Yesterday, residents and business owners in Audubon Park met to begin the work of becoming Orlando’s first eco-district.

The meeting, which was held at Bikes, Beans, and Bordeaux, was organized by Alex Stringfellow, a Sustainability Specialist with Orange County, and Katie Shannon, a Planner at VHB. They are also the team behind Compost Orlando (Facebook | Website) and the Mills 50 Market (Facebook | Website).

Last year, as graduate students in the Rollins College Master of Planning in Civic Urbanism program, they presented their thesis focused on transforming Audubon Park into an eco-district. This year the Stringfellow and Shannon are leading the APGD Eco District Advisory Team, a community driven effort to identify the steps to formally designate the district.

Other cities like Seattle and Portland have established EcoDistricts. The designation marks the district’s commitment to environmental, economic and social well-being. Typically long-term goals for sustainability are set and metrics are recorded on an annual basis.

The Advisory Team is building on  efforts and projects already in place in Audubon Park, such as Orlando’s Main Street Program, Fleet Farming, East End Market, Compost Orlando, and the Corrine Calming Coalition,  as well identifying new resources and opportunities for APGD to become a more sustainable community.

At last night’s meeting  eight topics were the focus of the majority of the discussion:

  • Equitable Development
  • Health and Well-being
  • Community Identity
  • Access and Mobility
  • Energy
  • Water
  • Habitat and Ecosystem
  • Materials Management

Moving forward the group will create one, five, and ten year goals as an eco-district.

TheAPGD Eco District Advisory Team will meet monthly, on the second Tuesday of the month at 7pm at Bikes, Beans, and Bordeaux, 3022 Corrine Dr [Gmap]. While a website is being built, people interested in following updates from the Advisory Team should follow Audubon Park Garden District page (Facebook | Website)

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