South Bend, Mishawaka working toward a sustainable future

The cities of South Bend and Mishawaka joined forces Friday to find ways to reduce their carbon footprint. It was all part of GreenTown Michiana. Seven Generations Ahead, a non-profit dedicated to creating sustainability, put on the conference.

On a beautiful Friday afternoon, the riverwalk is one of the most popular places in Mishawaka.

"We're trying to promote safe communities first and foremost, but healthy lifestyles and active lifestyles," Mayor Dave Wood said.

Mayor Wood is doing that by taking part in GreenTown Michiana in South Bend, a conference that brings local municipalities and businesses together to improve quality of life within the community. That could be anything from building new walkways to reducing water usage to promoting local produce.

"We've seen transformation all over the Midwest and around the country when people come together and rally around common goals, start planning and then doing that great change can take place," said John Harris, one of the event coordinators.

Mark Walker with Kuert Concrete in South Bend want to be part of that change. Kuert Concrete offers a green-friendly paver, made out of stone, that can be used for sidewalks, driveways and parking lots among other things.

"Xeripave is designed as a pervious paver to allow storm water to infiltrate back into the aquifer back into groundwater source," Walker said.

It's just one of many ways to create a more sustainable future.

Friday was the last day for the conference. Event coordinators hope city leaders will take a serious look at the plan that came out of the conference and put it into action.

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