Vail hires enviro official |

Vail hires enviro official

Edward Stoner
Vail correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado

VAIL, Colo. ” The town of Vail has hired a new “environmental sustainability coordinator” to push recycling and conservation programs.

Kristen Gray will start her job Sept. 2.

“This is an effort of the community to reduce its carbon footprint and impact on the environment,” said George Ruther, community development director for the town of Vail, who hired Gray.

The town created the position after both residents and Town Council members said environmental stewardship should be a top goal for the town.

In a 2007 survey, 80 percent of residents identified “environmental resources” as an “extremely important” issue in the town. The environmental stewardship was also cited by residents at the “Vail 2020” community meetings.

“The community spoke loud and clear and said they want Vail to be a leader in environmental stewardship among resort communities,” said Councilman Mark Gordon. “Having this position filled will certainly allow us to better fulfill the wishes of citizens of Vail.”

The Town Council, in a January retreat, said the environment should be one of the top three issues for the council to tackle.

Gray, who could not be reached Friday, comes from the Denver area, where she has worked for the Institute for Environmental Solutions, a nonprofit that looks for solutions to environmental issues such as air and water quality and pollution.

The new environmental sustainability coordinator will work on creating recycling programs, making town buildings more energy efficient, and promoting educational programs in town, Ruther said. One of Gray’s first tasks will be putting together a recycling program for merchants in Vail Village, he added.

Bill Carlson, Vail’s environmental health officer, will continue to work on environmental initiatives as well, Ruther said.

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