|A Green Map effort is currently
under way in Durango. By this fall, residents should have
access to a free guide to local, conservation-minded businesses
and organizations. Currently, such businesses and organizations
are being asked to apply for placement on the map./Photo
by Todd Newcomer.
The path to conservation may be getting easier to find in Durango.
A collaborative local effort is joining other communities in
the nation and world by developing a “Green Map”
of Durango. Map in hand, new and existing residents would have
an easier time of treading lightly in the Durango area.
Green Mapping was born in 1991 when a group known as Modern
World Design unveiled New York City’s Green Apple Map.
The map showed everything from conservation-minded businesses
and public transit to community parks and health food restaurants.
In 1995, Modern World Design built on the success of the Green
Apple Map and developed the Green Map System spreading the concept
to other communities. The stated intent of the system was to
strengthen community awareness of and connection to urban ecology
via the maps. Now, hundreds of cities throughout the world,
ranging from Boulder to Singapore, have green maps. Durango
should be one of the next urban areas to join this number.
Get on the map
Durango Green Map is currently looking for local businesses
with a focus on providing environmentally sustainable
services and resources
and/or utilizing environmentally responsible and healthy
If you would like your business to be considered for the
map, please e-mail Angie Beach at email@example.com
or give her a call at 247-3020. Applicants for map consideration
must contact the committee no later than Sept. 5. Eventually,
the Durango Green Map will be a user-friendly tool available
the public free of charge.
The idea for a local Green Map came when Angie Beach, marketing,
products and client relationship manager with First National
Bank of Durango, came across an article in Natural Home Magazine
earlier this year.
“I was in Seattle at my mother-in-law’s and I read
an article on the Green Map in New York,” Beach said.
“I thought this would be a perfect project for the bank.”
Beach noted that First National Bank of Durango is a community
bank that hosts the Durango Farmer’s Market in its parking
lot every Saturday.
“Because we are such an integral part of this community,
we thought it would be a natural outgrowth,” she said.
“We really want this community to thrive so we can thrive.”
Consequently, the bank decided to pick up the tab for the project
and Beach approached Michael Rendon at the Fort Lewis College
Environmental Center and Kent Ford of the Green Business Roundtable
to join in putting together and launching a Durango Green Map.
Rendon admitted that he was skeptical at first, saying, “At
first I thought it was Green Washing and wasn’t sure we
wanted to be part of it. But then I realized it’s a good
collaborative effort and will help encourage conservation and
green business in Durango.”
Rendon added that the map will help bring the last year of
work by the Green Business Roundtable, an effort to encourage
conservation direction within the local business community,
further into Durango’s mainstream.
“There are a lot of people that aren’t connected
to the business community and don’t know the Green Business
Roundtable effort is taking place,” he said. “This
should help raise awareness.”
Beach said that the new map will be designed to chart the sites
of environmental significance throughout Durango and work to
cultivate the interconnections between nature and culture. Inspired
by a desire to make Durango a healthier place, the free map
will show the businesses, recreational areas, nonprofits and
resources that are considered to be conservation oriented or
“We hope it will provide a valuable tool for incoming
and current residents to make responsible choices,” Beach
Currently, a three-person committee is giving consideration
to which businesses merit inclusion on the map. According to
Beach, a fairly strict set of criteria has been set, and businesses
and groups will be considered only if their focus is environmental
sustainability and at least 70 percent of their business or
activities is centered on that focus. When complete, the map
is expected to contain suppliers of local foods, sustainable
builders, recyclers, environmental education and advocacy groups,
public transportation and others.
If all goes as planned, this collaboration will pay off, and
local residents and visitors will have maps in hand by this
fall. “I never thought the environmental center would
be partnering with a bank, but it’s become a good relationship
and collaboration, and I think it’s going to be a great
resource for Durango,” Rendon concluded.