Climate Action Plan takes hold

City to make changes as plan unfolds


Caroline Green

Senior Katie Christiansen speaks in support of the Climate Action Plan before the St. Louis Park City Council Feb. 5.

Gabriel Kaplan

The St. Louis Park Climate Action Plan, adopted in February of 2018, has already begun to take effect throughout the city.

The plan was formed by the City Council and was spurred on by lobbying from Park’s Roots and Shoots environmental club. The plan’s three “kick-start projects” will jumpstart the plan through the implementation of electric vehicle charging in public projects, a youth-led project and the creation of a central data hub.

According to St. Louis Park Mayor Jake Spano, the starting projects were created to maintain the momentum from the Plan’s passing.

“We wanted to capture the energy that had come out of this process and see some tangible results,” Spano said. “A lot of times you pass ordinances like this and something that is as big as this (can) take decades to do, and you lose a lot of energy and interest.”

According to St. Louis Park’s Environment and Sustainability Coordinator Shannon Pinc, the data hub kickstarter will be a source of information relating to the plan and how community members can participate. It will be available online to anyone in St. Louis Park.

“The goal is to have a hub that is for all kinds of stakeholders in the community; it could be a small business owner, a non-profit, a resident who is a homeowner, or someone who lives in a condominium and wants to know (if they can) participate in a solar program — if (they) can’t put panels on (their) roof,” Pinc said.

Roots and Shoots leader senior Katie Christiansen said the youth-led project will work to motivate the city towards fulfilling the Plan.

“The goals of the project are to engage residents and businesses in St. Louis Park in meeting the goals set out by the Climate Action Plan,” said Christiansen. “(We will be) reaching out and using the power we have as youth and the influence we have to really rally our community around getting this done and making it a priority.”

According to Pinc, the electronic vehicle charging stations being implanted into the city are already being planned in projects across St. Louis Park.

“We are already having electronic vehicle charging included in upcoming projects,” Pinc said. “We are looking at what kinds of city projects are available and we are looking at the lots we manage as a city and any of those projects that trigger the ordinance requirements to require either electric vehicle chargers or at the very least infrastructure.”

Spano said a lot of the work must be done by the greater St. Louis Park community in order to achieve the goals set out by the Climate Action Plan.

“There’s a portion of this that is about (the city) leading by example and I think that’s really important, but the reality is that the majority of the change that is going to have to happen is going to have to come from private property owners and businesses in St. Louis Park,” Spano said.