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City of Alexandria, VA City of Alexandria, VA
Eco-City Alexandria
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Page updated Apr 7, 2015 2:29 PM

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City Participates in National Sustainable Design Expo April 11-12 at Oronoco Bay Park

The City’s Department of Transportation & Environmental Services will participate in the 11th Annual U.S. EPA P3 Competition & National Sustainable Design Expo sponsored by the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency on April 11-12 at Oronoco Bay Park (100 Madison Street).  Several thousand people are expected to attend this annual environmental event, where students compete for the EPA’s P3 Award and exhibitors showcase ideas for achieving environmental sustainability.  City staff will exhibit the City’s ongoing Eco-City initiative and implementation of the Environmental Action Plan 2030, including green infrastructure for stormwater and sewer management.  For more information about the event visit:

ACTion Alexandria Presents the Green Ideas Challenge 2015

What are your ideas for making Alexandria a greener and more sustainable community?

Submit your idea on ACTion, and you could win up to $2,000 to put your idea into reality!


Alexandria Environmental Policy Commission and Alexandria Renew Enterprises Seek Nominees for 2015 7th Annual Ellen Pickering Environmental Excellence Award

Award Honors Legacy of Distinguished Alexandria Environmental Steward

The Alexandria Environmental Policy Commission and Alexandria Renew Enterprises are seeking nominees for the 2015 7thAnnual Ellen Pickering Environmental Excellence Award to honor and recognize those who demonstrate a commitment to protecting the natural environment and keeping the City green.

The award will be presented on Alexandria Earth Day, to be celebrated at Ben Brenman Park, from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 25, 2015. A tree will also be planted in the honor of the recipient of the 2015 Ellen Pickering Environmental Excellence Award. The event will include various educational exhibits, demonstrations, hands-on activities for children, and more, that will emphasize this year’s theme: It’s Your Turn To Lead!

The Ellen Pickering Environmental Excellence Award is named in honor of Ellen Pickering, a former Board member of the Alexandria Sanitation Authority, who was dedicated to preservation and conservation in the City throughout her life. She helped create the Mount Vernon Trail between Alexandria and Washington. Mrs. Pickering was committed to preserving and enhancing the City’s waterfront and urged the adoption of the City’s Open Space Plan and lobbying to preserve Founder’s Park. She also implemented the planting of 1,000 citizen-donated cherry trees during her tenure as Chair of the Alexandria Beautification Commission.

Mrs. Pickering served on a number of City boards and commissions, and was elected to City Council as an independent for one term between 1976 and 1979.

Qualifications: To qualify for the award, nominees – who can be citizens, groups, clubs, organizations or corporations – must be residents of the City of Alexandria. Groups, clubs, organizations, and corporations must operate within the City of Alexandria. The actions of the nominees must have a direct impact on protecting the natural environment and natural resources within the City of Alexandria.

Selection: Selection will be made by a special committee of Alexandria Renew Enterprises, the Environmental Policy Commission, and members of Mrs. Pickering’s family.

Applicable Topics: Subject matter applicable to the award criteria include natural resource preservation, energy conservation, education outreach regarding environmental sustainability, water preservation, water conservation, waste reduction and/or materials reuse/recycling, and promotion of clean air.

Additionally, the City of Alexandria Adopted the Eco-City Charter in 2008 and Phase I of the Environmental Action Plan in 2009. Both documents define the guiding principles of environmental sustainability. See

Submissions must include:

•         The nominee’s name, address, and telephone number, or the key individual to contact if a nominee is not an individual.

•         The name, address, and telephone number of the person nominating the candidate must be included.

•         A brief description (not to exceed one page) of the nominee’s accomplishments and qualifications for the Ellen Pickering Environmental Excellence Award.

•         Nominations should be emailed to, or addressed and mailed or delivered to the Alexandria Environmental Policy Commission at Alexandria City Hall, Office of Environmental Quality, 301 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314.

•         Nominations must be received by Friday, March 27, 2015.

City's Top Ten Environmental Achievements for 2014

Every year, the City publishes the top ten environmental highlights that were submitted by City Departments and City-based organizations. The Department of Transportation and Environmental Services, Infrastructure& Environmental Division compiles this list which includes initiatives on transportation, solid waste, stormwater and wastewater management, City parkland and natural areas, green building and energy conservation. to view the full list, please visit the following:

What is Eco-City Alexandria?

Early in 2007, under the Mayor and City Council's direction, the City of Alexandria partnered with Virginia Tech's Department of Urban Affairs and Planning located in Alexandria to develop a new and holistic strategic environmental planning process called Eco-City Alexandria. The ultimate goal was to create an Eco-City Charter and Environmental Action Plan to guide Alexandria toward environmental sustainability. The Alexandria Environmental Policy Commission, a Council-appointed volunteering group of 13 citizens with expertise and interest in the environmental field, is the project's principal advisor along with representatives from Alexandria City Council and City Staff. The Director of the City's Office of Environmental Quality serves as the City's project manager.

In 2007, the Eco-City Alexandria team conducted an inventory of existing City programs to create "Eco-City Alexandria: A Green-Ventory of City Environmental Policies, Plans and Programs". In addition, Virginia Tech examined best practices from across the country and abroad to create a Compendium of Model Programs and Practices.

In 2008, the project team focused on the development of an Eco-City Charter. An extensive public outreach campaign was devised to ensure that the Charter reflects the wishes and priorities of the citizens. A successful Eco-City Café was held to obtain public inputs required for the development of a draft Charter. This draft Charter was then released for public comment at the following annual Alexandria Earth Day. A very successful Eco-City Summit was then held to get additional public feedback on the draft Charter. The keynote speaker for this summit was Mayor Bob Harvey of the City of Waitakere, New Zealand, a pioneer of Eco-City and sustainability. The Eco-City Charter, one of the first of its kind in the country, was unanimously adopted by City Council in June 2008. This Charter encompasses the core values and ten guiding principles which is the basis for the Environmental Action Plan.

The Environmental Action Plan 2030 (EAP 2030) was adopted by City Council in June 2009 and follows the guiding principles outlined in the Eco-City Charter. It serves as a road map for City leaders and residents to implement the Eco-City Charter. The EAP 2030 outlines 48 goals, 50 targets and 353 actions for the next 20 years to lead the City towards environmental sustainability.

What is Sustainability?

Sustainability is progress that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. The central goal of sustainability is to provide the best outcomes for the human and natural worlds.

A sustainable community is an environmentally, economically, and socially healthy place where people can live, work and play for decades to come:

  • Ecological sustainability ensures that all parts of the natural and built environments work together as a single ecological system.
  • Economic sustainability ensures a healthy economy that supports and sustains people and the environment in which they live over the long-term.
  • Social sustainability ensures that a community meets residents' basic health and social needs and has the resiliency to prevent and/or address problems in the future.

Additional Information 

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301 King Street, Room 3000
Alexandria, VA 22314
FAX: 703.519.5941

Office Hours:
8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.