The Village is taking steps to address the issue of climate change locally and ensure Oak Park is prepared for the anticipated impacts — both now and in the future.
Warmer and wetter winters, springs with heavy precipitation and hotter summers with longer dry periods are just a few of the ways climate change is expected to impact the Midwest, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The good news is residents can take steps right now to prepare for climate change and help reduce the community’s carbon footprint.
Crafting a local climate plan
A Village-led initiative is underway to craft a Comprehensive Sustainability and Climate Action Resiliency Plan, or Climate Plan for short.
The first step is gathering input from residents to help inform the community’s priorities for an equity-focused climate plan that paves the way to a carbon-neutral future.
All Oak Parkers are encouraged to offer feedback via an interactive platform at www.oak-park.us/climateplan.
Site visitors may leave comments and share ideas, play a budget game to hypothetically decide how to invest in sustainability, share experiences and priorities via surveys and, most importantly, learn more about the complicated nature of climate change through resources to help understand the environmental science behind global warming.
Input also may be shared via the dedicated email ClimatePlan@oak-park.us.
Energy efficiency grants
In addition to long-range planning, the Village also offers assistance to property owners who want to take immediate steps to save money on utility bills and reduce their carbon footprint.
Grants of up to $10,000 are available for energy-saving solutions like adding insulation, installing more efficient lighting, updating water heaters, thermostats and even installing solar panels.
More information about applying for assistance is available at www.sustainoakpark.com and via email to email@example.com.
About that permit…Installing many home energy efficiency improvements require a Village permit. The permit process is entirely paperless and is managed online at www.oak-park.us/villageview. Email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.