Identifying tips and practices for a more sustainable future

 

 
 

Valdosta Sustainability Programs include Tree Memorial, Rainwater Catchment and Public Art

 
Valdosta, GA – With a population of 55,000, Valdosta is the 14th largest city in the State of Georgia and consists of approximately 37 miles. Located on I-75, it is home to progressive ideas, a proactive government, low taxes, a subtropical climate and much more. Named one of Georgia’s first “Cities of Excellence,”,Valdosta strives to build partnerships, think creatively and provide endless opportunities.

One program, the Memorial Tree Program, is the result of a partnership between the city and the Valdosta Tree Commission going back to 1985. The program, which celebrates a life or special event while also promoting the importance of planting trees throughout the community, today includes 89 trees found along city streets, parks, schools, and other public property.

In September 2016, Valdosta launched the city’s first Dumpster Art project. The project, which is a collaboration between the City of Valdosta, Valdosta Main Street and the Annette Howell Turner Center for the Arts, involved selected local artists and artist teams transforming otherwise unsightly downtown dumpsters into public pieces of art in four downtown locations. A fifth dumpster was painted by an elementary school as part of its art program (Van Gogh's Starry Night with a Valdosta Twist). The Dumpster Art will be displayed for a full year, providing beautiful visuals for downtown visitors and significant exposure for the artists.

The Valdosta Stormwater Division has also created a free, hands-on outreach event where citizens build their own rain barrels. The city provides all materials and shares an overview on how rain barrels can be used to collect and store rainwater from their roofs that would otherwise be lost to runoff. The first event utilized empty non-hazardous barrels from the city’s wastewater treatment plant and all slots were full within the first day it was advertised. Due to the high demand, a second event was scheduled and an additional three events are planned for 2017. “Our community has really embraced this easy and inexpensive way to conserve water,” said Stormwater Manager Angela Bray. “We are now collecting barrels from local car wash businesses, which has served as a wonderful partnership and keeps these items from being stockpiled or disposed of in the landfill.” This simple event is a great way for staff and our community to work together, while conserving water, saving money, reducing stormwater, and recycling.

For additional information:
City of Valdosta website
City of Valdosta Memorial Tree Program
City of Valdosta Dumpster Art
Emily P. Davenport, Assistant Director, City of Valdosta – Engineering Department, edavenport@valdostacity.com

For resources and tools related to sustainability, visit the Center for Sustainability (C4S) and C4S Toolkit.