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The Center gets grant to go green

COVINGTON - The Center for Community Preservation and Planning is going green.

The Center was recently awarded a grant through The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta's Grants to Green program.

Grants to Green will pay the cost to assess how The Center's existing facility on Washington Street can be more environmentally friendly. Experts will conduct an environmental efficiency scan of the building to determine areas that can be improved.

Kay Lee, director of The Center, said the assessment would likely focus on ways to reduce water and electricity usage and "anything that consumes natural resources."

Once the assessment is complete, The Center could receive another grant for implementation of specific environmental efficiency recommendations.

Lee said as far as she knows, The Center is the first in Newton County to apply for the program.

"We were interested in going through it so we could see what it entailed and then encourage others to do the same," she said.

Grants to Green's mission is to provide environmentally focused knowledge and funding to strengthen nonprofit organizations in the Atlanta region, according to a press release issued by the program. Founding partners are The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, providing expertise in grant making; Southface, providing expertise in energy efficiency; and Enterprise Community Partners, providing expertise in community development.

The goal of the program is to improve a nonprofit organization's building structure to not only have less of an environmental impact, but also to increase the cost-efficiency of operations, ideally saving more finances to provide more services.

Located at 2104 Washington St., The Center was established in 2001 as a clearinghouse for information and a neutral gathering place for residents of the county to discuss growth issues. Local governments and agencies contract with the The Center for various services, including grant writing and coordinating studies and planning activities. The building is frequently used for public meetings.