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Celebrate National Pollinator Week!

by Talula Pontuti, SLCgreen intern

Have you heard about Pollinator Week?

The week of June 18-24, 2018 is designated National Pollinator Week by the Pollinator Partnership and the U.S. Senate! Hopefully you made it out to this last weekend’s Bee Festival hosted by CATALYST magazine to help kick it off and celebrate our diverse community of pollinators – bees, butterflies, birds, moths, wasps, and more!

Why Celebrate Pollinators?

Pollinator species, such as the classic honeybee, help fertilize plants that keep ecosystems thriving and crops producing. Farmers depend on them to help produce high yielding, delicious food.

All species also rely on pollinators for increasing carbon sequestration, preventing soil erosion, keeping plants reproducing, and acting as a food source for other species. Read more

How to Care for our Urban Trees and the Park Strip

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Trees in the park strip are City-owned trees. Please do not alter these trees, which comprise SLC’s 85,000 strong urban forest. Our Division of Urban Forestry will prune, remove, and plant trees in the park strip. Call (801) 972-7818 to request service.

by Sydney Boogaard, SLCgreen intern

It’s a beautiful summer’s day as you walk through the neighborhood with your favorite furry friend at your side. The shade from the trees helps cool the summer heat as you pad along… sound like a lovely afternoon?  We think so. And we have our vibrant urban forest to say thank you to.

Our urban forest comprises nearly 85,000 public trees, including 63,000 street trees and 22,000 trees that reside in our city’s parks and open spaces. These indispensable trees are cared for and maintained by Salt Lake City’s Urban Forestry Division.

Why are Urban Forests Important?

A 2010 census reported that nearly eighty-one percent of Americans now live in urban centers. This means urban forests are becoming more important than ever. They provide essential benefits to our populations and wildlife. Urban trees contribute to cleaning our air, filtering our water, controlling storm water, conserving energy, and providing shade for us and our local animal life. Not to mention, they are aesthetically pleasing, strengthen social structures, and add significant economic value to our communities.

The majority of these trees are located in park strips. So, you may ask, what is the park strip, why is it there, and what do you do with it?

Read more

Don’t Miss “Bee Fest” on June 16!

Welcome to SLCgreen Connections, an occasional series highlighting SLCgreen’s fantastic local partners—the people and organizations with whom we work closely to make Salt Lake City a greener, more vibrant, and sustainable city!

CATALYST Magazine is a long-time community asset in Salt Lake City, featuring frequent news and tips for sustainability-minded folks. After recently receiving their 501(c)3 status, CATALYST now helps organize community events, including the upcoming Bee Fest.

 Bee Fest

By Ardyn Ford, SLCgreen intern

Mark your calendars for the 8th Annual Bee Fest in Salt Lake City on June 16!

Organized for the first time by the team at CATALYST Magazine, this year the festival will celebrate all pollinators, including bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, and the plants that they love.

For the past seven years, Bee Fest has been organized by the folks at Slow Food Utah. However, change was afoot and Greta deJong, the editor and publisher of CATALYST, decided to take it on. Coincidentally, Greta had been in the process of planning a Dandelion Festival, so agreeing to take on Bee Fest was only natural.

After all, the golden flower is one of the first sources of food for bees in the spring. Read more

It’s Farmers’ Market Season!

Two vegetable vendors at a market selling green beans, sweet carrots, beans and other vegetables.

Vendors for a local Salt Lake City Market. Photo courtesy of Utahs Against Hunger.

by Emily Seang, SLCgreen intern

There’s no better way to enjoy the summer than to visit a farmers’ market!

All throughout Salt Lake City there are many opportunities to join communities in celebrating locally grown foods. Supporting our farmers’ markets is a great way not only to purchase fresh, healthy fare, but also to support local farmers and the important role they play in our community.

We’ve got good news . . . the season has started and many markets begin this week!

Read more

The Salt Lake City School District Saves Energy and Conserves Resources

By Ardyn Ford, SLCgreen intern

Welcome to SLCgreen Connections, an occasional series highlighting SLCgreen’s fantastic local partners—the people and organizations with whom we work closely to make Salt Lake City a greener, more vibrant, and sustainable city!

Greg Libecci of the Salt Lake City School District chronicles some of the achievements he’s helped realize after nine years as the Energy and Resource Manager for dozens of schools. His work led to the school district receiving a 2015 Mayor’s Skyline Challenge Award from Salt Lake City. Thanks for all you do Greg!

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Greg Libecci, right, stands near solar panels being installed at Hillside Middle School in Salt Lake City.

School’s out this week, but that doesn’t mean Greg Libecci takes the summer off.

His role as Energy and Resource Manager means he works year-round to identify and implement energy efficiency projects to save the Salt Lake City School District energy and money.

What led him to this role?

After several years of working in corporate sales for a telecom company, Greg began to notice energy waste everywhere. Things that were not being used were often left on, racking up unnecessary expenses and negatively impacting the environment.

He was certainly on to something with these observations, since the excessive consumption of energy resources worldwide is recognized as an important contributor to climate change.

Greg was drawn into the sustainability field because he saw how simple it could be to prevent unnecessary energy use. He was excited by the solvable nature of the problem.

When the Salt Lake City School District (SLCSD) created the Energy and Resource Manager position nine years ago in an effort to save the District money on utility costs, it seemed like the perfect opportunity for Greg to pursue his newfound passion for energy conservation.

Not only would he have the opportunity to directly implement important sustainability initiatives at a large organization, but he would also have the chance to work with students, something that remains an extremely rewarding part of his job.

Since Greg took the position, the school district has seen huge reductions in energy and natural gas use. In comparison with their baseline year of 2009, 2017 saw an 11% decrease in electricity use and a 23% decrease in natural gas usage.

This translates to a 4,400 ton reduction of CO2 emissions for 2017! Read more

Check Out our New Trucks!

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Help us make SLC Plastic Free by keeping plastic bags out of curbside containers. Say no to single-use bags and yes to reusable!

By Jack Hurty, SLCgreen intern

 

Salt Lake City’s often under-appreciated workhorses are getting a makeover – and an educational one at that. Six of our recycling trucks recently received a new body wrap, pictured above.

Their visibility is key to educating the public about what can and cannot be recycled.

There have been big changes rocking the recycling world lately and plastic bags are one of the most significant sources of “contamination.”

Besides these bright new wraps, the trucks are state-of-the-art waste management machines.

Not only do they run on low-emission Clean Natural Gas (CNG) and clean diesel, but they are equipped with an on-board trash compactor, an array of cameras, and a mechanical arm to pick up and empty recycling bins.

Every week, these trucks travel to all corners of the city, making sure that our waste is taken care of.

Read more

Help Salt Lake City Advance Our Energy Goals

The Salt Lake City Sustainability Department is excited to launch a new pilot energy efficiency project for households and small businesses.

We are seeking an organization to partner and help lead this effort in our community.

Learn more about the project vision (referenced in the Mayor’s 2017 budget speech), along with details on how interested organizations can respond, through the below Request for Proposal (RFP) details.

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Salt Lake City Corporation Request for Proposal (RFP)

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