It’s a rather wet Monday here in Birmingham. While some say it’s a messy way to start spring, it’s definitely appropriate. The idea of new starts (though normally applied to fall) seems to be the theme of the area right now. There are a lot of upset children in the region though because of the bad weather and cold temperatures they’re predicting for spring break. Anyhow,
Seeing the name Melaver in print in The Birmingham News on Saturday brought a warm fuzzy feeling inside. This Savannah, GA-based company has gained respect as one of the leaders in green development. I enjoyed knowing some of their staff on a professional and social level while living in Savannah. They have demonstrated this several times over in both restoration of older properties and new construction projects throughout the Southeast. They now plan to expand their presence in Alabama with an incredible opportunity for the Federal Reserve site downtown. It should be very interesting to see how and if this development will influence how projects are done in Birmingham.
It is still very early in the current push for sustainable development projects to prove this completely; however many people believe that the “extra” expenses that exist during a project like this will pale in comparison with the long term savings and benefits that these projects will provide to a community. National and local organizations like the U.S. Green Building Council, Sustainable Portland and Sustainable Charleston are providing valuable information to help make our communities more environmentally friendly and manageable. This would be extremely beneficial in our region, given our past history with the EPA.
That being said, there are several organizations that already work towards these goals on one level or another, including the Freshwater Land Trust here in Jefferson County. Several organizations also list environmental concerns as an issue they wish to tackle head on. TechBirmingham’s 2nd annual Ecycling Day effort, to be held on Friday, April 22 throughout the metro Birmingham area, tackles the issues of environmental friendliness by encouraging people to bring their old devices to drop off points throughout the area. Click here to learn additional information about this event.
Several organizations throughout the city, including Catalyst, look to the importance of both parks and green space and sustainable development as essential pillars for their memberships to pay attention to and become involved in. Ruffner Mountain’s planned replacement for its nature center building calls for green building principles to serve as the centerpiece of the design as it will serve as an example of how design can support the continued existence of this habitat in the region. The list certainly goes on and on, showcasing the public’s reception to seeing right done for their environment. I’m sure there are some I’ve forgotten (a great excuse to post a comment to the site).
The announcement in the paper of an organization built on the principles of sustainable development bringing their record to Birmingham should only heighten the awareness of residents of the importance of the issue and hopefully get people paying attention to those groups that are already doing it, getting some more on board in the process. Let’s hope that’s the case.