Eureka Springs: Trees At Root Of City's Conservation Initiatives (Green Initiatives | Winner Under 5,000)

by Arkansas Business Staff  on Monday, Dec. 10, 2012 12:00 am  

Since 2010, Eureka Springs has received nearly $260,000 from the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant program, which was part of the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act, to pay for several projects.

Those projects include the construction of a solar hot water system at the city’s Trolley Barn. Eight solar panels were installed to heat the water used in the steam washer for the trolleys, Booth said.

“This was the first solar panel installation within the Eureka Springs Historic District,” she said.

The city also installed 58 custom-made interior storm windows in The Auditorium, an approximately 1,000 seat-theater built in 1929, which is used for musical performances, plays and events.

Also, LED street lights were placed in Basin Park and in the city’s downtown.

“Both traditional park street lights and mercury vapor pole lights were replaced with LED lighting fixtures,” Booth said.

The city commissioned a greenhouse gas emissions inventory report by the Climate Energy Environment Group LLC of Tempe, Ariz.

“Eureka Springs is the first city in the state to have completed a community greenhouse gas emissions inventory,” said Nick Brown, president of Climate Energy. “It’s always been a forward thinking town, and the greenhouse gas inventory is just one more example of that.”

The greenhouse gas inventory will come in handy because Eureka Springs was one of a handful of cities in Arkansas that committed to the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement.

Under the agreement, cities agree to lower greenhouse gas emissions to a level 7 percent below 1990 emissions, to encourage other cities to do the same, and to lobby Congress to adopt comprehensive climate legislation.

“Having a clear understanding of our impact on climate change is the first step to meeting our responsibilities under the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement,” Booth said.

A citizens group called the Climate Action Progress Committees has been meeting to implement the city’s plan to reduce carbon emission by 2020.

“Eureka Springs has always had environment as a core community value and always relied on public and private partnership to uphold this value,” Booth said.



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