The Office of Sustainability Timeline

Leon County Sustainable Communities Summit: Exploring Our Backyard

Leon County The Summit featured a day of outdoor skills-building and learning about the importance of our local environment. The Summit promoted stewardship of the community's natural and economic resources, while highlighting the County's investments in parks, green spaces, and other outdoor amenities. Attendees experienced a free, guided outdoor adventure immediately following the Summit.

February 18, 2017

Leon County Sustainable Communities Summit: Hospitality Industry Workshop

Leon County The Hospitality Industry Workshop engaged local businesses and professionals on sustainable tourism. The workshop focused on the importance of Leon County's natural resources, building critical skills, and showcasing sustainable businesses and locations throughout our community.

February 8, 2017

Leon County Recycling video

Leon County Leon County's Office of Sustainability created a recycling video to show citizens how the decision you make at the bin has a bigger impact than you might think.

October 2016

Healthy Communities Festival

Leon CountyIn partnership with the City of Tallahassee, Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the Florida Department of Health in Leon County, the Office of Sustainability hosted the Healthy Communities Festival, a free, public event to celebrate Earth Day and promote that which makes a healthy community – including a healthy economy, environment and people. The educational event was held at Cascades Park and drew over 2,000 attendees.

April 23, 2016

Energy Savings Milestone Reached

Leon County saved over $6 million after major energy efficiency renovations were completed on some of the County's biggest building.

January 2016

Better Bag Challenge

Leon County To reduce the use of plastic bags and encourage discussion about waste reduction, the Better Bag Challenge asked citizens to bring a minimum of 5 plastic bags to any of 3 public locations in return for a free, Leon County cloth reusable bag. Staff was present to interact with citizens face-to-face and recycle all plastic bags collected from the event. After receiving positive feedback and citizen interest, another Better Bag Challenge was conducted at the Leon County Spring Home Expo in March 2016.

November 20, 2015

Growing Green Education

Leon County In an effort to make a broader and more lasting impact on sustainability education, the Office of Sustainability team worked with Leon County Schools to develop Growing Green Education, recycling and sustainability lesson plans for Leon County teachers in K-5 classrooms. The lesson plans are catered to Sunshine State standards and provide interactive activities to help students recycle better, conserve resources and think more critically about their waste. Office of Sustainability staff officially launched the lesson plans at a Leon County Teacher Training session in October 2015, and intends to conduct additional trainings and continue to develop this resource in the future.

October, 2015

Workplace Sustainability Initiatives

Leon CountyThe Office of Sustainability revitalized an initiative to educate Leon County employees on how to make small changes to benefit the environment, connect with the community, and strengthen the economy. This initiative is geared toward the workplace, but translates into daily life changes that can create a positive ripple effect in the community. The team hosts interactive workshops that encourage departments to take a more proactive approach to how they contribute to Leon County's culture of sustainability.


Seed Library Program Launched

Leon CountyAll seven Leon County library locations participate in the Seed Library Program, which gives citizens access to a variety of seeds that grow well in our climate. The selection of seeds offered each planting season is chosen by experts at the Leon County Cooperative Extension. Leon County Library patrons have the opportunity to "check out" up to three seed packets per month – but don't worry, the seeds don't have to be returned!

January 24, 2015

"Food for Us" Sustainable Communities Summit

Leon CountyThe Summit provided a forum for discussing how the community as a whole could assist in making our food system healthful, affordable, and locally-focused. Local experts gave community context, nationally acclaimed keynote speakers offered inspiration, and the attendees participated in multiple interactive activities. Following the event, Leon County hosted a post-summit round table meeting, during which goals and next steps were identified based on the discussion and community input at the Summit.

January 24, 2015

Sustainable Community Matters

Leon CountyLeon County hosted a series of events as part of its "Sustainable Community Matters" program. These interactive and informal programs offer citizens a chance to learn about topics relating to personal and household sustainability, such as gardening, energy saving at home, and connecting with nature.


"Let's Get Growing" Workshops

Leon CountyIn conjunction with the Community Garden Program, Leon County hosted seminars that informed citizens about the basics of starting community gardens.


Net-Zero Milestone Reached

Leon CountyNearly a year after the technology in the Sustainable Demonstration Center was installed, the data proved that Leon County's goals were accomplished – the facility generates as much power as it consumes in a year!

April 1, 2013

America Recycles Day

Leon CountyLeon County hosted a celebration at the Solid Waste Facility for America Recycles Day in 2012. The community was invited to take part in several activities, including the 5K Trash Dash, an open house at the Leon County Solid Waste Management Facility, compost bin/rain barrel sale, free paper shredding and recycling activities. There was also live music, tours and vendor displays.

November 10, 2012

Net-Zero Energy Showcase (Sustainable Demonstration Center grand opening)

Leon CountyLeon County's Cooperative Extension building was transformed into a state-of-the-art Sustainable Demonstration Center, featuring a net-zero facility, which will produce renewable energy at a rate equal to or greater than the building's total annual energy consumption. The facility features a large solar power array and geothermal air system along with a 40,000-gallon rainwater cistern.

September 14, 2012

Leon County Sustainable Communities Summit

Leon CountyLeon County hosted the Sustainable Communities Summit, which gathered 350 people for a high-energy day engaged in learning about sustainability resources, hearing from nationally recognized speakers, and connecting with one another. The theme of the summit was "Collaboration for a More Resilient Community" and the event encompassed 42 presenters in 16 panel sessions on topics that ranged from food entrepreneurship to ideas for a greener home.

October 31, 2012

Formed partnership with Sustainable Tallahassee to support the Community Carbon Fund

Leon CountyContributions to the Community Carbon Fund (CCF) are used for energy-saving retrofits to the facilities of local non-profit organizations that serve low-income, disadvantaged, or disenfranchised populations. These projects reduce utility costs for the non-profit organizations, allowing more of their budget to go to the services they provide, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions due to the increased efficiency of the retrofits. Learn more about the Community Carbon Fund.

September 2012

Green Fleet Policy Adopted

Leon CountyBy adopting this Policy, the Board of County Commissioners ensured a continued commitment to sustainability by creating criteria to maintain a fleet that is as fuel-efficient, cost effective, and environmentally friendly as possible.

April 24, 2012

Installed Rain Water Cistern at the Cooperative Extension Facility

Leon CountyThe Office of Sustainability coordinated the installation of a 40,000 gallon rain water cistern at the Leon County Cooperative Extension Facility. The cistern was designed internally utilizing two petroleum tanks that were repurposed to hold rain water captured from the roof of the Cooperative Extension building. This project reduces the facility's demand for potable water by 80%.


Leon County Sustainable Communities Summit

Leon CountyBuilding upon the 2008 Climate Action Summit, the 2010 Sustainable Communities Summit transitioned its scope and focused on local sustainable business and economy and sustainable food systems as two key aspects of a sustainable community. 380 people attended the event, which featured 30 breakout sessions and more than 40 speakers including nationally acclaimed authors.

May 6-7, 2010

Community Gardening Program Established

Leon CountyRecognizing that community gardens provide nutrition, physical education, community engagement, safety, and economic vitality for neighborhoods and their residents, Leon County created a program to support new and existing community gardens throughout the County.

April 13, 2010

Environmentally friendly motor oil used in County vehicles

Leon CountyAs of 2010, environmentally friendly motor oil is used in all applicable County vehicles. The synthetic blend is made by recycling used oil that is refined twice and has performance additives. The oil exceeds the toughest standards in North America for quality and is competitively priced.


Fuel Management System

Leon CountyIn partnership with the Fleet Management Division, a Fuel Management System was implemented. By installing monitoring devices on 220 vehicles, staff can monitor detailed fuel consumption data and target individual vehicles or drivers who are not operating to industry standards.


"Green Cleaning"

Leon CountyThe County implemented "green cleaning" in the Leon County Courthouse and Downtown Courthouse Annex. The "green" aspects of the service include the cleaning equipment, consumable supplies and cleaners. While reducing the environmental impact of custodial services for two of the largest County buildings, the County will save nearly $29,000 annually over the previous service contract.

June 22, 2010

Selected for $1.17 million Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG)

Leon CountyThrough a competitive grant award, the Office of Sustainability received $1.17 million for energy efficiency improvements to several County building. By installing more efficient lights, using occupancy sensors and controls, Leon County will save an estimated $170,000 on annual energy costs.

April 7, 2010

Launched the Neighborhood Energy Challenge in partnership with the Council of Neighborhood Associations

Leon County In partnership with the Council of Neighborhood Associations, Leon County launched the Neighborhood Energy Challenge, which received the Best Practices Award from Sustainable Florida. Over a six month period, neighborhoods competed to see who could reduce their energy consumption and greenhouse gas footprint the most. There were 53 participating communities and the winners were Lafayette Park, which won for overall kilowatt hours reduced, and Whitfield Plantation who won for largest percentage of energy reduced.


Office of Sustainability established

Leon CountyThe Leon County Board of County Commissioners established the Office of Sustainability and created a full-time Sustainability Coordinator position to fulfill Leon County's ongoing commitment to seek out and apply more sustainable practices in day-to-day County operations.

February 1, 2009

Climate Action Summit

Leon CountyThe Leon County Climate Action Summit brought together more than 400 people from all parts of the community – including residents, businesses, scientists, and engineers – to address energy consumption and economic and environmental challenges to our community. This Summit led to the formation of the Leon County Office of Sustainability.

March 28, 2008
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