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Goleta Recognized for Leadership in Sustainability

Goleta has been awarded a 3-STAR Community Rating for national leadership in sustainability, STAR Communities has announced.

Goleta is the 65th city in the nation to receive recognition from STAR Communities for its participation in the STAR Community Rating System (STAR), which evaluates the livability and sustainability of U.S. communities.

“The city of Goleta is very pleased to receive this 3-STAR Community Rating. We’re proud of the sustainability efforts to date and look forward to doing even more in the coming years,“ said Mayor Paula Perotte.

STAR is the nation’s leading framework and certification program for evaluating local sustainability, encompassing social, economic and environmental performance measures, the organization said.

STAR helps communities evaluate their strengths and weaknesses across seven areas: the built environment; climate and energy; economy and jobs; education, arts and community; health and safety; and natural systems.

Goleta received a score of 279.6, which qualifies them as a 3-STAR Community, recognized for sustainability leadership. Several efforts stood out among Goleta’s sustainability initiatives:

» Built environment: Goleta’s robust park system was a key component to a strong score in this goal area. The park system provides 17.7 acres per 1,000 residents, well above the 13.5-acre STAR threshold.

In addition, 97 percent of households are within a half-mile walk to a public park.

» Economy and jobs: In recent years, the economy of Goleta has experienced growth.

More than 200 new businesses were established from 2013-15, unemployment has dropped and employment has increased above the national average and across most racial and ethnic groups.

» Health and safety: Goleta’s residents lead an active lifestyle — in a survey, 86 percent of residents reported taking part in physical activity in the past month, above the 80 percent STAR threshold.

Communities pursuing STAR certification accumulate points for their achievements across the seven goal areas, which are used to determine their rating.

There are three certification levels: 3-STAR Community (250-449 points); 4-STAR Community (450-649 points); or 5-STAR (650-plus points).

STAR Communities said it provides support as localities benchmark progress and a third-party verification process ensures accountability.

“The STAR rating process gives cities a roadmap for how they can refine and improve their operations to drive continuous improvement,” said Hilari Varnadore, executive director of STAR Communities.

“Goleta should be applauded for its commitment to sustainability, and for the clarity and transparency provided while achieving its goals,” she said.

Goleta is one of more than 70 local governments that have participated in the yearlong STAR leadership program. Other STAR-certified communities in the region include Riverside; El Cerrito; Henderson, Nev.; and Las, Vegas.

To view Goleta’s full report, visit http://www.starcommunities.org/certification/certified-star-communities/goleta-ca/.
For the full list of communities involved, go to http://www.STARcommunities.org/communities.

— Valerie Kushnerov for city of Goleta.

 

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