Ann Arbor Receives Home Depot Grant

At its Jan. 18, 2011 meeting, the Ann Arbor city council accepted receipt of a $95,000 grant from the Home Depot Foundation to (1) create a sustainability framework, and (2) develop a sustainability action plan based on the sustainability framework. The goal of the project – which will include the funding of a temporary employee to provide technical assistance – is to develop a framework of goals, objectives, and indicators, and will include the release a State of Our Sustainability Report. The city’s environmental commission already produces a State of Our Environment report.

Application for the grant was discussed at the planning commission’s Nov. 9, 2010 working session by city environmental coordinator Matt Naud. In early September 2010, the city of Ann Arbor was one of four finalist cities for a $1 million, three-year sustainability project funded by the Home Depot Foundation. Ann Arbor didn’t make the final cut for that grant – Charleston, South Carolina and Fayetteville, Arkansas were selected.

As a part of the site visit conducted by the Home Depot Foundation last year to evaluate the city’s application, The Chronicle was asked by Home Depot representatives to meet with the foundation to discuss the city’s proposal. One issue identified by the foundation representative was the lack of an initiative that wrapped the various city initiatives into a single sustainability plan that would include environmental, energy and planning issues. The Chronicle pointed the foundation to the three-way joint working session of the environmental, energy and planning commissions that had taken place earlier in the year.

This brief was filed from the boardroom in the Washtenaw County administration building, where the council is meeting due to renovations in the city hall building. A more detailed report will follow: [link]