DATE: March 4, 2014
MEDIA CONTACT: Carrie Kashar,
Broward County Natural Resources Planning and Management Division
BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. – Broward County is the first county government in the United States to achieve a four-star certification under the Sustainability Tools For Assessing & Rating (STAR) Communities, recognized for “national excellence” in community sustainability.
The County’s Natural Resources Planning and Management Division led the community-wide effort to collect and analyze data from more than 30 different County departments and community partners on more than 500 initiatives across seven categories: Built Environment; Climate and Energy; Economy and Jobs; Education, Arts and Community; Equality and Empowerement; Health and Safety; and Natural Systems.
“We are thrilled by the 4-STAR rating and the milestone we’ve achieved in our very first effort,” said Mayor Barbara Sharief. “The STAR Community Rating System has proven to be a valuable tool for the County and our community partners to assess the progress of our sustainability efforts.”
“In Broward, we are used to being a leader on environmental issues,” Mayor Sharief said. “STAR was a great way for us to broaden our horizons on what sustainability means. It’s not just the environmental issues typically associated with the term like climate, energy, water, and natural systems, but also education, equity, economic development, transportation, housing, public health, public safety, children and youth, and the arts. Our 4-STAR rating is a reflection of the strong, ongoing efforts of a diverse group of organizations in the public, private and nonprofit sectors to make Broward County a better place to live, work and play.”
Broward’s 4-STAR rating is the second-highest rating possible under STAR. Broward performed particularly well under climate and energy; education, arts and community; and natural systems. In other categories, including equity and empowerment and health and safety, Broward County achieved fewer points, but now has a framework to guide improvements and additional community action.
Released in 2012, the STAR Community Rating System is an active roadmap and measuring system for community sustainability and a goal setting initiative to continue to establish a reslient community. Local leaders use STAR to assess how sustainable they are, set targets for moving ahead and measure progress along the way. Five stars are the highest possible community rating.
Broward County was one of more than 30 cities and counties participating in a yearlong pilot program with STAR Communities. The pilots tested and evaluated the Rating System’s Technical Guide, Online Reporting Tool, and associated products and services designed to support communities on the path to certification.
"Throughout the yearlong pilot program, Broward County truly demonstrated national leadership and commitment to tracking economic, environmental and social progress,” noted Lacey Shaver, Outreach Program Coordinator for STAR Communities. “STAR Communities looks forward to celebrating Broward's success over the 3-year certification phase, as well as helping the county use the certification to identify new ways to improve quality of life for residents as they work toward becoming a 5-STAR Community."
Natural Resources Planning and Management Division
Broward County’s Natural Resources, Planning and Management Division protects, restores and enhances the quality, abundance and diversity of the County’s natural resources through coordinated management efforts in five areas: water resource policy and planning, urban and natural lands management, beach and marine resources, energy and sustainability, and environmental monitoring. For more information, call 954-519-1270, visit Broward.org/NaturalResources or follow on Twitter.com/BrowardResources.
STAR Communities helps cities and counties achieve meaningful sustainability through the first national certification program for local community efforts. Incorporated in Washington, DC, our mission is to advance a national framework for sustainable communities through the delivery of standards and tools built by and for local governments and the communities they serve. To learn more about the STAR Community Rating System, visit STARcommunities.org.