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City of Fort Collins Achieves National STAR Rating

Released on Friday, April 11, 2014

The City of Fort Collins has received a 3-STAR Community Rating in the STAR Community Rating System – the only sustainability rating system that certifies sustainability data provided by cities and counties.

STAR Communities accepted about 30 communities into the year-long pilot program, which reviews community sustainability measures. Communities that have reached a 3 STAR rating are being recognized for sustainability leadership and for early adoption of the rating system. Fort Collins is one of only seven communities to receive certification thus far.

To see the full report, go to http://www.starcommunities.org/communities/20-fort-collins-colorado.

Bonnie Pierce, environmental data analyst with the City of Fort Collins led the data collection effort, which included data from the City of Fort Collins, Poudre Valley School District, Larimer County and the University of Colorado Health Care System.

“This STAR Community pilot project provides our community with a roadmap of local actions and best practices that will help us achieve sustainability over the long term,” said Bruce Hendee, Chief Sustainability Officer for the City of Fort Collins.

“We’ve already shown leadership in this area, but this is a next step to document our success and benchmark our performance with other communities.”

STAR Communities has seven goal areas with more than 40 objectives, each of which have multiple reporting requirements. One of the unique features about the program is that points are awarded not only for demonstrated community-level outcomes, but also for local action taken to achieve the outcomes.

In Fort Collins, city staff is evaluating ways to incorporate the more than 700 STAR Communities measures into improving programs and services.

“City staff is already using this data to evaluate best practices for programs,” Pierce said. “Our Green Built Environment team, for example, has attended webinars and is using data about compact and complete communities to help inform their teams’ work.”

Highlights of Fort Collins results: 

  • More than 50 codes and ordinances benchmarked as demonstrating sustainability leadership
  • Comprehensive and sustainable City planning in support of: compact, mixed-use development,
  • bicycle and pedestrian transportation options, greenhouse gas mitigation, clean and secure water supply, building energy efficiency, and natural resource protection
  • Leadership in establishing local historic districts with specific design standards
  • 88.1% of the population lives within ½ mile walk distance of green infrastructure
  • Leadership in protection of natural resources through land conservation and corridor connectivity
  • Excellent prevention and containment of invasive species in priority natural systems
  • Adoption of seven local practices to protect outdoor air quality and five to protect water in the natural environment
  • Violent crime rates much below selected thresholds

“The City of Fort Collins joined the STAR network as a Pilot Community in November 2012. As a Pilot, the community greatly helped to improve STAR through a year-long testing and evaluation period of the STAR Community Rating System and its associated tools and products,” according to a statement from STAR Communities. 

STAR Communities helps cities and counties achieve meaningful sustainability through the first national certification program for local community efforts.

Contact
  • Bonnie Pierce Environmental Data Analyst 970-416-2648 Website