The City of Meadville has achieved Gold in the Sustainable Pennsylvania Community Certification, a program managed jointly by the Pennsylvania Municipal League and Sustainable Pittsburgh. Meadville’s sustainable policies and practices have advanced community engagement and comprehensive planning. They are actively implementing projects related to:
- improving stormwater infrastructure
- land reuse on the French Creek Corridor
- fostering a thriving green business district with dedicated entrepreneurs
- enhancing walkability
- reducing energy consumption through traffic signal conversion
Meadville is working to create impactful change with sustainable community development through My Meadville, an inclusive planning process that has enabled residents to tell their stories and be important actors in the community.
My Meadville is a story-gathering process designed to bring residents together to identify what matters most. The motto is, “Meadville Starts with Me!” My Meadville came about through a grant from the Pennsylvania Humanities Council (PHC), where Meadville became a pilot community in the Community Heart & Soul model, a process developed by the Orton Family Foundation. Through this model, members of the community have been actively interviewed to collect a series of data on community values. The project brings all principles of sustainability together and inclusively seeks out the voices of the community, creating a combined vision and plan for the City of Meadville. According to Andy Walker, City Manager, Meadville is well-positioned for their size to make impactful change through community engagement and sustainability.
Meadville’s commitment to sustainability initiatives goes back several years. As part of improving stormwater infrastructure, the City was an early adopter of a stormwater fee, dedicating revenue and resources to infrastructure mapping and stormwater Best Management Practices (BMPs). Starting over 15 years ago, Meadville was also a pioneer in energy efficiency, switching over to LED traffic signals, participating in energy audits, and actively implementing the resulting recommendations. While committed to improving the city’s environmental and social impact, Meadville has remained dedicated to maintaining and rejuvenating its material and historic assets.
The City’s Council and Redevelopment Authority have established redevelopment funds that provide assistance on the Park Avenue corridor for residential rehabilitation to strengthen the community’s core and its older homes. The Authority’s Entrepreneur Accelerator Grant Program is also investing in businesses, through numerous stages of progression, and improving key retail services and job creation in the City. Along the French Creek Corridor, Voodoo Brewery, a business involved with Sustainable Pittsburgh’s Sustainable Small Business program, is part of this invigorating economic development. As a complement, Meadville is working to maintain walkability through trail extensions, pedestrian access, and an interpretive center highlighting important community history. Proud of their French Creek heritage and biodiversity, Meadville continues their commitment and hard work to propel sustainability efforts.
Congratulations, Meadville, on your sustainability efforts!