Sustain Rockford started as a working group in the fall of 2016, inspired by other communities in the Midwest that were also developing sustainability plans. The working group consisted of nearly 100 people from community organizations, businesses, governmental bodies, and the community at-large. The group learned that although many of our community’s organizations and governmental bodies had plans containing sustainability language, there was no overall coordinating sustainability plan like the ones other cities and counties were using. We decided to learn more about those plans, and visited Elgin, IL, Madison, WI, and Dubuque, IA – key cities with well developed sustainability plans.
Sustain Rockford became a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation in 2018 and committed itself to making the Rockford region more sustainable and resilient. To that end, Sustain Rockford:
Our next big project is to collaborate with the City of Rockford, Winnebago County, the Rockford Park District, the Convention and Visitors Bureau, corporations, and community leaders to bring a Green Town Conference to Rockford in mid-2021. We hope the conference will result in the creation and implementation of a community sustainability/resiliency plan. To help plan and implement this conference, Sustain Rockford is working with Seven Generations Ahead, an Oak Park-based nonprofit that has brought Green Town Conferences to eleven other cities and counties in Illinois, Ohio, Michigan and Indiana.
The Rockford Region needs a sustainability and resiliency plan – especially during times of economic and environmental distress like we are experiencing now.