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Silver Bay Eco Park receives global recognition

Ken Vogel

Lake County News-Chronicle

City administrator, Lana Fralich, shared some good news with the Silver Bay City Council at its meeting last Monday: Silver Bay Eco has been recognized as one of twelve cities from around the world that has achieved a self-sustaining method of food production and economic development.

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An article in “The Eco-Industrial Development and Industrial Symbiosis News from Around the World” referred to a story published in the Lake County News- Chronicle in October (“Victus Farm opens to the public”) as its inspiration to identify the Silver Bay Eco – Park as being on the cutting edge of the self-sustaining and eco-development initiatives of the future. The article identified the closed loop system of aquaponic farming for vegetables and fruits, combined with fish farming, as the only such facility currently in the United States.

“We are talking the same talk as other cities around the world that are being recognized for being on the forefront of creating self-sustaining eco-development business practices,” said Mayor Joanne Johnson.

In other news that evening, it was announced that the Healthy Foods, Healthy Living Institute had awarded the city a grant in the amount of $25,000 to enhance the greenhouse facility. According to Johnson the money will be used to create a vertical plant growing system to be used in conjunction with the current raft system.

Later, Clean Energy Resource Teams’ northeast coordinator, Bill Mittlefehldt, presented information on resolution 2014-7, pertaining to a program called “Greenstep City.” Mittlefehldt described the program as a proactive initiative to help cities achieve their sustainable and quality of life goals.

“This program offers 14 weeks of free support from a UMD intern to learn what has already been done in your city, and offer assistance to achieve future goals of self-sustainability and bio mimicry,” he said. “This program is designed to magnify public and private interests through a statewide website to attract the attention of investment opportunities by entrepreneurs and other entities”.

In a unanimous vote the council adopted resolution 2014-7.

“This reinforces that we are on the right track and heading in the right direction. I am very excited about this; it is a win / win situation,” said Johnson.