The website MSN.dot.com has named the mayor of a small Iowa town to its top 14 list of "green" mayors nationwide. Fairfield Mayor Ed Malloy is ranked among the leaders of many of the country’s largest cities, including New York, Chicago, Miami, Atlanta and Seattle. Mayor Malloy says he and Fairfield’s other leaders are solidly behind an effort to become eco-friendly.
"We’ve set an aggressive agenda to really deal with all areas of sustainability in our community, from the conservation of energy to production of small generated renewable energy," Malloy says. "We are looking at alternative transportation." Fairfield’s a town of about 9,700 in southeast Iowa. Malloy says the city council has unanimously adopted what they call a Green Strategic Plan.
"We look at everything we do in our infrastructure, in the way we redesign our buildings to be most energy efficient and (to have the) most in the area of conservation and preservation of natural resources," Malloy says. "We think that’s good for our economy and we think it’s good for creating jobs for the future." Fairfield’s leaders have secured a state-funded grant to hire a sustainability coordinator who will inventory the town’s greenhouse gases and create educational materials for residents. He says the Green Strategic Plan envisions everything from conserving energy to supporting local farms.
"We have a master plan for bikeways and walkways," Malloy says. "We do have a very strong local foods organization that has produce in a lot of our traditional grocery stores and many of our restaurants. We want to boost that up. We want to be producing 25-percent of our food locally within the next five to ten years." Malloy has been Fairfield’s mayor since 2001 and says they want to create a model community and a virtual template which other small towns can mirror.
"The investments that we make now will save us money in the future," Malloy says. "If we’re going to make this significant shift as a society, whether we’re talking about at a local level, a statewide level, a national level or globally, it has to start from grassroots." Fairfield is home to Maharishi University, which offers a B-S in Sustainable Living, billed as the first Sustainable Living degree program in America, in addition to what’s called a Green MBA.
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