Two join team of City of Harrisonburg staff leading Environmental Action Plan

HarrisonburgThe City of Harrisonburg is bolstering its efforts toward making sure The Friendly City stays environmentally friendly.

Keith Thomas and Kelly Adams of the Harrisonburg Department of Public Works have joined the effort of supporting the city’s Environmental Action Plan.

The plan, which was created with guidance of the Environmental Performance Standards Advisory Committee and adopted by Harrisonburg City Council in January, is focused on helping Harrisonburg achieve its goal of preserving and enhancing the city’s natural environment for future generations.

That will be accomplished through education and policies that encourage development that is compatible with nature and builds community resiliency and social responsibility within the community.

The EAP has three Guiding Goals and six Focus Areas, each with strategies to achieve the goal. The first Guiding Goal is aimed at continuing to advance sustainability initiatives in the community, with a strategy that calls for creating a sustainability coordinator position to coordinate and support the goals of the EAP.

“While discussing the creation of a sustainability coordinator position, staff saw two distinct needs – a technical and analytical need and a marketing and communications need,” Harrisonburg Department of Public Works Director Tom Hartman explained. “We felt that the best way to address these needs and the goals of the EAP and other sustainability initiatives was to create two different positions and we are proud to announce that Keith and Kelly have joined the team of City staff who are leading efforts to implement the plan.”

Thomas, who is the stormwater compliance specialist with Public Works, brings the technical expertise to lead the planning and coordination of the city’s sustainability initiatives and programs.

As the EAP moves into Phase II and Phase III, Thomas will coordinate the creation and measurement of baselines to set the starting point against which the city’s efforts will be measured.

Adams, Public Works outreach and communications specialist, brings years of experience with the city engaging the community and building involvement through communications, events and public relations.

Adams will be the voice promoting sustainability initiatives and communicating EAP goals and progress to the community.

Thomas and Adams are currently focused on Phase II of the EAP, development of baselines as the city works toward Phase III, establishing target goals for each baseline, and then measuring the city’s progress. They will also continue to assist with implementation of the EAP and measuring the city’s progress.

The complete EAP and additional information about the effort is available at the city’s website, at

More information also will be available at the Public Works social media page,


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