Oldsmar offers new programs and initiatives aimed at promoting sustainability

The City of Oldsmar has a long history of promoting and supporting sustainability, including being the first community in the bay area to implement single-stream recycling and the first to install electric charging stations.

Today, under the direction of new sustainability coordinator Trista Brophy, the city is adding new programs and initiatives designed to expand their sustainability efforts through community engagement.

“The City of Oldsmar has a strong history of innovation and commitment to sustainability,” Brophy told Oldsmar Connect via email, noting the above mentioned innovations as well as the city’s Reverse Osmosis Water Treatment Plant, which was the first of its kind in the state, and second in the country, to be LEED certified.

The new Oldsmar Council Chamber building is LEED certified.

“Now, the City is trying to expand their sustainability efforts by increasing stakeholder and community engagement.”

Brophy said in addition to the annual Drive Electric event on Saturday, March 31, the city will host movies, classes and an art challenge, dedicated to the promoting the cause.

Also, a Tampa Bay Estuary grant will fund the installation this spring of an educational rain garden that will help redirect runoff at Mobbly Bayou Preserve, and the city even set up a Facebook page dedicated to promoting its new sustainability efforts.

“As Florida increasingly faces more sea level rise and extreme weather events related to climate change, resiliency planning is paramount,” Brophy explained.

“Overcoming the challenges that lie ahead in truly being a sustainable city, economically, socially, and environmentally, will require collective action from all stakeholders.”

Oldsmar was the first municipality in the Tampa Bay area to install electric charging stations, according to officials.

Brophy said that in order to “help our citizens understand the fundamental concepts, latest information, and build the necessary skills to proactively address impacts for our coastal community, the City is offering many opportunities in the coming months.”

A glance at the list provided reveals those opportunities should be fun as well as beneficial to the community:

  • Tuesday, Feb. 20 – Introduction to Florida-Friendly Landscaping Class 7:00-8:00 p.m., Oldsmar Fire Rescue
  • Wednesday, Mar. 28 —Dirt! The Movie, free film screening 6:00-8:00 p.m., Rawk Star Café
  • Saturday, Mar. 31 — Sustain the Bay Drive Electric event, 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m., City Hall (We are looking for Electric Vehicle owners to showcase their cars, as well as volunteers, and of course, lots of attendees!)
  • Water Conservation Art Challenge — Call to artists underway now

According to Brophy, the art challenge “will empower a diverse group of community members to become water ambassadors by creating artwork that fosters long-term natural resource conservation efforts.”

The guidelines for the art challenge are as follows:

  • Mixed media types are accepted.
  • Art should highlight drinking water conservation themes or issues.
  • Art must be original, less than 50 pounds, with max dimensions of 4ft high, 4ft long, and 2 ft width/depth.
  • Contact sdemmi@myoldsmar.com to submit artwork.

Brophy said the artwork will be displayed in the City Hall lobby and hallways from May 1st—June 22nd , and an opening reception will be held on Tuesday, May 1st from 5pm—7pm.

The winners will be recognized at the City Council meeting on Tuesday, May 1st at 7:00 p.m.

“The art exhibit will allow all members of the community to study, explore, and gain a comprehensive understanding of water management, climate, and the importance of sustaining our water resources through in our everyday lives,” she said.

For more information on the City of Oldsmar’s sustainability programs and efforts, visit myoldsmar.com or Facebook.com/SustainableOldsmar.

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