ATLANTA – The City of Atlanta will celebrate Earth Week from April 18-22 with a kickoff evening event and a volunteer day of service. The Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, which is focused on incorporating best practices into Atlanta city government operations and working with the business and civic communities to support broader conservancy initiatives citywide, will host these events.
Under Mayor Reed’s leadership, the Office of Sustainability has worked with commercial building owners to lead the nation with more than one hundred million square feet committed in the Better Buildings Challenge, an effort to reduce water and energy consumption by 20 percent by 2020. The Office has also worked across City departments and agencies to reduce energy use in municipal facilities and created the first municipal solar program in the City of Atlanta.
“We are excited about celebrating Earth Day all week long with environmental awareness programs. These programs will showcase the efforts of our office and countless stakeholders to protect our environment and to become a top-tier city for sustainability,” said Stephanie Stuckey Benfield, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability.
To kick off the week, the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability will host Taste of AGlanta – an event which will highlight the City’s urban agriculture program and feature tastings from Westside farm-to-table restaurants including JCT Kitchen, The Optimist, 5 Seasons, Bocado, Miller Union and Souper Jenny. The event, co-hosted by First Lady of Atlanta Sarah-Elizabeth Reed and Laura Turner Seydel, will be held at the Westside Cultural Arts Center from 6:30 – 9:00 p.m. Tickets can be purchased, and organizations and companies can learn about event sponsorship opportunities at tasteofaglanta.eventbrite.com.
Proceeds from Taste of AGlanta will benefit urban agriculture in Atlanta, and enhance community gardens and educational school gardens in the Westside in association with the Captain Planet Foundation.
The City of Atlanta is also hosting a community service project, Grow AGlanta, on April 22. Grow AGlanta is open to individuals and members of corporations, colleges, organizations and community groups, along with federal, state and city agencies, to grow edible plantings with homeless teens at the Covenant House of Georgia from 9:00 a.m. to noon.
At the Covenant House, volunteers will also construct a new greenhouse to support youth residents as they build a social enterprise of selling fresh vegetables. Other activities will include building raised bed gardens, harvesting spring gardens, gardening lessons from resident urban farmer Cullen Brown and working with culinary writer and chef, Nealey Dozier Thompson, to prepare a farm-to-fork culinary lunch experience for the first 50 volunteers. To register to volunteer, visit www.growaglanta.eventbrite.com.