City seeks student and resident input on Climate Action Plan


Jacob Rice

Ward 3 Rep. Anita Rollins listens to a presentation on Jan. 24.

The Ames City Council is seeking feedback from residents in regard to their Climate Action Plan in preparation for creating a draft for the plan, which is set to be brought before the council April 18.

The city invites all residents to participate in its survey and share their thoughts on reducing their own carbon footprint. The survey will remain available through Monday.

“The survey is just a component of the feedback that the consultants are going to use for their implementation strategy,” said Susan Gwiasda, the city’s public information officer.

Gwiasda said the city would like to see more responses from Iowa State students, who have made up roughly 20% of all respondents so far. According to the city, Iowa State students make up almost half of the total population in Ames.

“Part of the survey does deal with home improvements, so in that sense, this one might not be as interesting to students, but it really does try to gauge attitudes and where we are with how people feel about carbon reduction,” Gwiasda said.

Gwiasda said the city sees students as leaders when it comes to climate action planning.

“When we’ve had students involved in this process to date, students have been very supportive of climate action planning– not across the board, but in general, we’re not seeing that sense of, ‘I don’t need to do this; this isn’t my responsibility,’” Gwiasda said. “We see students as leading the charge when it comes to climate action planning, and so when we talk about attitudes and maybe education, students are a little further down that road sometimes than other community members.“

Gwiasda said the survey issued is a self-selected survey; therefore, the results cannot be generalized to the entire population.

“We encourage people to stay more informed and stay involved, and we’re looking forward to unveiling a draft plan in April. Then the work really starts,” Gwiasda said. “This is just the beginning; this isn’t the end.”