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Cleveland is going green


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Hey everyone! I'm working on behalf of Positively Cleveland and we're dubbing 2009 as "The Year of the River!" Forty years ago - June 22, 1969 - the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland, Ohio caught fire after molten steel from a passing train fell into a slick of industrial waste on the water's surface. This unfortunate circumstance sparked a major environmental movement not just locally, but nationwide. Over the last few decades Cleveland has made many efforts to become "a green city on a blue lake."

In commemoration of the river fire, we are celebrating all the ways we've gone green! Positively Cleveland has compiled a list of 75 green reasons to love Cleveland along with eco-friendly ways to celebrate summer. Check out the first 10 right here and see the rest at www.positivelycleveland.com/h2ohio


1. We set an important precedent. The infamous burning Cuyahoga River led to the creation of the Clean Water Act of 1972, still the most “influential water improvement measure on the books.†“The water quality of the Cuyahoga River has improved dramatically since the late 1960s,†says Tinka Hyde, U.S. EPA Regional Water Division director. “More than 40 species of fish were found in the river in 2008, including steelhead trout, northern pike, and others. This shows how powerful a tool the Clean Water Act can be when the public, government, and industry are committed to restoring an important waterway.†Today the Cuyahoga River is one of 14 American Heritage Rivers in the United States and the centerpiece of Ohio’s only national park (the Cuyahoga Valley). It runs through beautiful rural burgs like Cuyahoga Falls and Kent, provides water access for rowing clubs, boaters and commerce.

2. It must be true if it’s on the internet. MSN.com recently featured Cleveland as one of “12 unexpected urban areas that are doing good green stuff,†noting it as home to a surprisingly forward-looking sustainability subculture.

3. We made it to the sweet sixteen. Cleveland ranked #16 in the SustainLane’s 2008 US City Rankings of the 50 most-populous cities, the nation’s most complete report card on urban sustainability. SustainLane called out the 225 community gardens and 25 for-profit farms within the city limits and the city's participation in an effort to start an offshore wind farm on Lake Erie.

4. Our hotels are certified. Several downtown Cleveland hotels graduated from the Entrepreneurs for Sustainability (E4S) program, a voluntary year-long process to implement multiple sustainable practices. All hotels made a commitment to implement these practices, including recycling and using energy-efficient equipment, into their daily operations. Green Lodging News recently profiled these efforts.

5. Green uniforms and white gloves. The staff at the Wyndham at PlayhouseSquare wears uniforms made from recycled polyester fibers spun from plastic beverage bottles.

6. For business or pleasure. The new RTA HealthLine, opened in October of 2008, connects downtown Cleveland’s Public Square to the arts, culture, education and hospitals of University Circle. The bus line utilizes 21 hybrid-electric vehicles powered by clean diesel engines and electric transmissions with 100 kW motors and 600-volt nickel hydride battery packs. This unique power train reduces particulate emissions while dramatically improving fuel efficiency.

7. Ticket to ride. In conjunction with the new bus line, Euclid Avenue was completely re-done including the planting of 1,500 trees and the addition of dedicated bike lanes providing commuters another green alternative to driving.

8. The power of wind and sun. The Great Lakes Science Center installed solar panels to go along with the first Cleveland lakefront wind turbine, becoming the fourth largest producer of alternative energy in the state. The solar panels and wind turbine bring about greater public awareness of renewable energy and educate visitors to the Science Center of the benefits of alternative energy to this region.

9. Our Tribe is green. Progressive Field and the Cleveland Indians were forerunners in the American League to become a part of Major League Baseball’s movement to go “green.†Forty-two solar panels were installed on the upper deck concourse in the stadium, generating enough power to run all 400 of the ballpark’s television sets during the game. The Tribe also recycles and uses environmentally friendly products to reduce the park’s carbon footprint.

10. Wild about conservation. The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is a leader in conservation, and not just in conserving the habitats of the animals for which they care. The Zoo collects more than 140 tons of recyclables a year including paper, cell phones, phone books, household appliances, aluminum and glass, just to name a few. Committed to the conservation of all life, the Zoo funds conservation projects all over the world.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Great job of writing, Paul! Even though I live near the city of Cleveland, I was unaware of all the great green projects Cleveland has undertook. Another reason to be proud on living in this great city.

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