Rockdale County was one of five local governments to be recognized this week by the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) for leadership in implementing policies and practices that contribute to efficient and sustainable use of resources in metro Atlanta.
“Over the past 24 months, our directors and leadership team were tasked with Rockdale becoming a Green Community,” Chairman and CEO Richard Oden said. “They worked very hard to accomplish this significant achievement to make this community sustainable for our future.”
Rockdale was honored at ARC’s board meeting on January 27 for becoming a Bronze Certified Green Community. This is the first time the county has achieved certification in ARC’s Green Communities program. ARC also recognized the cities of Atlanta, Norcross, Peachtree Corners and Woodstock for certifying or upgrading their certification in ARC’s six-year-old Green Communities program.
“These local governments are to be commended for making their communities more sustainable places,” said Kerry Armstrong, ARC board chairman. “Their efforts to conserve energy, reduce waste and protect natural resources set an example for the entire region.”
Steps Rockdale took to become certified include:
Capturing rainwater to irrigate soccer fields at Earl O’Neal Park, using a rainwater retention pond. This saves 800,000 gallons of potable water a year.
Installing LED lighting at Johnson Park Recreation Center, resulting in an 83 percent reduction in energy use for lighting. This change will result in more than $99,000 in savings over the next five years.
Making fresh fruits and vegetables available at the Rockdale County-supported farmer’s market. Residents may also grow their own vegetables year-round at the Parker Community Garden and the Senior Center Garden.
Installing bike racks at more than half of its community facilities, with plans to place bike racks at the remaining facilities in the next two years. Each bike rack features a sign with a QR code that be scanned via smart phones to pull up locations of other Rockdale County bike racks.