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Thursday, July 16, 2015

Audubon Park Garden District creating an Eco-District

Posted By on Thu, Jul 16, 2015 at 5:55 PM

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We've long admired the community-based initiatives that spring from the minds of those living and working in the Audubon Park Garden District – we love the Monday night local-vendors-only market, and the cool community events (like the recent Bastille Day celebration), and the whole concept behind the East End Market. And we just learned about another cool endeavor in that 'hood that we'd love to see spread to other areas of the city. According to Jennifer Marvel, executive director of the Audubon Park Garden District, the APGD is working to create an ecodistrict – a community that adopts a sustainable development strategy that can be measured according to criteria in seven categories (habitat ecosystem, community identity, energy, access and mobility, water, materials management, and health and wellbeing). 

"It's all about measuring where you are now and how you can improve," Marvel says. "For example, the average tree holds 10 pounds of carbon dioxide a year. So we are currently measuring the number of trees here so we will know how much carbon dioxide APGD is scrubbing from the air. Now if we decide we want to make our air cleaner by, say, 10 percent in one year, we then calculate the number of trees needed to plant in order to achieve this new goal. Then we identify the trees we want for biodiversity (because we also want the right trees for wildlife) and then work to get them, get them planted and get them cared for until they can take care of themselves."

Some of the projects the APGD is starting on include the creation of a Bee Safe neighborhood, "In which a contiguous block of at least 75 homes swear off using any systemic pesticides in order to protect the food chain," Marvel says. "This is the first step toward creating a Wildlife Habitat Certified Community."

There are other projects in the works, as well, and Marvel says ecodistrict meetings will be open to the public, so people can learn more as the project progresses. Follow APGD on Facebook to keep up. 

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