Efforts to make Clintonville the fourth neighborhood in the city to achieve the formal GreenSpot designation are about to begin in earnest.
Clintonville Area Commission Chairwoman Libby Wetherholt will convene a meeting of the GreenSpot Task Force at 7 p.m. Jan. 31 at the Whetstone branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library, 3909 N. High St.
Launched in 2008 by Mayor Michael B. Coleman, the GreenSpot initiative is aimed at getting households, businesses and even entire neighborhoods committed to being easier on the environment.
In the case of a neighborhood, this involves making certain commitments and achieving them over the course of a 12-month period.
If the Clintonville GreenSpot effort succeeds, the neighborhood would achieve the distinction and join the Discovery District, Sawmill Place and German Village.
"This will be our first meeting since our application went in," Wetherholt said of the Jan. 31 gathering. "It will be mostly a matter of checking in with folks, making sure they are ready to work on their different priorities and then talk a little bit about a framework for a committee."
Ryan Foshee, a six-year resident of Clintonville, has agreed to serve as the GreenSpot ambassador.
"One thing we needed was someone with boots on the ground to go out and explain the program and kind of sell it, and I'm willing to do that," said Foshee, an energy and environmental consultant.
Although the GreenSpot initiative for Clintonville is operating under the auspices of the area commission, in compliance with rules for achieving the neighborhood recognition, the plan is for the task force to operate independently.
"It's meant to be citizen-driven, and I definitely want to keep it that way," she said. "Mostly, I envision just having the people working on the different priorities come together and do some reporting about what they're doing and just keep working, and then if there are other people who would like to start other priorities, that can be talked about eventually also. It's kind of overwhelming sometimes, and as I said at our last meeting, Clintonville seems to be overachieving in this area.
"I'm not an expert on anything in being green, so I'm relying on people joining the committee who are the experts."
At the CAC's Jan. 3 meeting, Wetherholt unveiled five proposed "priorities" for the GreenSpot Task Force to work on.
Her proposals included informing and engaging the community on green initiatives; which Foshee would head as GreenSpot Ambassador; conserving energy; protecting water; increasing recycling efforts; and "traveling green," which involves making the neighborhood more bicycle- and pedestrian-friendly.
Some on hand protested the concept of ranking some environmental efforts as being more important than others, but Wetherholt said that's simply how the application form is worded.
"We've got a good plan together," Foshee said. "The neighborhood as a whole has to set some goals and achieve them to get the designation from the city.
"It's a great neighborhood. There are a lot of folks doing a lot of good stuff in the neighborhood. It's just another chance to show what we're made of here in Clintonville and do some good work."