As the city of Greenville’s new sustainability coordinator, Michael Frixen is tasked with making Greenville more environmentally friendly while improving the quality of life for the city’s residents. Here are his thoughts about his job, which he juggles in addition to serving as assistant to the city manager.
What does your job as sustainability coordinator entail?
My primary responsibility is to assist departments in implementing sustainability projects in the city’s annual work plan. Current projects include items pertaining to clean energy, tree preservation and stormwater management. In addition, I have the pleasure of serving as staff liaison to the Green Ribbon Advisory Committee (GRAC), which advises City Council on sustainability and environmental issues.
What’s the best part of your job? What’s the hardest?
My favorite part is working with citizens and advocacy groups that are passionate about the environment — everything from solar energy and land conservation to saving bees. We also get a lot of interest from new residents who have moved to Greenville and are looking for ways to become engaged. People look to Greenville to be a leader on sustainability issues in our region.
The hardest part is that sustainability is a broad category that includes many complex concepts. A new initiative or proposal often requires learning about the technology, science, regulatory challenges or other aspects of a particular topic. I like to get into the weeds and learn as much as I can about a new issue, but my other day-to-day responsibilities don’t always allow time for that.
Why do you do what you do?
I fell in love with the outdoors through Boy Scouts and take every opportunity I can to maintain that connection to nature. We can enjoy these experiences and settings thanks to the efforts of conservationists and activists who came before us. New challenges like climate change, ocean pollution and biodiversity loss will require us to work together as a global community. If there are ways to support these efforts and do our part here in Greenville, South Carolina, we should. I know I am one of many in our community who are motivated to pursue environmental action and pay it forward for future generations.
A Day in the Life is an occasional series profiling the people in our community doing the ordinary – and extraordinary – jobs that need doing.
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The post Day in the life: Sustainability Coordinator Michael Frixen appeared first on GREENVILLE JOURNAL.
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