North Texas Daily

City committee seeks to curb climate change with action plan

City committee seeks to curb climate change with action plan

City committee seeks to curb climate change with action plan
February 09
12:00 2023

The city’s Sustainable Denton department held a public feedback meeting to discuss creating a climate action adaptation plan in preparation for the plan’s presentation to Denton City Council in June. 

The Jan. 26 meeting focused on informing attendees of statistical changes in Denton’s climate from 2006 to 2019, planned projections for the future climate and initial low-carbon ideas that could be implemented in the plan to improve the city. Sustainability Solutions Group has also partnered with the department to help guide the plan.

“We want to get as much community and engagement as we can, and we want to get ideas from the community as we go through business as usual, you know — what ideas are out there to stretch and do more as a community,” city sustainability manager Katherine Barnett said.

After an initial presentation, attendees were asked to fill out sticky notes with feedback and ideas and stick them under categories posted around the room pertaining to the climate action adaptation plan. The topics were: energy, waste, buildings, transportation and ideas. Each category had the questions “What excites you?” and “What concerns you?” posted to encourage more targeted feedback.

Citizens put sticky notes on a white board during the Climate Action and Adaptation Plan meeting on Jan. 26, 2023. Photo by Coralynn Cole

“We want to hear from everybody,” said Carol Fraser, consultant and business development coordinator at Sustainability Solutions Group. “Students are a really big part of Denton, and it is important to us as a major part of the city’s population that students provide input. We also know students have a lot of ideas and enthusiasm and maybe things they are working on in their classes or their internships that could be applied, so we want that energy, we want those new ideas.”

Moving forward in the coming months, the partnership has set up several more opportunities for community members to get involved with the manufacturing of the climate action adaptation plan. There will be public workshops, crowdsourcing actions surveys, focus groups and other opportunities accessible through the Sustainable Denton website.

The climate action plan itself is open to community feedback until May. The draft plan will come out at that time for final edits before Sustainable Denton and SSG present it to the City of Denton.

Future workshops, meetings and surveys will focus on what aspects to prioritize in the community and how certain actions will impact subsections and demographics of the community, such as students and low-income residents.

Sustainability Denton and the We Mean Green Fund department at the university “have been in conversations” regarding the climate action adaptation plan, WMGF project coordinator Tristen Wheeler said. WMGF agreed to promote any flyers in their office or on social media and share them internally with their partners campus-wide.

“The focus on transportation is especially important — the WMGF and the students we work with have been increasingly concerned about transportation emissions and green-transit availability,” Wheeler said. “This is what a lot of growing cities are trying to accomplish, and I am glad to see Denton working hard on it as well. I also like the inclusion of low-income access as part of the conversation. Sustainability is about more than just environmental improvements, but also environmental justice.”

Sustainable Denton and SSG made a promise to the public in their presentation to keep them “informed on the plan’s progress, listen to and acknowledge concerns and aspirations, and provide feedback on how public input influenced the decision.”

Sign-ups to be involved in the community engagement process are available on the City of Denton website,

“It is really important to us that it’s really transparent what we are doing with the input, how it shapes the final plan and how it shapes the actions that end up getting recommended in the final plan,” Fraser said.

Featured Image Denton county residents discuss climate actions at the Climate Action and Adaptation Plan meeting on Jan. 26, 2023. Photo by Coralynn Cole

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