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Johnson County Government joins the 2020 LEED for Cities and Communities Grant Program

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), creators of the LEED green building rating system, announced this week that Johnson County Government is one of only 20 cities and counties in the country selected to participate in the 2020 LEED for Cities and Communities Grant Program. The program helps local governments that are committed to accelerating progress on climate change, resilience and social equity planning, to measure and track performance using USGBC guidelines.

Two classes of electric bikes now allowed on JCPRD trails

Woman on electric bike on a paved trail

Following a successful six-month pilot project, the use of two classifications of electric bicycles has been approved for use on all JCPRD paved trails, effective immediately.

During its Feb. 19 regular monthly meeting, the Johnson County Board of Park & Recreation Commissioners voted to approve a variance of JCPRD’s Code of Regulations relating to using a motorized conveyance on all JCPRD paved trails.

JoCo on the Go: Improving community health

Megan and Elizabeth during the podcast recording

JoCo on the Go podcast episode #28 includes details of the latest Community Health Assessment. Epidemiologist Elizabeth Holzschuh and Program Manager Megan Foreman, both with the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment, share a new way you can access health data about the county and your neighborhood. They discuss issues such as life expectancy, childcare costs and poverty.

Check out the Community Health Assessment.

Community Health Assessment shared with new campaign

people with health care worker

The Johnson County Department of Health and Environment has released the latest Community Health Assessment at HealthHappensHereJoCo.com. The site is really more of a story (with pictures) about how residents live, learn, work and play in Johnson County.

JoCo on the Go: Affording Johnson County Living

David Ward and Jesse during podcast recording

JoCo on the Go podcast episode #25 includes details of assistance services for Johnson County residents facing housing issues. David Ward and Jesse Mofle, with Johnson County’s Human Services department, walk listeners through programs to help with affording housing costs and making needed repairs so vulnerable residents can remain in their homes. 

BOCC approves dust control cost sharing program

An SUV driving on a gravel road with a trail of dust behind it

Johnson County still has about 135 miles of gravel roads. One of the issues that comes with living on a gravel road is dealing with the dust created by traffic. The dust gets in the air, on your vehicle, in your house, and it can be a nuisance. To help with this issue, the Board of County Commissioners approved a dust control cost sharing program for 2020. In the program, a product is sprayed onto the gravel road in front of your home to help reduce the dust. The road will still look like a gravel road, but the dust created by traffic is significantly reduced.

New tools to prevent food waste this holiday season


Getting ready for a big holiday gathering this week? Careful planning in advance can prevent lots of leftovers and unnecessary food waste after all your guests are gone.

Food waste takes a toll on our economy, our agricultural systems, and our environment. Estimates show that up to 40% of food produced in the United States is never eaten, and U.S. household food waste totals 76 billion pounds, or 238 pounds of food per person annually. This costs you $450 per person, or $1,800 per year for a household of four – all for food that goes straight from your fridge to the trash can.

JoCo on the Go: Reduce, reuse, recycle

Craig Wood and Theresa Freed recording podcast

During our 14th JoCo on the Go podcast episode, we’re talking about sustainability in Johnson County. Craig Wood, Department of Health and Environment solid waste management coordinator, and Renee Bryant, DHE Food Policy Council coordinator, provide information about how residents and businesses can minimize waste. They also provide details about upcoming efforts to educate the public about keeping food out of the landfills, through methods such as composting.   

Flood anniversary is a good time to think about stormwater management

stormwater survey map

Oct. 4, 1998, may be a date you remember. About five inches of rain fell when the Kansas City Chiefs were playing the Seattle Seahawks, causing flooding and delays in the stadium, and unfortunately, deadly results throughout the metro. More information on that flood event is available here.

Johnson County celebrates big energy wins on Energy Efficiency Day

Last week, the Board of County Commissioners joined city and county governments around the nation in declaring October 2 as Energy Efficiency Day. The goal of the annual awareness event is to promote the benefits of energy efficiency, from lower costs to healthier air.

Johnson County adds first all-electric vehicle to its fleet

Johnson County Government’s fleet has an exciting addition this month: the county’s first all-electric vehicle, a Nissan Leaf. The vehicle will be used primarily by the Department of Health and Environment’s air quality compliance specialist, Mike Boothe, and is the third generation of a series of cars that Boothe has used to start the conversation about how alternative energy sources can improve our air quality.

Board of County Commissioners approves Solid Waste Management Plan

Every five years, the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment partners with the Solid Waste Management Committee to complete a solid waste management plan (SWMP) as required by Kansas law. This plan allows for the long-term management of solid waste in Johnson County, and insures adequate and sustainable options for dealing with waste. County officials sought feedback from residents, businesses and industry professionals as they developed this year’s plan.  

Johnson County commits to renewable energy

wind farm

The Johnson County Board of County Commissioners joined a list of other public entities participating in the Kansas City Power and Light’s Renewables Direct program. The county will purchase power generated by renewable sources for most of its largest energy consuming departments, including wastewater, facilities, library and park and recreation.

Can I recycle this?

Open pizza box

It's super bowl weekend, which means lots of parties, pizza-ordering and yes . . . trash. It can be tricky to remember what can and can't go in your recycling bin. The Johnson County Department of Health and Environment has put together a handy list of the top 10 most confusing items. The list was published in the most recent issue of JoCo Magazine

Here are some tips that might come in handy this weekend: