Expo focuses on environment

— If you're feeling green, two environment-focused events today and Saturday could satisfy your itch.

This afternoon, the city of Steamboat Springs, in conjunction with the Yampa Valley Community Alliance and Yampa Valley Recycles, will host the city's fist Sustainable Steamboat Expo. It will focus on efforts to support healthy, livable and sustainable communities in the Yampa Valley.

The expo will include information about the city's Green Team, which was formed this fall to promote city efforts to help the environment. There also will be information from groups and businesses that promote the same efforts, said Suzanne Bott, a planner with the city and member of the Green Team.

"We're not only interested in the city; we're interested in the community," Bott said. "We're hoping to highlight local efforts in our presentation."

The goal of the expo, Bott said, is to raise people's interest and knowledge about renewable energy and other programs.

"We wanted to talk to everyone in the community and get the word out that all these resources are available and that there is a real groundswell of interest at the grass-roots level," Bott said.

The expo will feature speaker Randy Udall, director of the Community Office for Resource Efficiency, or CORE, a nonprofit organization that promotes energy efficiency and renewable energy. Udall is expected to talk about CORE's role in starting the nation's first renewable energy mitigation fund, which uses building permit fees to install renewable energy systems.

Udall also will be the featured speaker at Saturday's annual meeting of the Community Alliance of the Yampa Valley.

"We thought it was a good opportunity to have his message go to two different groups of people," said the alliance's Maggie Berglund. "We're hoping he can share his experience with us and see the ideas people have locally."

The meeting will start with official business, including election of board members and review of a resolution that will encourage members to continue working on the alliance's workforce housing campaign.

There will be a chance for people to make comments, and at the end of the meeting there will be dessert, coffee and conversation -- time that has proven to be very productive, Berglund said.

"What happened last year was that we put out information and ideas, then we started talking to each other about what that meant for our community," she said.

-- To reach Dana Strongin, call 871-4229 or e-mail dstrongin@steamboatpilot.com

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