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Sustainability means balancing the needs of the economy, environment, and society. Together, we can create a vibrant economy, a healthy environment, and a livable society for all Douglas County residents – today and into the future.

As a County, we are striving for sustainability in our day-to-day operations, our facilities and buildings, the policies we implement, and the education we provide to our employees and citizens.

Currently, we're working to reduce the energy use in our buildings and utilize the free renewable power of the sun where it's appropriate. We have a robust recycling program in our County buildings and out in the community, innovative pilot programs to reduce fuel use in our fleet, and are working to purchase "green" products for office and cleaning supplies.  Our first LEED-certified building was built in 2015, and our Douglas County Food Policy Council continues to be recognized as a regional leader in developing policies and programs to support our local food economy.


A statement from Chair of the Douglas County Board of County Commissioners, Patrick Kelly:

Fifty years ago, millions of Americans took to the streets, college campuses, and hundreds of cities to demand basic protections to safeguard our planet for future generations and a healthier future for all of us. That first Earth Day, on April 22, 1970, and the landmark legislation that followed it, changed how we interact with and we view our impact on the natural world. Here in Douglas County, as we look ahead to Earth Day 2020, we call upon our organizations, businesses, and residents to build on the many years we have celebrated this call to action, and reaffirm our commitment to creating a healthy Earth, fighting climate change and protecting our precious lands, air, water, and wildlife for us, for our children, and for generations to come.

In this unprecedented time of uncertainty and sacrifice in our community, we pause to remember and appreciate the caring tradition and collective action of Earth Day. While we cannot gather together as we have traditionally celebrated, we can still commemorate the creativity, hope, and care of our community in protecting the one planet we have.

As such, Lawrence and Douglas County will be hosting a series of community-driven workshops, activities, and resources to lift our spirits, and celebrate our connection to the Earth and one another. Of course, all activities will practice appropriate social distancing, making great use of online tools and resources. Many of the topics will take into account current isolation and focus on opportunities to honor, protect, and enhance our natural resources from our own homes. We will also be highlighting the numerous ways that Earth Day is being observed across our community and how you can participate.

Earth Day offers our community an opportunity to make, renew, and celebrate commitments that will protect quality of life and the Earth for generations to come. We ask you to join us in honoring this intention during this very special Earth Day. As our community recovers from this global crisis, our care for each other must be matched by our care for our natural resources here at home and across the globe. Let us all accept our individual and united responsibilities to reverse climate change and care for the world we live in, ensuring clean air, fresh water, beautiful landscapes, and access to local food, especially in a time when food security and the food economy are at the forefront of our community challenges. Together we can work towards — and look forward to — a safer, more stable, and more sustainable world.

Community Earth Day events

Earth Day 50th Birthday Party – Wednesday, April 22, 10AM-4PM. Tune in to the Watkins Museum of History Facebook page for a series of videos from the Watkins and partners celebrating the history and meaning of Earth Day. New videos will go up every hour with activities and natural wonders for the whole family! Another great way to celebrate Earth Day past, present and future!

Divination, Poetry, and Interspecies Collaboration: Sustaining Practices In Times of Uncertainty and Change – Wednesday, April 22, noon. Join poet and professor of English Megan Kaminski in an introduction to eco-poetics, divination, and plant thinking. More info:

For a complete list of events, visit the City of Lawrence's Earth Day webpage.

Our Services

Energy Efficiency and Renewables

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy projects.

Local Food

Local food systems and programs in Douglas County.

Green Buildings

Green building options, including LEED.

Waste Reduction and Recycling

Information on Waste Reduction and Recycling options.

Community and Employee Programs

Community and Employee Programs, including Common Ground.

What You Can Do

What you can do to help create a more sustainable community.

Department Contacts

Name Job Title Phone Number Email Address
Jasmin Moore Sustainability Director 785-330-2873
Kim Criner Ritchie Sustainability & Food Systems Analyst 785-832-5157