Lexington continues its leadership in the climate change arena. The Town has recently released a draft of Resilient Lexington, its new climate action and resilience plan.
The draft plan addresses five key focus areas critical to reaching Lexington’s net zero goals: buildings & energy; community resilience; natural resources; transportation & mobility; and waste.
The plan emphasizes that implementing Resilient Lexington will be a collective effort involving all residents and multiple town departments. The Town hopes to encourage community members to make changes in their own homes, like installing solar panels and switching to electric heat pumps, in addition to directly implementing actions on a town-wide level.
Across the five focus areas, the plan includes 10 goals and 51 specific actions. For example, in the Buildings & Energy area, the proposed goal is that all of Lexington should be powered by 100% renewable electricity by 2035. Suggested actions include further development of Town-owned sites for renewable generation (for example installing more rooftop solar on Town buildings), marketing Lexington’s Community Choice Program, which gives residents the option to choose renewable sources of electricity, and studying the feasibility of network geothermal systems. For each focus area, the plan proposes specific metrics for measuring success.
Resilient Lexington builds upon Lexington’s ongoing efforts to create a sustainable future over the last 15 years. The development of Resilient Lexington had broad community and stakeholder engagement, including a 35-person Stakeholder Workshop Group, a community survey with over 350 responses, and multiple focus groups, community presentations, and events over the last year. On August 10, a public forum was held to discuss the draft.
The community has the opportunity to learn more about the plan and submit comments by August 18. The Town expects to finalize Resilient Lexington by the end of August and present it to the Select Board for approval in the fall.
A plan, of course, is only as good as its execution. The Town intends to develop a detailed implementation plan to complement the final approved goals and actions. Initial comments on the draft have focused on identifying priorities among the many recommended actions, measuring progress and results, and ensuring the plan is updated as climate issues evolve.
Maggie Peard, Lexington’s Sustainability and Resilience Officer, added that “the Plan is the culmination of a year-long process of analyzing Lexington-specific data, talking to community members, and deeply engaging the stakeholders who will be responsible for implementing the plan. Bringing in Town leadership, staff from across many different departments, and active volunteers will go a long way to ensure the plan actually drives us to a more sustainable future.”