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Sustainable City Network

January 15, 2014

GE Evolve: Reduce Roadway Energy Expense by More Than 50% Click here to learn more.

‘Walking School Buses’
Picking Up Speed

Programs Help Fight Obesity and Reduce Emissions

By Michelle Volkmann

Read this article More U.S. children are getting to school the old school way – by walking.

Requiring only two volunteers and a neighborhood of children willing to dress for the weather, the “walking school bus” is part of a growing national trend to combat childhood obesity, traffic congestion and auto emission pollution in urban areas.

According to the “Trends in Walking and Bicycling to School” report released October 2013 by the National Center for Safe Routes to School, a greater percentage of children between the grades of kindergarten and eighth grade are choosing active school travel. Parent surveys showed the percentage of children walking to and from school increased from 12.4 percent in 2007 to 15.7 percent in 2012 in the morning and 15.8 percent in 2007 to 19.7 percent in 2012 in the afternoon. The data was compiled from parent surveys submitted by 8,119 schools representing all 50 states and the District of Columbia.


United Water: Making the planet sustainable is the best job on Earth! Click here to learn more.

Latest News

Some Health and Environment Safeguards Advanced

WASHINGTON -- Congress has moved forward on a catch-all spending bill that restores some needed funding for health and environment safeg...

Thermostats Containing Mercury Need Safe Recycling in Illinois

CHICAGO -- There are more than 1.8 million thermostats containing eight tons of mercury in Illinois homes and buildings, according to a ...

Cities Compete to be Named 'Fitness Capital'

FORT WORTH, Texas -- Have you ever been to the gym during the first week of January? It's usually packed. Everyone is following up on their Ne...

California Company Fined for Improper Wastewater Discharge

LOS ANGELES -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced that Air Louvers will pay $43,000 for violations of the Clean Water ...

Environmental Projects Funded Along U.S.-Mexico Border

LOS ANGELES -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded $461,368 in grants to fund seven environmental projects along the ...

What Smart Growth Advocates Should Know About the Omnibus Bill

WASHINGTON -- Congress recently released a $1.1 trillion omnibus appropriations bill for fiscal year 2014, which lays out funding for ag...

Funding to Put More Zero-Emission Buses into Service

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Transit Administration announced the availability of $24.9 million through...


True North: Make your health plan more sustainable! Click here for more information.

Public/Private Sector Collaboration Improves Building Safety

WASHINGTON -- Federal agencies conclude and agree that code adoption and compliance, training for code officials and updating codes base...

Three State Capitals to Receive Green Design Assistance from EPA

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced design assistance to help the capital cities of Michigan, Wisconsin and...

Partnerships to Accelerate Green Stormwater Controls

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Maryland Department of Environment and Prince George's County announced a $100 m...

Funding to Universities for Projects to Reduce Pesticide Risk

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced agricultural grants for Integrated Pest Management practices to reduce ...

EPA Launches New Citizen Science Website

NEW YORK -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has revamped its Citizen Science website to provide new resources and success stori...

Interior Department Solicits Grant Proposals from Tribes

WASHINGTON -- Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs Kevin K. Washburn announced that the U.S. Department of the Interior's Office of Indian...

Home Energy Scoring Tool Updated

WASHINGTON -- As part of the Energy Department's commitment to helping families across the United States save money by saving energy, th...

Seattle Buildings on Track for Major Energy Savings

SEATTLE -- A new report and infographic released by the Seattle Office of Sustainability and Environment on building energy use reveals...

Product Announcements

Canadian Solar Supplies 25.3 MW of Modules to Four Solar Projects

SAN RAMON, Calif. -- Canadian Solar Inc., announced it was selected to supply 84,480 solar modules to National Renewable Energy Corporation fo...

Voith's Fish-Friendly Turbines Installed at Hydroelectric Facility

YORK, Pa. -- Voith Hydro proudly celebrated the recent completion of PPL Generation's expansion of the Holtwood Hydroelectric facility on the ...

Successful Pilot of BYD All-Electric Bus Completed

NEW YORK -- BYD and the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority have concluded a pilot test on a BYD 40-foot, zero-emissions, bat...

In This Issue

Sustainability Grants

The following competitive grants are available to municipal and/or non-profit applicants, among others:

• National Center for Sustainable Water Infrastructure Modeling Research... Details

• Food Security Challenge... Details

• Dakotas Area Office Water Conservation Field Services... Details

• Low or No Emission Vehicle Deployment Program... Details

• Cyber-Innovation for Sustainability Science and Engineering... Details

Visit AFIAmerican Funding Innovators (AFI), developer of GrantNavigator, provides Sustainable City Network subscribers access to this powerful new grant management tool.


Online Training: Ecological Risk Assessments

Harman Sustainable City Network, in partnership with the Northwest Environmental Training Center, will host introductory and advanced training in ecological risk assessments in online courses offered March 4 through 13.

Instructor Chuck Harman will conduct a 6-hour introductory course in three 2-hour webinars March 4, 5 and 6, and a 6-hour advanced course on March 11, 12 and 13. Continuing education certificates will be provided.

A terrestrial ecologist, Harman has more than 23 years of experience in the environmental consulting field. He is responsible for the completion of ecological risk assessment projects and wetlands evaluations at hazardous waste sites and industrial facilities around the country.


Register Now

Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014
2 p.m. Eastern (1 pm Central / Noon Mtn. / 11 am Pacific)
Note: Admittance requires a membership to Climate Communities

2014 Sustainable Funding Outlook

For the first time in many years, Congress is poised to pass actual appropriations to fund the federal government. On Monday evening, House and Senate negotiators released the text of a bipartisan bill that will provide $1.012 trillion to keep the government open and avoid a federal shutdown.

The fiscal year 2014 spending bill has important ramifications for local governments. Federal investment is critical to local efforts to reduce energy use, curb greenhouse gas emissions, improve air and water quality, and decrease vehicle miles traveled.

On Thursday's webinar, Climate Communities staff will provide an analysis of the fiscal year 2014 Omnibus Appropriations bill, highlight federal initiatives that were greenlit for funding, identify specific cuts of federal program funding, and describe the types of grants that will be available to localities for sustainability initiatives.

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