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Millvale Ecodistrict Achieves Nationally Recognized EcoDistricts™ Certification, Second in the World

May 27, 2020

A catalyst for the region and a role model for the world

The Millvale Ecodistrict has been recognized with EcoDistricts Certification, joining the neighboring Etna EcoDistrict to become the second community in the world to attain this certification. To be eligible for EcoDistricts Certification, communities must fulfill the rigorous requirements outlined in the EcoDistricts Protocol, a framework to guide neighborhood development that prioritizes Climate Protection, Resilience, and Equity.

The Protocol and Certification are administered by a Portland, Oregon based nonprofit organization called EcoDistricts. Certified communities must commit to Equity, Resilience, and Climate Protection at the heart of every decision; form collaborative governance; create an implementation roadmap to guide projects and programs; and track and measure impact over time.

The Millvale Ecodistrict was established in 2012 to improve quality of life for residents while reducing the community’s environmental impact. Community leaders and multiple community based organizations came together to research and better understand how to create positive growth after decades of economic and environmental hardship. This led to the creation of the Millvale Ecodistrict Collaborative, consisting of the Borough of Millvale, the Millvale Community Development Corporation, the Millvale Community Library, and New Sun Rising. Together, these four organizations, alongside other local and regional partners work to implement the vision that was created through extensive community feedback.


Millvale was an early pioneer in the concept of ecodistricts with support from evolveEA. Since 2012, Millvale has been committed to triple bottom line development, prioritizing economy, environment and equity. This certification is an international level validation of what community leaders had already seen as Millvale’s opportunity to grow into the 21st Century and beyond.
— Zaheen Hussain, Millvale Sustainability Coordinator, New Sun Rising Director of Sustainability


Working with the Ecodistrict Collaborative over the past 8 years has been a fulfilling experience. The organized collaboration has been invaluable in advancing the Ecodistrict program throughout Millvale. Together we have created projects, acquired funding, and created excitement around community involvement. We look forward to eight more years of collaboration and community growth.
— Eddie Figas, Millvale Borough Manager

Millvale Ecodistrict photo by Alyse Horn-Pyatt
Leaders from the Triboro Ecodistrict lead a tour of Millvale for the EcoDistricts™ Summit. Photo by Alyse Horn-Pyatt, 2019.

Millvale has always been a resilient community, priding itself on partnerships within the Borough to meet its residents’ needs. Millvale’s EcoDistrict Declaration of Collaboration and Roadmap lay out a framework on continuing these efforts while equitably focusing on projects and programming related to Water, Food, Energy, Air Quality, and Mobility. These focus areas were identified not only by community leaders but also by the folks who live, work and play here, attesting to the fact that the Borough of Millvale is ready for the next level collaborations being a Certified EcoDistrict will bring.
— Melissa Mason, Millvale Community Library President


As an owner of a Funeral Home that is trying to raise awareness of Green Burial, I am delighted to be a part of a community of like minded individuals who are striving to leave the place we call home a little better than we found it. As President of the MCDC, we are proud to be a pillar organization, along with the Borough, New Sun Rising, and the Millvale Library. It is proof that when we work together for the greater good everyone benefits from it.
— Jaime Hahn, Millvale Community Development Corporation President


evolveEA has enjoyed being a partner of the Millvale Ecodistrict from the beginning, including creating the Millvale Pivot 1.0 Ecodistrict Plan, Millvale Pivot 2.0 Ecodistrict Plan, and Breathe Easy plans, as well as being involved in the design and implementation of many projects.

The EcoDistricts Certification effort was led by Millvale Sustainability Coordinator Zaheen Hussain and was supported by evolveEA. The nationally acclaimed Millvale Pivot 2.0 Ecodistrict Plan laid the foundation for the Ecodistrict Roadmap, and was updated to include specific 2030 indicators in 20 priority areas, a baseline energy performance assessment, and the carbon impact of various strategies proposed in the Millvale Pivot 2.0 Ecodistrict Plan, which outlines a path to carbon neutrality by the year 2050.


Millvale leaders have created a stronger and more resilient community through ecodistrict planning and many people have contributed to this well-deserved recognition. We’ve enjoyed working with the Millvale team, advancing their community vision and ecodistrict practices across the country.
— Christine Mondor, evolveEA Principal


The Millvale Ecodistrict focuses their planning and strategic action on six quality of life issue areas, a regional ecodistricts approach that was co-created with evolveEA. This approach has now been adopted by their partners in the Triboro Ecodistrict, an initiative that was established in 2016 to share knowledge and resources, and scale up their impact. With Etna and Millvale becoming the first two certified EcoDistricts in the world, Sharpsburg is now working to become the third.


I admire the Millvale Ecodistrict for establishing ambitious environmental goals while always striving to become a more equitable community. From planning, to project implementation, to certification, it has been a pleasure to join them for the journey to make their ambitions a reality.
— Anna Rosenblum, evolveEA Associate


The Millvale Ecodistrict Collaborative consists of four founding members: the Borough of Millvale, Millvale Community Development Corporation, Millvale Community Library, and New Sun Rising. The partners have committed to meet regularly, coordinate activities, and share resources to achieve the goals set forth in the Millvale Pivot 2.0 Ecodistrict Plan.

Funding for the Millvale Ecodistrict is provided through the Triboro Ecodistrict grant by the Henry L. Hillman Foundation.

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