Mayor Chris Beutler today released the final Lincoln Environmental Action Plan (LEAP) to guide City action in the areas of energy, land use, transportation, waste and water. The LEAP will be introduced at the City Council meeting Monday, December 11 and includes changes suggested by the community since the draft plan was released in July. The Council will have a public hearing and vote on the LEAP Monday, December 18. The final plan is available at lincoln.ne.gov (keyword: LEAP).
Mayor Beutler thanked the hundreds of people who provided feedback on the plan at the open house and through the City website. He said Lincoln residents want more recycling; more energy savings; increased use of renewable energy; transportation improvements and Smart City technologies; smart use of the water supply; and trails, parks and street trees that support a high quality of life.
"Their responses confirm that our community continues to push for a Cleaner and Greener Lincoln," Beutler said. "Our community wants these things not only because we know it's the right thing to do for our children and future generations. We want them because the people in our community know these things are helping - right now today - to build Lincoln into a city on the forefront of technology, entrepreneurship, economic innovation and a high quality of life."
Suggested changes in the final plan include:
The LEAP was released at a morning news conference also attended by State Senator Anna Wishart (District 27, Lincoln), City Council member Leirion Gaylor Baird and Chelsea Johnson of the Nebraska League of Conservation Voters.
"The citizen recommended changes to the Lincoln Environmental Action Plan demonstrate both a thoughtful and practical response to climate change and a proactive approach to stewarding the natural resources entrusted to us," said Gaylor Baird. "These common sense changes suggested to us by our residents strengthen the plan and ultimately strengthen our quality of life. In short, Lincoln residents are asking us to take bold and ambitious action to create a better future for our families and the generations that follow."
"Whether it is growing tomatoes on an apartment balcony, sharing fresh produce at a community garden, students experimenting with aquaponics in their classroom, local restaurants sourcing local food, or urban farmers cultivating vacant lots, the local food movement is growing across the country and I am proud to live in a city that is embracing local food and urban agriculture to the benefit of our environment, our health and our economy," said Wishart.
Mayor Beutler said the LEAP also guides several other initiatives moving forward in the next few weeks and months. Those include the following:
"Investing in a Cleaner, Greener Lincoln creates what industry and economists call a 'Triple Bottom Line' -- it returns economic, social and environmental value," Beutler said. "This innovative thinking, planning and building are big reasons Lincoln continues to shine on the national stage."