Class of '08 grad is devoted to keeping Green Bay green

Crystal OsmanCrystal Osman has always been a bit green, but not at all inexperienced.

The May 2008 graduate of UW-Green Bay is already an eco veteran, taking active leadership roles in improving campus and community.

As an undergraduate, Osman was director of environmental affairs for the Student Government Association and one of the University’s most influential personalities in the sustainability movement.

She took a lead role in researching and implementing the UPass bus service for students. She was active with the Public and Environmental Affairs Council and sat as the undergraduate representative for the Chancellor’s Sustainability Committee. In 2007, she helped organize two Step It Up rallies in downtown Green Bay that asked Congress to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Also during her college career she interned in the renewable energy department at Wisconsin Public Service.

Osman’s civic involvement didn’t stop with graduation. She is now the program manager for Downtown Green Bay, Inc., and Olde Main Street, Inc., non-profit business improvement districts in downtown Green Bay that work to revitalize the area.

“I hope that our community becomes more sustainable,” she says. “We are on the right track, but we need to keep working at it.”

Her job includes being a staff resource for the city’s Transportation and Parking Committee, which focuses on parking issues as well as accessibility and alternative transportation.

“It’s an ever-evolving process, but really, I want our community to be walk-able, bike-able – truly pedestrian friendly, from bike lanes everywhere to more trails for transportation.”

She also is on the Physical Improvements Committee, which works on the beautification, cleanliness and aesthetics of the district, and other subcommittees and task forces that focus on downtown design standards.

Osman’s involvement doesn’t stop there. The list continues, with participation alongside local business leaders in organizations including the Green Bay Metro, Appleton Downtown, Inc., and the Brown County and East Central Planning commissions. (One current proposal involves commuter bus transportation linking downtown Green Bay and downtown Appleton.) She’s also involved with the Baird Creek Preservation Foundation, the Mayor’s Sustainable Greater Green Bay Task Force, New North Sustainability Committee, Green Drinks, Greater Green Bay Earth Week Coalition and the Green Book Club.

Osman says she loves her work because every day she gets to do something different.

“These things are important for the environment, but they are critical to our economy and people in our community.

“I want Green Bay to be a community known for sustainability in Wisconsin and the Midwest, where cutting-edge ideas flow like water and the NEW North is the place for green technology and businesses. Where, because of sustainability, the quality of life in our community — which I have to say is already quite good — is over the top.”

— Story by student Rachel Rivard, editorial intern, Marketing and University Communication Office, UW-Green Bay