National spotlight shines on The Ray

Published 6:59 pm Wednesday, November 20, 2019

It was announced last week that The Ray won the Energy Award at the fourth annual Shorty Social Good Awards.

We’re sure some of our readers are wondering what the Shorty Social Good Awards are. Others might even wonder what The Ray is. 

We’ll answer both of those questions. First of all, yes, this is a big deal. The Shorty Awards are based on raising global awareness around brands, agencies and nonprofits that have a positive impact on society. The Ray certainly fits that definition. 

For anyone needing a reminder of what The Ray is, it’s an 18-mile stretch of interstate that many of you probably drive regularly. It extends from the state line to the city limits of LaGrange on Interstate 85, and its goal is to create a zero-carbon, zero-waste and zero-death stretch of highway.

The Ray has installed a solar-powered vehicle charging station, a tire safety check station and solar paved road at the Welcome Center near the state line. They are also working on harder-to-explain projects, such as planting annual wheat grasses that enrich soil and retain clean water. Other enhancements include bioswales, which slow water movement and capture pollutants during rainstorms.

The plan is to eventually have smart sensors on the road, alerting drivers of hazards such as wet roadways.

And that’s just part of what The Ray is doing.

Other parts of the world have taken notice too and have taken a close look at The Ray and what it’s doing. We’re sure Harriet Anderson Langford, founder and president of The Ray, hopes that’s the case, as the point in the entire project is to make the world a better place to live.

The Ray is certainly doing that, one small step at a time. 

We applaud all of this work that is being done right here in our backyard. Thanks to The Ray, the rest of the world is looking at Troup County as a way to prepare for the future.