The Green Network for the White Lake Area has been working quietly, but steadily to move the White Lake area in a positive new direction – toward sustainability. Sustainability is not a commonly known term, but it is one that is being increasingly used in many places to explain how economic, environmental, and social goals are all connected and need to be focused on, so the way we live today does not compromise the quality of life for future generations.
The group is bringing the term and its approach to the White Lake area, as a new program of the Chamber. “Sustainability is what we need to be thinking about for our local area,” said Amy VanLoon, Chamber director. “It captures the flavor of the Chamber quite succinctly – we realize how economic, environmental and social issues are all tied together right here.” The initiative was prompted in 2013 by local environmentalist Tanya Cabala who was interested in establishing a vehicle for moving beyond recovery of White Lake. According to Cabala, “We’ve put many local resources toward cleaning up White Lake. With the lake off the Great Lakes Area of Concern list, it’s time to make sure decisions today and in the future take into account sustainability – the big picture.”
The group is focused on three goals:
Members of the Green Network, a small but diverse group of motivated individuals, meet monthly. To date, the group has hosted educational seminars, worked with the White Lake Area Solid Waste Authority to assist in improving the transfer station site to aid recycling, and partnered with Muskegon County to help with local tire collection events. It is helping two of its members implement sustainability projects of their own – at the Montague Methodist Church and the White Lake Community Library, which won an award for its project. The group is helping to make local events “green” by providing portable recycling bins. “You would not expect that this group is all-volunteer,” said VanLoon, “They have accomplished a great deal since they have been up and running. We are pleased to sponsor this effort!” For more information on the Green Network, contact the Chamber.
The Green Network for the White Lake Area promotes broad-based public action on sustainability initiatives and practices through community-based organizational, educational, and motivational support.
“Sustainability creates and maintains the conditions under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony that permits fulfilling the social, economic and other requirements of present and future generations.” (U.S. EPA)
Pledged Green Network Business members: