As Cary grows, the Town is staying focused on maintaining the features that make our community a great place to live. From neighborhood improvement programs to implementing energy efficiency in municipal buildings, learn more about what the Town is doing to keep Cary green and healthy.

Triangle Regional Resilience Partnership (TRRP)

In 2017, the Town of Cary, City of Raleigh, City of Durham, Durham County, Orange County and the Town of Chapel Hill formed the Triangle Regional Resilience Partnership (TRRP or the Partnership) to better understand, plan and coordinate regional preparedness for the impacts of environmental, social, and economic disruption. Guided by the Triangle J Council of Governments, the TRRP contracted with UNC Asheville’s National Environmental Modelling and Analysis Center (NEMAC) to facilitate and provide technical assistance in developing a Resilience Assessment report. The TRRP has completed its assessment, a foundational document for our region to guide plans that will help us withstand future anticipated disruptions. 

This effort concluded in fall 2018 and resulted in a “Resilience Assessment” report outlining census-tract level analyses of important regional assets, vulnerability and risks (threats) to those assets, and possible solutions to be applied locally and regionally to build a more resilient regional community. Issues highlighted in the assessment include:

  • Flooding: Major and minor, affecting roads, residences, and commercial properties
  • Drought: Related to water supply
  • Fire: With attention to wildland-urban interface and response times
  • Extreme Heat: With attention to socially vulnerable populations and heat effects

The results of the assessment identify issues and solutions that cities, towns and counties in our region can act on to become more resilient in the face of environmental, social and economic disruption. 

An executive summary of the assessment as well as the full report were released on Nov 07, 2018.

STAR Community

In late 2016 Cary participated in a pilot to input data on 21 municipal sustainability indicators standardized by an organization called STAR Communities. This website allows you to compare sustainability metrics across communities.

Cary Green Neighborhood Project 

Thanks to a grant from the Wells Fargo Foundation, in April 2017, staff successfully completed a unique effort to engage seven neighborhoods in an effort to "go green" at the household level and build stronger community ties.

Cary Garden for Wildlife Program

The Town is partnering with the National Wildlife Federation to encourage residents, organizations, and schools to certify their yards and outdoor spaces as wildlife habitats. The Cary Garden for Wildlife Program shows how easy it is to support wildlife, like birds, bees, and butterflies by providing: 1) Food, such as a bird feeder, 2) Water, a bird bath for example 3) Cover, and Places to Raise Young, like a nesting box or dense shrubs, and 4) Sustainable Gardening Practices, like using mulch or native plants. Each certified space will receive recognition from the NWF, and more importantly you will help keep wildlife and the environment healthy in Cary.


The Town has a long-standing commitment to tree preservation, care, and maintenance. In fact we have been recognized by the Arbor Day Foundation as a Tree City USA for many years, we have included tree canopy preservation in our long range plan, and have done a tree canopy assessment

Neighborhood Improvement Grant Program

The Neighborhood Improvement Grant Program provides small matching grants as an incentive for neighborhood residents interested in projects that will improve the neighborhood and community at large. Eligible neighborhood organizations can receive up to $5,000 for qualified projects. Examples of funded projects include community gardens, tree planting, and environmental restoration. Learn more about how the Planning and Development Services department has put these grants to work in the community.

Fire Station #8: The Town’s First Green Building

The Town of Cary strives for fiscal and environmental stewardship through the use of green building practices. Fire Station 8, which serves both Fire and Police Departments in the western part of Cary, is the Town’s first green/high performing building. The facility saves money in the long term by using energy efficient building systems and solar energy features. Learn more about Fire Station 8.

The Town of Cary was awarded the prestigious Environmental Protection Agency Climate Showcase Communities Award. This grant enabled the Town to work on fire- and police-related energy projects, including Fire Station #8.

Land Development Ordinance

The Town of Cary has a Land Development Ordinance to guide the development of land and help plan for growth. Those interested in development in Cary or just interested in understanding land use in the Town can review the Land Development Ordinance.

Specific information on chapters related to sustainability:

  • Trees, Chapter 7, Section 2.5
  • Stormwater Management, Chapter 7, Section 3
  • Connectivity, Chapter 7, Section 10
  • Mixed Use District, Chapter 4, Section 5.2

Open Space Plan

The Town is committed to preserving its natural resources and and open space. To that end, the Town has conducted an inventory of its open space in an effort to determine which areas are threatened, develop options for conservation designs, and gather input from the community. Learn more about the Open Space Plan and find out how you can get engaged with the open space planning process.

Mixed Use Centers

The Town supports mixed use centers as a way to bring together people using retail, office, and institutional spaces. These mixed use centers are typically located in high- and medium-density residential areas.

Sustainable Neighborhood Planning Grant

The Town of Cary was awarded a competitive technical assistance grant through the Creating Sustainable Neighborhoods Technical Assistance Grant Program, funded by the Environmental Protection Agency’s Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities Program. This initiative evaluated neighborhoods to determine policy or planning changes that will support sustainable urban development. Learn more about the program and get a copy of the report.