Virginia Sustainability Task Force
Our Mission is to educate and motivate the citizens, businesses and organizations of Virginia to develop, embrace and implement energy conservation and sustainability measures and practices.
Who is VSTF?
The Virginia Sustainability Task Force was formed on November 3, 2008 through a grant from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) with approval by the City Council of Virginia, MN. The Task Force was created to serve the City in an advisory capacity and to involve the City government, citizens and other community stakeholders in developing and implementing energy conservation and sustainability measures.
The Task Force is made up of citizens and representatives from major community stakeholders and City Government. Some of our largest energy users are represented by the Virginia Regional Medical Center (VRMC), Virginia High School, and Mesabi Community and Technical College.
Current steps towards achieving our mission:
- VSTF, representing the City of Virginia, is a member of ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability. In order to achieve our stated mission, we are loosely following their Cities for Climate Protection – Milestone Guide.
- In order to determine if recommended conservation measures are successful, VSTF is currently conducting a baseline energy assessment.
- The Virginia Sustainability Task Force is currently working on a number of different projects to increase awareness and educate our community about steps we can take to become more sustainable:
- Energy audit lottery – to bring attention to the benefits of conducting an audit, how easy it is, and contractor options, VSTF will give away one or two audits through a city wide lottery.
- Distribution of recycling information – with assistance from the City of Virginia and St Louis County, VSTF will be inserting a recycling brochure in the December 2009 City wide public utility bills reminding residents of the benefits of recycling, how to sort their recyclables, and how to dispose of them.
- www.vstf.wordpress.com – is the web site created by VSTF to facilitate communication and disseminate information to citizens, business and organizations in Virginia about sustainability and energy conservation.
- Green Tidbits – in order to create visibility and awareness we have entered into a media partnership with the Mesabi Daily News to publish a series of “green tidbits”, everyday low cost suggestions on how to reduce energy consumption and practice sustainability.
- VSTF is a presenting partner in the 2nd annual Iron Range Earth Festheld on April 17, 2010 in Mountain Iron. Earth fest is a celebration of local traditions and practical resources sustainable living on the Iron Range.
Long Range Goals:
To secure funding to keep VSTF active past the expiration of our MPCA grant in April 2010.
- To attract additional Task Force members and stakeholders, and brainstorm with them how we can make the city of Virginia more sustainable.
- To expand our network of contacts and partners in order to expand the information and opportunities available to our stakeholders.
- To continually expand understanding, acceptance, and implementation of issues and practices regarding energy conservation and sustainability.
Task Force Members:
Robin Raplinger – Chairperson, Gina DeBreto – Natural Harvest Food Co-op, Christine Glover & Ali Hill – Global Warmings, Megan Heitkamp – Virginia Schools, Jeff Kroll, Nevada Littlewolf – City Council Liaison, Bob Pluskwick – Mesabi Range Community & Technical College, Rich Weiss – VRMC, Nathan Williams – Hope Presbyterian Chuch, Ardy Nurmi-Wilberg – Project Coordinator
Invitation to Join VSTF (pdf)