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EcoDistrict moves forward

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Greentopia is getting ready to launch the High Falls EcoDistrict.

Volunteers will also clean, weed, and replant a section of the Genesee Riverway trail near the gorge.

"We want to make sure that every time we do something for the EcoDistrict, we do something tangible," says Rachel Walsh, Greentopia's EcoDistrict coordinator.

The activities align with the recently completed High Falls EcoDistrict plan. The document calls for businesses, institutions, and residents, as well as city government in some cases, to become more energy efficient, boost renewable electricity use, reduce waste, boost recycling, explore ways to make High Falls more bike- and pedestrian-friendly, and add green space to the district. The plan also sets a long-term goal of restoring access to the Genesee River waterfront in the gorge.

Greentopia is pursuing certification of the district through the EcoDistricts umbrella organization (https://ecodistricts.org/). The plan is one part of that process.

But district initiatives are voluntary, and the rest of the process involves cementing buy-in from key businesses and institutions, such as the Genesee Brewery and Monroe Community College.

For the district to get certified, the major stakeholders need to commit to the EcoDistrict concept as well as specific actions or initiatives.

The certification process can take up to three years, but projects will happen during that time, Walsh says.

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