Yellowstone Valley Citizens Council
Yellowstone Valley Citizens Council advocates for a healthy, inviting, and sustainable community by:
- Educating, mobilizing, and testifying to ensure citizens voices are heard in the decision-making process, and
- Formulating bold visions of a healthy and sustainable community and working cooperatively to achieve them.
YVCC’s goal is to expand and increase local food so that producers, consumers, distributors, and institutions in Yellowstone County make it their first choice!
Choosing local food first is good for our health, our climate, and our communities. We believe in building stronger, healthier communities and diverse economies through our local food system.
For the past couple of years, YVCC members have led Northern Plains’ efforts to launch a community food hub in eastern Montana. Through extensive research, events to increase public interest, and strategic fundraising, we successfully helped launch the Yellowstone Valley Food Hub on December 1, 2018.
Our Community Food Campaign is committed to finding solutions to food accessibility issues in the greater Billings area. With the Food Hub entering its inaugural year, we are excited about the work ahead!
Our “Better Billings” Sustainability committee is working to make Billings a more affordable and sustainable place to live and work.
As a result of YVCC’s grassroots efforts, the Billings City Council recently voted in favor of re-establishing an Energy and Conservation Commission. The Commission will act as an advisory board to support city leadership in energy efficiency, innovation, and sustainability.
To highlight the growing number of LEED buildings in Billings, YVCC created this “Guide to Green Buildings in Billings” which features a map of LEED certified buildings. Did you know there are thirteen LEED certified buildings in Billings, including 6 that are LEED Platinum? Use the map to do your own walking tour! Hard copies are available at Home on the Range, as well as many of the featured businesses.
Since its inception in 1979 around air-quality issues, YVCC has achieved many victories, including:
- Helping to dramatically improve the air quality in Yellowstone County through a long-term campaign to improve the enforcement of air quality laws;
- Increasing individual and institutional patronage of locally raised and processed food through our community food campaign;
- Helping to ensure that Billings’ new library is a LEED Platinum certified, water- and energy-efficient building by engaging citizens and community leaders to build public support, while participating in every step of the city’s decision-making process.
- Supported the efforts of teachers and parents to start school gardens at Canyon Creek School, Blue Creek School, and Billings West High School;
- Recruited businesses to sponsor recycling pick-up in more than 20 Billings public elementary schools;
- Supported our friends and neighbors to hold off oil and gas development along the Beartooth Front and in Yellowstone County;
- Built support for a full-time neighborhood planner to coordinate “smart growth” planning in our community;
- Successfully challenged efforts to site hazardous waste facilities near the Yellowstone River.