News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Valley Life

September 23, 2012

Our Green Valley Alliance gears up for conference

TERRE HAUTE — Dan Burden, executive director of the Walkable and Livable Communities Institute, will be the keynote speaker at the Our Green Valley Alliance for Sustainability Conference taking place Nov. 9 and 10 at Indiana State University’s Hulman Memorial Student Union.

Burden has spent more than 35 years helping the world get “back on its feet.” By inspiring residents, policy makers, planners and designers to change their built environments to accommodate people, not just cars, Burden has helped more than 3,500 communities take steps to become more walkable and livable. Burden illustrates the benefits of sometimes-simple and oft-difficult changes, and provides a road map for inspired advocates to create neighborhoods, streets and cities that are more healthy and connected.

His efforts have not only earned him the first lifetime-achievement awards issued by the New Partners for Smart Growth and the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals, but in 2001, Burden was named by Time magazine as “one of the six most important civic innovators in the world.”

Burden will kick off the two-day conference and provide his professional assessment of the walkability of portions of Terre Haute. Breakout sessions following Burden’s talk on Nov. 9 will feature national, regional and local speakers on topics covering six focus areas:

n local foods,

n waste stream management,

n energy consumption,

n social justice,

n walkable, bikable, liveable communities, and

n environmental stewardship.

The day’s activities will end with a social featuring locally sourced foods, beers and wines.

On Nov. 10, OGVA will conduct its first meeting and will present the findings of a community survey currently being fielded to assess perceptions about quality of life and sustainable practices in Vigo County. (To take the survey, go to www.isusustainability.org/survey.) Following the presentation, attendees will be invited to participate in roundtable discussions to help lay the foundation for a Sustainability Plan for the community. The Saturday events are free.

“Anytime there is a discussion around sustainability, it creates momentum toward change. Folks in the Wabash Valley can learn a lot from attending a sustainability conference, from making changes in their home to their work place,” said OGVA education committee chair Jane Santucci.

Conference registration for Friday’s events is $35 for adults and $10 for students until Nov. 2. After Nov. 2, registration is $45 for adults and students. For more information and to register, go to: www.ourgreenvalley

.org/registration.

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