The Town of Truckee was selected as one of the 2021 Beacon Leadership and Innovation Award Winners for equity and engagement in sustainability and climate.
The Beacon Program is sponsored by the Institute for Local Government (ILG) and recognizes voluntary efforts from California local agencies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote sustainability. This year, the Town was awarded the first ever Leadership and Innovation Award, a new project-based competitive award category recognizing local agencies implementing collaborative, inclusive, and equitable climate resilience and adaptation programming.
Truckee’s award honored work done through Climate-Ready Truckee, a Climate Change Adaptation Plan. Outreach efforts for Climate-Ready Truckee prioritized inclusive outreach to Spanish-speaking and low-income communities, recognizing these populations are most vulnerable to climate change and that their input was essential to developing Truckee’s climate change adaptation plan.
Truckee joined the Beacon Program in 2018, and has since been awarded nine awards for projects saving energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
All the ideas and priorities gathered from taskforce and community input is directly incorporated in Truckee’s climate adaptation plan, creating a plan with the town, not just for the town.
The effects of climate change have become increasingly apparent. Warmer summers and more unpredictable winters have increased the threat of wildfire and uncertainty for the town’s outdoor recreation and tourism-based economy. To better prepare our community for the inevitable impacts of our changing climate, a climate change adaptation plan, called Climate-Ready Truckee, was prepared to be incorporated into the safety element of Truckee’s 2040 General Plan. The policies of this plan identified climate impacts to the region and addressed how we will adapt to maintain strong natural resource health, human health, economic health, and infrastructure, with an emphasis on inclusivity to vulnerable populations most impacted by climate change.
What is Inclusive Outreach?
To develop this plan, a taskforce was developed consisting of 12 experts representing diverse knowledge within our local community systems including energy, health, emergency services, transportation, conservation, business, civic, recreation, tourism, and human services. The group met regularly over 13 months to provide input into all levels of the plan. Taskforce members also helped lead two day-long workshops, where 35 local agency and organization representatives, including taskforce members, worked to identify climate vulnerabilities across Truckee and develop comprehensive adaptation strategies.
Following each stakeholder workshop the Town hosted a bilingual (in English and Spanish) community workshop and a community survey. Advertising for workshops was conducted in both English and Spanish to engage with Truckee’s 20% Latinx population. A Latinx-liaison was contracted to help reach Truckee’s Spanish-speaking residents. Two community workshops engaged a total of over 75 participants.
Between the two surveys following each workshop, 480 community responses were received, with 96 responses in Spanish. The surveys gathered feedback on identifying vulnerabilities in the community and prioritizing different climate adaptation strategies. All the ideas and priorities gathered from taskforce and community input is directly incorporated into Truckee’s climate adaptation plan, creating a plan with the town, not just for the town.
The Town thanks ILG for this award, as well as all the people who contributed to Climate-Ready Truckee, including staff at Geos Institute, Latinx liaison Andrea Fernandez-Landa, taskforce members from local agencies, and community members. This project has set the framework for inclusive outreach going forward, identifying opportunities for increased progress towards expanding the Town’s reach to all sectors of the community.
Truckee’s Climate Adaptation Plan outlines polices and projects to help our community remain resilient in the face of climate change and will be incorporated into the safety element of the 2040 General Plan. More info about the plan can be viewed here.