Southeast Sustainability Directors Network

SSDN Gathers in Chattanooga - Be Part of the Crowd 

Chattanooga, TNHave you registered for the second annual gathering of the Southeast Sustainability Director’s Network? We are meeting this year in Chattanooga, TN. The gathering opens at 1 pm on Wednesday, June 5 and wraps up at noon on Friday, June 7.

Let us know that you plan to be there by completing the form at:

We have designed a dynamic agenda with field trips, interactive learning experiences, and plenty of time to get to know others in the network. Find out how others are advancing sustainability in their city and county. Discover ideas that you can take back home. Learn about new resources. Be inspired. Connect with colleagues from across the Southeast.

SSDN is offering this networking and learning opportunity to you at no cost. We have secured funding from national and Chattanooga-based foundations and can cover almost all of the costs - including your travel, lodging, and meals. To make up the gap between projected expenses and secured funds, we hope that some of you can cover your travel or lodging or pay a registration fee. You will be asked more about what costs you can cover when you register today.

We are planning field trips for the afternoon of Wednesday, June 5 (click here for more details). Let us know which one interests you in the registration survey.
  • Global Green Lighting
  • VW Plant
  • RockTenn Single Stream Recycle Plant
  • Green Infrastructure Projects
  • Bicycle Tour of Downtown Chattanooga and RiverWalk
  • Stand Up Paddle Boarding in the Chattanooga River

Interview with: Mary Pat Bauldaf

Mary Pat BauldafThis month, we interview Mary Pat Bauldaf, Sustainability Facilitator in Columbia, SC. 

What are you working on right now that you are most excited about?
The implementation of the Central Midlands Regional Sustainable Energy Plan.

I’m especially excited about the Sustainable Energy Plan because it is regional. The three governments have so much in common, yet sometimes boundaries and politics hinder collaborative efforts. While the plan allows us to maintain our own identities, it also identifies issues common to all of us and directs us to solve them together. Our residents cross lines daily to shop, work and play; it is only natural that we do the same to address sustainability issues.  

What do you want to know from others in SSDN? What provocative questions do you have for your colleagues around the Southeast?
How do you maintain your sanity and sense of humor sometimes? Answer here

I love best practices and case studies, but the connection with others who do what I do is more valuable than anything. There are only a handful of government sustainability coordinators in South Carolina, and we’re usually too busy to connect on a regular basis. When I talk with someone from SSDN, I am comforted to know that they experience some of the same issues as I do. By sharing our experiences, we all become more effective and efficient sustainability leaders.

What led you to this work?
After years of generally working separately on sustainability issues, the City of Columbia, Richland County and Lexington County formally came together to tackle sustainability issues that affect the region as a whole. Using EECBG funding from the two counties, the three governments created a partnership to create the Central Midlands Regional Sustainable Energy Plan, the first such plan in South Carolina. The task was arduous, and there were times we wondered if we would ever get to that final plan. Some two years after our first meeting, however, the plan has been approved; we are now starting to implement the program, a little bit at a time. We recently had our first meeting with building officials from each government, and the energy and interest was incredible. After so much time and work, it was very rewarding to be met with this response.


Useful Resources: Online Sustainability Dashboards

Many cities are sharing their sustainability progress with the public through online dashboards. A few that we like include:

Question of the Month

What would you like to see as part of the upcoming SSDN conference? Click here to visit USDN's website and share your thoughts


SSDN Annual Conference

About SSDN

SSDN is an unaffiliated peer to peer network that is inclusive of municipal professionals working in the field of sustainability, and effective at networking, best practice sharing, and eventually collaborating together on larger priorities for the region.

We seek to become a network whose priorities are set by network members for network members. The Southeast Network strives to effectively support one another to successfully capture funding opportunities, influence sustainable policies and programs at the local and state levels, and lead the advancement of national sustainability.

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