Oak Park may be only 4.5 square miles, but local leaders recognize that the actions and choices made by individual citizens and communities can help lay the groundwork for large-scale change.
This summer the Village Board adopted Climate Ready Oak Park, a comprehensive and long-range plan developed in response to the global climate crisis. The plan offers an ambitious vision, concrete commitments and actions that can be undertaken by all community members and organizations.
Key takeaways from Climate Ready Oak Park include:
- Most greenhouse gases in Oak Park are due to residential and commercial building energy use, and personal vehicles.
- The plan’s climate hazard and social vulnerability assessment indicates that environmental and socioeconomic conditions are not equally distributed across the community.
- There are actions for eight impact areas: 1) Energy Use in Buildings & Housing, 2) Transportation, 3) Extreme Weather & Resiliency, 4) Community Health & Environmental Quality, 5) Sustainable Economic Development, 6) Healthy & Sustainable Food, 7) Waste Reduction, and 8) Parks, Plants & Biodiversity.
Climate change is serious, which is why the Village Board also took the step of declaring a climate emergency at the same time it adopted the Climate Ready Oak Park plan. But climate change also offers new opportunities to create a more equitable Oak Park, restore the natural environment, boost local businesses, and foster community connection.
Climate Ready Oak Park is a community-wide plan, and to be successful it will require cooperation among intergovernmental partners, local institutions, community-based organizations, local businesses and individual members of the community.
Visit https://www.sustainoakpark.com/oak-parks-climate-action for an in-depth look at the Climate Ready Oak Park plan.