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If you’ve attended one of Greentopia’s fantastic events, you probably noticed the great design that went along with them. The iconic sunflowers on the t-shirts. The hip type face on the written materials. Those things are no accident.  Our founders, Lewis Stess and Michael A Philipson, came from the design world. So keeping things fresh and up-to-date in a design sense would be reason enough to update our website.

But that isn’t the only reason we’ve updated www.greentopia.org later this month. The new site still has all those fancy design bells and whistles, to which you’ve become accustomed. But now, there are some interesting new functions as well. You’ll now be able, for instance, to more easily make direct donations, take a poll, or watch a new series of videos on the Green Visions project.

One of the biggest additions will be an interactive map delineating and describing the Rochester EcoDistrict, an area that extends from the north side of downtown along the Genesee River. The map will have seven layers depicting such features as private and municipal developments, green projects (such as the green roof planned at Monroe Community College’s new location on State Street,) parks and open spaces, food and beverage outlets, developable parcels and community access (church, schools, WXXI, Baden Street Settlement House.)

“I’m hoping for people to use it to get to know the area better,” said Rachel Walsh, manager of the Rochester EcoDistrict. “Not a lot of people know there are three parks here. Or a coffee shop in High Falls.”

Such a map will allow people to understand where amenities exist and where they need to be added, Walsh said. For instance, one park in the High Falls area has just three benches. “We’re fulfilling our quota of park space, but it’s not user-friendly.”

And so, a new website leads to new introspection and, hopefully, a better city for us all.

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