Friday, November 1, 2013

Mayor Rogero Selected for President Obama's Climate Preparedness Task Force

Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero has been selected as one of 26 governmental leaders to serve on a task force that will advise President Barack Obama on climate preparedness and resilience-building efforts.

The State, Local and Tribal Leaders Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience was formed to develop key actions the Federal government can take to better support state, local and tribal preparedness and make recommendations on removing barriers to resilient investments, modernizing grant and loan programs, and developing information and tools to better serve communities.

President Obama announced plans for the task force in his Climate Action Plan, which was released in June.

“It is truly an honor to be selected for the Climate Preparedness and Resilience Task Force,” said Mayor Rogero. “Climate change is a real threat to our future, but working with government leaders across the country on solutions and sharing ideas with the Obama Administration on how to better sustain our communities can help to lessen the threat. The City of Knoxville has long been committed to clean energy and sustainability, and we welcome the opportunity to be a leader on this issue.”

The impacts of climate change pose threats to East Tennessee’s natural resources, local infrastructure, and economic sectors such as tourism and agriculture. The City has taken steps to both reduce its impact on climate and reduce the community’s vulnerabilities to the impacts of climate change. For instance, efforts to improve the energy efficiency of municipal facilities lower the City’s greenhouse gas emissions, while projects to improve storm water management systems will help Knoxville better withstand extreme weather events that may result from climate change.

President Obama outlined his overall Climate Action Plan with three key pillars:

- Cut Carbon Pollution in America: The Obama Administration is putting in place tough new rules to cut carbon pollution to protect the health of children and move the economy toward American-made clean energy sources.

- Prepare the United States for the Impacts of Climate Change: The administration will help state and local governments strengthen roads, bridges, and shorelines to better protect people’s homes, businesses and way of life from severe weather.

- Lead International Efforts to Combat Global Climate Change and Prepare for its Impacts: The administration will help forge a global solution by galvanizing international action to significantly reduce emissions, prepare for climate impacts and drive progress through international negotiations.

The first meeting of the Task Force will be held at the White House in early December.

To learn more about the Climate Action Plan and Task Force, visit

You can learn more about the potential impacts of climate change in Tennessee by reading “Sustaining Tennessee in the Face of Climate Change: Grand Challenges and Opportunities,” a 2012 report from Sustainable Tennessee at

Friday, October 11, 2013

Centennial Conservation Expo October 12th!

The City of Knoxville's Centennial Conservation Expo celebration is Saturday, October 12th at Chilhowee Park and it promises a full slate of family-friendly events and entertainment. Among the highlights will be some special guests, live music, circus performers, children's games and activities, art exhibits, and displays from a host of conservation agencies and organizations.

The Centennial Conservation Expo will take place from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 12th, at Chilhowee Park. Admission and parking are free. The Expo will mark the 100th anniversary of the National Conservation Exposition of 1913, which ran for two months at Chilhowee Park and drew a million visitors. Some of the people involved in organizing that Exposition went on to help with the establishment of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and other significant local conservation efforts.

An opening ceremony at 11 a.m. will feature Mayor Madeline Rogero along with guests including keynote speaker Leila Pinchot, the great-granddaughter of legendary conservationist Gifford Pinchot. Gifford Pinchot was the first head of the U.S. Forest Service, under President Theodore Roosevelt, and also served as the chairman of the advisory board for the 1913 Conservation Exposition. Leila Pinchot recently received her doctorate in Natural Resources from the University of Tennessee, and she will talk about the legacy of the past century of conservation efforts here and elsewhere.

Also rumored to be attending are Theodore Roosevelt himself, and the long-lost Prophet of the Smokies. The Prophet was a mainstay of Knoxville public events during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, but he has not been seen in public since 1916.

Visit or for up to date information.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

The Tennessee Energy Education Initiative: Multifamily

Register now for this free event on energy efficiency in multifamily housing.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Be Part of the Action

PlanET needs your help again!

From May 28 through June 28, community members will be asked to evaluate a set of goals and objectives that will serve as the framework for the development of an action strategy, which will serve as a guide for communities—and the region as a whole—as we seek to reach or vision for 2040.

Over the last 18 months, PlanET has asked residents to share their visions for East Tennessee. The strength of the volunteer spirit is evident in the number of people who have answered that call; nearly 6,000 people have helped shape a vision for the future of the region.

Four central themes emerged at the heart of this vision:

 Build strong towns
 Grow quality places
 Improve health of people and places
 Expand choices for all

Over the next month, PlanET is asking for community members to contribute their thoughts on the best approaches to help the region turn this vision into reality.

What is the best way to grow more local food and support agriculture in the region? What are the best ways to expand transportation and housing options for all of our community members? How does the region grow dynamic, walkable destinations in suburban centers? Round four participants will be asked to answer these questions and more.

To encourage as much participation as possible, PlanET will again offer two ways to provide input. Individuals may visit the PlanET website and work through the materials online anytime they want, anywhere they want. Neighborhood associations, civic organization, or other groups can hold a Meeting in a Box at a time and location of their choice and with or without a PlanET facilitator.

Details of each method are available on the PlanET website.

To schedule a Meeting in a Box or for questions about how to use the online community input tool, contact the outreach coordinator:

Sherith Colverson
(865) 215-4396

Thursday, May 9, 2013

City Surplus Property For Sale

The city is holding its first ever auction of properties acquired in past tax sales on 05/15/13.

Attached is a list of surplus city property selling for as little as $200 (minimum bid) next week. The auction is at 10 AM in the Small Assembly Room in the City County Building. The bidding process will be explained when you arrive.

If there is any interest in gardens on any of these parcels, please check the zoning here

If a rezone needs to be requested, Jake or Susanna can help walk you through that process.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

USGBC Needs Help

Sixteen people needed to be a VOLUNTEER at USGBC East Tennessee’s GREEN+GO Sustainable Green Tour on Saturday, May 4.

• Get a hands-on look at some of Knoxville’s most cutting-edge in efficient green design
• Help teach the general public about sustainable buildings!

Job Description:
• Report to one of the open house tour locations for a 9-12 shift or a 12-2 shift on Saturday, May 4
• Work with a team to greet visitors, check-in guests, and give short tours
• Refreshments and training are provided

• No expertise required - anyone with an interest in sustainability can help!

Sign up today!
• 865-208-7887

Monday, April 29, 2013

East Tennessee’s First Annual GREEN + GO Sustainable Tour (AIA/GBCI Credit)

Get a hands on look at some of Knoxville’s most cutting-edge in sustainable and green design on Saturday, May 4, 2013!

This open-house format tour will educate tour goers on systems and designs that make up some of Knoxville’s ‘greenest’ buildings, which are healthier, more durable, use fewer resources and save on operations and maintenance costs.

Tour goers will see up to eight (8) structures in a wide price range and building size in or near Downtown Knoxville. Each stop will have on-site experts plus educational materials on sustainable features, economic savings, and construction details.

Featuring guided tours of:

 Scripps Networks Interactive Headquarters (LEED Gold)
 UT’s Ayres Hall’s Historic LEED Renovation (LEED Silver)
 The Knoxville Transit Center (LEED Silver)
 Three Rivers Market (Designed to meet 2010 LEED Retail NC criteria)
 Ijams Nature Center Solar Array
 Sustainable Future Net Zero Office
 The UT Solar Decathlon House
 East Town Mall Spectrum Solar Exhibit

The tour is open and FREE to the public (RSVP required) and offers 2 AIA and 2 GBCI credits with paid admission. Once registered, attendees will receive a booklet with information concerning the tours, including a map with directions to each tour location.

COST: Free, $15/$25 for two with CEU
WHEN: May 4, 2013 from 9am-2pm
WHERE: In and around downtown Knoxville, TN

To RSVP for the tour, visit the Green+Go Eventbrite Page or contact USGBC-ET at 865-208-7887 and