As the Deseret News reported today, the LDS Church has received recognition for the City Creek Center in the first national report by the Sierra Club on communities of faith entitled “Faith in Action: Communities of Faith Bring Hope for the Planet.”
“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) is helping revitalize downtown Salt Lake City, and it’s doing so in a green manner. City Creek Reserve, Inc. (CCRI), a real estate development arm of the church, is directing the construction of a transit-oriented, 20-acre mixed use project which will include residential, retail and office space. The results from this smart growth strategy will greatly reduce Salt Lake City's dependence on the automobile.”
Apparently more than half of the demolition debris is being recycled and only native plant species will be used for landscaping. But here is the money quote that has given me a huge permagrin today:
“The decision to pursue LEED certification was a natural outflow of the values of the LDS faith. CCRI Director of Architecture and Engineering Bill Williams says long term sustainability is central to the project. ‘As you look at the tenets of our religion, there is a notion that we must be good stewards in all that we do,’ explains Williams. ‘It is our hope that this project will be prosperous, while standing true to our values of wise stewardship and giving back to the community.’ Williams and the CCRI designers hope this project will be a catalyst for further neighborhood redevelopment, noting that it allows residents and visitors to celebrate the unique natural beauty and rich history of Salt Lake City.”
It is enormously refreshing to hear the director of the Church Architecture and Engineering department speak in terms of stewardship, values, community, and sustainability. This is a great day for Mormon environmentalists everywhere.
Every state is represented, so check out the full report and see what religious groups in your state are doing to help protect and preserve the environment.