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home : most recent : region 5 November 13, 2018

2/15/2018 4:32:00 PM
Institute to bring its global experience to Bloomington's quest for sustainability

Ernest Rollins, Herald-Times

A Bloomington company has been charged with writing a game plan that preserves the city’s environmental, economic and social equity resources.

Gnarly Tree Sustainability Institute officially formed in 2015, but has already worked with public, private and nonprofit agencies across the globe. Led by Managing Principal Stephanie Richards, Gnarly Tree calls upon Indiana University’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs to create sustainability plans to be administered by sustainable leaders.

“One of the reasons we picked Gnarly Tree is because we really like their ability to leverage SPEA talent at the student and faculty level,” said Alex Crowley, the city’s director of sustainable and economic development. “It’s a very efficient use of resources, because they can fold together smart people with educational missions.”

Late last year, four companies responded to the city’s request for a contractor to draft a Sustainability Action Plan to be adopted into the city’s Comprehensive Plan. Gnarly Tree Sustainability Institute won the contract for $25,000 over Bloomington’s Community Carbon Exchange and two Indianapolis-based companies.

Crowley said the drafting process, which could take upwards of eight months, will use public input to determine what specific actions the city needs to take in the next five years. He said the process will determine where Bloomington’s needle should be each year as the city seeks to sustain: environmental quality and natural systems, transportation, climate, energy, built environment, local food and agriculture.

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