Grants to Green
In 2014 Blue Heron was awarded Community Foundation of Greater Atlanta Grants to Green Assessment grant funded by the Kendeda Foundation. The grant is designed to identify opportunities for improving the energy and water efficiency of the building infrastructure. We partnered with Southface Energy Institute who provided technical expertise. Given the age of the Preserve building, there were many opportunities for improving its efficiency. The assessment identified significant savings by upgrading the HVAC and lighting infrastructure.
In 2015 we were awarded an implementation grant to begin the upgrades identified in the assessment. Over the past year, we’ve upgraded the furnace, pump and the oldest heat pump units which had reached end of life. Wireless thermostats were also installed to give us greater control and visibility. In addition, we upgraded all our lighting to LEDs equipped with occupancy sensors to further minimize usage. We have realized nearly 30% reduction in our energy usage since the upgrades were complete in 2016.
Special thanks to Abby Francisco at the Southface Energy Institute who provided exceptional support throughout the project and to our implementation partners at E Sam Jones and Mann Mechanical.
As an environmental organization, we take seriously our responsibility as a leader in finding ways to minimize our footprint on the earth and to serve as an example of what can be done by everyone. We invite you to contact us for more information.
In our work with Southface for the Grants to Green project we were introduced to a new building sustainability program called BIT. BIT is being introduced to fill the gap left by those without the resources to participate in the LEED building certification program. BIT provides a comprehensive framework focused on the three impact areas most essential to a sustainable future: energy efficiency, water efficiency, and waste reduction. We plan to participate in the Beta program in 2017 and look forward to sharing what is learned with you.
The BIT Building Program exists to focus on building efficiency in three areas: energy, water and waste. Learn more about the history of the project and its parameters here.
On March 27th 2015, Atlanta City Councilman Kwanza Hall, Atlanta artist Pam Longobardi and a group of international attendees convened at the Centers for Disease Control to officially proclaim this date as Plastic Reduction Day Atlanta in perpetuity. In recognition of this date, a group of researchers and artists in the Atlanta area have created a pledge drive to reduce the use of single use plastics in restaurants throughout the city. The group hopes that Atlanta businesses will serve their last plastic straw, or better yet, give up single use plastics all together. Plastic Reduction Atlanta is a campaign to enlist Atlanta’s most progressive eateries, organizations and businesses to give up plastic straws in lieu of smarter more eco-friendly alternatives!
Blue Heron Nature Preserve is proud to be a partner of Plastic Reduction Atlanta as part of the greater cause. Check out this map, made by the Plastic GYRE, to find local businesses committed to ending single-use plastics.
Here at Blue Heron we are proud advocates for sustainable goods, including metal straws, cloth napkins, bamboo flatware and more. Browse through our store to find environmentally friendly replacements for single-use items.