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Press Release   |   Oct 25, 2018
MORPC Announces 2018 Regional Sustainability Awards

2018 Summit on Sustainability Highlights Efforts Throughout the Region

    October 26, 2018

    People and organizations from across Central Ohio came together for the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission’s 2018 Summit on Sustainability. With the theme of “Planning for an Equitable Region,” the summit featured a variety of educational sessions  on topics including public policy, energy, environment, sustainability and air quality.

    The morning keynote speaker was Majora Carter. She is a leading voice on utilizing environmental sustainability as the vision for city planning and revitalizing healthier neighborhoods by increasing open spaces, walkability and mixed-use development.

    Attendees of the afternoon plenary session heard from MORPC Executive Director William Murdock about sustainability efforts taking place at MORPC and in communities throughout the region. It included the launch of MORPC’s Regional Sustainability Agenda Report Card — a way to track how well the region is meeting its targets for the year 2020 as laid out in MORPC’s Sustainability Agenda. The report card can be found at

    Other afternoon speakers — who each presented in the Pecha Kucha-style format — included Ohio EPA Director Craig Butler, EmpowerBus’s Aslyne Rodriguez, the Columbus Zoo & Aquarium’s Barb Revard, and the Atlantic Council’s Joe Bryan.

    The following individuals and groups received a Regional Sustainability Award at the summit:

    Letty Schamp, Hilliard’s Engineer and Assistant Public Service Director, is the recipient of the William A. Lewis, Jr. Leadership in Mobility Award.

    The William A. Lewis, Jr. Leadership in Mobility Award recognizes an individual exemplifying outstanding work towards creating a world-class multi-modal transportation system for Central Ohio. Schamp is not only the city engineer for a great suburb, but also is a tireless advocate for pedestrian, bike, and roadway safety. She was one of the first engineers to install bike lanes along our roadways after seeing the impact of good bike facilities during an FHWA-sponsored trip to Chicago. Schamp championed Hilliard’s local Complete Streets ordinance, has been actively involved in roundabout safety education, safe routes to school projects and improvements to pedestrian and bicycle laws. An active member of the Central Ohio Greenways board, she also serves on COTA’s Board of Trustees.  In 2016, Business First featured Schamp in “People to Know” where she shared her passion for providing more mobility options, while maintaining existing roads, bridges, and trails.


    The Honorable Mayor Ben Kessler, City of Bexley is the recipient of the Leadership in Sustainability Award.

    The Leadership in Sustainability Award recognizes an individual or entity exemplifying outstanding leadership and innovation in seeking comprehensive sustainability solutions to address key challenges facing the region. Mayor Kessler, an outstanding leader in numerous green initiatives, led Bexley in installing solar panels on City buildings and in fields to supply renewable power to the City. He initiated the modification of building code ordinances to allow residents to place panels in front and/or back of roofs to maximize solar energy. To divert food from the landfill, Kessler launched a pilot food waste collection program. Through his leadership, Bexley is preparing to launch the first residential PACE program in the State of Ohio. In addition, Bexley installed electric vehicle stations in the City Hall parking lot and erected many green energy and building innovations through its renovation. Bexley utilized brownfield clean-up dollars to remediate a former gas station for new commercial use; added lights and paths to make the community more walkable and to improve safety; and activated their riverfront through offering kayaking and canoeing.


    Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks, Wagenbrenner Development, City of Columbus, City of Hilliard, and City of Upper Arlington – The Quarry Project were presented the Collaborative Achievement in Sustainability Award.

    The Collaborative Achievement in Sustainability Award recognizes a group of entities or individuals who have shown effectiveness in producing environmental accomplishments through a collaborative effort. Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks is partnering with Wagenbrenner

    Development, the City of Columbus, the City of Upper Arlington, and the City of Hilliard to create the 20th

    metro park only 5 miles outside downtown Columbus, making it one of only 2 urban metro parks. The sprawling limestone quarry in west Columbus will be turned into a scenic parkland surrounded by mixed-use development. In Project QT, as it’s being called, a portion of the 607-acre quarry along the Scioto River will be turned into a regional destination for outdoor enthusiasts.

    The first phase of public parkland will encompass 62 acres of unused quarry northeast of Trabue and Dublin roads, west of the City of Upper Arlington. An additional 79 acres fronting the Scioto River and Trabue Road, wrapping the park’s east and south sides, will be developed by Wagenbrenner Development for mixed-use. A second phase will create 138 acres of additional parkland to the north. Additional phases are expected to incorporate private mixed-use development spanning two miles along the riverfront.

    The adventure park will preserve and restore over 60 acres of open space, offering a place of respite, typical outdoor recreation amenities, and adventure challenge elements to meet the diverse needs of the region’s expanding population. The park will offer hiking, biking, picnicking, fishing, and other traditional activities associated with the park system along with more adventurous challenges, such as rock climbing and paddle boarding. The park also helps to fill a critical link in the Central Ohio Greenways network along the Scioto River to connect Downtown Columbus to Hilliard and on to Plain City.

    These organizations are leaders in the region and excel at partnership work.

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