Provo receives award for environmental stewardship and sustainability

Aug 3, 2023, 9:30 AM | Updated: 6:51 pm

Image of Provo City Center Temple. Provo City has earned the Earth Forum's Environmental Stewardshi...

Crowds emerge following the first session of the dedication for the Provo City Center Temple Sunday, March 20, 2016. (Scott G Winterton/Deseret News)

(Scott G Winterton/Deseret News)

PROVO, Utah — Provo City has earned the Earth Forum’s Environmental Stewardship Award for its efforts in sustainability Tuesday night at a city council meeting.

Hannah Salzl, the city’s sustainability coordinator and long-range planner, said the Utah Valley Earth Forum gave the award.

“There are lots of different groups organized around sustainability within Utah,” she said. “But Utah Vally Earth Forum is the oldest and has been involved almost from the beginning.”

Salzl said UVEF started the award to highlight communities that are working towards sustainability.

“Our hope with this award is that other communities will see it,” she said. “Will see what Provo’s doing, to see how possible it is, and start their own initiatives.”

Initiatives towards environmental stewardship 

Salzl said Provo took on a long list of initiatives to add to its sustainability. For example, the city has a recycling and compost waste program.

“Our green waste is collected and composted right here in prove and returned back to citizens at a discount rate.”

She said they are working on making transportation more sustainable by diversifying options in the city. Additionally, Salzl said the city is concerned with open space preservation, especially agricultural land, foothills and the Utah Lake.

“We understand how valuable those resources are to our residents and to the health of our community.”

Salzl also pointed out concerns that align with the rest of the state, such as air quality, reducing carbon emissions and water management. She said it’s not just about using the water they have right now effectively and sustainably but recharging their aquifers to ensure that future generations have water to draw on as well. 

Programs to save energy and clean the air

Provo has a number of rebate programs for residents offered through their power company Provo Power.

These programs allow the city to make energy-conscious choices without having to invest their time and money completely on their own. Salzl mentioned their Yard Equipment Rebate for Cleaner Air where residents can switch out their old yard equipment for more electric-powered options. 

“Things like your lawn mower your snow blower, things that create heavy emissions right in your face,” she said. 

Two other Utah County communities, Orem and Lehi, also received honors for their efforts at sustainability.

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Provo receives award for environmental stewardship and sustainability