Fayetteville Mayor Speaks to Students About Sustainability

Mayor Lioneld Jordan speaks Nov. 6 to UA students about ongoing environmental initiatives and community involvement.

Mayor Lioneld Jordan spoke at the UofA on Nov. 6 to discuss ongoing environmental initiatives and community involvement.

“Our polystyrene ordinance was just passed last night, and we are looking at a plastic bag ordinance coming up in just the near future,” Jordan said. 

Fayetteville is set to meet a goal of clean energy by 2030 in city buildings, Jordan said. City officials have accomplished 72% of the target in the past two years.

Jordan also thinks the initiatives are good because green spaces help to protect the environment, he said.

“People forget that the urban forest cuts back on greenhouse gas emissions and produces oxygen, so the more trees we have, the better the environment,” Jordan said.

Net Impact Registered Student Organization president Patrick Dougherty, a junior, and other officers organized the event and got the mayor to speak as a way to facilitate campus discussion on the environment and learn what the government is doing in terms of climate initiatives, Dougherty said.

Dougherty was pleased with the turnout at the event, he said. There were 82 people who attended, while Net Impact members expected 35 attendees. 

Dougherty thought the mayor’s discussion on the future of development in Fayetteville was interesting, he said. 

“We all know that the area is growing very rapidly, and (Jordan) really talked about what the city is doing to try and accommodate that rapid growth,” Dougherty said.

Chris McNamara, the project manager for the City of Fayetteville’s Sustainability Department thinks the connection between the community and the government is what makes Fayetteville strong on environmental initiatives, he said.

“The reason we have been able to do so much in Fayetteville is because we have a mayor and a council who prioritize (the environment),” McNamara said. 

Carlos Mendez, a UA alumnus, thinks the discussion helped him to become more involved in the community, he said.

Mendez is currently involved with the Bike NWA nonprofit, and he thinks the event inspired him to become more involved with other nonprofit organizations that promote sustainability in the community, he said.

I really think that (the mayor) touched on a broad spectrum of issues people are facing in regard to the umbrella of sustainability,” Mendez said. “From food, to transportation, to even touching on worries and concerns of people with regards to affordable housing.”

Associated Student Government and Residents’ Interhall Congress also sponsored the event.

Zachery Sutherland is a staff reporter for the Arkansas Traveler, where he has been a staff reporter since February 2019.

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