The following article is re-posted from exploreSEIowa.com.
On Monday, August 6th, 2012 U.S. Senator Tom Harkin visited Fairfield for an Ed Malloy led tour which would take the Senator as well as several other people to different destinations throughout the city.
Harkin described why he was visiting Fairfield, “I had seen Ed (Malloy) in Washington a couple months ago and he was telling me what Fairfield was doing to create a green, sustainable community and I said, “I have to get here and take a look at it.”
The first stop of the tour was the Sondheim Center inside of the Fairfield Arts & Convention Center. Harkin noted that he was very impressed that a community of only 9,500 or so had facilities as nice as the Sondheim Center, and the Arts & Convention Center itself.
After visiting the Sondheim Center, it was time for a lunch of pizza, subs and salad while enjoying a Powerpoint presentation about Fairfield’s Go-Green project. A second presentation took place on the subject of the ASBC and ISBA, two organizations; one national and one state-wide aimed at organizing small businesses and their owners around sustainability.
The next stop on the list was Sky Factory. First to look at their massive 3,500 sq ft. photovaltic solar panel array, which made news earlier this summer by making Sky Factory the first completely solar powered business in Iowa. Harkin noted that he was impressed by the large displays. Inside of Sky Factory, the Senator was blown away by their Skyceiling and Virtual Window product lines, stating that Sky Factory was “a hidden gem, right here in Iowa”.
The MUM Sustainable Living Center was the final stop on the tour, where several alternative energy methods used in the building were explained to the Senator, who seemed impressed by each of them.
When asked what he learned about Fairfield during the tour, Senator Harkin responded that, “Fairfield is on course, this is a community-wide effort to move in a sustainable direction. You have a wonderful group of people that can add expertise in helping the community to redesign itself in making your buildings more efficient.”
Finally, Senator Harkin was asked what ideas from Fairfield he could share with other Iowa communities, to which he simply replied, “I’ll tell them to come here and take a look at it” adding later that “I will, I’ll tell them to come down here and see Ed Malloy if you really want to save money and build a community for the future.”
Photo credits in order: Amy Greenfield, Werner Elmker, ExploreSEIowa.com
|Anna Bruen is a MUM alumna who graduated with a degree in Sustainable Living. Anna is the resident blogger here at MUM. To learn more about Anna take a look at her introduction post.|