We celebrated Tigard’s 60th anniversary throughout 2021 in various ways. While some celebrated by completing the Historic Main Street Walking Tour or exploring the Tigard Heritage Trail and Outdoor Museum, others celebrated by listening to stories from former city leaders, including those from Craig Dirksen, John Cook, and Tom Anderson, on the Talking Tigard podcast.
Regardless of how you celebrated, you probably spent time thinking about the future of our community. I thought about the next 60 years and what our neighborhoods, parks, and trails will be in 2081 for the city’s 120th anniversary. While I obviously cannot predict the future, I can confidently state that our ability to address climate change is critical to our future.
We know the threat of climate change is real. The scientific research is clear: If we do nothing, we can expect a continuation or worsening of the disasters that we have faced in recent years – extreme heat, ice storms, flooding, and wildfires.
Therefore, the City Council prioritized the development and implementation of a bold Community Resiliency Plan to address climate change. With help from Sustainability Solutions Group – a climate consultant with over 15 years of experience – we are creating an action plan to bring Tigard to carbon neutrality by 2035, reduce our impacts on natural resources and the environment, and help our community adapt.
As we undertake this work, we are centering equity and environmental justice to reduce the negative effects of climate change on historically excluded communities. Along with community conversations, we are developing a Racial Equity Toolkit to evaluate decisions and reduce impacts and unintended consequences on the most vulnerable within our community.
Another important aspect of this work is elevating youth voices to shape the planning process. This is being led by our Climate Champions, a group of middle and high school students passionate about ensuring a healthy and promising future for Tigard.
Team Tigard has been busy laying the groundwork and preparing for you to participate. With the launch of our Community Resiliency Plan and Climate Hub websites, you can track progress in real time and add your voice! We will communicate with you and provide a central location for information on rebates, incentives, and other savings, including financial assistance.
I invite you to join our conversation about climate action in Tigard by sharing your thoughts about two key questions:
- What actions should the city take to address climate change?
- What should be the plan’s guiding principles?
Share your responses on the city’s Community Resiliency Plan webpage at www.tigard-or.gov/community-support/community-resiliency-plan. In the meantime, if you have questions or comments about any city-related issue, you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 503-810-0269.