The GreenTools program is designed to help stakeholders in King County green their built environment while addressing critical environmental issues, such as global warming, habitat restoration, solid waste reduction, and community planning. GreenTools provides technical assistance, hands-on training and policy development through community partnerships in public and private sectors.
Coordinated by King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks (DNRP), GreenTools sponsors the award-winning Sustainable Cities Collaboration, an umbrella effort bringing together elected officials and staff from local cities in King County, as well as from county government, non-profits and businesses, to learn, increase collaboration, leverage resources and momentum, and inspire deeper action and informed decision-making in combatting carbon pollution and preparing our region for the impacts of a changing climate.
The launching pad for much of the Sustainable Cities’ success begins with the Sustainable Cities Roundtables, a monthly speaker series now in its sixth year that offers trainings, discussions and workshops on topics ranging from putting a price on carbon and planning for resilience in infrastructure to implementing local green building codes and improving energy efficiency in government-operated buildings. In addition to featuring locally-based speakers, the Roundtables series works with Island Press to connect national experts from their roster of authors with local audiences in our region.
After six years of successful Roundtables, DNRP will take the learning beyond the Roundtables to jump start greater change at the local level. Building off of the typical Roundtables format, the ‘next generation’ Roundtables strategy will offer participants an “enhanced experience” – additional, focused time with Island Press authors to work on specific issues or implement experiential project opportunities. Having a mechanism for supporting immediate application of concepts learned during Roundtables builds staff skills and capacity, which is critically important in smaller or less-resourced cities. It also increases momentum within that jurisdiction for continued progress, and can be a recruitment tool to attract additional jurisdictions to get involved with the Sustainable Cities collaboration.