bblcity-thumb1The City of Big Bear Lake is furthering efforts to be a leader in green initiatives and environmental responsibility and, in moving beyond an ad-hoc committee (made up of City Council’s Rick Herrick and Bill Jahn), the City’s Director of Community Relations Cheri Haggerty says, “We’ve coined this the LiveGreen program.” As outlined before Council on November 9, Haggerty noted, “We continue to look for creative ways to conserve our natural resources and reduce our carbon footprint.” Some of the programs already in place in Big Bear Lake include the addition of five “Clean Air” vehicles in the City’s fleet, a solar-powered sanitation monitoring system, the implementation of an online permitting system (thereby reducing trips to the Civic Center), the adoption of a Green Building Program, the availability of documents for online viewing, and, in an effort to be “thoughtful stewards of our environment,” per Haggerty, the purchase and use of recycled materials. The City is also seeking LEED (or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification for the to-be-built Public Works Yard, while also furthering healthy living through infrastructure (via the new Red Ant Hill sidewalk and the implementation of bike routes, which have since been outlined in an updated route map), and, in conjunction with Big Bear Disposal, Haggerty adds, “We are striving to achieve a 35% reduction in waste.” This “zerowaste” effort has been helped by neighborhood chipping and recycling programs, with recycling taking place at schools and city offices, as well. The City has also joined forces with agencies such as the Municipal Water District, to preserve lake quality and maintain clean water standards; with the Sierra Club, to promote xeriscape gardening; with the Lighthouse Project, to further the Peace Gardens program; and with Sol Food Market, in joining the Valley’s Slow Food movement. Other exciting opportunities on the horizon include joining Bear Valley Electric for solar projects (pending a million dollars in funding, already approved by Congress), the launch of a LiveGreen website in coming weeks, and the Community Garden, the new motto for which is “Roots in the ground by Spring 2010.”