In celebration of Earth Month 2021, the Urbana Park District Board of Commissioners accepted the district’s progressive climate action and sustainability plan for 2021-2026. The Climate Action, Resilience, Education and Sustainability (CARES) Plan sets actionable goals for reducing the district’s carbon footprint, offsetting local impacts of climate change, and improving air and water quality as well as biodiveristy.
“We know how highly Urbana residents value environmental stewardship and sustainability,” remarks Kara Dudek, Park Planner. “The park district aims to serve as a community leader in creating a healthier, safer and more resilient community for all humans, plants, and animals that call Urbana home.”
The Board of Commissioners, park district staff, stakeholders, and community members assisted the CARES Steering Committee in the plan’s creation over the past eight months. The foundation of the plan’s goals and objectives are three planning pillars:
- Communicating Climate Action underscores the Urbana Park District’s commitment to serve as a community leader and role model for climate action—through internal practices, public outreach & programs, and collaborative partnerships.
- Protecting & Strengthening Our Natural Environment reinforces the Urbana Park District’s responsibility to care for the health of humans, plants, animals, ecosystems & the climate—by reducing our carbon footprint, stewarding biodiversity & natural areas, and improving air & water quality.
- Conserving Resources highlights the Urbana Park District’s dedication to the sustainability of natural resources—through conserving energy & water, using clean energy, reducing waste, and increasing recycling & reuse.
“We also intend for the plan to serve as an educational resource for community members looking to make an individual impact or even replicate a similar process,” explains Savanah Donovan, Environmental Public Program Manager. “The plan contains vision statements, a glossary of terms, climate change concepts and impacts, and even additional resources.”
Plan goals range from creating learning opportunities for people of all ages, enhancing community-wide biodiversity and natural areas, and implementing more renewable energy sources.
More information and the full plan document can be found at www.urbanaparks.org/about-us/green-initiatives/