Since its first meeting six months ago, Hilliard's Environmental Sustainability Commission (ESC) is planning programs for more sustainable practices in the city.

Since its first meeting six months ago, Hilliard's Environmental Sustainability Commission (ESC) is planning programs for more sustainable practices in the city.

"We're still babies, laying the groundwork for where we want to go," said Carrie Stanley-Davis, chair of the ESC. "I think we're going to have a great launch pad to present some really good programming."

At its latest meeting on Nov. 16, ESC members talked for an hour about grants and potential speakers and events to participate in. It also made a budget request to city council.

"We're still in the planning phases," Stanley-Davis said. "We have a lot of great ideas for projects and ways to get out into the community in 2012. The commission members that we've brought together are very enthusiastic. We're working well together, and I'm really excited to see where the commission is going to go in the future."

One initiative the ESC hopes to provide next year is the GreenSpot Program, which will be based on a similar program offered by the city of Columbus. Businesses and organizations, community groups and households can use the GreenSpot program to learn how to be greener.

Stanley-Davis said the ESC is looking at how to fund the GreenSpot project, especially a Hilliard-specific website.

In addition to community members, the ESC includes Mayor Don Schonhardt and council member Albert Iosue, who also works at the Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio (SWACO).

"Mayor Schonhardt has been a great addition, and he's already given us a lot of direction on where he wants it to go and we're in full support of that," Stanley-Davis said. "We are extremely fortunate to have such an influential member of the administration actively participating in the commission."

"At every council meeting, we update what the commission is working on," Iosue said. "This is an advisory commission, so they're really not going to do anything without council approval."

"Having the support from Councilman Iosue, he's a huge resource for us not only in his capacity with SWACO, but in helping us position ourselves to align with the direction that city council wants us to," Stanley-Davis said.

Stanley-Davis, who dissolved the Hilliard Evergreen Team to form the ESC earlier this year, is enthusiastic about the city-backed commission.

"I feel like this was a step in the right direction and I think this is going to better service the citizens of Hilliard," she said.