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Green Communities Conference returns to Waco bigger than before

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Posted at 3:54 PM, Sep 18, 2023

WACO, Texas — The 2023 Green Communities Conference is the biggest one Waco has seen yet, with more than 350 people in attendance.

"We had a Stormwater Workshop to talk about the regulations behind environmental protection and then we had the Green Communities Conference last year, but those two groups never really crossed," Mark Keeley with Waco's Watershed Production told 25 News.

"This year we decided to merge those two and have more of the environmental, industrial side be more of the climate conversation as well."

Organizers say it's absolutely critical to have these conversations about climate change and what people or businesses can do to help.

"If you look around and see everything, climate change is happening and it really doesn't matter why it was caused, but we do have to respond," Keeley said.

"Change happens one step at a time. Anyone's individual efforts can really help boost the entire group."

Waco's Mayor Dylan Meek opened the conference with talking about environmentally-friendly changes the city has implemented.

"In addition to twelve electric vehicles to the city so far, we continue to consider and evaluate changes to the fleet as to replace vehicles at the end of their service life," Meek told the crowd.

"We've had solar installations at fire station six and looking at continuing to add those to other facilities as well."

He went on to going green is very important to him as a mayor and he's committed to doing this in a way that benefits the city.

"I really want to balance out how to grow our economy, how to care for our environment, as well as the social well being of our community and sustainability obviously is a part of all those concerns," Mayor Meek said.

The event had several speakers and numerous booths set up where attendees could learn more about recycling, electric vehicles and so much more.

Day two of the conference will pick up on Tuesday at 9 a.m. at the Waco Convention Center.