GreenTown Comes to Michiana

Author: Rachel Novick


On October 10th and 11th, downtown South Bend’s DoubleTree Hotel will host GreenTown Michiana, a community-wide conference focused on enhancing sustainability throughout the region. Notre Dame has worked together with Indiana University South Bend’s Center for a Sustainable Future, 1st Source Bank, Inovateus Solar, the Cities of South Bend and Mishawaka, and many other partners to bring this landmark conference to our area.

“GreenTown Michiana is an exciting and unique opportunity for the community to come together to inspire greater sustainability by sharing collective knowledge and experiences,” said Linda Kurtos, Director of Sustainability at Notre Dame and a member of the GreenTown steering committee. “With five subject tracks and a variety of interesting speakers, the conference promises to provide fascinating discussions on a wide array of topics.”

The keynote speakers for the conference are Mark Fenton, host of “America’s Walking” on PBS and an advocate for creating walkable communities, and Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell, whose city is recognized as one of America’s greenest.

On the evening of Oct. 10 Fenton will lead a walk around downtown South Bend, exploring issues related to urban design and how South Bend can take advantage of its green assets. The walk will leave from the DoubleTree Hotel at 5 p.m. and is free of charge.

Concurrent presentation sessions will be held throughout the day on Friday on a number of topics including health and wellness; energy and the built environment; sustainable business; transportation; food and waste; and water.

Two members of the Notre Dame community will be presenting during these sessions. Mike Daly, Senior Director of Project Management in the Office of the University Architect will be presenting on green building, using Stinson-Remick Hall of Engineering as a case study. Donald Miller, Executive Chef of Notre Dame Food Services, will be discussing strategies for procuring local, sustainable food for large institutions.

GreenTown conferences have been held since 2007 in communities throughout Indiana, Illinois and Ohio. GreenTown is a zero-waste event, carbon neutral event.

For more information about GreenTown, visit Members of the Notre Dame community can register at a group rate by emailing