Muscatine is one of six communities nationwide to be a part of an EPA called “Greening America’s Communities.” EPA spokesman, Chris Whitley says the program gives the communities technical assistance with sustainable design strategies.
The help in Muscatine will focus on what’s called the Grandview Avenue Corridor Project. “This is what used to be known as U.S. Highway 61, Iowa Highway 92, coming into the south side of the town. It has been under full city jurisdiction since about 2014 and it is really not set up to for an urban sort of throughway now as a city street,” Whitley says.
He says the EPA advisors will help the city plan the transformation into a more useful area. “The sort of place where it is easier for pedestrians and bicyclists to get about with less risk,” Whitley says, “and in the course of that also hopefully make it more attractive and more helpful to businesses that are already there.”
Five other cities, including Honolulu, Hawaii and Oklahoma City Oklahoma are also part of the program this year.
“Its part of an initiative that EPA has had now for about the past five or six years at least that is aimed at providing this type of technical assistance to make communities more sustainable,” Whitley says.
When he talks about being more sustainable, he means when it comes to making the area environmentally friendly in a way the city can keep up with. “Have lesser impacts in the long term on costs, maintenance and hopefully increase the quality of life in the local community,” Whitley says.
The program had previously focused on helping the capital cities in states with sustainable design strategies.