City: Madison, Wisconsin
Green Cred: Built around or near 5 lakes, and with more than 200 miles of biking and hiking trails, Madison has long been home to a progressive, outdoorsy, and green-minded community.
Madison's credentials as a green town go way back. The state capital has been home to senator and former governor Gaylord Nelson, founder of Earth Day. Aldo Leopold, often cited as the founder of wildlife ecology, taught at University of Wisconsin-Madison. And landscape architect John Nolen, who focused on preserving natural beauty while incorporating the needs of urban life, has fingerprints all over the town and its park system. Today, the city has ranked highly on lists of everything from "Best Places to Live," "Top 10 Greenest Cities," "Best Farmer's Market in the Nation," "Best Outdoor-Oriented Towns," and "Top Cities for Recycling."