“The Village Green station is a helpful tool in educating the public, and particularly children, about the importance of air quality in our everyday lives,” said Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality Executive Director Scott Thompson referring to the Village Green Project in Oklahoma City. “We are thankful to be one of five cities across the country to have such an innovative tool.”
The Village Green Project (VGP) is a novel air and weather measurement station originally developed by EPA ORD scientists. The station is a compact, solar-powered system that incorporates air and weather instrumentation into a park bench. The project builds upon the need to enhance transparency and showcases next-generation air measurement technology by providing quality-assured data to the public on a near real-time basis, updating to a public data website every minute.
The original prototype was field-tested outside a public library in Durham, NC. Following the successful prototype test, EPA created a pilot VGP expansion and engaged with state, local and tribal agencies in placing new park bench stations in various community environments. Currently, five new stations are operating in a variety of environments selected by the agency grant recipients, including high foot traffic tourist areas, a community identified as a “making a visible difference” priority area, and a city center garden. The state and local agencies have used the stations as an opportunity to host public outreach events, including ribbon-cutting ceremonies and informational sessions.
The State of Connecticut, DC Department of Energy & Environment, Kansas Department of Health and Environment, Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality, and the City of Philadelphia, PA are all partnering with EPA to use the Village Green.