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Boola, boola for sustainability

City managers from Big Ten towns and officials from the schools they host today wrapped up a two-day meeting in Evanston on sustainability.

Each community and university made presentations about their separate and joint sustainability projects. The meeting also included a roundtable discussion of best practices.

City managers from Big Ten towns and officials from the schools they host today wrapped up a two-day meeting in Evanston on sustainability.

Each community and university made presentations about their separate and joint sustainability projects. The meeting also included a roundtable discussion of best practices.

Evanston was represented by City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz, Evanston Sustainable Programs Coordinator Catherine Hurley and Northwestern’s manager of refuse and recycling, Julie Cahillane.

Hurley and Cahillane gave a joint presentation on local efforts, which Bobkiewicz says generated a lot of interest from the other participants in how Evanston is implementing its Climate Action Plan. Many other Big Ten communities are just now moving to create such plans.

There was also interest in the many community environment/sustainability organizations in Evanston and at Northwestern and the early success of the city’s Green Building Ordinance and the focus Northwestern has long had on building LEED certified buildings.

Programs presented by other communities included the expansion of self-service car rentals, greater emphasis of recycling during student move outs each Spring, continued publicity of city and university recycling programs and the development of a community-wide sustainability challenge program involving residents and businesses.

The sustainability directors of the universities in the Big Ten have an existing network and many of the sustainability directors in the cities are part of larger municipal networks for dialogue. This meeting was the first time that both groups have met together to exchange ideas.

The Big Ten City Managers group includes managers of the six towns with council-manager governments that host Big Ten Conference universities. In addition to Evanston, that’s Ann Arbor, Mich.; Champaign, Ill.; East Lansing, Mich.; Iowa City, Iowa, and State College, Pa.

Representatives from all twelve Big Ten Conference cities and universities are invited to attend and representatives were present from Urbana, Ill., Bloomington, Ind. and  Indiana University and Lincoln, Neb. and University of Nebraska.

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