Earlier this year, as one of 11 communities selected to be part of Indiana University’s second Resilience Cohort, the Town of Zionsville conducted a comprehensive inventory of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. This inventory, led by the Zionsville Parks & Recreation Department, was the first step in the climate action planning process.
With the inventory complete, the Town of Zionsville will spend the rest of 2020 developing a climate action plan to increase sustainability efforts and reduce GHG emissions. A climate action plan is a fundamental step for Indiana cities and towns committed to protecting their communities from heavier rainfalls in spring and winter, more river and flash floods and more freeze-thaw events that lead to potholes, among other impacts. The finished plan will provide the Town of Zionsville with a strategy for reducing GHG emissions and adapting to the impacts of climate change.
Part of this action plan involves incorporating public input by engaging residents and community stakeholders. Zionsville residents, businesses and organizations are asked to complete a brief Zionsville Climate and Sustainability Interest Survey.
Details regarding virtual public meetings, educational webinars and other surveys are forthcoming.
“Understanding and defining measures to support ecological resiliency is critical to meeting the local challenges climate change brings to the Midwest,” said Mayor Emily Styron. “I am proud of the contribution our team has provided to this initiative. Next steps for Zionsville include establishing an Environmental Sustainability Commission and creating an action plan to minimize impacts of climate change and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”
The Town of Zionsville anticipates that a draft of the plan will be complete this fall. The draft will be submitted to Mayor Emily Styron and the Zionsville Town Council for review and consideration.
The Resilience Cohort was established in 2019 by the Environmental Resilience Institute. The 2020 Cohort is made up of 11 cities and towns that will develop climate action plans this year. Other Resilience Cohort participants include Carmel, Elkhart, Evansville, Fishers, Fort Wayne, Gary, Goshen, Michigan City, Richmond and West Lafayette.