After the completion of an inventory of greenhouse gas emissions, Town of Zionsville announced officials announced they will spend the rest of 2020 developing a climate action plan to increase sustainability efforts and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The town anticipates a draft of the plan will be complete by the fall. It will be submitted to Mayor Emily Styron and the Zionsville Town Council for review.
Zionsville was chosen as one of 11 communities to be part of Indiana University’s second Resilience Cohort, which was established in 2019 by the Environmental Resilience Institute. The 2020 Cohort is made up of cities and towns that will develop climate action plans this year. The other participants are Carmel, Elkhart, Evansville, Fishers, Fort Wayne, Gary, Goshen, Michigan City, Richmond and West Lafayette.
Earlier this year, as part of the cohort, Zionsville conducted an inventory of greenhouse gas emissions. Led by the Zionsville Parks & Recreation Dept., it was the first step in the climate action planning process.
Officials said 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 flooding and flash floods and more freeze-thaw events that lead to potholes, among other impacts. The plan will provide the town with a strategy for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to the impacts of climate change.
Part of the action plan involves incorporating public input by engaging residents and community stakeholders. Zionsville residents, businesses and organizations can participate by visiting taking the Zionsville Climate and Sustainability Interest Survey.
“Understanding and defining measures to support ecological resiliency is critical to meeting the local challenges climate change brings to the Midwest,” Styron stated. “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.”