The Sustainability Office works as a steward of public resources by promoting innovative practices and policies to reduce the Unified Government's environmental footprint, grow the local economy, and foster a thriving community by networking staff, ideas, and resources across departments and throughout the community to achieve outcomes supported by a long-term sustainability plan.
The Sustainability Office aims to achieve strategic innovation through the collection and analysis of information, piloting of new practices, and development of long-term collaborative efforts. This will also involve land management of Unified Government green space, ecological planning and project management, and education as it pertains to Unified Government green space and ecology.
Recent Projects in ACC
Community Enhancement with Pilgrim's Pride
During July 1-3, 2019 over 150 employees from Pilgrim's Pride worked with Athens-Clarke Leisure Services Department and Sustainability Office staff on the Reclaim Our River Project. The effort focused on removing destructive invasive plants and trash next to the North Oconee River, enhancing habitat diversity, opening up vistas to the river, and reclaiming this incredible community resource. Crews removed 30 tons of invasive plants, 36 bags of trash, and 30 tires from the area as part of the effort. The option to volunteer was made available to Pilgrim's Pride employees to ensure job security by the company while the local plant was shut down temporarily for equipment retooling.
Watch the video below to learn more about this experience.
Legacy Forest Project
The Legacy Forest Project works to ensure the longevity of one of our communities’ oldest resources. The Legacy Forest Project uses aerial photos from the U.S. Department of Agriculture that date from 1938 to 2017 and show the changes in historic forest coverage. These photos track which of the original 1938 forests are depleted and which have survived over time. By knowing which historic forests remain, land planners and developers are able to improve building practices on these sites, therefore preserving forests for future generations.
View the finished interactive map.
Cedar Creek Water Reclamation Facility
The solar array at Cedar Creek Water Reclamation Facility is one of the biggest solar installations and is the first of its kind in Athens-Clarke County. The array produces renewable energy that can then be sold to power companies for credit on County utility bills. The savings generated by this credit offsets ACCGOV's energy costs while also quickening the return on investment for the installation.
In addition to renewable energy production and utility savings, the solar array provides a valuable educational experience for our community to learn about the solar energy process and how it can be beneficial to us.
The Sustainability Office takes pride in our support to help Athens-Clarke County steward its resources well. Explore our renewable energy project page, where you can find more information about our recent and upcoming facility projects.