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Lonoke inspiring rural Arkansas to 'go green' and be more sustainable

Lonoke is a town with trains, trucks, trailers and most importantly, tenacity. They're a small town taking big steps to become a more sustainable, rural community.

LONOKE, Ark. — Lonoke is a town with trains, trucks, trailers and most importantly, tenacity. They're a small town taking big steps to become a more sustainable, rural community.

Chris Flores is heading a new community sustainability action team.

"We're an agricultural community and it's a big factor in greenhouse emissions so we need to take responsibility in some of these things," he said. "Rural communities around the state should start thinking about sustainability and act on it."

The team is working with mayor Trae Reed to support and promote three major projects. The first is an electric vehicle charging station being installed in Flagpole Park.

RELATED: Electric car charging stations coming to rural Arkansas

"Arkansas is one of the last when it comes to electric vehicle infrastructure and adoption and I think it's because a lot of people dot know about it yet," said Flores. "But this is a good way to get the word out."

Mayor Trae Reed said this is just the start of an overall plan to improve sustainability.

"This charging station is a piece of a larger sustainability picture in our city right now," said Reed. "Lonoke is now recycling for all residents."

Reed said recycling was a huge request when he was talking to Lonoke residents.

"It was one of the recurring themes I heard and we made good on that promise," he said.

The city is also getting a major solar energy project.

"We are working on a large scale project with McKinstry to lower our carbon footprint through facility improvement measures and they're going to offset our utility bill with a four acre solar system," said Reed.

Reed said he hopes to set a precedent for other rural communities to be more sustainable but that's not their main goal. He said it's just the right thing to do.

"If we don’t make hard decisions to recycle and push sustainability in all we do, our kids are going to have to do it that’s bottom line," he said.

Flores said he also hopes to work with other rural communities to help them reach their goals to become more sustainable as well.

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