Posted by Melissa Rinehart
REAL TALK: Sustaining Fort Wayne
Updated: May 19
Climate action is imperative to preserving the quality of life and place that we enjoy in Fort Wayne.
Who is climate change going to impact?
Everyone. My daughter Sedona is in her 20s and she worked incredibly hard in school at becoming a Kindergarten teacher. She's teaching social and developmental skills to young children daily. Sustaining Fort Wayne utilized a climate model to see what life will look like in the 2050s, less than 30 years from now. When the 2050s roll around, Sedona will be my age and the kids she's teaching now will be having kids of their own.
Imagine the impact of climate change in Fort Wayne...
Sustaining Fort Wayne's Climate Action and Adaptation Plan models that extreme heat events will increase exponentially from now to the 2050s. This type of information seems high-level until you begin to think about the impact that it will have on families not too long from now.
Some of my fondest childhood memories involve
playing box ball outside on my summer breaks with neighborhood friends and going for bike rides. Imagine, in the summer, kids having between 45 - 57 fewer opportunities to make these memories, being shuttered inside because it's simply too hot to go outside.
Imagine the impact on our hardworking tradespeople who will suffer in extreme heat as they work so diligently to improve everyday infrastructure. The risk of heat stroke is all too common in the summertime among tradespeople. Imagine worrying for your spouse, child, or parent as you wait patiently for them at the dinner table, just hoping that they were able to make it through the day.
Imagine the low-income senior population that will be impacted by extreme heat whose fixed incomes may not offer them the opportunity to cool their homes efficiently.
Imagine the immigrant and refugee populations who may not have the language abilities or labor protections to keep their families and households safe during extreme heat events.
Imagine the agricultural impact to Allen County as a whole and what extreme heat will do to increase costs incurred by farmers via increased water usage and crop failure.
So what is Sustaining Fort Wayne all about?
Sustaining Fort Wayne is the road map for the City of Fort Wayne to reduce its overall environmental impact. The plan includes net zero energy consumption for city-owned buildings (including water and wastewater treatment facilities), the city vehicle fleet, Citilink public transit fleet, and to complete LED conversion for streetlights and traffic signals.
Simply put, Sustaining Fort Wayne will make sure that Sedona is able to be proud in 30 years as she reflects upon an entire generation of students that she worked so diligently to develop in her career. As a mom, and as your city councilwoman, I promise to do my part to move #FortWayneForward, starting with my endorsement of the strategies presented by Sustaining Fort Wayne.