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April 23, 2008
By Jane Tors
What began as an idea by the Nevada Small Business Development Center has grown to become greenUp!, a community consortium of governmental, business and education interests dedicated to promoting and celebrating environmental sustainability in the Truckee Meadows.
“greenUp! is an initiative, a call to action,” said Jason Geddes, City of Reno Environmental Services Administrator and member of the Nevada Board of Regents. “We are highlighting what’s already happening in this community.”
A media and community event at Patagonia in west Reno Thursday promoted the second annual greenUp! initiative. Throughout the months of April and May, greenUp! is promoting environmentally oriented events and activities through a Web site and printed materials. The goal is to engage businesses, individuals, institutions and organizations to take action to become more sustainable.
“The goal of greenUp! reflects the outreach mission of the academy,” said Mike Collopy, executive director of the University’s Academy for the Environment, a greenUp! sponsor. “The value is that it brings together ‘green’ businesses and organizations and allows us all to figure out what all is going on and promote that activity.”
“I really think we’ve turned a corner in this community,” said Reno City Councilman Dave Aiazzi about the emergence of green building practices and conservation efforts.
Washoe County Commissioner Bob Larkin reflected on his time as a University of Nevada, Reno student, pursuing his degree in renewable natural resources. The concept of stewardship was a core tenant of his course of study.
“Stewardship is leaving things better than they were. That’s what we’re working toward – it’s more than sustainability,” he said.
Collopy credits Kevin Dick, manager of the Small Business Development Center’s business environmental program, with initiating the concept of greenUp! nearly two years ago. The academy agreed early on to join in, and assisted in the process of involving others. At today’s event, environmental efforts by the City of Reno, City of Sparks, Washoe County and Patagonia took center stage.
“We really wanted the involvement of the governmental entities and we really want elected officials to show their support,” Collopy said. “It’s great that the cities and the counties are completely bought into this.”
greenUp! sponsors include: City of Reno, City of Sparks, the Desert Research Institute, Economic Development of Western Nevada, John Toth & Associates/Green Capital Network, Nevada EcoNet, Nevada Small Business Development Center, Sierra Pacific Power Company, Truckee Meadows Stormwater Permit Coordinating Committee, University of Nevada Academy for the Environment and Washoe County.