Community of Yakutat:
The Community of Yakutat was the final Green Community awardee at the Alaska Forum Awards luncheon. Yakutat is located on the scenic Gulf Coast of Alaska, and surrounded by Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Tongass National Forest. Yakutat has a population of 594 residents.
Yakutat changed the operation of their landfill in recent years as partnership effort between the Tribe and the City of Yakutat. Currently the Yakutat landfill operates as Class III landfill with shining stars by providing safe and controlled drop off locations, waste sorting, and recycling options. Once featured as a landfill with serious operational concerns, Yakutat self initiative to operate a safe landfill and minimize their risks to the community and the environment has been a huge success story.
Yakutat suffers as many communities do from aging utility infrastructure. The City of Yakutat continues to develop a Comprehensive Plan the provides long range goals for updating and upgrading sewer, water infrastructure while addressing current concerns by ensuring they have stocked critical repair components and parts. Maintaining existing infrastructure is a necessary task and done with foresight and good planning.
Yakutat is now working to build momentum with a community workgroup where the Tribe, City, local businesses and community members can identify environmental concerns and take steps to find solutions that balance their community values and economics.
There is much yet good to come from Yakutat and it was a pleasure to award them the Green Star Community Award!