Noelle E. C. Evans / WXXI News

Flowers are in bloom in what used to be a vacant lot on Joseph Avenue in Rochester. Those working in the hot sun and soil this summer have been uncovering aspects of Rochester’s opioid epidemic.

Eric Pough works as a landscaper in the Community Bloom garden. Almost 21 years old, Pough spends the days planting, weeding, and mowing the grass.

"I’m glad to be doing something for the community, everything’s going well," Pough says.

This hour, we get an update on the EcoDistrict -- Greentopia's green vision for High Falls and the surrounding area. We discuss a series of new projects designed to increase biodiversity and walkability in the area, as well as the impact environmental education can have in urban design.

Our guests:

  • Lisa Baron, board chair for Greentopia
  • Pamela Reed Sanchez, president and CEO of the Seneca Park Zoo Society
  • Rachel Walsh, EcoDistrict program director at Greentopia

Randy Gorbman / WXXI News

The organization Greentopia says it will be launching its effort to create an EcoDistrict in Rochester this weekend, as part of the city’s River Romance activities.

That annual event runs Friday through Sunday and it involves tours, kayaking, river cruises and other activities to promote the use of the Genesee River.

An EcoDistrict would be an area of the city that will help promote sustainability.

Rachel Walsh is eco-district coordinator for the non-profit group.

Journalist James Fallows recently toured America in a single-engine plane. One of the results of the trip is a list titled, "11 Signs a City Will Succeed." The article is sparking conversation about whether Rochester fits the definition of a city that will succeed.

So, what are the criteria? The list includes, "You can pick out who makes the town go," "They have a downtown," "People know the civic story," and "They have craft breweries." Yes, that last one is serious.

Our panel debates how Rochester fares, based on the criteria. Our guests:

Greentopia is gearing up to unveil its first project: the FlourGarden at Brown's Race. The nearly $1 million linear garden is part of the first phase of the GardenAerial capital project, which is expected to revitalize the Genesee River Gorge and the High Falls area.

Since founding Greentopia in 2011, Lewis Stess and Michael Philipson have become involved in number of sustainability and community development projects. Critics say their enthusiasm for generating new ideas keeps them from implementing original initiatives, but as Stess and Philipson recently told the Democrat and Chronicle, they see it as a desire to succeed.

We spend the hour learning about how Greentopia's projects will benefit the community, what's next for the organization, and how Greentopia's priorities have evolved over the past four years. Our guests:

First hour: The year in money

Second hour: What's new and what's next for Greentopia?

Connections: Rochester's "Greener" Future

Oct 23, 2015

How can Rochester work its way toward a “greener” future? The Greentopia Futures Summit held on Wednesday welcomed thought leaders from around the world who shared their stories of building sustainable communities. Our panelists discuss highlights from the Summit and share their visions of a more resilient future for the Rochester area. Our guests:

Greentopia Artist Preaches Re-Creation

Jul 13, 2012

Reduce, reuse, recycle and recreate: one local artist’s plan to teach Rochesterians about the importance of being eco-friendly.

"This is the piece of steel that I salvaged from midtown mall it's about a 5 foot tall piece," says Scott Grove.

Grove is a local artist and author has been creating works of art using recycled materials since he was 16 years old.