GOSHEN — Earth Charter Indiana, along with title sponsors the McKinney Family Foundation, are partnering on Indiana’s fourth annual gathering of mayors and city and county officials to discuss resiliency in the face of climate impacts. The event takes place Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Goshen College.
Sponsors include Aluminum Trailer Co., Borden Waste-away, Cardno, Indiana Citizens Climate Lobby, Christopher B. Burke Engineering LLC, the Community Foundation of Elkhart County, Cummins, The Electric Brew, Elkhart County Convention and Visitors Bureau, Emnet, Indiana University Grand Challenges Prepared for Environmental Change, Solar Energy Systems LLC, Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center, Goshen, College, NIPSCO, Notre Dame University, Purdue Climate Change Research Center, Singer Wealth Advisory of Raymond James, SESCO Group, who are assisting in staging this free summit to highlight climate adaptation and mitigation at a local level, both municipal and county.
• Mayors expected, include: Richard Hickman (Angola), Jeremy Stutsman (Goshen), David Kitchell (Logansport), Phil Jenkins (Nappanee) and Mark Senter (Plymouth).
• Cities are sending a representative or even a delegation of officials and community leaders. Those cities include: Batesville, Bloomington, Bristol, Clarksville, Huntington, Michigan City, Muncie, Shipshewana, South Bend, Wabash and West Lafayette.
Given historic flooding in northern Indiana in 2018, Earth Charter Indiana took Goshen Mayor Jeremy Stutsman up on his offer to host this year’s conference in Goshen. The emphasis will be on flooding, stormwater infrastructure and climate modeling for Indiana’s cities and towns, with presentations by Purdue Climate Change Research Center, Alan Hamlet (University of Notre Dame) and Siavash Beik (Christopher B. Burke Engineering), among others.
For the first time, Climate Leadership Summit has invited a keynote speaker to part of the programming. Author David Orr will share a talk titled “Hoosiers in a hotter less Democratic Time …. Unless!” Orr in 2010 created the Oberlin Project, with the mission to revitalize the local economy, eliminate carbon emissions, restore local agriculture, food supply and forestry and create a new, sustainable base for economic and community development. He wants to share with Hoosier leaders what they can do to make their municipalities more efficient and climate friendly.
Highlights of the day also include:
• Afternoon breakout sessions on Environmental Resilience Institute’s Hoosier Resilient Index
• Sustainable development codes
• Implementing flood resilient strategies and financing water infrastructure projects
• Youth action
• Urban canopy
• Using municipal public policy case studies on the Sustainable Development Code
• Workshop showcasing Michigan City’s recent establishment of a Sustainability Commission