Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced a new pilot outreach program to increase awareness and understanding of the climate impacts Boston faces today, and in the future. The Climate Ready Boston Leaders program aims to prepare and connect neighbors to build a more climate resilient city by offering toolkits in multiple languages. These toolkits will educate residents on how climate change will impact Boston, and what they can do to get involved. The pilot program’s goal is to give Boston’s leaders the tools they need to discuss and address climate change on a community level.
“The climate disruptions Boston is facing are real,” said Mayor Walsh. “We have an opportunity to build a thriving city, while preparing for a changing climate. It’s important to address that challenge with everyone at the table, and we’re equipping our residents with the knowledge and tools to participate.”
The pilot program helps Bostonians facilitate discussions on how Boston can prepare for those impacts and take part in climate resiliency planning. Participants in the program will receive a toolkit that includes customizable materials to share information and start conversations about climate preparedness within their own organizations and networks. The toolkit includes:
- A visual presentation summarizing key messages points from the 2016 Climate Ready Boston report;
- A dialogue script with tips for fostering climate discussions with sample format and opening questions;
- Neighborhood-specific fact sheets for the five focus areas identified in the report as being most at risk; and
- A one-page summary on the resilience strategies and how to get involved.
Individuals interested in joining the pilot program must sign up on the City’s website by May 11, and will be asked to attend a training in Boston on how to facilitate discussions around climate preparedness on Monday, June 5th or Tuesday, June 6th.
The City’s Environment Department worked with Climate Access, a team of experts in climate change communications and research, Boston’s Green Ribbon Commission, and community leaders to develop the toolkit and training for the new program. Additionally, the City received funding from the State’s Commonwealth Compact Cabinet to further develop the program, including translating the materials in five languages other than English.
“Building a more resilient future for Boston is a collaborative effort,” said Chief of Environment, Energy and Open Space Austin Blackmon. “We’re eager to see Bostonians equipped with the best knowledge about climate impacts and share it with their neighbors. We hope to reach new people who may not think about this challenge, but are vital to the solution.”
Climate Ready Boston is the City’s ongoing initiative to prepare Boston for the impacts of climate change in coordination with Imagine Boston 2030. Last December, the City released a report showing that Boston can tackle the challenge of climate change while creating new economic opportunities and improving quality of life in neighborhoods across the city.