WHY: Eartheal has produced 3 print versions of a guide to local green/sustainable businesses, non-profits, governmental agencies, and citizens advisory boards for a 2 county region. We are currently developing a print and online directory and social networking site for a 5 county region- the Community Green Guide. One component of the project is the Community Green Guides that engages high school and college students in learning about sustainability, and then interviewing local people (in businesses, non-profits, and governments) and writing articles and doing videos that will be on the website so the students can share with others what they have learned. We were planning on having a google maps component to identify local green features, but the Green Maps program is so much more effective. We like the idea of using universal icons and being part of a global network that utilizes the same system.
About the community: We believe that the Green Map process can help the ongoing initiative to connect the diverse communities of the Research Triangle area of North Carolina into regional cooperation. The Triangle is generally thought of as the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area, but actually encompasses a 4 county area with 20 municipalities and a population of 1.3 million. Located in the Piedmont area of the state, it is the seat of the State Capitol, Raleigh, several major universities and the Research Triangle Park (RTP). One of the oldest and largest science parks in North America, RTP is a 7,000 acre development that is home to more than 170 companies employing over 40,000 full-time knowledge workers and an estimated 10,000 contract employees. The Triangle area has been nationally recognized as one of the country’s great places to live and work.
Your group, partners and audience: Eartheal is a volunteer run 501-C-3. The Community Green Guide is intended to be a central hub for green and sustainable activity in our region – to make visible what is already happening, to connect those doing this work, and to reach out to engage more of our community members, especially youth, in further developing the Triangle and it’s constituent communities as a thriving, sustainable economy, environment and community. We have worked with several organizations in the production of the print guide (SURGE - Students United for a Responsible Global Environment, UNC –CH Sustainability Office, Chapel Hill- Carrboro Chamber of Commerce Foundation for a Sustainable Community) and are inviting additional organizations to be partners in the Guide as well as in the Green Maps project.
Your methodology, intended and actual impacts:
We will work with partner organizations in each of the municipalities and will contact teachers in public schools, private schools, and colleges and Universities to enlist classes of students to take on the Green Map process in their local area. Our intended impact and outcomes are:
• students will learn about the various components of sustainability and how it is being demonstrated locally, thus having a more intimate understanding of the local economy, environment and community.
• students will have the opportunity to share what they have learned
• the green maps produced will be of great value to the community and to visitors to the area regarding what is available locally
• we will be able to identify what components of a thriving local economy may be missing by seeing green maps of other areas of the country and the world
• we will be able to see ourselves as part of a larger movement – of green mappers and local sustainability initiatives worldwide