Big crowd packs first ‘Green Team’ workshop |

Big crowd packs first ‘Green Team’ workshop

The crowd at a Monday morning brainstorming session to kick off Nevada City’s “Green Team” was so big that chairs had to be rearranged and staff had to copy additional agendas at the last minute.

About 60 people turned up at City Hall for a workshop to list the dozens of eco-friendly projects already in the works and dream up new ones for the next 20 years.

Nevada City leaders are hoping to ride a wave of federal stimulus and “green job” money, but need a long-term “sustainability plan” to put the city at the front of the line for competitive grants.

Monday was the first step in drafting that plan, which guides and sets timelines for government and nonprofit efforts – from “buy local” campaigns and food co-ops, to walkability and alternative energy projects.

A major goal is making Nevada City a leader in the sustainability movement, which seeks to meet the needs of today’s residents while not compromising resources for future generations.

Participants said they wanted to make Nevada City a “model community” for other cities.

“I hope that, as soon as they walk into town, they look and see the difference,” said Mayor Reinette Senum.

City leaders and residents are working alongside consultant Darin Dinsmore of Truckee-based Sustainable Community Strategies, the company that helped South Lake Tahoe develop a similar long-term plan and score federal money this fall.

Huddled in groups around butcher paper and washable markers, attendees wrote suggestions such as making bike trails safer, ramping up educational efforts for high schoolers and adding more solar installations on city property.

Next, a Green Team will be assembled to seek out grants and guide the city in implementing projects. The long-term plan will make Nevada City more competitive for stimulus money and grants with springtime deadlines.

The next meeting is scheduled for March 23, with the time pending.

To contact Staff Writer Michelle Rindels, e-mail or call (530) 477-4247.

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