Clintonville residents will have an opportunity to formally declare their commitment to the environment -- but it won't be as a formal project of the area commission.
Instead, Clintonville Area Commission members voted unanimously Sept. 6 to direct Chairwoman Libby Wetherholt to form a task force -- something she already has the authority to do, although she said she welcomed the show of solidarity -- to explore ways in which the neighborhood can achieve GreenSpot status.
"It's a very flexible program," said Columbus' GreenSpot coordinator, David Celebrezze, who was on hand at the meeting to answer questions about the program founded in 2008 by then-Mayor Michael B. Coleman.
The purpose of GreenSpot is to educate and recognize households, businesses and groups that adopt environmentally friendly practices.
At last week's meeting, Wetherholt noted Clintonville already has more than 1,600 individuals who have signed up as GreenSpot homeowners, as well as around 58 businesses.
"We're already very environmentally involved and so we're just thinking we might want to get the official okey-dokey on this and be officially an environmental neighborhood," Wetherholt said. "German Village has beaten us to it, so that's terrible.
"There are a lot of things that we are already doing that might count in some ways."
Along with German Village, the Discovery District and the Sawmill Place Area have received official GreenSpot recognition.
Wetherholt noted the requirements for becoming a GreenSpot neighborhood include that the effort is an initiative of its residents. She suggested the possibility of each of the nine commission representatives working on challenges to meet GreenSpot goals within their specific areas.
"There are lots of ways we can do this," the chairwoman added.
District 5 representative Dana Bagwell said members of existing environmental organizations such as the Lower Olentangy Urban Arboretum or Friends of the Lower Olentangy Watershed might be willing to achieve the initiative.
"We could do an outreach," suggested Judy Minister of District 4. "I think we have a lot of resources in our community."
Celebrezze noted that for the entire neighborhood to qualify for GreenSpot, the effort must be led by an existing group or organization that operates within the defined boundaries of that sector of the city.
David Vottero of District 1 suggested a task force could "use us a political mechanism" but would take on the responsibility of coordinating qualification for the status.