The Denver Green Roof Initiative is a grassroots campaign attempting to lower Denver’s climate and environmental impact. Within the U.S., Denver currently ranks as eighth highest in ozone and/or particle pollution, third highest in Urban Heat Islands, and has multiple polluted rivers containing unsafe levels of Arsenic, E. Coli, and Selenium. Green roofs would provide a viable solution to these problems that we face.
Four years ago Denver Mayor Hancock signed an executive order creating the Denver Office of Sustainability. Together, they set forth aggressive goals to combat climate change and to provide sustainable solutions for our ever-growing city. However, not one step has been taken towards meeting those goals and no one has been given the authority to enforce them. This was exposed from the Denver Auditors Office.
Denver is growing fast and it is important to mitigate our footprint while we grow. The problems that we have as a city are not being addressed by our elected officials. I personally met with City Planning and Development and it became very clear, very quickly that they did not want to incentivize green roofs or implement stronger stormwater management. Currently, stormwater management is not required for buildings under an acre. It is time to make a stand and show the city that we care about the effect our city has on climate. We must make aggressive change now. There is no planet b.
The Denver Green Roof Initiative, if passed, will create a new building ordinance requiring all new buildings, building additions, and all roof replacements for buildings over 25,000 sqft to dedicate a portion of their roof to green space or a combination of green roof and solar. This ordinance will affect over 3,000 buildings throughout Denver County and any new construction after January 1, 2018. In order to assure that vegetation will survive this climate, technical standards are included in this ordinance in great detail. These technical standards require thorough planning, installation requirements and maintenance plans. A green roof technical advisory board will also be established to ensure the long term success of this initiative.
We at the Denver Green Roof Initiative are a small group with big ambitions. Close to 10,000 signatures are required, and ten of us are actively involved and have been working tirelessly to get this far, but now we need your help. Pursuant to Denver’s rules for citizen initiated ordinances, we can only collect signatures in person. We had to make petition packets and get them approved by the elections division. There was also a comment and review with the city, and a very specific legal procedure has to be followed for this process. One mistake and an entire packet can be disqualified.
We just do not have the people to collect the necessary signatures needed in the allotted time frame; we have 200 days left. We have spoken with multiple companies that do this professionally and we feel that it is imperative to hire one to be successful.
We have chosen to work with the company PCI for signature collection and verification because of their integrity and history. The process isn’t cheap and that’s why we are asking for your help in raising $20,000.
So please, help us get our initiative on the ballot for November, 2017. We are confident that the voters of Denver will vote “Yes” on this issue. We just have to get it there!
Visit us at www.denvergreenroof.org to learn all about our project, the full proposition text, volunteer and/or donate through a variety of ways, including our GoFundMe campaign. Please help us make Denver a cleaner, greener, cooler city.
Publisher’s Note: Check out the coverage from The Denver Post of March 5, 2017 in Should Denver require rooftop gardens to reduce heat island effect? Voters might decide this year.
Brandon is 30 years old and has been in food service since he was 15 – with no background in green roofs, living architecture, nor politics. He had previously lived in Pennsylvania his whole life until three years ago when he moved to Denver. Brandon cares about the environment and believes in making change at the local level.
Contact Brandon Rietheimer at: