Join Socket at this year's PARK(ing) Day! PARK(ing) Day is an internationally recognized event where parking spots in various cities and towns are transformed into pocket parks and parklets.
The mission of PARK(ing) Day is to call attention to the need for more urban open space, to generate critical debate around how public space is created and allocated, and to improve the quality of urban human habitat… at least until the meter runs out!
September 15, 9am - 4pm, downtown Nashville
Learn more about PARK(ing) Day on the Nashville Civic Design Center's website.
Run Socket, run! Watch our adorable Socket race his heart out against the other mascots, and get a bit of exercise yourself, in the Urban Runoff 5K!
Nashville’s Metro Water Services, the Tennessee Department of Environment & Conservation (TDEC), and the Tennessee Stormwater Association (TNSA) are teaming up together for the 5th Annual chip-timed 5k Urban Runoff run in Nashville. This year, the race moves to Shelby Bottoms Greenway and Nature Park to showcase a park setting and weaves its way past several cool and innovative green stormwater management practices. Register online today!
Date: August 26, 2017
Start Time: 5 km Run/Walk: 7:30 a.m.
Start & Finish Location: Shelby Park, on ball park entrance road, near the Dripping Bird Statue, 401 South 20th Street, Nashville, TN 37206
Learn more about the Urban Runoff 5K and register on TDEC's website.
As part of Team Green Adventures' "Engage Green" series, Socket presents “Walking Tour of Metro’s Center of Responsible Energy (CORE) & West Riverfront Park”. Join us for an insider tour of two of the city’s sustainability gems. Visit the Department of General Services’ energy control center, where the energy manager will explain the city’s automated systems to control HVAC, temperature, lighting, and water for nearly 100 city buildings. Then, after a short, 0.5 mile walk to West Riverfront Park, participants will be rewarded by a tour of the sustainability features of this iconic green space. From geothermal heating and cooling to more than a mile of trails to a tree tour with 36 species, learn how this park was built with sustainability in mind. A team member from site design firm Hawkins Partners will be leading the tour.
Wednesday, August 2nd, 6-7:15pm
Meet at Howard Office Building (700 2nd Ave. South 37210) at 6pm.
Learn more about this free event on Team Green's website.
Nothing empowers a team more than explaining the benefits of all their hard work. So when General Services Director Nancy Whittemore started implementing new procedures for the department – share mini-refrigerators, use the recycling bins, even eliminate unessential small appliances (e.g., coffee warmers) – she was sure to add the ever-necessary “Why?”
Part of the reason for the sustainability efforts within General Services came down from the city of Nashville.
“The [city] council passed legislation that all new buildings and rehabilitated buildings over $500,000 had to be LEED silver,” Whittemore explained.
Then, when General Services was challenged with the construction and design end of building operations, they were in the position to green the entire process.
This, plus the creation of the 2009 Green Ribbon Report at the time, made sustainability a driving force for the department. Soon after, General Services started using sustainable resources for its building construction. Bamboo, a renewable resource that regrows much faster than traditional hardwoods, was used for floors instead of tree-based wood. Recycled milk cartons were used for dividers in restrooms.
And many buildings had automatic light sensors installed so energy wouldn’t be used when no one was in the room. But when employees didn't understand why these new procedures would benefit them, Whittemore and her team had to come up with a plan.
And Socket was born.
"We believe if people understand what we’re trying to do then people will start doing the right thing," said Whittemore.
A source to disseminate the information behind these green decisions was essential. Whittemore met with Ameresco Inc., an independent provider of comprehensive energy efficiency and renewable energy solutions for facilities. Their meeting led to an “A-ha” moment, according to Whittemore. “We love trying to figure out how you strategize to get people to buy in,” she said.
Their previous efforts – email correspondence, an updated website – didn’t turn on the city’s employees. With the Socket program, employees can understand why it’s important General Services continues to do what it does in the name of sustainability. “We’ve gone from being like the facility police to engaging our community of customers,” said Whittemore.
Socket is the outreach program of General Services and is now housed within the new Sustainability Division. Socket provides a platform for the department to convey its sustainability message with the use of Socket the mascot, the website, blog, newsletter, digital kiosks and other hi-tech touches.
“If people don’t know, we can’t expect them to understand it,” said Whittemore.
Through the Socket program, employees and Nashville visitors alike can learn about the city’s LEED facilities and how to live and work in more sustainable ways.
“This is an opportunity for us to tell our story,” said Whittemore. “We can showcase not only what General Services is doing but the mayor as well. There is so much going on in this city.”
Several buildings under General Services’ charge also have electric car power stations and bike racks to promote cleaner transportation options.