George Heartwell to speak on the Paris Climate Accord March 14
Former Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell will speak at the next meeting of the Citizens Environmental Watch and Action Coalition on Thursday, March 14, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. It will be held at Brooks Township Hall, 490 Quarterline Street in Newaygo. The meeting is open to the public and the presentation is free.
“The Paris Accord: Looking Back, Running Ahead” will review the global climate change agreement. Even though President Trump has initiated the process to withdraw the US from the Paris Climate Agreement, Heartwell states he will share the basis for his optimism that its goals can still be achieved in this country.
“It was the birth of grandchildren - and the recognition that they will live with this degraded environment long after I’m gone - that serves as a motivation for me to do what I can to improve our world for their benefit,” stated Heartwell. “As Mayor I focused on making Grand Rapids environmentally sustainable. This meant making our City completely independent of fossil fuels by 2025; cleaning our Grand River water; reducing water consumption; and conserving electricity in City operations.”
During his 12-year tenure as Grand Rapids Mayor, the city was recognized by the United Nations as the country’s first Regional Center for Expertise in Education for Sustainable Development, and by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce as the nation’s most sustainable mid-sized city. In addition, Mr. Heartwell was recognized by the U.S. Conference of Mayors with its Climate Protection Award, and was credentialed by the United Nations to represent U.S. Mayors at the United Nations Framework Conference on Climate Change in Warsaw in 2013 and in Paris in 2015.
Now a Newaygo County resident, George Heartwell is passionate about protecting the environment through policy and legislation, as well as by daily actions and commitments by community citizens. “Living on the magnificent Muskegon River provides a constant reminder of the importance -and the fragility - of these waters,” adds Heartwell. He is also “proud to serve on the Muskegon River Watershed Assembly Board.”
“We are very fortunate here in Newaygo County to have the expertise and passion of Mr. Heartwell, “states Sally Wagoner, CEWAC Coordinator. “As a member of CEWAC, he is eager to share his knowledge with our community members. I know there are hundreds of youth and adults in Newaygo County who love our natural places, but don’t know what to do to make sure they are protected for future generations. Coming to this meeting and hearing what Mr. Heartwell has done can give hope and a roadmap for what we can do in Newaygo County. “
CEWAC is a program of 3R Education which brings citizens of Newaygo County together at monthly meetings and presentations to learn about local environmental concerns, organizations and activities. CEWAC also seeks to engage youth and all community members to “get outside”, to volunteer for one of our many county conservation organizations, and to know how our legislators are voting to protect our environment. 3R Education is a 501c3 non-profit organization whose mission is to enhance the environmental health and beauty of Newaygo County by educating residents about the 3Rs of environmental sustainability: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.
For more information about CEWAC, email: NewaygoClimateMarch@gmail.com.