Today STAR Communities is announcing the 20 U.S. cities, towns, and counties that have been selected to participate in the 2014 Leadership STAR Community Program. With extensive support from STAR Communities staff, the Leadership STAR Communities will work through the STAR Community Rating System together with the goal of becoming certified sustainable communities.
Local governments will gain a deep understanding of their community's strengths and needs to support current and future generations as they gather and collect information required for certification. Once certified, communities will receive national recognition for their local efforts.
"The diversity of communities and their commitment to improving sustainability outcomes will make for a truly rich experience for all in the 2014 program," reported Hilari Varnador, STAR Communities executive director. "The excitement and momentum around Tacoma, WA's recent 4-STAR Certification shows that U.S. cities and counties are serious about tracking economic, environmental, and social progress within their communities."
The 2014 Leadership STAR Communities are: Baltimore, MD; Birmingham, AL; Burlington/Chittenden County, VT; Charles City, IA; Denton, TX; Dubuque, IA; Fayetteville, AR; Fredrick, MD; Houston; TX; Louisville/Jefferson County, KY; Memphis/ Shelby County, TN; Nederland, CO; Palm Bay, FL; Park Forest, IL; Phoenix, AZ; Plano, TX; Portland, ME; Raleigh, NC; Redlands, CA; and Rosemount, MN.
Park Forest Mayor John A. Ostenburg and Sustainability Coordinator Sarah Coulter are slated to attend an orientation later this month in Fort Lauderdale, FL where they will network, and learn more about the STAR Communities certification process, with representatives from the 19 other towns selected for the program.