Green Roofs - Living Architecture Monitor - Summer 2012 - (Page 38)

GRHC PROGRAM UPDATES HALF A YEAR, FULL-FLEDgED gROwTH GREEN ROOf AMbASSADOR pROGRAM by: OSCAR wARMERDAM A t CitiesAlive in Philadelphia a group of Green Roof for Healthy Cities (GRHC) Corporate Members met to discuss the potential of a grassroots lobbying effort that the GRHC Policy Committee, led by Hamid Karimi and I, have been working on since 2010. Our goal was to have a formal committee prior to the next meeting in Chicago. Since then, with the help of Paul Erlichman, Membership Coordinator at GRHC, a formal GRHC Ambassador Program has been born. The Ambassador Program has the goal of promoting the industry and establishing supportive policies and programs. A small group of seven across a handful of North American cities have qualified and committed to be part of the Ambassador Program. Chicago, Toronto, Portland, Philadelphia, and Washington DC are just a few of the many examples of cities where a handful of local people have made it happen by relatively low-key but very effective lobbying work. As an industry, we need more of this activity. Ambassadors need to have extensive green roof experience, be a GRP, and choose a region to target their activities. As part of their obligations they will serve as an advocate for green roofs by presenting their benefits and exploring the various policy and program options available to support greater implementation, as developed specifically by GRHC. They will promote the organization and educate their contacts about green roofs, policy tools and communicate with legislators, policy makers, advocacy groups, and the like. Among our membership there are many already in the “trenches”. Between installing, selling etc. they are promoting green roofs by setting up meetings with key decision-makers throughout North America’s largest cities. It is now recognized that as an organization we need to share technical and government relations expertise. Hamid Karimi (in Washington) has pointed out to our membership where cities and municipalities across the USA can find existing federal or regional funds to help offset the expenses of the Environmental Protection Agencies (EPA) stormwater compliance. There are plenty of clever strategies like this in our arsenal. In return GRHC provides the Ambassador with tools, streamlined presentations, and high caliber support (lobbying training by Peter Lowitt, and/or policy implementation strategies by Hamid Karimi). GRHC will provide network connections that link expertise from one person to another, data support and case studies that might apply, photography and artwork needed for presentations, PowerPoints, and other necessary tools. GRHC will offer training to promote the development of the industry in their area and formally recognize the Ambassadors for their volunteer efforts. Further, Ambassadors will identify grants, appropriations, policy options and partnerships that can potentially expand opportunities for green roof construction in their designated region. They will work towards securing financial support and the participation of local and/or regional government in order to implement a Local Market Development Symposium, which will help to accelerate the growth of the market and should result in a Green Roof Market Development Plan. I’ve had the honor of being part of the jump start to this committee and introducing the program to our members. Initiatives like this do not come together unless we as an industry bundle our efforts in a unified fashion to spread the word that “Yes, green roofs are a stormwater solution tool” and “Yes this is why green roofs are a better alternative.” FinD OUT MOrE For more information on the Ambassadors Program, contact Paul Erlichman at or 416-971-4494 ex. 223 Oscar Warmerdam is Chair, Corporate Members Committee, President, Sempergreen

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Green Roofs - Living Architecture Monitor - Summer 2012

Green Roofs - Living Architecture Monitor - Summer 2012
Letter from the Chairman
From the Founder
New Standard on the Use of Lightweight Aggregate
Urban Agriculture Declaration Caps Amazing Summit Debut
Economics of Biophilic Design
Brad Rowe, David Spalding, Cornelia Oberlander, Paul Kephart
Green Roofing Industry Sees Triple Digit Growth
Green Roof Local Market Symposiums
Industry Professionals Weigh in on Growing Media Quality Control!
CitiesAlive in Chicago Oct 17th – 19th
Green Infrastructure Ontario Coalition Changes our Perspectives on Infrastructure
Improving Tax Abatement
10th Anniversary Commemorative Pull Out Section
Halifax Seaport Farmer’s Market
Leadership Knows No Bounds- Virginia Russell
Policy Profile- A Home for Biodiversity on Green Roofs
New Industry Products
Plant Profile: Chives Thrive on Green Roofs
Half a year, Full-Fledged Growth
In God We Trust – All Others Bring Data!
New Corporate Members
Professional Calendar
GRHC Buyers Guide
Green Supremacy by Zach Williams

Green Roofs - Living Architecture Monitor - Summer 2012