The City of Faribault was proud to host on Tuesday, Sept. 21, a handful of state officials for a ‘It Takes a Community to Build Climate Resilience’ tour.
Those in town included Commissioner Peter Tester, of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency; Assistant Commissioner Katrina Kessler, of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency; Climate Director Frank Kohlasch, of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency; Climate Change Adaptation Coordinator Sharon Stephens, of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency; and Assistant Commissioner Shannon Lotthammer, of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
In conjunction with Climate Week, the three-stop tour allowed the City and its partners to discuss various changes that needed to be made as a result of extreme weather events. Mayor Kevin Voracek and several City staff discussed the physical and economic impacts from the three, 100-year floods the City has had to overcome in recent years, in addition to the greater collaboration that has organically formed within our community in an effort of finding solutions to mitigate future extreme weather events.
The tour included a tree planting near the new mural in downtown Faribault, highlighted the rain garden installed along the river at the Faribault Woolen Mill Co., and allowed state officials to see the flood mitigation project that is nearing completion at the City’s wasterwater treatment facility.
Some of the local efforts the City of Faribault and its partners have already taken include:
Investing in clean transportation
• Swapping out fleet vehicles with EVs to slow greenhouse gas emissions; encouraging use and expanding trails
Implementing green infrastructure
• Planting trees, rain gardens and implementing rain barrel programs
Promoting health, equity, & economic opportunity
• Educating about energy efficiency and heat tape within manufactured home communities
Creating a strong, resilient community
• Investing in infrastructure to mitigate extreme weather
Providing access to energy efficiency programs
• Increasing awareness of energy-saving programs at minimum to no-cost
Restoring and sustaining tree cover
• Intentionally replacing trees as a result of Emerald Ash Borer, and establishing a free tree boulevard programs
By working collaboratively, we - as a community - are becoming more resilient by protecting natural spaces, reducing risks, and creating a cleaner economy for both long-term economic success and healthy lives.