Local agency again wins eco-friendly commute competition

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Employees of the Walla Walla County Joint Development Agency are reportedly among the greenest when it comes to their daily commutes.

For the second consecutive year, the operation was the grand-prize winner in the Green Travel Competition sponsored by Sustainable Walla Walla during Earth Week.

About 54 percent of the planning agency staff participated in the event.

Forty-five percent of their commuting trips during that week were by bicycle, walking, bus, ride-sharing or other ways to get to work as alternatives to single-occupancy motor vehicles, according to an announcement. Thirteen people are employed by the agency.

Coming in second place in the competition was the U.S. Forest Service.

The agency had the highest participation rate in the competition with just over 54 percent. About 25 percent of their commute trips were by green modes.

In third place was the City of College Place, which had a 38 percent participation rate and logged in 23 percent green trips for all of its staff commuting during Earth Week.

Winners in special divisions:

Wheatland Village Retirement Community won the residential services division. Staff walked 43 miles to work, cycled 106 miles, carpooled 913 miles, rode scooters for 80 miles and rode the bus for nine miles --for a total of 1,151 green commute miles during Earth week.

That's in addition to van and bus trips by 147 residents.

The winner of the schools and colleges division for the third year in a row was Whitman College.

Spearheaded by Whitman's Sustainability Committee, the campus was divided into nine departmental teams that competed for the greatest number of green trips and a variety of prizes.

The winning team was the Sciences & Mathematics Division.

Awards for the winners of this year's competition for the best Green Travel programs were made at noon on the opening day of the Walla Walla Valley Farmers Market by Sustainable Walla Walla chair Marti Buck.

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