resources and our small neighborhood feel

The next step is to develop and implement strategies to bring the vision to life. These efforts will include milestones and benchmarks to measure progress over time. I have the privilege of serving with a group of other 9th district folks to help make it happen. We’ve already met a couple of times. I’ll keep you posted as things unfold.

Tony Hyatt arrived at the press conference on his bike

Tony Hyatt rode his bike to the Green Triangle press conference in May.

Work on the Green Triangle has been happening for more than 18 months. A group of residents started discussing sustainability, formed a design team, created a survey, and asked residents and businesses for their thoughts on a sustainable vision for the future. More than 400 people responded to the individuals’ Green Triangle survey. The survey’s highlights indicate a pattern of key components that would go hand in hand with a sustainability vision:

Some highlights:

  • People like the 9th District’s walkabilty, safe neighborhoods, peace and quiet, fun coffee houses and restaurants and that it’s close to everything
  • Residents care about recycling, access to locally grown foods, pedestrian walkways, public transportation options, community green spaces, and alternative energy sources
  • Surveys showed they’re currently recycling, reducing home energy use, walking instead of driving, supporting locally grown foods and engaging in green consumerism

The Ninth district (Clifton and Crescent Hill) is interested in attending workshops, buying locally grown food, participating in outdoor clean-up events and changing their use of resources at home, like water and energy.

Good for business, too!

Twenty-one businesses responded to the business Green Triangle survey. Of these respondents, an overwhelming 75 percent:

  • Believe it’s important to be thought of as a “green business”
  • Rate themselves as “involved” in sustainability efforts
  • Are likely to institute changes in business procedures to support sustainability efforts over the next 2-3 years

“The survey clearly shows a change in attitude from residents and businesses when it comes to recognizing that we are all connected and are affected by each other’s actions and inactions,” said Ward-Pugh.

“We are changing our attitudes and actions by embracing the opportunity and accepting the responsibility that building community is a sacred trust and a down payment for generations to come. The “us” isn’t limited to those of us here and now. The “us” is the seventh and fourteenth generation from here and now who will inherit what we here and now pass on to them.”

Now local businesses along the Frankfort Avenue corridor can get started on becoming a “greener business” with the Business Recycling Pilot Program which began in July. The program is the first of its kind in Louisville outside the downtown business district.

“If this pilot program is successful on Frankfort Avenue, it will be extended to parts of the Ninth District that include Brownsboro Rd., Mellwood and Story Avenues and Lexington Rd.,” said Ward-Pugh.

The pilot program already is available to more than 200 businesses on Frankfort Avenue. Instead of transporting recyclables to a recycling center or tossing them in a dumpster that ends up in the landfill, they get a 95-gallon recycling bin for just $50.00. The pilot program includes the funding to equip solid waste packer trucks with the lifting arm needed to empty the containers.

Another Green Triangle project is the Seneca Park Loop – a multi-use path for walkers, strollers, bikers and joggers. (Watch for an update on this soon.) It’s another starting point for Green Triangle vision.

“I’m asking everyone in the Ninth District to sign up to be part of the Green Triangle and do what they can to build a future that minimizes the number of “gray solutions” needed to solve problems because we are solving them today with green solutions that can be done individually and collectively.”

If you’re interested, get in touch with David Caldwell in Councilwoman Tina Ward-Pugh’s office: david.caldwell@louisvilleky.gov or call (502) 574-1109.

Grace. Peace. Bicycle Grease.

PS: Remember, every lane is a bike lane. Share the road.

Pedalaround
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Enjoy the ride home.
© Copyright, Kirk M. Kandle, MMXI
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