The One City Marathon is Virginia Green Certified for the 5th Year
The Newport News One City Marathon celebrated its five-year anniversary in March 2019. Since its inception, the One City Marathon has been a certified Virginia Green Event through the Virginia Green Travel Alliance. Virginia Green events are thoughtfully planned to minimize environmental impacts, and to help increase environmental awareness. Throughout the past five years, the City of Newport News has made significant commitments to eco-friendly practices. All the highlighted initiatives are executed with the help of hardworking volunteers who donated their time to educate the community on how to live a greener tomorrow, today. By continuously striving to do better each year, the City of Newport News devotedly keeps the same vision and mission in mind to protect Virginia’s environment. The city partners with businesses that also support sustainable tourism like the Holiday Inn Newport News-Hampton, the 2019 sponsor hotel and a Virginia Green certified facility.
Newport News Public Schools Change to Propane Buses
Newport News Public Schools are a forerunner in the state of Virginia in regards to environmental sustainability with their fleet of propane buses. By the end of 2019, NNPS had replaced almost a quarter of their aging diesel buses with propane buses, which totaled 73 out of 335. Some highlights of propane buses that set them apart are that they have greater cost savings for the city, reduced engine noise, improved driver and student morale and safety. Other environmental benefits of these buses are that they have lower fuel costs, quieter and more reliable engines, and emissions virtually free of carcinogenic particulates and nitrogen oxides that may lead to respiratory issues. The propane school buses are also used to transport runners more sustainably for the One City Marathon.
NNPS Celebrates National Bike to School Day
Newport News Public Schools joined schools from around the country to celebrate National Bike to School Day on Wednesday, May 8. Established in 2012, National Bike to School Day provides an opportunity for schools across the country to celebrate bicycling to school each May. The various events were organized by the Newport News Healthy and Safe Routes to School as well as the NNPS Physical Education Department with kids, parents, and community leaders walking and biking to Newport News elementary schools. Bike to School events work to create safer routes for bicycling and walking, and emphasize the importance of a range of issues such as increasing physical activity among children, cyclist and pedestrian safety, traffic congestion, concern for the environment and building connections between families, schools, and the broader community. Event partners include the FIA Foundation, Pedestrian Bicycle Information Center, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and the National Center for Safe Routes to School.
2018 Building Partnerships
The Sustainability Division is dedicated to creating and maintaining partnerships throughout the Newport News community. Partnerships like those with Christopher Newport University, The Green Foundation- Newport News, and Newport News Master Gardeners are important in fulfilling our sustainability mission. This year was better than ever with volunteer participation from students during the One City Marathon and collaboration on green space projects.
2018 Internship Program
The City of Newport News works with college undergraduate and graduate students to promote the working relationships with universities and local governments. These Town and Gown relationships allow students to gain hands on experience while giving the City fresh perspective and innovative ideas. The Sustainability Division Intern position provides support for green initiatives and community outreach, in addition to gaining exposure to project management and sustainable government projects.
2018 Green Clean Institute Gold Certification throughout the City
The City of Newport News Department of Public Works’ Operations Building is working to bring the Green Clean Institute Gold Certification to more facilities within the City. This rigorous certification is achieved through initiatives such as using ecofriendly soaps, cleaners and equipment, as well as managing recyclable and waste material.
As a part of the City’s plan to implement environmentally sustainable practices, the Building Services Division recently contracted janitorial services and supply contracts that align with Sustainability’s mission, and will continue to do so for other qualifying buildings. The Sustainability Division’s mission is to ensure the City operates in a way that is economically, environmentally and socially responsible.
Clean and Green Newport News
Clean and Green Newport News is a citywide clean up initiative that encourages volunteers to hit the streets, pick up litter, and beautify their neighborhoods. This year’s inaugural event brought out nearly 100 volunteers and collected over 400 pounds of trash. For more information about this event, visit our Department of Public Works.
Serve the City Newport News
Serve the City Newport News worked in partnership with faith-based organizations and the City of Newport News Police Department’s South Precinct to act as a catalyst for neighborhood transformation through volunteer service. Over the last decade, Serve the City has demonstrated success in Chesapeake, but this is the organization’s first foray into Newport News. Over one ton of trash was picked up during this event- in the future, other neighborhoods of the city will be chosen as site locations. For more information on how to get involved, visit www.stcnewportnews.com.
The City of Newport News is continuing its commitment to go green. The Newport News Recycling and Recovery Center (ROC) now has two above ground fuel tanks that are powered by solar energy. The Newport News Department of Public Works and Vehicle & Equipment Services worked together to plan, design, and install the solar powered fuel tanks. Used tanks were re-purposed by fitting them with tank gauges, fuel transfer equipment, and the solar power infrastructure necessary to dispense fuel to the off-road equipment located at the center. Previously, the ROC equipment was fueled by an old fuel tank truck that was at the end of its service life. The solar project cost was less than $12,000, a huge savings as the replacement of a newer used unit would have had a price tag of approximately $50,000.
The Newport News Recycling Office was awarded the30 Grants in Thirty Days grant from Keep Virginia Beautiful for 2016! The $750 grant will support our Event Recycling Initiative to purchase additional recycling containers that will be available on loan to local civic and business groups for their special events and festivals. Contact our Call Center at 311 or 933-2311 to learn how you can obtain a recycling container for your special event.
Newport News One City Marathon Goes Virginia Green!
Since its inception, the Newport News One City Marathon has received Virginia Green event certification. Virginia Green is a partnership among the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, the Virginia Tourism Corporation, and the Virginia Hospitality and Travel Association. Over 2,600 individuals participated in the Inaugural Newport News One City Marathon races in 2015, and over 3,000 participants in 2016. Virginia Green events are those which have been thoughtfully planned in order to minimize environmental impacts and help increase environmental awareness. The One City Marathon achieved green event certification through the following day-of initiatives.
- Eco Stations consisting of trash, recycling and composting containers were placed at the One City, One Celebration event. Bay Disposal & Recycling, an event partner, provided trash and recycling toters to be placed throughout the event.
- Natural Organic Process Enterprises (NOPE) provided composting services for the event including the delivery of 12 carts and liners, bin monitoring, collection, and transportation services.
- We partnered with Nike Reuse-A-Shoe Program to display and collect discarded athletic shoes at the 2-day Expo.
- Mass transit was used to transport runners to the Marathon starting line, reducing vehicular traffic and greenhouse gas emissions.
- Christopher Newport University art students recreated Newport News landmarks that existed along the marathon path using primarily recycled materials in order to give the otherwise waste a new life.
Newport News Partners with Earthcraft
The Newport News Redevelopment and Housing Authority was honored by Earthcraft Virginia at the 2016 Sustainable Leadership Awards, receiving the award for “Jefferson Brookville Apartments”. The Jefferson Brookville project utilized new construction and the adaptive reuse of the historic Washington School and Mesic Hardware Building to provide 50 units of affordable housing. The EarthCraft program was created in 1999 by a partnership between Southface Energy Institute and the Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association and was brought to Virginia in 2006. The program serves as a blueprint for energy and resource-efficient single family homes, multifamily structures, renovation projects, community developments, light commercial buildings and sustainable preservation projects.
From Trash to Gas to Energy!
We have installed a system to capture methane gas from the Denbigh Landfill to provide an alternative heat source for nearby city facilities. As waste decomposes in a landfill, methane gas is released into the atmosphere. Methane is classified as a greenhouse gas and poses a threat to the environment. The Denbigh Landfill is in close proximity to Mary Passage Middle School which enables the landfill gas product to be used as fuel for the school's boiler system. This decreases the school’s fossil fuel consumption to reduce environmental impact as well as saves the school money on their electric bills.
Do you have a green thumb but no place to plant a garden? Residents of Newport News can participate in the Community Garden project and put their gardening abilities to the test! The Garden is an ongoing project that provides citizens the opportunity to apply for a plot of land to grow their own produce. Community Gardens foster a sense of sustainable living and support our “Think Locally, Act Globally” motto. The Community Garden is located in the large, open field at 75 Yorktown Road in the Lee Hall area of the City. Yorktown Road may be accessed by either Warwick Boulevard or Jefferson Avenue.
To apply for a garden plot, read the Community Garden Rules and complete the Community Garden Application. Visit our Community Garden page for more details!
School Green Space Project
Green space is any area of grass, trees, or other vegetation set apart for recreational or aesthetic purposes in an otherwise urban environment. Schoolyards are one of the most common classifications of green space.
Crittenden Middle School served as the pilot project aimed at turning an underutilized courtyard area into a more useable, student-friendly, outdoor classroom. The long-term goal of this project is to enhance existing outdoor classrooms and develop new outdoor classrooms at Newport News Public Schools. Students will be more involved in protecting and maintaining the natural environment to become better environmental stewards.
Electric Charging Stations
In June 2014, six electric vehicle charging stations were installed in the parking garages at City Center by the Newport News Economic Development Authority. There are two stations in each of the three garages. The stations are located conveniently and prominently signed on the first floor of each garage. City Center has made these stations free and open to the public. The stations have led to quantifiable fuel and greenhouse gas reduction. Trends in the electric vehicle market signify the existence and use of charging stations will continue to increase.
Household Hazardous Waste
Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) is leftover household products that contain chemicals which may be hazardous to human health and the environment if improperly handled. Newport News residents can dispose safely of or recycle household hazardous waste at the Recovery Operations Center, 550 Atkinson Way, (approximately one mile north of Denbigh Boulevard on Warwick Boulevard). HHW and electronic waste including televisions are accepted only on Fridays and Saturdays each week from 8 AM to 4 PM except on city-observed holidays. All collected materials will be recycled or disposed of in an environmentally sound manner. Visit our HHW page for more information.