Embracing the hustle and bustle of the Holiday Season, Growing Climate Solutions is wrapping up loose ends after joining the Southwest Florida Community in cleanup, food preparation, and other volunteer opportunities in the wake of Hurricane Ian. First and foremost, we focused on rescheduling the Southwest Florida Climate & Community Summit, originally set for October 6th, to January 17, 2023 at the Arthrex Innovation Center in North Naples. Details and links to registration will be available shortly on our website and at www.swflclimate.org. The revised program will now include an Urban Land Institute Panel on Resilient Rebuilding which builds on the Southwest Florida Recovery and Response event coordinated by the Urban Land Institute at Florida Gulf Coast University. Held in November as a panel discussion, experts addressed the response of local municipalities following the hurricane; how Babcock Ranch – a solar powered community – retained power and sustained minimal damage, and the spectrum of tools and knowledge available to enhance future resilience.
In November we also kicked off our Y&HOW Sustainability Workshops with a presentation by Kamala Perez on Foodscaping. If you missed it, please view the recording here. The topics for our upcoming Y&How Sustainability Workshop Series, held the first Wednesday of each month include:
- December 7: Hurricane Resilience: What Predicts Successful Coping, presented by Dr. Charles Benight
- January 4: Get Up to Speed on Electric Vehicles, presented by Ms. Alisha Lopez
- February 1: What the Inflation Reduction Act Means to Me, presented by Ms. Holly Lichtenfeld
- March 1: Solar Power Your Home, presented by Ms. Julia Herbst
- April 5: Salty about Food Waste, presented by Ms. Susan Taves
We also submitted an initial proposal for funding from Eco America’s American Climate Leadership Awards and met with a local school to plan a tree nursery. Encouraging planting of native trees and vegetation has been a focus of Bridget Washburn’s work throughout the year. In December we will hold a Florida-Friendly tree giveaway at Cornerstone United Methodist Church with the Interfaith Climate Action Team, whose mission is to be good stewards of the earth and to help heal and protect our world. We anticipate that representatives from participating faith-based organizations will discuss the role of trees in mitigating climate change and receive a few trees to plant and map with their respective congregations.
In the days before Thanksgiving, the Florida Climate Institute, released “Getting to Neutral”, a report that not only benchmarks the sources of emissions across the state, but lays out a roadmap on how Florida could achieve net-zero and beyond by 2050. We courage everyone to read it, share it with friends and family over the holiday table, and then think about ways to reduce your carbon footprint – especially emissions related to transportation – the greatest source of emissions in Florida. In December, Dr. Puszkin-Chevlin will represent Growing Climate Solutions at the Southeast Florida Regional Climate Compact Summit in Fort Lauderdale. This large conference attracts climate leaders from the entire state and is a great opportunity to highlight our work.
Stay tuned for changes coming to the Growing Climate Solutions’ newsletter – we aim to provide relevant, timely and noteworthy information in a fresh new format. And in the meantime, we wish you a safe, peaceful, and happy holiday season.
“Like tiny seeds with potent power to push through tough ground and become mighty trees, we hold innate reserves of unimaginable strength. We are resilient.”