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Seven local sustainable success stories to be recognized

Mid-America Regional Council (MARC) has selected seven local projects and plans as 2013 Sustainable Success Stories. The program, now in its sixth year, recognizes great projects, policies and practices that exemplify sustainability in the region. The honorees were selected through a call for projects issued earlier this year, and will be formally recognized at the Sustainable Success Stories event to be held on Friday, Dec. 6, from 8:30–10:15 a.m. at the Kauffman Foundation Conference Center, 4801 Rockhill Road, Kansas City, Mo.

The 2013 awards highlight projects that help create sustainable places and practices in the region. MARC’s Creating Sustainable Places initiative identifies sustainable places as vibrant, connected and green places that promote reinvestment; offer transportation and housing choices; facilitate development in targeted corridors and activity centers; design for healthier lifestyles; preserve unique community characteristics; and conserve natural resources.

This year’s honorees are:

  • Atkins-Johnson Historic Farmstead and Museum — The city of Gladstone purchased this historic 20-acre farmstead and home in 2004 with the goals of using the home for educational purposes; incorporating modern sustainable practices at the site; and connecting to area residents through a trail system. The project included the installation of a geothermal heating and cooling system and reuse of historic wood in renovating the home.
  • Bancroft School Redevelopment — This 109-year-old school building at 43rd Street and Tracy Avenue in Kansas City, Mo., has been converted into 50 affordable, LEED-platinum housing units and 7,000 square feet of community space.
  • Beacon Hill Stormwater Management Project — This revitalization project comprises 20 new single-family lots in a sustainable neighborhood at 24th Street and Forest Avenue in Kansas City, Mo. It uses green infrastructure, bioswales and an underground detention facility to collect stormwater, promoting filtration back into the soil.
  • Benton Community Garden — An overgrown lot at the corner of Linwood and Benton Boulevards was converted into a community garden with the goals of reducing blight, providing green construction training opportunities and educating the public on sustainable lifestyle practices.
  • Blue Hills Business Center — A vacant building at 5008 Prospect Avenue was converted into a multi-tenant, state-of-the-art, energy-efficient office building that provides office space for small-business contractors with trade-specific trainings, reduced office rents and mentoring and coaching opportunities for all tenants, along with community meeting space.
  • Green Corridor Master Plan — The Rosedale Development Association, with funding from the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City, led the planning process for this half-mile-wide, four-mile-long corridor in Wyandotte County that will foster a healthy and sustainable community with increased access to healthy foods, safe places for physical activity and green business development.
  • Scattered Sites Guidebook for Infill Lot Improvement Strategies — Kansas City, Mo., has approximately 5,000 vacant lots and 13,000 vacant single-family homes, with a negative economic impact of $33.6 million annually. This guidebook outlines strategies to turn these vacant sites into productive properties.

Details of all seven projects are available on request. There is no cost to attend the Dec. 6 awards event, but, registration is required. Register online at or call 816-701-8234 to reserve a space.

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