Hosted by the City of Dubuque, Iowa and Sustainable City Network, the Growing Sustainable Communities Conference is held at the Grand River Center located in the Port of Dubuque at 500 Bell Street (View Map). The 9th annual Conference was a two-day educational opportunity for public- and private-sector leaders who have a common interest in sustainability, resource management and social equity. The conference was held on Tuesday and Wednesday Oct. 4 and 5, 2016.

Attendees: Many of our workshops may qualify for professional development hours (PDHs) through the Iowa Engineering and Land Surveying Board and other accreditation organizations. Sustainable City Network will keep attendee rosters on file for three years.

2016 Session Descriptions
(Download as a printable PDF)

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Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2016

9:00 – 10:00 am
Registration • Exhibits Open 9 am
10:00 – 11:30 am
Workshop Session 1
  • Sustainability in the 'Burbs
    Meeting Room 1
    Presenters: Gray Russell, Township of Montclair (PDF), N.J.; Melissa Valadez-Cummings, City of Cedar Hill, Texas (PDF)
    This session will focus on two suburban communities that have shown how small towns with limited budgets can move quickly to cut through red tape and rally their citizens to make sustainability a prized community asset.

    Cedar Hill, Texas, a thriving suburb of 46,000 in metropolitan Dallas, has committed to preserving 20% of its land mass as open space, installing a 152 kW solar PV system and a vertical axis wind turbine at the Government Center, installing electric vehicle charging stations, incorporating drought-resistant native landscaping, providing resources to encourage recycling and installing smart meters to allow residents and businesses to monitor their water usage in real time.

    The Township of Montclair, N.J., with 39,000 people in the New York City metro area, was the first municipality in New Jersey with a mandatory curbside recycling collection program, almost a decade before the 1988 Mandatory Recycling Act – the first in the nation – making New Jersey a national recycling leader. For the past 15 years, Montclair has become a model for reducing energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, landfill diversion strategies, promoting health, wellness and quality of life, and investing in alternative fuel vehicles, LED traffic lights, and local foods, among other initiatives.
  • Developing a Sustainable Workforce
    Meeting Room 2
    Panelists: Wendy Knight, Northeast Iowa Community College; Jay Wickham, Small Business Development Center; Shirley Horstman, Dubuque Community Schools
    In the 1980s, Dubuque averaged an 8.9% unemployment rate. In the past 31 years, they have increased the number of jobs in the county by 59%. A collaborative effort that focuses on innovative workforce development solutions, reducing high school drop out rates, business retention and expansion, sustainable innovation, green jobs, entrepeneurship, and minority-owned business development is garnering national attention. Attend this panel discussion to learn how programs like Opportunity Dubuque, Dubuque Works, and Re-engage Dubuque are working together to improve economic opportunity in the greater Dubuque area.
  • Empowering Youth to Support Sustainable Cities
    Meeting Room 3
    Sponsored by: Conlon Construction & University of Dubuque
    Presenters: Linda Shenk, Iowa State University & Malai Amfahr, Community Housing Initiatives, Inc. (PDF); L. Julian Keniry, National Wildlife Federation (PDF); Ganesh Naik, College of Saint Mary (PDF)
    This session will present several case studies that illustrate how partnerships between communities and schools can be a win-win for both sides, saving money, creating jobs, and preparing students for future careers in the green economy. Learn how students can be inspired to play a vital role in sustainability projects that require committed and energetic "boots on the ground," while creating opportunities to learn important skills and develop a deeper understanding of the relationship between ecologic sustainability, economic resilience and social equity and engagement.
  • Becoming a 'Net-Zero' Community
    Meeting Room 5
    Presenters: Chris Ball, City of Bloomfield, Iowa (PDF); Adrienne Ricehill, IEDA & Dean Laube, Franklin Energy (PDF); Ashley Craft, University of Northern Iowa/Green Iowa AmeriCorps (PDF)
    City governments might set lofty goals to someday generate as much energy as their communities consume, but that's not going to happen unless local businesses and citizens are fully committed to the vision. In this session, you'll hear how city and state governments are teaming up with community groups to drive home the many financial, environmental and social benefits of energy conservation and efficiency. You'll learn a six-step approach to energy management (commitment, goal setting, benchmarking, action plan, implementation, and communication), and hear how the City of Bloomfield, Iowa, and other communities have put these concepts in motion.
  • Best Practices for Using Green Infrastructure in Stormwater Management
    Meeting Room 6
    Sponsored by: Burns & McDonnell and HDR
    Presenters: Doug Dietrich, Madison Gibler and Mariah Schroeder, Burns & McDonnell, and Ben Rommelaere, Impact Infrastructure; David Haugen, HDR and Jason Craft, City of Clinton, Iowa; (PDF) Mark Joersz, Advanced Drainage Systems (PDF)
    Traditional green infrastructure techniques such as bioretention, rain gardens, permeable pavements, porous asphalt or concrete, bioswales and surface ponds have been well tested and proven to effectively mitigate stormwater. However, the devil is in the details. This session will include presentations and case studies that demonstrate the Best Management Practices (BMPS) for utilizing a combination of green and grey infrastructure in design. It will showcase a software application that can realistically model not only the financial costs and benefits of a project to stakeholders before breaking ground, but what the net results will be when also including the environmental and social impacts. Traditional green infrastructure techniques are marginally capable of handling a region's increase in high intensity, short duration rain events. Especially in urban environments, where real estate is costly and limited, there has been a growing trend to utilize subsurface water quality and quantity techniques. This discussion will provide an overview of a variety of subsurface BMPs used for stormwater management in both public and private environments to reduce, reuse, eliminate and/or mitigate stormwater.
  • The Latest in Building Efficiency Technology
    Exhibition Hall
    Sponsored by: Shive-Hattery and Hanging Gardens
    Presenters: Aaron Raftery, SmartWatt Energy ; Angie Durhman, AD Greenroofs (PDF)
    This session will include two presentations on building energy efficiency and stormwater management technologies.

    Part 1: Beating the curse of the disconnected building
    In this presentation, we will provide an example of a recent project completed for a community college district office building as a case study of what can realistically be achieved for existing buildings to become "smarter" with technologies currently available in the market. The existing conditions of the building were familiar pain points for operators of aging facilities: occupant discomfort and complaints due to low light levels; a high Energy Use Index; inefficient technologies, including an HVAC system that was never properly commissioned, with system schedules not matched to typical occupancy patterns, etc. The scope of work included retrofits or replacements of multiple building systems to mend all of the community college’s pain points. All new system components were IP-addressable and based on open protocols to allow full integration across all building systems – lighting, HVAC, plug load, access, CCTV, and utility metering.

    Part 2: Green roofs and hanging gardens
    Green (vegetated) roofs have been evaluated for their benefits for nearly 20 years in the U.S. One of the most important benefits is their ability to retain high volume stormwater compared to conventional roofs. Another benefit is that green roofs reduce dramatic temperature swings, which remarkably extends the life of the roof membrane over that of a conventional roof. This presentation will provide details of a case study in St. Paul, Minn., where researchers compared a 16-inch and 8-inch soil depth profile against a conventional gravel ballasted roof to assess the hydrologic performance. Particular attention was given to the ability of the roof to absorb rain events that totaled up to 1.1 inches of rain. If you're considering a green roof, this session is for you!
11:35 am – 1:15 pm
Luncheon Keynote Address in the Grand Ballroom
Presenter: L. Hunter Lovins, President and Founder of Natural Capitalism Solutions

L. Hunter Lovins is the president and founder of Natural Capitalism Solutions (NCS), a non‐profit formed in 2002 in Longmont, Colo. A renowned author and champion of sustainable development for over 35 years, Hunter has consulted on sustainable agriculture, energy, water, security, and climate policies for scores of governments, communities, and companies worldwide. Within the U.S., she has consulted for the Presidential Cabinet, Department of Defense, Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Energy and numerous state and local agencies.

Read more about L. Hunter Lovins.
1:30 – 2:45 pm
Workshop Session 2
  • Equity and the Ethical Grounding for Sustainable Communities
    Meeting Room 1
    Sponsored by: John Deere and Premier Bank
    Presenters: Katrina Neely Farren-Eller, Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque (PDF); Fr. Robert "Bud" Grant, St. Ambrose University (PDF)
    Part 1: Inclusive Dubuque is a local peer-learning network of community leaders from faith, labor, education and government dedicated to advancing justice and social equity. The network serves as a resource for data and information, supports equity education opportunities, and creates and shares equity tools in order to support an informed, equitable, and inclusive community where all people feel respected, valued and engaged. In this session, Inclusive Dubuque Network partners will talk about some initial racial incidents that led to the founding of the Inclusive Dubuque Network. Partners will also discuss the benefits of collective impact and a network structure, including the continual evolution and flexibility of the network as it responds to current happenings.

    This session is a precursor to tomorrow’s session, when partners will talk about current initiatives.

    Part 2 of the session will explore the ethical grounding for sustainable communities. Sustainable practices can be at odds with one another without a commonly accepted basis for acting. An ethic of relationship can provide that basis.
  • Getting Smart about Waste Reduction and Diversion
    Meeting Room 2
    Sponsored by: Suez
    Presenters: Dan O'Neill, City of Phoenix/Arizona State University (PDF); Rick Penner, Re-TRAC Connect (PDF)
    This session will include two presentations that describe how communities are using the latest systems and techniques to either stop waste at the source or bring it full circle to benefit the local economy.

    Part 1: This presentation will explain the economic opportunities and waste reduction potential of implementing a circular economy. In contrast to a linear economy, a circular economy is one that is restorative by design and strives to keep resources in the local economy, and materials at their highest value through re-use, re-purposing, and smart product design. Arizona State University and the City of Phoenix are partnering together to bring the circular economy to the Phoenix metro area with the development of the Resource Innovation and Solutions Network (RISN). This network and several circular economy implementation projects will be described.

    Part 2: This presentation will provide an overview of the benefits that several communities have achieved by using web-based software to efficiently manage information about their waste diversion programs. Three real world examples will demonstrate how communities have used configurable software, tailored to their specific needs, to significantly improve how information is collected and programs are managed.
  • The Multi-Hazard Tournament and Sustainability: The City of Cedar Rapids Case Study
    Meeting Room 3
    Presenters: Harvey Hill & Jason Smith, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Institute for Water Resources (PDF)
    The multi-hazard tournament framework is a team event-based approach to identifying vulnerabilities and developing innovative strategies to address serious and complex problems in a game format. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has developed this framework to stimulate collaboration and arrive at informed decisions, breaking the reoccurring cycles of complacency and panic that so often develop when problems seem too large and complex to tackle. This presentation will describe how the multi-hazard tournament framework was applied to a set of sustainability issues facing Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and the lessons learned.
  • Stop Wasting Your Organic Waste!
    Meeting Room 5
    Sponsored by: Unison Solutions
    Presenters: Steven Sell, BIOFerm Energy Systems (PDF); Kim Murdock-Timmerman, Unison Solutions, Inc. (PDF); David Wrightsman, Energy Systems Group (PDF)
    If you haven't heard by now, thousands of municipalities and industries across the country are converting sewage, food & yard waste, landfill methane and other organic byproducts into heat, electricity and/or vehicle fuel. If you're not in the game, or just getting started, this session is for you. Three presenters will share case studies from a wide variety of municipal and private plants in both rural and urban environments. The technical and financial merits of anaerobic digestion and biogas production will be explained and you'll learn the 10 most common mistakes and how to avoid them.
  • Using the Envision Rating System to Develop Sustainable Infrastructure
    Meeting Room 6
    Sponsored by: Crawford, Murphy & Tilly Inc.
    Presenters: Doug Dietrich, Burns & McDonnell; Brett Emmons, Emmons and Olivier Resources (PDF); and Matt Zick, Crawford, Murphy & Tilly Inc. (PDF)
    The Envision rating system, developed by Harvard’s Zofnass Program and the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure, a collaboration of three major public works institutions, ASCE, APWA, & ACEC, is a tool municipalities, consultants and contractors can use to measure the sustainability of their infrastructure projects – including transportation, waste, water, energy, and landscape projects. In this session, three presenters will walk you through the metrics in the system and share real world examples that demonstrate how Envision emphasizes a holistic approach to sustainability in the design, ownership and operation of constructed works. You'll learn how a self-assessment is conducted and the typical trade-offs faced when making decisions. Among the case studies: a $500 million utility-scale wind farm - the first energy-sector Envision-verified project in the world.
  • Changing the Fundamental Approach to Infrastructure for Resilient Development
    Exhibition Hall
    Sponsored by: WISRD & McClure Engineering Co.
    Presenters: Mark Reiner, WISRD (PDF); and Jeff Schug, McClure Engineering Co. (PDF)
    Urban planners are now coming to the realization that the suburban environment as it has been constructed cannot accommodate the maintenance and replacement of the infrastructure required to support it. In this two-part session, you'll learn how new thinking is addressing the dependency of our public services on the foundational infrastructure elements of a city, from capital improvement planning, to infrastructure needs assessments, funding, public relations, design, and construction. Our presenters will examine some strategies for making city development more resilient.
2:45 – 3:15 pm
Browse Exhibitor Booths
Join us in the Exhibition Hall for refreshments, networking and exhibitor demos.
3:15 – 4:15 pm
Workshop Session 3
  • From Street to Street and Town to Town
    Meeting Room 1
    Presenters: Sergio Mendoza, City of Hobart & Kristna Kuzma, Ball State University (PDF); and Sherrie Gruder, UW-Extension (PDF)
    Sustainability starts with neighborhoods and, with the right promotion, can spread across an entire city and into the next until it becomes a regional force for positive change. This session will describe the results of a statewide survey of local governments in Wisconsin, and examine a sustainable neighborhood plan in Hobart, Ind.

    The Wisconsin survey, with 365 municipal respondents, will provide insight into sustainability programs across the state. Attendees will learn about the status, focus, variety and drivers of local government sustainability efforts, and what areas will be getting the most attention in the next two years. The Hobart Sustainable Neighborhood Plan will illustrate how the city’s goal for advancing overall sustainability is being achieved neighborhood by neighborhood, through a process that focuses on equity as much as it does on the city's ecology and economy.
  • How an Iowa Recycling Center Achieved LEED Platinum
    Meeting Room 2
    Sponsored by: Shive-Hattery and the Iowa State Revolving Fund
    Presenter: Mark Seabold, Shive-Hattery (PDF)
    When the City of Iowa City decided to consolidate its recycling and landfill diversion programs into one location, it wanted to lead by example and provide a solution that achieved the highest sustainability rating determined by the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED rating system. The East Side Recycling Center complex includes an Education Center, Iowa City ReStore, Architectural Salvage Barn, an oil drop site, wood chip and compost pick-up and electronic waste drop off site. Learn about the design approach that was taken to create harmony between the facility and surrounding landscape and choices that were made to make this project a statewide case study in sustainable design.
  • Sustainable Industrial Development Strategies for the 21st Century
    Meeting Room 3
    Sponsored by: ReTRAC and Premier Bank
    Presenter: Timothy Nolan, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (Handout) (PDF)
    This presentation will address innovative concepts, strategies, and methods associated with transformation of the industrial sector to adapt to an emerging circular economy. A sustainable industrial development framework provides a means to apply advanced approaches such as integrated design, restorative development, eco-parks, vertical farming, distributed energy-water-waste recovery systems, clean production, and new business models to achieve higher resource productivity, resilience, and economic value. Audience take-aways will include a better understanding of innovative concepts and opportunities, and how to turn this into implementation strategies.
  • Intelligent City. Bright Future.
    Meeting Room 5
    Sponsored by: Crescent Electric Supply Co.
    Presenters: Roger Drummond, Current, powered by GE (PDF)
    GE's innovative platform, Intelligent Environment for Cities, uses LED street lighting and wireless sensors to connect, collect, and analyze data harnessing the power of the Industrial Internet to enhance quality of life for city residents and visitors. These intelligent LED systems are a gateway to city changing technology, with sensors, controls, wireless transmitters, and microprocessors built within the LED system. Predix, a cloud platform for the Industrial Internet, collects and analyzes data from these components to deliver optimized tools that respond to city challenges. To catch a glimpse of the future of connected infrastructure, don't miss this workshop!
  • Combined Heat and Power and Wood Gasification: Sustainable Energy that Makes Sense
    Meeting Room 6
    Presenters: Brian Katamay, U.S. DOE Midwest CHP TAP (PDF); Tami Bailey, City of South Sioux City, Neb. (PDF)
    Part 1 of this session will examine how cogeneration can help a facility become sustainable: looking at power resiliency, improving generation efficiency, recycling waste heat, using organics to produce biogas or biomass to reduce outside fuel consumption, and using the exhaust for plant growth in greenhouses. The U.S. Department of Energy's Combined Heat and Power Technical Assistance Partnerships (CHP TAP) program provides technical and policy assistance for any facility looking to utilize cogeneration, from agriculture and manufacturing facilities to government and educational centers. If you're planning a new installation and haven't considered CHP, don't miss this session!

    Part 2 will describe wood gasification in South Sioux City, Neb. With invasive pests like the Emerald Ash Borer and the Pine Beetle, along with emerging diseases and more frequent and intense wind storms, it hasn't been a very good decade for trees. Not only are cities across the country losing all the benefits that trees provide, they're also facing the challenge and expense of removing all those dead or dying trees and managing tons of wood waste as a result. The City of South Sioux City, Neb., manages more than 40 tons of wood waste each year. As the city began to explore viable options, one environmentally responsible option emerged: Wood Gasification. With the help of a grant from the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality and the Nebraska Forest Service, the city purchased a 50kW wood gasification system that generates electricity from wood waste to help run lights for a city park and the city’s Water Treatment Plant. This presentation will include specific details on the costs and expected return on investment. South Sioux City is now planning to construct a 15 MW renewable power generation facility that will utilize wood waste, agro-waste and municipal solid waste to generate electricity for the city’s industrial park.
  • Deconstruction: Reusing and Recycling One Piece at a Time
    Exhibition Hall
    Presenters: Kevin Eipperle & Don Seymour, FEH Design (PDF)
    This presentation will explain how deconstruction can be an effective way to remove nuisance properties, save substantial dollars and divert 90 to 95 percent of waste from the landfill while supporting green jobs and reclaiming valuable building materials.
4:15 – 5:45 pm
Networking Reception
Sponsored by: SmartWatt Energy

Join us in the Exhibit Hall on the ground floor for libations and heavy hors d'oeuvres. This is a chance for attendees of the Tuesday and Wednesday conference sessions to meet and greet their peers and conference speakers, sponsors and organizers in a casual atmosphere.


Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2016

7:30 – 8:30 am
Registration & Breakfast in Exhibition Hall
8:45 – 9:30 am
Morning Plenary in the Grand Ballroom
Presenter: Dr. Neal Phillip, chairperson, Department of Chemistry and Chemical Technology, Bronx Community College/CUNY (PDF)

Dr. Neal Phillip is the current chairperson of the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Technology at Bronx Community College/CUNY where he also served as interim associate dean of academic affairs. He holds a Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering, a Masters in Environmental Engineering and dual Bachelors in Chemistry and in Meteorology. He has published journal articles on atmospheric pollution, water and wastewater pollution and on pedagogical educational research. He was one of the 17 members of the CUNY Pathways Steering Committee selected by the CUNY Chancellor to develop the University's 30-credit Common Core.

Read more about Dr. Neal Phillip.
9:45 – 10:45 am
Workshop Session 4
  • Equity and Asset Building for the Under-Resourced
    Meeting Room 1
    Sponsored by: NICC
    Presenters: Andrea Helgager, City of Dubuque & Michelle Becwar, Dupaco Community Credit Union (PDF)
    The Dubuque Circles® Initiative is part of an innovative national movement that engages individuals and communities to resolve poverty. It is a networking model for under-resourced individuals and families to address the barriers in their lives and create a supported vision for their futures. The initiative works with people experiencing various forms of instability, with the goal to achieve self-sufficiency (200% of the Federal Poverty Guideline). Assets play a vital role in poverty alleviation by providing not only economic security but also a psychological orientation that encourages low income families to save and plan for the future. This presentation will introduce the Dupaco Money Match account, which is a matched savings account that helps people of modest means save for wealth-building assets like a home, small business, vehicle for work, or post-secondary education -- all things that can impact a family's ability to move out of poverty and towards financial stability.
  • Transitioning from Evaluation to Implementation after STAR Certification
    Meeting Room 2
    Sponsored by: Suez and Premier Bank
    Presenters: Brenda Nations, City of Iowa City; Catherine Hurley, City of Evanston, Ill.; and Cori Burbach, City of Dubuque (PDF)
    More than 50 communities across the U.S. have been certified using the STAR Community Rating System, which evaluates environmental, economic, and social sustainability. But certification is only the first step towards creating more sustainable communities. The staff leads for STAR certification from Iowa City, Evanston, and Dubuque will share how they approached the certification results and began the transition to implementable results. The panel discussion will be led by Aaron Lande, staff with STAR Communities, and will give audience members a deeper understanding of the use and benefit of sustainability certification, the relationship between sustainability performance metrics and community planning and policy making, and how to engage community leaders and residents in creating a sustainable community. Examples of community outreach include the Evanston Livability Academy and Inclusive Dubuque.
  • Delivering Energy Savings to Residents of Manufactured Homes
    Meeting Room 3
    Sponsored by: Suez
    Presenter: Shannon Stendel, WECC (PDF)
    According to a 2012 ACEEE study, residents of manufactured homes spend nearly twice as much on energy per square foot of home compared to site-built homes. Wisconsin Energy Conservation Corp. (WECC) conducted two duct sealing pilots for manufactured homes in Michigan and Wisconsin in 2015. Pilot participants were primarily low- to moderate-income residents, many retired and living on fixed incomes, who were paying high utilities bills during the winter months. This presentation will share the results of the pilot projects and insights into how to deliver targeted energy savings to this underserved market.
  • Partnering to Advance the Benefits of Solar Power
    Meeting Room 5
    Presenters: Peter Murphy, Midwest Renewable Energy Association (PDF); and Dave Lyons, City of Dubuque (PDF)
    This two-part session will provide an overview of the process for setting up and executing solar group buys, drawing from experiences in Bloomington-Normal, Ill., Champaign County, Ill., and five neighborhoods in Milwaukee, Wis. We will discuss key roles and responsibilities for the jurisdiction, installer, and community, as well as timelines and promotional strategies. Part 2 will focus on developing and implementing a comprehensive solar strategy through effective use of public/private collaborations. Dubuque's Sustainable Innovation Committee, supported by Greater Dubuque Development Corporation, has identified becoming a more solar-friendly community as one of their priorities. In June, Alliant Energy, Greater Dubuque Development Corporation and the City of Dubuque announced plans to install solar panels at two sites, creating 4 MW of power. The organizations have also partnered with local installers to improve opportunities for commercial and residential installations, and will share strategies and lessons learned.
  • Filling Your Fleet with Alternative Fuels
    Meeting Room 6
    Sponsored by: Optimus Technologies
    Presenter: Alex Keim, Optimus Technologies (PDF)
    The City of Pittsburgh runs 25 medium- and heavy-duty refuse, recycling and plow trucks on 100 percent biodiesel. The days of a cap on biodiesel blends are over: 5 percent or 20 percent blends, although great for PR, are still primarily diesel fuel. Today's systems can help fleets reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent or more.
  • Teaching and Learning about Air Quality by Citizen Science
    Exhibition Hall
    Panelists: Dr. Charles Stanier, University of Iowa (PDF); Jalee Frommelt, University of Dubuque; Mary Rose Corrigan, City of Dubuque; Paul Schultz, Green Dubuque; Can Dong, University of Iowa
    Reduced air quality from particulate pollution was identified as a priority in a recent Dubuque Community Health Needs Assessment and Health Improvement Plan (CHNA-HIP), and many communities in the upper Midwest have similar challenges. Particulate matter is a known source for many health problems, including lung and heart disease. The City of Dubuque enrolled in the EPA PM Advance Program to assist the community in addressing PM 2.5 levels through a multi-faceted approach. The City of Dubuque and its partners have purchased and deployed over 20 low cost hand-held “citizen science” monitors that measure air pollution. Panelist will discuss successes and challenges of their use in Dubuque County during 2016. The sensors have been used for environmental education by citizens, college students, K-12 students, and environmental groups as part of the CLE4R environmental education project and the PM Advance Program Two specific air quality monitors – the “AirBeam” monitor and the “Air Visual” monitor, will be demonstrated.
10:45 – 11:15 am
Browse Exhibitor Booths
Join us in the Exhibition Hall for refreshments, networking and exhibitor demos.
11:15 am – 12:15 pm
Workshop Session 5
  • Equity & Energy
    Meeting Room 1
    Presenter: Barbara Buffaloe, City of Columbia, Mo.(PDF)
    Local governments have a responsibility to make sure all residents have the ability to thrive. The City of Columbia, Mo. incorporated social equity into its strategic plan with the question: "How can we strengthen our community so all individuals thrive?" Knowing what an important role housing and utility bills play in a resident's ability to thrive - staff worked to analyze residential energy use in Columbia and prioritize neighborhoods where additional outreach and investment could result in actual savings for residents.

    This presentation will explain how Columbia used local and national data to select its three priority neighborhoods; how city staff got the buy-in from investor-owned utility companies to provide energy consumption data for residences; and how the data and partnerships have resulted in new programs and realized improvements.
  • Encouraging Sustainable Development
    Meeting Room 2
    Sponsored by: Shive-Hattery
    Presenters: Sarah Sieloff, Center for Creative Land Recycling (PDF); Ken Hughes, New Mexico State Energy Office (PDF)
    This session will describe two government programs that encourage sustainable development.

    Part 1: The Center for Creative Land Recycling (CCLR) is a national non-profit at the forefront of the sustainable and equitable redevelopment of abandoned and environmentally-impacted properties, or brownfields. As the EPA-awarded Technical Assistance to Brownfields Communities provider in 18 states and Puerto Rico, CCLR works with core urban neighborhoods, rural communities, non-profit affordable housing developers, tribes, open space groups and local governments to develop their capacity to fully address brownfield and land development challenges through expert technical assistance, workshops, online resources, and grant review. This presentation will include a step by step approach to building community capacity to address vacant or contaminated properties, identification of sources of funding and resources for stakeholders.

    Part 2: New Mexico uniquely offers homebuilders, homebuyers and commercial developers a tax credit for building or buying an energy efficient home or office. The audience will learn how the tax credit encourages private sector design and construction of energy and water efficient, sustainable buildings for commercial and residential use, such that 3/4 of all new homes in the Albuquerque area are built green.
  • The "Greening" of Brownfields: Environmental Cleanup as a Component of Sustainable Urban Redevelopment
    Meeting Room 3
    Sponsored by: Suez
    Presenter: Kevin Carroll, City of Minneapolis (PDF)
    Brownfields revitalization returns abandoned or underutilized properties to productive use, cleans up the environment, creates jobs, and strengthens the social fabric of communities. The City of Minneapolis has one of the most proactive and successful brownfield programs in the Upper Midwest. Minneapolis redevelops contaminated properties in ways that are environmentally sound, economically competitive and socially responsible. Learn the techniques that Minneapolis has used to generate over $75 million in brownfield grant funding from federal, state, regional and county sources in the last 10 years for the benefit of a wide variety of commercial, residential, mixed-use and park/open space projects. Several illustrative case studies will be provided, with an emphasis on brownfield cleanups that resulted in development projects featuring green infrastructure elements such as rain gardens, green roofs and bioretention.
  • Executing a Successful LED Street Light Retrofit
    Meeting Room 5
    Presenters: Adam Boeche, Village of Mundelein, Ill. & Michele James, CTS Group
    This session will describe how to execute an LED street light retrofit project from beginning to end with limited funding availability. The discussion will include the environmental and economic benefits and how to demonstrate them to stakeholders and decision makers. You'll learn the considerations involved in selecting the right products and implementing the installation. The presentation will provide a variety of "lessons learned" by the Village of Mundelein, Ill., during its recent street light conversion project.
  • Why Energy Management (Still) Makes Business Sense
    Exhibition Hall
    Sponsored by: Energize Connecticut
    Presenters: Samantha Sojka, Eversource & Sheri Borrelli, United Illuminating (PDF); and Alan Eber & Jeff Rich, Gundersen Health System (PDF)
    This session will explore how community leaders can work with local institutions and private businesses to dramatically reduce energy consumption, thereby cutting emissions and saving lots of money.

    Part 1: You'll learn how Connecticut's Clean Energy Communities program (EnergizeCT) is helping 155 Connecticut towns and cities reduce their buildings' energy consumption. The program provides tools to help participants gather energy usage data, benchmark energy consumption and create Municipal Action Plans (MAPs) to reduce energy consumption in their communities. By recruiting home and business owners to enroll in energy-saving programs, local governments compete for "Bright Idea Grants" -- ranging from $5,000 to $15,000 -- that can be used to pay for even more energy projects.

    Part 2: This presentation will provide a framework for developing and implementing a good Energy Management Plan that can be tailored to any business or institution. A good plan provides competitive advantages by reducing costs, improving recruitment, and enhancing public image. Elements include benchmarking, setting goals, identifying opportunities, sustaining the gains, obtaining funds, and engaging staff.
12:20 – 2:00 pm
Luncheon Keynote Address in the Grand Ballroom
Presenter: Dr. Manuel Pastor, University of Southern California (PDF)

Dr. Manuel Pastor is a Professor of Sociology and American Studies & Ethnicity at the University of Southern California, where he directs the Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE) and the Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration (CSII). His research focuses on the economic, environmental and social conditions facing low-income urban communities – and the social movements seeking to change those realities. He served as a member of the Commission on Regions appointed by California’s Speaker of the State Assembly.

Read more about Dr. Manuel Pastor.
2:00 – 2:30 pm
Browse Exhibitor Booths
Join us in the Exhibition Hall for networking and exhibitor demos.
2:30 – 4:00 pm
Workshop Session 6
  • Achieving Sustainability through Green Teams and Peer-to-Peer Learning
    Meeting Room 1
    Sponsored by: Premier Bank
    Presenters: Stacie Reece, Sustain Dane & Shannon Havlik, Western Technical College (PDF); Katrina Neely Farren-Eller, Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque (PDF)
    This session will include two presentations on peer-to-peer learning programs in Madison and La Crosse, Wis., and Dubuque.

    Part 1: The nationally recognized MPower Champion Business Program has now been successfully replicated in Wisconsin! The program is entering its 2nd year in La Crosse and its 8th year in Madison. Presenters will share lessons learned from working with organizations through effective employee engagement strategies of strategic green team development, peer to peer learning and project implantation. Hear compelling stories of organizations that found their inner sustainability champion while learning and connecting with their cohort of business peers.

    Part 2: In November of 2015, the Inclusive Dubuque Network published a equity profile summary that details how diverse groups are affected by various systems in the community, including the sectors related to housing, education, health, safe neighborhoods, transportation, arts and culture, and economic well-being. Since then, Inclusive Dubuque has formed groups to understand and tackle equity-related challenges in the sectors. Community members have joined these groups and are developing strategies and best practices to take the equity lens into various sectors. Working groups meet monthly and are learning a process called Results-Based Accountability in an effort to better understand how we can track our progress. Since December 2015, more than 100 people have joined working groups and that number continues to grow as members identify voices missing from the conversation.

    This presentation will focus on the equity profile process, and the challenges of moving from data to equitable action, and will examine ways network partners are now finding to learn from each other's work.

  • LEED the Way: Going Green in Public Buildings
    Meeting Room 2
    Sponsored by: Shive-Hattery, Kraus-Anderson and RDG Planning & Design
    Presenters: Scotney Fenton & Michelle Sacco, RDG Planning & Design (PDF); Michael Morman, Shive-Hattery (PDF); Jason Rentmeester, Kraus-Anderson (PDF); Marty Johnson, Straka Johnson Architects PC (PDF)
    This presentation will provide case studies of four institutional buildings that recently achieved LEED certification: an airport in Dubuque, a former library in Des Moines, a school in Alexandria, Minn., and even a prison in Iowa. In this session you'll learn the fundamentals of the LEED system for buildings as applied to new and historic architecture. The presentations will showcase unique and sustainable design solutions, including photovoltaic cells, rain water collection, and geo-thermal heat pumps. Comparisons of different LEED levels and an examination of the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation will be included among the discussions.
  • Incorporating Solar Energy into Business and Residential Applications
    Meeting Room 3
    Sponsored by: Solar Planet and SunPeak
    Presenters: Chad Sorenson, SunPeak (PDF); Tim Mueller, Solar Planet (PDF); Amy Bouska, City of Cresco, Iowa (PDF)
    Part 1: SunPeak recently completed a solar installation on Central Storage and Warehouse, a 70-year-old refrigerated warehouse located in Madison, Wis. At 741 kWdc, it is the largest rooftop system ever installed in Wisconsin, offsetting 16 percent of annual electrical load for a significant energy user. The company now powers a good portion of its refrigeration needs with natural sunlight, lowering its operating costs, increasing its sustainability, and enhancing its competitive differentiation. With a current blended cost of electricity of 10.2¢ / kWh, this system produces more than$90,000 of direct energy cost savings per year. Over the 30-year expected lifespan of the system, CSW will save more than $5.1 million in projected energy costs. This presentation will dig deep into the technical, financial and social aspects of how this project came to be and why commercial energy users will see significant savings with a switch to renewable solar energy.

    Part 2: Transitioning to solar energy is only one of the lifestyle changes each of us can make on an individual basis that can have a huge impact on our quality of life while reducing the environmental impact. Tim Mueller of Solar Planet will explain how solar can be incorporated with the use of electric vehicles, sustainable construction techniques, rain barrels, and small scale organic farming.

    Part 3: This presentation will go through the Solar Power Purchase Agreement process experienced by the City of Cresco Iowa: how they approached each step from feasibility study, to finding partners, identifying risks and communicating with the public and City Council. Attendees will take away a better understanding of the timing, specific issues that need to be considered and the responsibilities of the various parties.
  • Mobile Tour: The Bee Branch Watershed Project
    Sponsored by: Dubuque Bank & Trust and IIW
    Meet in the downstairs foyer at 2:30 p.m.
    Separate registration required.
    The Bee Branch Watershed flood mitigation and water quality project is reintroducing the confined Bee Branch Creek to one of Dubuque's oldest neighborhoods where hundreds of families and businesses have been repeatedly impacted by flooding. The watershed-wide approach will protect the neighborhood from stormwater events while creating a linear park, revived habitat, and educational venue for the entire community. Building on years of infrastructure improvements, Dubuque is now a subgrantee in the State of Iowa's successful HUD National Disaster Resilience Competition grant application. The City was recently awarded $31.5 million to repair and "flood proof" homes while investing additional funds in stormwater infrastructure.
  • Mobile Tour: Dubuque Housing Programs
    Meet in the downstairs foyer at 2:30 p.m.
    Separate registration required.
    The City of Dubuque Housing Department, in partnership with local non-profits and businesses, works to revitalize neighborhoods, create affordable housing opportunities, eliminate marginal properties, and enhance quality of life for residents. Through their CHANGE (Comprehensive Housing Activities for Neighborhood Growth & Enrichment) program, Lead Hazard Control & Healthy Homes programs, and other initiatives, the department is moving families out of poverty; creating economic opportunity; and creating sustainable, healthy, and safe neighborhoods. Join staff for a tour of homes rehabilitated through these programs, and meet the partners helping to finance and complete the work.
  • Mobile Tour: Sustainable Urban Agriculture
    Meet in the downstairs foyer at 2:30 p.m.
    Separate registration required.
    The Dubuque Community Garden Coalition is a partnership of community organizers and gardeners who share resources and work together to expand opportunities to grow food in Dubuque. On this interactive tour, Coalition leaders will highlight successful models for community gardening, including school gardens and the expanding Dubuque Rescue Mission Urban Farm, which provides skills training and healthy food for the men's homeless shelter. Guides will explain how they are addressing access issues in Dubuque's food deserts and obesity in youth populations, as well as how they are sharing resources to support collective impact in the community.



Don't forget to recycle your name badge as you exit the Grant River Center. Thank you for attending!