October 2015 News

October 25-31, 2015 – National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week

October 28, 2015 – Resilient Holland seeks input for city master plan with event on November 5  Share your voice (Comparte tu Voz).

October 20, 2015 – Holland energy use down, not enough, officials say

October 16, 2015 – The Gentile Interdisciplinary Lecture series in the natural and applied sciences at Hope College will feature presentations by two speakers on Thursday and Friday, Oct. 22 and 23.

October 14, 2015 – The community-wide Big Read Holland Area program coordinated through Hope College and focusing on the book “The Things They Carried” during November will include a lecture providing history and perspective, a free film showing, a musical performance, events honoring veterans and multiple opportunities to join small-group discussions of the well-known novel.

October 6, 2015 – Herman Miller, JCI named as worldwide sustainability leaders

October 2, 2015 – Retrofit Report: Workplaces benefit employees and community with home energy assessments

October 1, 2015 – October is Children’s Health Month.  Find out what you can do to ensure children breathe clean air, drink safe water, and live in healthy communities.

October 1, 2015 – Community Event to Focus on Tips for Improving Home Energy Efficiency 

September 2015 News

September 30, 2015 – Nominations for the LocalMotion Awards are now open! – Submit by November 13, 2015.

September 29, 2015 – New Report Shows Domestic Offshore Wind Industry Potential, 21 Projects Planned in U.S. Waters

September 24, 2015 – The Pope’s Visit – Renewing the Call to Act on Climate

September 23, 2015 – World-class North American Wildlife Exhibit Opens in the new Visitor Center

September 21, 2015 – What’s an ounce of prevention worth?

September 17, 2015 – Retrofit Report: Students: Make videos, win prizes

September 15-October 15, 2015 – Hispanic Heritage Month

September 12 – Holland In Bloom YouTube Video Debuts!

September 10 – Tulipanes – Latino Art & Film Festival

September 8, 2015 – Two Professors Named National Academies Education Fellows

August 2015 News

August 31, 2015 – The Retrofit Report-Numbers to Know: Home Retrofit pilot shows energy savings

August 22, 2015 – Outdoor Discovery Center adds visitor center

August 19, 2015 – Michigan ‘Energy Park’ allows for growth of rare city snowmelt system (Midwest Energy News)

August 7, 2015 – Chemist Jeff Johnson Receives Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award

August 6, 2015 – Retrofit Report: Holland contests spread prizes and bright ideas about saving energy

August 1, 2015 – The American Lung Association’s “2015 State of the Air” Report and their Community Report Card Tool.

July 2015 News

July 30, 2015 – The Best and Brightest Sustainable Companies™ is searching for Michigan organizations that exhibit leadership and innovation in their green and sustainability approach. Nomination deadline is September 11.  Award ceremony is November 19.

July 28, 2015 – America in Bloom 2015: Holland competes among best of the best

July 27, 2015 – New Holland, Eighth Day Farm team up for local hops

July 24, 2015 – Mayors endorse UN sustainability goals at Vatican

July 16, 2015 – Miranda’s Park Party

July 3, 2015 – $12M project to clear up ‘Lake Macatawa’

July, 2015 – City of Holland and Good Samaritan Ministries Landlord Energy Efficiency Upgrade Program

June 2015 News

June, 2015 – Huntington Bank Summer Concert Series at Kollen Park

June 30, 2015 – Holland Civic Center $11 Million Redevelopment Announced

June 19, 2015 – Want to volunteer for the Macatawa Water Festival?  Go to http://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0c4cadaa2ca3f49-water to sign up.

June 18, 2015 – Michigan Saves recently published two reports about clean energy in Michigan.  One of the reports profiles seven communities, one of which is Holland.  The communities were evaluated on:  Energy Efficiency, Distributed Renewables,  Mircogrid/smart grid, and electric vehicles.  1 Michigan Clean Energy Report – Statewide Profile of Energy Use and Deployment of Four Clean Energy Technologies 2 Michigan Clean Energy Report – A Profile of Clean Energy Efforts in Seven Michigan Communities

June 16, 2015 – Retrofit Report: Holland energy efficiency efforts on target with summit ideals

June 6, 2015 – Creative Dining Services expands Grow Sustainability Program to include animal welfare policies   For information: creativedining.com

May 2015 News

May 28, 2015 – Retrofit Report: Top 10 reasons to join Holland’s Energy Blitz

May 20, 2015 – Holland, Michigan has been named by Livability as one of the 10 best cities for families. Beautiful sandy beaches, a low cost of living and great schools were among the many attributes that landed Holland on this list.

May 18, 2015 – Retrofit Report: Student scientists take it personally

May 14, 2015 – The EPA recently launched a website for local officials and community members seeking to address today’s complex environmental issues at the local level.

May 14, 2015 – ‘Energy Blitz’ coming to Holland neighborhoods, volunteers sought

May 12, 2015 – DOE Grant Continues Development of Isotope Retrieval System (Dr. Graham Peaslee of the Hope College chemistry faculty has received a second major grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to create a system for doing some recycling at the atomic level.)

May 10, 2015 – Retrofit Report: ‘It’s so much warmer,’ couple says after energy fixes

April 2015 News

April 28, 2015 – 10 Things to know about renewable energy

April 22, 2015 – NSF Grant Supports Exploring Commercial Use of Test for PFCs

April 22, 2015 – Holland-Hope Sustainability Institute Launches Website

April 20, 2015 – “Right thing to do” drives home energy project

April 13, 2015 – Green the New Orange on Hope Campus

April 2, 2015 – Hope Athletics To Accept Shoe Donations For Soles4Souls

April 7, 2015 – Seven Students and Recent Graduates Receive NSF Program Recognition

April 5, 2015 – Retrofit Report: Good energy savings among pilot project lessons learned

April 2, 2015 – Hope Chemistry Students Win National Award for Research Presentation

April 1, 2015 – David Van Wylen Named Dean for the Natural and Applied Sciences

March 2015 News

March 29, 2015 – Retrofit Report: Other teams taking the floor in Energy Prize competition

March 26, 2015 – Senators Stabenow, Peters Applaud Great Lakes Investment in West Michigan  EPA Awards $250,000 to Outdoor Discovery Center Macatawa Greenway for Project Clarity Effort!

March 22, 2015 – Retrofit Report: Put eyes on the energy prizes at city website

March 16, 2015 – Address to Focus on “Energy in the Age of Sustainability”

March 15, 2015 – Retrofit Report: First pilot project home energy upgrades begin

March 8, 2015 – Retrofit Report: Five things to know about sustainable eating

February 2015 News

Februray 25, 2015 – Retrofit Report: City likes early energy retrofit findings, moves to next step

February 24, 2015 – Harvard Scientist Cherry Murray to Discuss “The Electricity Grid”

February 11, 2015 – GLCA Grant Partners Five Campuses in Using Environmental Dashboard

February 9, 2015 – Event for Girls in Grades Six to Eight Will Emphasize Engineering Careers

February 4, 2015 – New Director for the Holland-Hope College Sustainability Institute

December 2, 2014 – Dow Foundation Gift Establishes Residential STEM Program on Watershed

Michelle Gibbs Named Director of Sustainability Institute

Michelle Gibbs Named Director of Sustainability Institute

February 4, 2015 — by Public Affairs and Marketing


Michelle Gibbs has been named director of the new Holland-Hope College Sustainability Institute.

A partnership between the City of Holland, Hope College and the Holland Board of Public Works, the institute supports outreach, education and practices geared toward creating a more sustainable community.  Gibbs brings to the position extensive professional and volunteer experience in sustainability partnerships, conservation and education, including in West Michigan, where in December she was honored as the 2014 Volunteer of the Year for the Macatawa Area Coordinating Council’s Watershed Project.

“We think the community will find in their contact with Michelle a very knowledgeable resource who can provide creative and flexible professional advice on a host of environmental education and outreach matters,” said Ryan Cotton, city manager with the City of Holland.

Gibbs and the program are based at Hope, located in the college’s A. Paul Schaap Science Center.  She started work in November.

“Hope College and the City of Holland are exceptionally fortunate to have Michelle Gibbs in the leadership role for the new Sustainability Institute,” said Dr. James Gentile, who is dean for the natural and applied sciences and professor of biology at Hope.  “Along with her winning personality, her work as an educator at Holland Christian and her experience at Lakeshore Technical College as energy coordinator combine to provide her with the expertise to create a culture of sustainability for the Hope academic community, for the wider Holland community and, importantly, inclusive of local businesses.”

Gibbs, in turn, noted that she is excited about working with the people and organizations of the Holland area, which she said has already established a solid foundation on which the community can build in working for sustainability.

“It’s a dream come true,” she said.  “There are many exciting things already going on in the community.  The Sustainability Institute will be a go-to resource for people hoping to become involved, a place where those with ideas and new programs can share them, and a resource to help everyone—individuals, groups, businesses—interested in learning more.

As one example of the latter, a program coming in the near future is “Eating Sustainably along the Lakeshore,” scheduled for Monday, Feb. 23, at 7 p.m. at the Haworth Inn and Conference Center on the Hope campus.  The free event will feature perspectives from local growers, experts and activists about eating locally and its impact on sustainability, as well as tips on ways to make sustainable food choices.  In addition to the City of Holland and Hope, community partners in the event include Grand Valley State University, Herrick District Library and the League of Women Voters.

Gibbs has been in West Michigan since 2013, and prior to joining the Sustainability Institute volunteered and worked with the Grand Rapids-based West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum.  In addition to her additional volunteer activities in the Holland area, she has also been teaching science courses part-time in the Homeschool Connection Program through the Holland Christian Schools, which she is continuing as she leads the institute.

She was the energy coordinator at Lakeshore Technical College in Cleveland, Wisconsin, from 2010 to 2013, with responsibilities including community outreach, developing and implementing programs, and teaching a sustainability course.  From 2007 until 2010, she was an environmental scientist with Hydro-Logic Associates Inc. (HLA) in Brighton.

Gibbs is a graduate of Michigan State University, where she majored in zoology with a specialization in environmental sciences, and is pursing a Master of Science degree in sustainable management at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.  While an undergraduate, she held an internship in environmental education and served as a student assistant in the Land and Water Management Division with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.

The city and college announced the Holland-Hope College Sustainability Institute in May, along with a $65,000 grant in support of the project through a national initiative:  the Local Sustainability Matching Fund, a project of the Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities, in partnership with the Urban Sustainability Directors Network. The Fund is supported with leadership grants from Bloomberg Philanthropies, JPB Foundation, Kendeda Fund, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, New York Community Trust, Summit Foundation, and Surdna Foundation. The Fund is designed to catalyze partnerships between local governments and local, place-based foundations and to advance community-based sustainability initiative.

The Holland-Hope College Sustainability Institute has also received a three-year grant of $25,000 each year ($75,000 over three years) from the Community Foundation of Holland/Zeeland, in addition to receiving support from the city, Holland Board of Public Works and Hope.