2018-03-29 / News

Town sustainability project pushes forward, seeks input

BY EMILY JONES


Ella Junge, a freshman at North Kingstown High School, explains her water collection system to Bob Flath at last Thursday’s sustainability meeting at Town Hall. Junge worked on the project with her robotics team, the Jamestown Robowolves. PHOTO BY ANDREA VON HOHENLEITEN Ella Junge, a freshman at North Kingstown High School, explains her water collection system to Bob Flath at last Thursday’s sustainability meeting at Town Hall. Junge worked on the project with her robotics team, the Jamestown Robowolves. PHOTO BY ANDREA VON HOHENLEITEN Jamestown is an enchanting coastal town with beautiful homes, historic parks and picturesque vistas. How can its residents make sure it will be taken care of in the future?

The answer lies in sustainability.

The planning commission last Thursday hosted an open house for its developing project called Sustainable Jamestown. Residents gathered at Town Hall for a presentation regarding sustainability topics, from climate change to housing costs. Following the overview, they wandered throughout the sustainability fair to learn from local organizations how they could contribute to a healthier environment. They also gave feedback on the action plan, a document that is being drafted by Horsley Witten Group. The consulting firm was hired by the town in October 2016.

“The point is to showcase different tools that will inspire people to think of their own ideas,” senior planner Krista Moravec said.

The first phase of Sustainable Jamestown included feedback from online surveys and one-on-one interviews. The firm also met with focus groups and town leaders. Using this information, the consultants determined which efforts already were established, such as the farmers market and the plastic bag ban.

“We don’t want to duplicate actions already done by the town,” Moravec said, “so we developed this action plan to fill in the gaps.”

The plan is divided in four pieces: community, resources, economy and infrastructure. Along with detailed explanations of these issues, the plan also will outline goals and the actions needed to attain them.

“I’m proud of Jamestown for taking this on,” resident Kate Petrie said.

In order to track the progress of the plan, Moravec said there is a newly revamped website, sustainablejamestown.com, that is a central resource for feedback. There, residents can submit their own sustainability ideas.

“We hope to have all the pieces under one roof,” Moravec said.

Town Planner Lisa Bryer, who spearheaded the initiative, said it’s important for residents to be in charge of this plan. She cited the ban on plastic bags, which surfaced on a council agenda because of two women from town lobbying for the prohibition.

“We have amazing residents,” Bryer said. “Things move faster when residents are in charge of a project.”

The plan will be finalized in May. Moravec hopes residents spend the next few weeks voicing their opinions.

“We are looking for input,” she said. “That’s what we’re missing.”

Added Bryer, “Our goal and theme of this plan is to maintain a high quality of life for residents and future generations.”

Return to top