"GREATER FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – August 26, 2008 – Aiming to preserve its pristine beaches and natural eco-systems such as the Everglades and mangrove preserves, the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau (GFLCVB) recently established Plan.It.Green, an innovative program created to help offset the carbon footprint from meetings and conventions held within the destination each year.
A partnership with the Broward County Parks and Recreation Division, Plan.It.Green will reestablish native trees and green buffers in Markham Park, located in Sunrise."Tourism is such a significant part of who we are, it now also helps us with who we will be," said Nicki E. Grossman, president of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau. "We are honored to be the first CVB to partner with our meetings industry in this very important green initiative."The GFLCVB has identified three ways to contribute to this program:
Regroup. Recharge. Replant. Meeting planners have the opportunity to be "meeting planters" by stopping by the GFLCVB booth at any tradeshow, a donation will be made on their behalf to help plant a tree in Broward County parks. In addition, planners will receive handmade, biodegradable paper embedded with wildflower seeds that they can take home and grow. Ads in both Meeting Professional International's and the American Society of Association Executives' publications, inform attendees that, by simply visiting the GFLCVB's booth, they will be doing their part to preserve the planet.
As part of the bid process for large meetings, the GFLCVB will provide a donation on behalf of the organization's meeting to Broward Parks for the Plan.It.Green program. The GFLCVB will also extend the same incentive for meeting planners that submit an RFP to the bureau.
The GFLCVB can arrange a volunteer planting day at Markham Park for organizations holding meetings in Greater Fort Lauderdale or groups can make donations directly to Broward Parks for Plan.It.Green. Either way the organizations can contribute to the greening of the destination one tree at a time.
Broward Country certified Florida Green Lodgings are also contributing to Plan.It.Green by making a donation for reforestation in Broward Parks. Florida Green Lodgings are hotels that have been recognized by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection for being environmentally conscientious as a result of their conservation practices or building design.
Currently almost 25 hotels in Greater Fort Lauderdale are awaiting certification inspection, while 14 have already received accreditation. These include: Bahia Mar; Comfort Inn & Suites, Fort Lauderdale; Comfort Suites Airport & Cruise Port, Fort Lauderdale; Comfort Suites, Tamarac; Embassy Suites Deerfield Beach Resort & Spa; Embassy Suites Hotel Fort Lauderdale; Fort Lauderdale Grande Hotel & Yacht Club; Hampton Inn, Hallandale Beach – Aventura; Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort; Hyatt Regency Bonaventure Conference Center & Spa, Weston; Hyatt Regency Pier 66; Mainstay Suites, Tamarac; Sheraton Suites Cypress Creek, Fort Lauderdale; Sleep Inn & Suites, Dania Beach.
Kiosk and interpretive signage in Markham Park will recognize the donors of the Plan.It.Green campaign.
The new Greater Fort Lauderdale is a vibrant, year-round destination offering more than 33,000 hotel rooms at a variety of hotels, resorts, and Superior Small Lodgings, plus new five-star resorts and more to come. More than ten million annual visitors enjoy Greater Fort Lauderdale's 23 miles of Blue Wave Beaches, 300+ miles of inland waterways that run from the Intracoastal to the Everglades, 4,000 restaurants, top shopping, and a thriving arts and culture scene. For more information, contact the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau at (800) 22-SUNNY or visit www.sunny.org"