Girardeau Goes Green invites focus-group volunteers

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

In April, the Cape Girardeau City Council established a new advisory board. This board was charged with the task of developing recommendations to the council on cost-effective ways the city, through its day-to-day operations, can reduce its environmental impact, enhance sustainability and serve as a role model for the region in achieving these goals.

Following a review of applications, the council then appointed a nine-member board: Kathy Conway, Eric (Red) Redinger, Ellen Dillon, Jerry Cooley, Shaun McClintock, Ross McFerrin, Steve Overmann, Dru Reeves and Jill Wicks. The board began meeting in September. It has established officers and developed a list of issues that could be explored for their potential to promote achievement of the designated goals. These items have been organized into four focus groups of board members and other volunteers.

According to the guidelines for the board, it is now time for residents of Southeast Missouri who have an interest in any of these topics to consider applying to serve on one of the focus groups. Local residents can contribute their time, energy and interest to help Cape Girardeau examine what it does to impact our environment and how it can improve its operations.

The four focus groups:

1. Energy. This group will identify and research the use of alternative energy, the purchase of renewable energy credits, viability of renewable energy sources (solar, wind, water), compact fluorescent lighting, and electricity use and conservation.

2. Outdoor Energy Efficiency. This group will review and make recommendations in the areas of energy efficient landscaping, outdoor lighting and rain gardens.

3. Transportation. This group will examine the operations of fleet management and the transportation system. Ideas to consider will include alternative fuels and transportation.

4. Waste Management. This group will examine current and future management of solid and hazardous wastes by the city, residents and local businesses.

Members of the Girardeau Goes Green Advisory Board are excited about the opportunity to tackle such a diverse array of topics. Additional volunteers are needed for each focus group. Anyone with an interest is encouraged to participate. For more information on how to get involved, contact Heather Brooks, assistant to city manager, at 339-6320. Applications are available by contacting Heather or on the Girardeau Goes Green Advisory Board link from the city's website ( Application deadline is Dec. 4.

Anyone in the area who would like to see Cape Girardeau decrease its environmental impact and enhance its sustainability should consider applying to serve on one of these focus groups. As chairwoman of the Girardeau Goes Green Advisory Board and on behalf of the board, I would like to extend a warm invitation to area residents to complete an application form and make a contribution.

Kathy Conway of Cape Girardeau is chair of the Girardeau Goes Green Advisory Board.

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