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Appleton task force releases final report on climate change

(WBAY photo)
(WBAY photo)(WBAY)
Published: Jan. 19, 2022 at 9:34 PM CST
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APPLETON, Wis. (WBAY) - An Appleton task force created to focus on climate change is sharing its findings with a final report.

At a meeting Wednesday night, the Task Force on Resiliency, Climate Mitigation and Adaptation shared its report, which includes 50 action items it suggests the city follows to lessen the impact of climate change on the city and make Appleton more adaptable to the results of climate change (read the complete report here).

Among the 50 recommendations, the 10 most highly recommended by the task force members were:

  • Prioritize Green building certifications with new construction, including analysis during pre-design phase planning of the cost and return on investment of implementing a green rating system;
  • Stormwater management with the city’s hard surfaces, including porous or pervious pavement, rain gardens and green roofs to reduce runoff;
  • Modernize the city’s plumbing infrastructure to use low flow fixtures, stop leaks, and monitor and decrease water usage;
  • Establish land development policies to preserve woodlots, including standards of natural woodland spaces in residential zoning districts;
  • Expand and improve urban forest, including identifying streets with less tree cover and focus on areas with “tree inequity”;
  • Conserve and expand prairie landscape, including growing prairie plants and tall grasses on the terrace between curb and sidewalk;
  • Create a Climate Resiliency staff position to assist in city planning with an eye on mitigating climate impact and coordinating efforts with neighboring counties;
  • Establish a Climate Change advisory commission, made up of community members, to continue the work started by the task force;
  • Pass a resolution committing to renewable energy goals and transitioning to 100% renewable energy sources by 2040;
  • Promote renewable energy with small-scale energy sources for private properties -- including solar arrays, community solar projects, micro-wind and geothermal -- and neighborhood microgrids for energy distribution.

“I don’t know that there is a most important goal. I really think that we need to approach this by doing many different things, sort of all at the same time,” said Teresa Weglarz-Hall, a task force member and University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh professor.

Now that the report has been created, the task force’s work is completed. That leaves the decisions of what happens with the report up to Appleton city leaders.

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