How should we Sustain?

This theme focuses on maintaining our natural environment, accessing healthy food, and promoting efficient energy.

These goals and strategies were identified by a group of local professionals as a starting point for a broader conversation with the public about how land is developed and used, but we need your input! Curious about who was on the committees? You can see the full list of names below.

Forward Toledo Committees

Goals to Make Toledo More Sustainable

Water Belt

Explore an identity shift from “Rust Belt” to “Water Belt” due to Toledo’s unique position on the Great Lakes and the ways this might impact decision making.

Reduce Pollution

Promote land use and transportation options which are environmentally friendly.

Healthy Food Access

Study options and remove barriers to promote access to healthy food for all residents.

Promote Native Plants

Explore the many benefits of native plantings and evaluate how these species can help improve the regional ecosystem.

Preserve Open Space

Explore the benefits of open space and natural areas and evaluate practices to promote the preservation of green space alongside future development.

What People Are Saying About Sustain:

  • "Incorporating bioswales and raingardens into our city's infrastructure (for water runoff) will filter pollutants from entering our streams and rivers, while also beautifying our communities! Native plants can be grown in the swales and gardens to boot! Bioswales can be installed in parking lots, along roadways and sidewalks or as an enhancement to natural or existing drainage swales." Megan H.
  • "If abandoned buildings come down, can we create some areas for greenhouses to provide access to fresh foods." Connie D.
  • "Our water access is almost criminally underutilized as a city and is (quite literally) the key to our future. Many cities are suffering with historic droughts and do not have the luxury of PRIME waterfront location, while the City of Toledo does not advertise the many things that CAN be done on the lake/riverfront. More parks and water activities are a must, as is a safe and cleaned up river front area that all citizens can freely access. Many people cannot easily get to waterfront activities in the city without a vehicle and then have to deal with parking, ultimately deterring families from partaking in activities in those locations;" Anthony B.
  • "If we get torrential and inches of rain and tons of snow melting water has nowhere to go. Stormsewers have vegetation at openings and covered with trash/debris in others. That can easily change. Will it?" Agneta S.
  • "The Maumee River and Lake Erie are the reasons Toledo came to exist and to flourish. Water should be the theme of all branding of the city. It should be the theme in signage, in tourism promotions. There used to be signage approaching Buffalo NY on I90 that read " Entering the Water Wonderland of NY". I think that is true of Toledo in Ohio." Jesse M.
  • "We need to do more to] support sustainable farming practices and limit CAFOs." Ellen F.
  • "We need to improve access and visibility along the Maumee River, especially in the Old South End where the railroad forms a barrier for local residents and overgrowth limits views of the water. There should also be more done to encourage native plantings." Sue T.
  • "I also would like to see a plastics recycling center built to be able to produce park benches and other plastic items." Kimberly M.
  • "Need to reduce the amount of overflow into the Maumee River and Lake Erie. The trenches and streams seem to be brown with pollution." Charles A.