Lifestyle

Town meeting looks at green survey

Residents of Snoqualmie will play “20 questions” with a green theme at an upcoming town hall meeting.

At the “Snoqualmie Growing Green” conference, planned for 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Thursday, March 12, at Cascade View Elementary School, students from the University of Washington will share results from a recent survey on local green knowledge.

The first 50 people in the door can grab polling pads and compare their answers with those gathered in the survey

Results will be used to help the city improve its green programs.

“We’re getting a much clearer picture of what people are already doing,” said Jill Sterrett, a consultant and urban planning educator at the University of Washington, who worked with the students who conducted the survey.

The online poll sought to find out how much residents know about green programs locally, and also how much green effort they make themselves.

The survey was not about comparing how environmentally conscious Snoqualmie is compared to neighboring communities.

Snoqualmie is already ahead of the green curve in how it handles planned communities, wetlands and solid waste, among other issues, according to Sterrett.

In many cities, sustainable efforts are pushed by city staffers or grassroots groups. But Sterrett said it’s exciting to see Snoqualmie’s mayor, Matt Larson, take a personal effort in local sustainability.

“It’s a really great opportunity to work with a city where the mayor is driving this effort,” she said. “The mayor is very enthusiastic about making this a green city.”

The UW students look forward to their ongoing work in Snoqualmie, Sterrett said. This spring, they will add information to the city’s Web site on green municipal programs, efficiency and cost saving, recycling and other topics.

Instant poll

The polling pads, which resemble TV remote controls, are similar to devices used to liven up classes in Snoqualmie Valley schools. They let people answer questions and compare responses to their neighbors in real time.

Mayor Matt Larson used a similar instant poll in his 2007 town hall meeting.

“It highly engages the audience. They’re part of the presentation ,” Larson said.

The remotes allow the city to provide two times as much information to the audience than normal, he added.

Residents will be able to calculate their own carbon footprint at an interactive station. Various tables and displays will provide information about a number of everyday opportunities to be more sustainable. Residents can discover how they might be throwing away cash on trash, learn how to reduce vehicle use and find ways to save home energy.

Following the presentations, door prizes will be announced, including two public garden spaces for the 2009 gardening season. Everyone who attends will receive a free gift. Refreshments will be available.

Visit www.ci.snoqualmie.wa.us for more information.

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