October 29, 2016 - At a ceremony Friday evening, Sustainable Indiana 2016 inducted three City of Fort Wayne initiatives into the Green Lights Hall of Fame.
The City’s efforts with greening our vehicle fleet, using renewable energy to power portions of the Water Pollution Control Plant, and planting rain gardens to help protect our rivers were chosen as leading programs that promote a sustainable future in Indiana.
“I continue to be encouraged by the positive momentum our investments are creating, not only for today but for a sustainable future," said Mayor Tom Henry. "We're honored to be recognized for proactively building a better City that's efficient and effective at meeting the needs of our community."
In all, 200 programs from around the state are being inducted into the Green Lights Hall of Fame to correlate with the State of Indiana's bicentennial.
City of Fort Wayne Green Lights Inductees
The City’s Green Fleet is a nationally recognized leader with a variety of emission-reducing vehicles, including hybrids, electric, and alternative fuels, such as B5/B20, E85. In the past 10 years, the greening of the City’s fleet has reduced emissions by 50 percent and saved the City more than $220,000 in fuel reduction.
City Utilities use of methane to power and heat portions of the Water Pollution Control Plant has been a big success. In the first year of the program, from October 2015 to October 2016, we have reduced energy consumption by 30.6 percent, saving $420,000 in our electric bill. In that same period, we have reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 167,000 tons per year and reduced our carbon footprint by 232,000 tons per year.
The City Utilities Rain Garden Program has built 20 public rain gardens and trained nearly 1,500 residents on how to construct a rain garden on their property. A rain garden is landscaped areas that hold rain water runoff for a few hours to a few days using native plants that help the soil soak up more water. After a rain event, the water slowly soaks into the ground. The gardens help residents reduce standing water on their property and reduce the amount of runoff that goes into combined sewers, which improves water quality in our rivers. Compared with a grassed lawn area, a rain garden may allow 30 percent more water to be absorbed.