Summit begins town’s journey to plan for a 'greener’ Gilbert - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Local News

Summit begins town’s journey to plan for a 'greener’ Gilbert

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Posted: Saturday, December 1, 2007 4:38 am | Updated: 6:32 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

As the chairman of Gilbert’s new environmental task force, former Town Councilman Larry Morrison will have one year to help the town plan to be more “green.”

Morrison joined a packed audience Friday at the first Gilbert Leadership Environmental Summit, hosted by the Gilbert Leadership Centre. The session focused on how the town could become more environmentally friendly.

The meeting attracted a variety of town, business and education leaders who shared what is happening now and discussed what could be the future for Gilbert and the world as new technologies are researched and implemented. “Gilbert residents really do care about the environment,” Morrison said. “What can we do to make things better?”

It’s not a new task for Morrison, who in 1991 and 1992 as a then-new council member, brought recycling to Gilbert and advocated for its first bus route. Morrison retired from the Town Council in July to focus on his work and family, but said Gilbert could again be on to something that could help the environment.

Residents are expressing an interest in getting involved, though Morrison points out that in the fast-paced lives they live, easy ways to help save the Earth are the ones that will work.

“I don’t think it will be looked at as a hippy thing anymore,” said Gilbert resident and Gilbert Chamber of Commerce member Brian Ellery. “It’s a new world.”

And that was made clear as experts from around the community described current programs and research: High school and college students recycling and learning about the environment in their studies, and companies, including Arizona Public Service and Gilbert-based Diversified Energy, studying how algae can be grown to create a new affordable and environmentally friendly fuel.

Gilbert also has a variety of expanding environmental programs, including its recycling and a water recharge program that allows the town to only use recycled and safe but nondrinkable water for residential lakes.

The Gilbert Leadership Centre plans to host a second environmental summit on Feb. 8 .

Volunteers are still being sought, until Dec. 17, for a nine-member environmental task force.

For more information on joining the task force, call (480) 503-6871, or apply online at www.ci.gilbert.az.us/headlinenews/shownews.cfm?recordID=325.

For more information on the environmental summits, visit www.theleadershipcentre.org.

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