Abby Zielinski, Oak Park sustainability coordinator

The village of Oak Park is one year into “Climate Ready Oak Park,” a comprehensive and long-term action plan to address the global climate crisis. To mark the anniversary, the village and community partners are hosting an event, Aug. 7, to update the public on headway made and future actions to come.

“This community conversation will help us to better understand the village’s progress over the last year,” said village spokesperson Dan Yopchick. “This event will help shape a report that will be produced and shared after the fact.”

  Called “One Year In: Community Conversations on Climate Ready Oak Park,” the two-hour event starts at 6:30 p.m., Aug. 7, in the Veterans Room at the Oak Park Public Library’s main branch, 834 Lake St. Free babysitting is available and light snacks will be served. Those who want to attend the event can drop in at any time.

The event will be in the “café-style,” various stations set up for attendees to peruse, with a facilitator and documenter at every station to capture the conversation, answer questions and gather feedback. The village will publish a report after the event to celebrate Oak Park’s progress regarding environmental sustainability and strategies for the future.

“As a community, we have made great strides in implementing the Climate Ready Oak Park plan over the course of the last year,” said Abby Zielinski, sustainability coordinator of the village of Oak Park.

Such strides include passing ordinances limiting the use of environmentally destructive single-use plastics and gas-powered leaf blowers, as well as rolling out ordinances surrounding building energy benchmarking and electrification.

The village has made efforts to engage the community in their sustainability efforts throughout the last year, but the purpose of this particular event is to inform residents and stakeholders the extent to which the village has moved forward on the climate action plan, what work remains to be done, and how to get it done.

“Of course, there is a tremendous amount of work and change that needs to take place in order for us to meet our goals, but we are pleased with the community support as we prioritize these actions to fight climate change,” Zielinski said.

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