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Aurora's Green Revolution

Aurora Public Library, CO

Innovation Summary

On Arbor Day, April 20, 2013, the City of Aurora is kicking off a yearlong, citywide event, featuring the “Green Revolution,” an eco-friendly, minimal cabon footprint exhibit created by the Museum of Science in Industry in Chicago and distributed by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES). The “Green Revolution” is a fully digital exhibition that gives the city the power to build and control our own “eco-zibit.” The goal of Aurora’s “Green Revolution” project is to engage children and their families by addressing critical issues concerning the future health of the planet, and raise awareness of Aurora’s efforts to make our community more sustainable.

Problem Statement

Aurora's Green Revolution will be a novel opportunity for ALL of Aurora's City Departments to come together and not only education Aurora's citizens about all of the wonderful, innovative projects that are being taken city-wide to conserve resources, reduce waste, and reduce our carbon footprint; but it will also provide Aurora residents the chance to learn more about Aurora's resources and wildlife, and discover ways they can make a difference through changes in their daily lifestyle.


- The creation of a Green Revolution Field Guide that details monthly classes, events, and other activities for families to attend, including recycling dates, Aurora History Museum Exhibits, Xeriscape Classes, and many other City-sponsored programs. In addition, this field guide contains activities and coloring pages for children, Green Tips and Facts for teens and Adults, a Green Pledge, and the opportunity to win a prize if the owner of the field guide attends at least one event or program each month. -The development of a special exhibit at the Aurora History Museum, collaboratively created by all city departments detailing the ways in which the city implements Green Practices - An Art Walk featuring the work of artists who specialize in reclaimed and upcycled materials - Two Arbor Day Festivals, in 2013 and 2014, to kick off, and wrap up our year of Green Revolution.


The “Green Revolution” staff development team includes the Aurora Public Library (the initiating and coordinating entity), the Aurora History Musuem, Aurora Water, Aurora Art in Public Places, Aurora Forestry/Trees, Planning & Development Services, and Parks, Recreation and Open Space. The team has incorporated the “Green Revolution” exhibits on “Carbon Footprint” and “Energy” with materials and tools used right here in Aurora, Colorado to conserve valuable resources. The City of Aurora staff has been planning, designing, and collecting used materials to repurpose into creative and educational displays throughout the city that they hope will inspire people of every age to be a part of the “Green Revolution” in a meaningful way. This hands-on community project builds awareness of the fragile earth, and also demonstrates solutions Aurora uses to more effectively protect precious resources, such as water, soil, and wildlife. Programs throughout 2013 and into 2014 will include renewable energy, water usage, food choices, and reducing waste. Aurora Forestry/Trees will be providing “Free Loader Days” where front loaders will load up residents’ trucks with mulch to help conserve water for trees and plants throughout the summer. A family art walk is planned in September where residents can learn more about art made from up-cycled materials, geocaching, and spend the day enjoying the sun with family and friends. Classes and lectures are scheduled throughout the year to demonstrate practical tips on how to “Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle.” The Aurora Public Libraries will also weave the “Green Revolution” theme into the Summer Reading Program by providing crafts and programs that focus on recycled and earth friendly activities. In addition, staff has created a demonstration container garden at the Aurora Central Library which focuses on using reclaimed materials for a household vegetable garden.