The Bellevue City Council has endorsed additional steps in a comprehensive environmental stewardship initiative.
Designed to expand existing efforts, the steps will focus on the city's tree canopy, the expansion of recycling efforts at parks and ball fields, natural drainage practices and "green" buildings.
"Our community has a proud tradition of being a strong steward of the environment," said Mayor Grant Degginger. "This initiative will help us build on that tradition in significant ways."
Over the years, Bellevue's ongoing environmental programs have helped earn the city the nickname "City in a Park." Last year, Council members asked staff to review those programs as part of a broader, citywide strategic initiative.
Earlier this year, the Council, as part of that initiative, approved a Bellevue Climate Action resolution to reduce the city's greenhouse gas emissions.
Under the steps approved last week, Council members agreed to immediately fund an updated study of the city's tree canopy with the goal of enhancing the city's urban forest. The city last commissioned a tree canopy study in 1999. Information from the study will be used to determine future canopy targets and prioritize activities such as tree planting.
Staff will also explore specific activities such as expanded tree planting and restoration activities in city rights of way and tree education and assistance programs for private property owners.
In other steps approved by the Council, the city will:
- Significantly expand its existing recycling program at community and beach parks and school ball fields maintained by the city. At present, recycling containers are located at a limited number of these facilities. The action is expected to divert nearly 57 tons of recycled materials annually from landfills.
- Continue to pursue changes to storm water standards that will make it easier for residents and builders to implement natural drainage practices. Natural drainage practices are environmentally-friendly storm water management methods that mimic natural hydrologic processes. These include such things as the use of pervious surfaces and green roofs.
- Train staff in emerging energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly building practices in order to make the review of permit applications for these technologies proceed as efficiently as they do now for traditional applications.
Bellevue on Tuesday will host a King County-sponsored workshop on how cities can facilitate green building practices. The day-long event is expected to draw representatives from communities throughout the county, and will be held downtown at Bellevue's City Hall.
The City Hall, a former telephone switching equipment building recycled into a new civic center and opened to the public last year, uses many green building technologies and principles.
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