The Chapter's Conservation Program Manager, Megan Fluke
The Chapter received excellent news in September: the Silicon Valley Community Foundation has awarded a third year of funding for our Building Climate Friendly Communities Campaign (BCFC). The Chapter will receive $60,000.
Kicked off in the fall of 2009, BCFC builds support for sustainable land use planning in urban centers and works with cities to improve development proposals so as to reduce the need for driving and thereby reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The BCFC program has been working tirelessly to increase public support for grouping new homes, especially affordable ones, jobs, and shops near transit to create more livable, walkable neighborhoods. Building homes close to work and retail results in less traffic, fewer greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution, and healthier residents who walk and bike more and drive less. In addition, increased transit usage helps keep the imperiled local transit agencies afloat.
The Chapter’s Sustainable Land Use Committee (SLU), its Transportation Committee, its 18 Cool Cities Teams and associated community groups, its staff Conservation Program Manager Megan Fluke, and a fleet of interns work to support this campaign. Megan organizes Chapter activists and gets new members involved in local planning efforts by supporting all of this activity. It is this type of organizing and support for ‘smart growth’ that got the Foundation’s attention.
Interns Megan has recruited from the many universities in the area have assisted in specific projects and have been key to the program’s success. For example, Keith Davis, a graduate student at San Jose State University in urban and regional planning, has been crucial to the SLU’s work, providing written comments and public testimony at the Menlo Park downtown plan hearings.