It’s time to launch the High Falls Eco-District! So no, that’s nothing like sailing a Frisbee over the edge of the Genesee River ravine in Greentopia’s backyard. It’s the formal process required to begin certification of the EcoDistrict north of downtown. The planning stage, which involved lots of meetings with stakeholders and then registering that plan, is over. Now the plan has to be shared with the public and adopted by individual stakeholders’ pledges toward green practices. This is all working toward certification by the international organization,

Harkening back to Greentopia’s early days, the launch will be marked with a public EcoFair Oct. 7, from noon to 5 p.m., coinciding with Rochester’s annual Genesee River Romance event. This fair will be held on and near the Ponte du Rennes Bridge, that pedestrian pathway that has the best view of the river gorge and the river’s High Falls.

EcoDistrict Manager Rachel Walsh said the event will feature:

  • A gardening project
  • A fair filled with information tables and vendors
  • The opportunity to recycle electronics
  • A collaborate chalk mural
  • Goats (Yes, goats. They’re the star of cute Internet videos, but also a sustainable way to remove brush
  • A food truck (Maybe wash your hands between eating lunch and petting a goat.)

Other nearby events that day include Zagster bike tours of the area and tours of Monroe Community College’s new campus at Kodak Tower.

Next steps for the EcoDistrict include stakeholders making and signing commitments that will spell out how they will undertake sustainable efforts to take “equity, resilience and climate protection seriously,” Walsh said. It’s expected to take about three years to gather these written commitments, and then Rochester’s EcoDistrict will join dozens around the world.

“We won’t wait for certification to start projects,” Walsh said. The short list is a walking trail, solar power installation, a pollinator pathway and other programming. Come visit our fair on Oct. 7 and see what it’s all about.