Oak Park, Illinois: Energy Resources
Globally, Oak Park is known as the home of world-renowned residents like prairie-style architect Frank Lloyd Wright and Nobel Prize winning author Ernest Hemingway. Regionally, Oak Park is recognized as a leader in environmental initiatives. Oak Park boasts an impressive list of environmentally conscious accomplishments, including the following:
- Earning platinum designation from Clean Air Counts and the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus
- Being an Illinois Green Fleets community by maintaining one of the region's largest alternative-fuel municipal vehicle pools
- Hosting the GreenTown Conference, which brought more than 200 officials to Oak Park to discuss ways to make communities more eco-effective.
- Construction of a green Public Works Center, the first in Illinois to seek LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.
- Creating the multi-modal station in the central downtown area that links mass transit systems.
- Purchasing Energy Star equipment for all municipal offices.
- Conducting a gasoline-powered lawn care equipment exchange.
- Maintaining natural grass plantings in commercial planters and landscaped area.
- Adopting seasonal leaf blower restrictions.
- Using public education to encourage residents to reduce pollution on Ozone Action Days.
- Adopting policies to use low VOC (volatile organic compounds) paints and cleaning products in public buildings.
- Converting traffic signals and emergency vehicle lighting systems to LEDs.
- Installing energy efficient induction street lights in select areas.
- Increasing the number of bicycle racks throughout the community.
- Adopting the International Energy Conservation Code.
- Conducting an energy audit at Village Hall and budgeting the top retrofit recommendations for fiscal years 2010 and 2011.
- Researching and obtaining funding for a 95 KW solar PV panel display for a municipal parking garage that will offset 40% of the energy use at the garage and generate revenue with the sale of SRECs. Construction is expected to begin in summer 2010.
- Passing a 350 ppm resolution which recognizes the need to reduce our contribution to carbon dioxide emissions so that global CO2 emissions can in turn be reduced to a scientifically recognized safe level of 350 ppm.