Mayor Vincent C. Gray and District government agency leaders today presented the first-year progress report on Sustainable DC, Mayor Gray’s initiative to ensure the District becomes the nation’s greenest, healthiest, most livable city.
The Sustainable DC First-Year Progress Report tracks progress on all 143 actions in the Sustainable DC Plan, and highlights major accomplishments across District government and the private sector. It is a result of the Mayor’s Sustainable DC initiative, first launched in 2011.
“In the year since we released the Sustainable DC Plan, we have seen tremendous progress and are leading the nation on a number of fronts. Across District agencies and our many community partners, there is a collective effort to create a more sustainable city today and for generations to come.” Mayor Gray said.“The plan sets ambitious goals for the next 20 years. We’ve built a solid foundation, but there is much more work to do. It will require the input and active participation of everyone to ensure that this city becomes the greenest, healthiest, most livable city in the nation.”
The First-Year Progress Report identifies progress across the four key challenges of the Sustainable DC Plan: growing jobs and the economy; improving health and wellness; ensuring equity and diversity; and protecting the climate and our local environment. Of the 143 actions outlined in the Sustainable DC Plan, 83 percent are now underway (up from 46 percent on Earth Day in 2013). Nine actions are now complete and 104 are included in the annual performance plans for District agencies.
Among the District agency successes highlighted were construction of 24 new playgrounds, the planting of 9,280 trees, the opening of 10 new green schools (including the new Dunbar Senior High School, where the Mayor presented the report), and the creation of five new community gardens.
The Mayor also highlighted the actions of private-sector partners including building owners and businesses participating in the DC Smarter Business Challenge and the nine universities and 80 international institutions that have signed sustainability pledges.
The Mayor’s presentation of the report to the media came a day after officials presented it to community groups. The April 22nd – Earth Day – “Sustainability in Action” fair provided an opportunity for residents to sign up for 21 specific actions to promote sustainability at home, school or work.
Representatives from nine community organizations gave three-minute “lightning pitches” to the audience at the community presentation on why they can, and how they should, get involved in each organization’s work. The community groups presenting included: the Anacostia Watershed Society; Capital Area Food Bank; Casey Trees; DC Sun; DC Sustainable Energy Utility; Going Green Today—Do It for DC! Challenge; Groundwork Anacostia; Neighborhood Farm Initiative; and the Washington Area Bicyclist Association. Eleven District government programs were also represented, including Capital Bikeshare, Adopt-a-Tree, and RiverSmart Homes.
By taking immediate action to promote local economic development, community equity and opportunity, and environmental protection, residents helped to further advance the goals of the Sustainable DC Plan.