Aug 5, 2010

Green Network Grp Meeting on Orange County Fl Environmental Protection Division

We help sponsor a  Green Network Group meeting every 3rd Wednesday in the College Park town center of Orlando. Anyone in the Orlando area at the time is welcome to attend. It is free

We've had the group now for about 6 mos and it is growing and the attendees seem to enjoy it.

For our last meeting we were lucky to have Lori Cunniff, the Manager of the Environmental Protection Dept for Orange County Fl, the county that largely encompasses Orlando and the area attractions.

Lori's passion for going green is very evident in her presentation, where it is sometimes hard for her to understand why more is not done by government to further green initiatives. But she seemed to feel that central Florida and Orange county were doing better than others in many ways.

Here are my notes from her presentation:

The Environmental Protection Division of Orange County has 5 main areas of involvement.
1.Natural resources
2.Air quality
3.Petroleum
4.Education
5.Pollution prevention

The  Orange to Green initiative began in 2005 and is an effort by the County to meet certain Green house gas emission targets

Orange County was able to gain Obama stimulus funds and some of these funds have been put to use for environmental protection. The OCHEEP program for instance is a child of the Obama stimulus.

Orlando is a Solar city, an EV city, a Tree City USA, and a Clean tech city

Lori was very excited about the commitment to Electric vehicles made by Mayor Crotty and Mayor Dyer. There will be free EV charging stations soon throughout the county.

Lori has worked closely with the Orange County Convention Ctr, a big part of the Orlando economy due to it's affect on tourism, to green their operations. They have a large solar electric installation which helps power the facility and a climate change education center that helps to teach about green methods.

There is a small garden near the Orange County admin building that demonstrates Florida Friendly landscaping.

Lori spoke of many more initiatives and goals the county has for the next 18 months.
She did mention that Mayor Crotty has generally been interested in furthering the Orange to Green ideas and that with an upcoming county mayoral election direction of the future could be in jeopardy.

For more on Lori's Dept go here

See more about the Green Network Group here

To visit Conservastore's fine listing of Green goods click here

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