Linda Whitman, RLA, obtained her degree in landscape architecture from the University of Florida. She is a licensed landscape architect in the state of Florida and is a member of the Florida Association of Environmental Managers. Whitman is presently employed as a senior planner with the city of Coconut Creek. She is also the city’s sustainable coordinator, responsible for maintaining green certification with Florida Green Building Coalition and spearheading the city’s Green Team to provide the annual Green Plan update.

Linda Whitman, RLA, obtained her degree in landscape architecture from the University of Florida. She is a licensed landscape architect in the state of Florida and is a member of the Florida Association of Environmental Managers. Whitman is presently employed as a senior planner with the city of Coconut Creek. She is also the city’s sustainable coordinator, responsible for maintaining green certification with Florida Green Building Coalition and spearheading the city’s Green Team to provide the annual Green Plan update.

The city takes great pride in being an environmental leader in Broward County. In addition to participating in regional climate change issues, the city works closely with the county on a number of environmental data collection and reporting programs related to the environment, climate change and greenhouse gas emissions.

Coconut Creek was one of the county’s first cities to track its greenhouse gas emissions and plan for the reduction of those emissions. This year, the city will determine a baseline for community greenhouse gas emissions, set goals for reduction and begin tracking the progress. We have been working closely with Broward County and other municipalities as we embark on this project. The group will produce information that can be used by all in the reporting process so that data collection is not duplicated. This cohesive approach ensures that efforts are minimized and that the county can more easily and accurately report on the state of greenhouse gas emissions.

The county and the participating municipalities are using a data collection and reporting tool from the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives, Local Governments for Sustainability, known as ICLEI. This organization is an international association of governments committed to sustainable development.

In the preparation of the baseline study for the community (which is the data upon which we will measure our future success), we will evaluate stationary energy, transportation, waste, industrial, agriculture, forestry and other land use. These criteria are the standard derived under the U.S. Community Protocol for Accounting and Reporting of Greenhouse Gas Emissions, which was developed by ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability USA. 

Initial baseline information should be available by the end of 2017 and will be available on the city’s Living Green web page (coconutcreek.net/sd/living_green). Additionally, the city will determine goals and actions to reduce community greenhouse gas emissions. Those items also will be placed on our website in 2018 for the community to follow.

If we all do even one thing, we can make a difference together in South Florida and the world. Have a happy, green new year.

Stay Green After the Holidays

Each year, Broward County Parks and Recreation Division recycles more than 5,000 trees in the annual Chip-a-Tree program. This free service encourages Broward County residents to remove all decorations from their Christmas trees (decorated trees won’t be accepted) then bring them to a participating park, where they are chipped and used for landscaping throughout the county park system.

There is a limit of two trees per vehicle. Artificial trees aren’t accepted, and commercial vehicles and garbage trucks are prohibited.

Two local parks participate: Fern Forest Nature Center (201 Lyons Road S., 954.357.5198) and Tradewinds Park (3600 W. Sample Road; 954.357.8870).