The Special Events Division of the Newport News Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism recently announced that a total of 27 special events in Newport News have been certified as Virginia Green events. The certification marks the City’s commitment to minimizing the environmental impacts of events and creating additional stewardship opportunities for participants. A few of the many ways that the City is promoting stewardship at events include: recycling grease used by vendors, prohibiting polystyrene items, providing ECO Stations comprised of trash, recycling and food composting containers, and developing a volunteer Green Team.
In 2015, the special events division partnered with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and introduced the oyster shell recycling program at the Oyster Roast at City Center. The program encouraged participants to donate empty shells to assist in the effort of restoring the native oyster population in Virginia’s portion of the Chesapeake Bay. Additional stewardship efforts that blanket all events in 2016 include a partnership with the Dominion Green Power Program which purchases Renewable Energy Certificates on the City’s behalf that not only reduce the carbon footprint of events, but also support green energy from wind, solar and biomass facilities in this region. The program participation is an ongoing collaboration between the Virginia Green Travel Alliance, Parks, Recreation and Tourism and the Public Works' Sustainability Division. For more information about the program, please visit the Virginia Green Travel Alliance.