Park Forest is taking action to prepare the community for the future impacts of climate change.
Park Forest board members Monday night unanimously approved a Climate Action and Resilience Plan.
The new plan builds on Park Forest’s Sustainability Plan adopted in 2012 to identify critical changes needed to make the Village more sustainable in the future.
The new Climate Action and Resilience Plans aims to accomplish the following goals:
- Reduce Greenhouse Gas emission levels by 26 percent by 2025
- Reduce the risk of climate impacts to Park Forest’s resources and infrastructure as well as increase social and economic resilience
- Ensure that equity concepts and components are interwoven throughout the plan.
“It’s a project that is long in the making,” said Village Manager Tom Mick.
For nearly a year Village staff members, elected officials, Park Forest Environment Commission members, and property managers in Park Forest worked together to develop the plan.
The Climate Action and Resilience Plan aims to respond to the following changes expected in the coming years:
- Heavy rains are likely to fall more frequently, causing flooding more often.
- Light rains are likely to fall less frequently, particularly in the summer, leading to drought.
- Heat waves will probably become more frequent, more intense, and last longer.
- Higher temperatures in summer will increase cooling demands that may strain the electric grid.
- Hot summer temperatures will worsen air quality, and high humidity will encourage infectious disease.
- Weather variability may make operating municipal utilities more difficult and financially risky.
“This is one of those unique things again for Park Forest and I commend our staff for working diligently to put this together. This is another one of those items that we can be immensely proud of because we are taking the lead on this whole issue of climate action,” said Mayor John Ostenburg.
“This is very well thought-out, very well structured. It puts in place very specific steps that we can take going forward as it relates to climate change and what we have an obligation to do to make sure we have a healthy environment for our residents and residents of the south suburbs.”