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SCVNews.com | Santa Clarita Goes Green – and Silver | 02-24-2012
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The City of Santa Clarita will be recognized by representatives of the California Green Communities, an environmental recognition program, at the Feb. 28 City Council meeting for achieving “silver” status as a result of the City’s commitment to environmental sustainability.  Santa Clarita is one of only four cities to be honored by California Green Communities for its efforts.

“The City of Santa Clarita places a high priority on reducing its environmental footprint and preserving our community and its resources for generations to come,” said Santa Clarita Mayor Laurie Ender.  “We are committed to being one of the state’s leading green communities and are working towards achieving Platinum status in all categories.”

California Green Communities was created in 2009 and is spearheaded by Environmental Media Association (EMA), Southern California Edison, and Green Seal.  The recognition program is a community-based effort that encourages cities to adopt environmentally sound practices involving energy efficiency, waste reduction, water conservation, renewable and alternative fuels, efficient transportation and other activities.

To participate in the program, cities must develop their own action plan to identify projects and activities they will implement to reach Silver, Gold, and Platinum status.  The City of Santa Clarita has achieved Silver status in the areas of Green Building, Climate Friendly Purchasing, Efficient Transportation, and Urban Forestry and Carbon Offsets.  In addition to these accomplishments, the City has already achieved Gold status in several categories, and Platinum in the areas of Waste Reduction and Recycling and Promoting Community and Individual Action.

“We created California Green Communities to showcase what cities are doing to improve the quality of life for their residents,” said EMA President Debbie Levin.  “Santa Clarita is a leader among Southern California cities who are modeling sustainable practices for others.”

One example of the City of Santa Clarita’s success includes its efforts in the area of Water and Wastewater Systems.  As part of the California Green Communities Action Plan, the City replaced more than 500 obsolete irrigation controllers with smart, weather-based irrigation controllers to water parks, medians and streetscaping to save millions of gallons of water and increase savings.

The new controllers access real-time weather information via the Internet to determine the right time and amount of water needed to irrigate various landscaped areas based on solar radiation, wind, humidity and temperature. The system is similar to a home thermostat, measuring temperature and adjusting accordingly.

Since installation, the City’s irrigation-water management system has grown to become the world’s largest smart-controller water system and in the last year alone, this system has reduced the City’s annual water consumption by more than 150 million gallons.

The City of Santa Clarita’s action plan, as well as those prepared by other participating cities like Los Angeles, Culver City, Redlands, Santa Monica, Simi Valley, and Ventura among others, is available at CaGreenCom.org.

For more information about the City of Santa Clarita’s efforts as a California Green Community, please contact Heather Merenda, sustainability planner with the City of Santa Clarita’s environmental services division, at (661) 284-1413 or visit GreenSantaClarita.com.

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