Awarding sustainable neighborhoods

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The city of Lakewood honored the first two neighborhoods to be certified as Sustainable Neighborhoods during the Aug. 12 City Council meeting.

The first two certified neighborhoods are Eiber — bounded by West Colfax Avenue, West Sixth Avenue, Wadsworth Boulevard and Oak Street — and the residential area of the Belmar district at Wadsworth and West Alameda Avenue.

Jonathan Wachtel, the city’s sustainability planner, said the achievements of these two neighborhoods are not only outstanding for the neighbors, but also stand as a testament to residents’ dedication to make the city more sustainable.

“There are all kinds of different opportunities for different projects,” he said. “We’ve had three other neighborhoods sign up, and are getting interest from several others.”

The program launched in 2012, and the Belmar and Eiber neighborhoods were the first to sign up.

The program encourages neighborhoods to work together on sustainability projects, and they earn credits in several areas for projects they launch and goals they meet.

“Once they earn the Sustainable Neighborhood status, their work is not done,” Wachtel said, refering to annual renewal requirements.

The Eiber neighborhood’s accomplishments include launching the Bike Eiber program, starting a community garden and literacy program at Eiber Elementary, and hosting workshops about native flora.

The Belmar neighborhood launched a social media outreach campaign, worked on air quality and health-and-wellness programs, and built a community garde for educational purposes.

Ward 1 (including both neighborhoods) council members Karen Kellen and Ramey Johnson also expressed their pride in the work Eiber and Belmar residents have been doing.

For more information, go to www.lakewood.org/greenneighborhoods.

At the City Council meeting, both neighborhoods were given signage to display that designates them as sustainable neighborhoods, and Congressman Ed Perlumtter was on hand to say a few worlds.

“You can really get worn out in Washington, but I’ve had an infusion of energy from hearing about you,” he said. “It’s great to see communities working together to build neighborhoods that work together, where people like each other.”