Event Marks Sustainability Initiative Milestone in Helping Low-to-Moderate Income Durham Households
On Saturday, October 29, all are welcome to mark the end of the Partnership for Healthy Homes and Green Jobs Initiative, which has provided energy efficient and green infrastructure improvements for more than 30 low-to-moderate income households in Durham.
The community celebration will take place from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Lake View Park baseball field, located at 3500 Dearborn Dr. The celebration will feature a tree-planting by Keep Durham Beautiful, free food, and music. As part of this event, residents who participated in this initiative will describe how their homes have changed since the program began, and initiative partners will also be recognized for their efforts.
Since 2019, the initiative has:
- Weatherized 28 homes to help residents save energy and money.
- Installed 47 rain gardens, swales, and cisterns at 32 homes to capture rain that would runoff property and now allow rainwater to soak into the ground instead.
- Established a new community garden at the Community Center, located at 2415 Glenbrook Dr. Residents share in the maintenance and products of the garden for access to healthy and free fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Provided green jobs training for 11 teachers and more than 90 students in the Bionomic Education Training Center (BETC) program based at Northern and Southern High Schools. These trained high school students then installed most of the rain gardens for residents served in this program.
In 2019, the City of Durham received a $300,000 grant from Southeast Sustainable Communities Fund for the initiative.
Project partners include City elected officials, the City’s General Services Department, Bragtown and Merrick-Moore Neighborhood Associations, Durham County Soil and Water Conservation District, Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association, Durham Public Schools, and the N.C. Cooperative Extension Service.
For more information on the City’s Sustainability and Energy Management Program, visit the City’s webpage which includes the 2021 Carbon Neutrality and Renewable Energy Action Plan, current initiatives, and renewable energy goals. For more information about this Saturday’s event, contact Sustainability and Energy Analyst Paul Cameron with the City’s General Services Department at (919) 560-4197, ext. 21244 or by email.
About the City of Durham Sustainability and Energy Management Program
The Sustainability and Energy Management (SEM) program is a division of the City’s General Services Department. SEM staff members lead the City’s efforts to increase renewable energy use, reduce carbon emissions, and improve Durham’s resilience to the effects of climate change. SEM drives design and implementation of sustainability programs and projects guided by the 2021 Carbon Neutrality and Renewable Energy Action Plan. SEM is responsible for policy development and benchmarking initiatives such as the Duke Energy Carolinas Franchise Agreement and Memorandum of Understanding, and the LEED for Cities and Communities Certification. SEM additionally provides technical assistance and advocacy for solar installations, electric vehicle integration, LED lighting upgrades, and other energy saving measures at City facilities.