Creating a Sustainable Chapter for City of Arlington’s New Library

Bibliophiles and bookworms will soon be able to browse and check out sustainable features and materials at the George W. Hawkes Downtown Library in Arlington, thanks to a partnership between the City and Green Mountain Energy Sun Club.

Due to open in June, the brand-new three-story facility will feature stacks of sustainably-minded projects funded by the Sun Club’s $400,000 donation, the organization’s 100th project and largest donation so far.

The catalog of sustainability features at the new library will include:

  • 65 kW rooftop photovoltaic solar array
  • The Sun Club Gardens featuring both a butterfly garden and a rooftop garden with two standalone dinner gardens
  • The Sun Club Sustainability Shop, offering green-minded books, refurbished electronics and used and reusable goods for purchase
  • Sustainability programming and materials
  • A Downtown Library bike share station
  • Recycling drop-off in the lobby for books and technology items
  • Vertical Urban Garden Boxes
  • A seed library for citizens to receive packets of seed from different types of plants, fruits, vegetables and flowers

“The Downtown Library will enrich the local community and help educate them on the benefits of adopting sustainable practices,” said Mark Parsons, president of Green Mountain Energy Sun Club. “We are proud to partner with the City of Arlington on our milestone 100th project. Giving our communities the tools and knowledge to think green is a great investment.”

“We are honored to partner with Green Mountain Energy Sun Club on their 100th Sustainability Grant,” said Yoko Matsumoto, Director of Libraries in Arlington. “We felt that is was important to not only strive for sustainability aspects to the new Downtown Library but to also to become an educational resource on a sustainable lifestyle to the citizens of Arlington.”

All project features are based on the Learn, Practice, Implement model, a three-pronged approach to sustainability that provides visitors with an opportunity to learn about the building’s sustainable features and sustainability in general, practice through programming, and implement these ideas in their own lives.

In addition to providing sustainability education value, the rooftop solar array is expected to provide the City with cost-savings of approximately $12,000.00 annually while preventing 7,556 pounds of carbon dioxide per year, or the equivalent of planting 580 trees.

The public is invited to attend Earth Day Arlington and celebrate the Sun Club’s 100th project at the George W. Hawkes Downtown Library April 16, 2018, from 10:00 – 11:30 a.m. The family-friendly event will include nature-themed crafts, activities and an educational screening of Disneynature’s Earth.

Since 2002, the Sun Club has been investing in nonprofit organizations to advance sustainability for people and for the planet. By donating more than $6.5 million in sustainability grants, the Sun Club has helped prevent more than 2.6 million pounds of CO2, which is like not driving 3.2 million miles.

To learn more about the Sun Club and how to nominate a worthy nonprofit for a sustainability grant, visit gmesunclub.org.