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STAR Communities Partners with Global Green USA for Quick Start Program

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St. Petersburg Sustainability Coordinator Sharon Wright and Walker Wells of Global Green USA at the Quick Start Program.

Coordinated with the Fall 2015 Leadership Program, Lawrence, KS and St. Petersburg, FL were selected to receive an additional form of capacity support through the new Quick Start Program.  The Quick Start Program was developed by Global Green USA and includes an in-person, two-day charrette intended to catalyze community action.

The Summit and Surdna Foundations provided funding to test the Quick Start model in Memphis/Shelby County, TN and Los Angeles, CA. The goal of the program is to quickly identify the STAR Outcomes and Actions that are achievable by a community, support a focused data collection effort, and enable the early identification of new policies and programs that can support the STAR certification, to move more quickly into implementation of best practices.

A few weeks after the Leadership Program orientation in Washington, DC, STAR’s Community Engagement Manager Lacey Shaver traveled to St. Petersburg, FL to join Walker Wells and Krista Frank from Global Green USA to lead their Quick Start workshop. St. Petersburg’s Sustainability Coordinator Sharon Wright and Planner Cate Lee set up meetings with approximately 50 city staff from across a variety of departments over two days, to go through as many STAR measures as possible. Meetings with the mayor, city council, and GIS staff and a presentation for community stakeholders were also part of the two-day event.

Participants were able to work through more than half of the measures in the Rating System and confirm a probable STAR Community Rating of at least 3-STAR. Over the coming months, city staff will work to gather the supporting data needed for verification, with the hope of achieving certification within the first half of the Leadership Program year, to be able to focus on implementation and outreach for the second half of the year.

Lawrence’s Quick Start workshop will take place in early December and will follow a similar schedule.

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