Environment


Emailed Diane Bailey of Menlo Spark: “An amazing thing happened this week. With the leadership of Menlo Park Mayor Ray Mueller, the Menlo Park City Council unanimously approved a momentous Climate & Sustainability Resolution for Earth Day.”

Today, Earth Day, the signing of that resolution was celebrated in front of City Hall by the Mayor alongside City Clerk Judi Heron.

“The resolution is designed to inspire the confidence and optimism that we have in Menlo Park to focus on climate solutions at the scale needed to address the magnitude of the climate crisis we are facing,” explained Diane.

“Our City and region have taken many great steps, from the formation of Peninsula Clean Energy, to new building standards and the implementation of electric vehicle charging station requirements, to move the needle on the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions,” said the Mayor. “We have accomplished so much, with the commitment of our professional staff, the leadership of our Environmental Quality Commission and in partnership with organizations like Menlo Spark, the Sierra Club, Green Foothills, our property owners, stakeholders, and residents.

“But as Mayor, it’s incumbent on me to say we cannot live in our past accomplishments and rest in a new status quo. We must continue to adapt and evolve our policies and practices, as the climate crisis continues to worsen. Our action or inaction on these issues will be our legacy left to our children and future City residents.”

The resolution includes:

  • Climate Goals: Adopt a new Climate Action Plan that accelerates a near term transition to carbon neutrality, maximizes GHG reductions by 2030, spurs innovation and creates jobs, and prepares for the impacts of climate change on public health, infrastructure, the economy, ecosystems, and public spaces in our community.
  • Smart City Planning: Incorporate climate and sustainability into all city policies, programs, and plans.
  • Public Outreach & Benchmarking Progress: Increase public outreach on the city’s community-wide sustainability and resilience efforts, including regular reporting on progress towards GHG reduction goals, actions, and policies.
  • Equity: Recognize the needs of all community members through environmental and social justice, and a commitment to create equitable investment, planning, and services for a more cohesive city of Menlo Park.
  • Sustainable Mobility: Implement transportation policies that eliminate carbon pollution and reduce congestion, creating more convenient and safe options for bicycling, walking, and riding public transit, while supporting a transition to electric vehicles.
  • Zero Carbon Buildings: Ensure that new homes and buildings are built with Zero Carbon electric heating and appliances, and work with regional partners to explore programs that assist home and building owners with upgrades that phase out fossil fuel use.
  • Healthy Neighborhoods: Discourage the use of toxic chemicals among homeowners and businesses, including pesticides.
  • Preserve the Landscape: Protect open space and natural resources as a part of the climate action plan and adaptation strategy.

“The implementation isn’t immediate,” said Ray. “The Resolution is a policy framework of goals to be achieved over the next decade. There will be robust process around each step. Nonetheless, setting forth those goals now, is the first step to achieving them.”

Photo by Robb Most (c) 2019

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Disaster Preparedness Fair set for April 27

To celebrate Earthquake Preparedness Month, come and join your friends and neighbors in learning how to be safe and prepared in case of earthquakes, fires, and floods. Menlo Fire Protection District, Red Cross, USGS, PG&E, CERT, Adapt, and much more will be at the free Disaster Preparedness Fair on April 27 from 11:00 am to […]

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Household Hazardous Waste Collection event on April 13

The Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Program helps residents properly dispose and/or recycle their residential hazardous waste. Household hazardous waste (HHW) is waste from your home that is toxic, corrosive, flammable or reactive based on its chemical properties. Products such as paint thinner, toilet bowl cleaner, and rat bait exhibit these hazardous characteristics. It is illegal […]

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Skies remain cloudy after overnight rain – but the benefit is a pretty spring scene

Are we really in for another few days of off and on showers? So says the weather forecast (except for tomorrow which looks good). Report InMenlo weather watcher Bill Russ: “.1” to report this morning. Now 21.75” season to date.” The lovely photo of oak and horses was taken by Irene Searles who writes:  “Driving […]

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Group gathers to protest the removal of Redwood trees in Menlo Park

A small group that included the Raging Grannies gathered near the corner of El Camino and Ravenswood today to protest the removal of seven Redwood trees in that area. They passed out flyers to inform fellow residents what they can do to help save the trees. Another protest is planned for tomorrow, March 24, from […]

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Sacred Heart School’s two Kindergarten classes’ flags flown in Antarctica

As part of Global Studies in the preschool and kindergarten, Sacred Heart Schools’ (SHS) two kindergarten classes undertook a first-of-its-kind project that made their education about Antarctica all the more tangible. Each class designed and painted a SHS- and penguin-themed flag which was mailed to Antarctica and displayed by researchers at the remote Cape Royds […]

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County-wide greenbuilding efforts & new guide available for zero carbon commercial construction

Diane Bailey of Menlo Spark emailed InMenlo the following: “Peninsula Clean Energy (PCE), Silicon Valley Clean Energy (SVCE) and the San Mateo County Office of Sustainability (OOS) are joining together to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, by developing “reach codes” that exceed state energy efficiency standards for buildings. Their new website supporting the effort lists several […]

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Trinity Church in Menlo Park launches climate change initiative, “Reclaiming Eden”

“Reclaiming Eden: Stopping climate change one household at a time” is a new initiative by Trinity Church in Menlo Park. “All around us, the ramifications of climate change are becoming more real,” said the Rev. Matthew Dutton-Gillett, rector at Trinity. “The earth is under pressure, and she is not doing well. And when the Earth, […]

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Local non-profit takes on “Oily Wells” with a planned March for Fossil Fuel Freedom

Menlo Park resident Nicole Kemeny has a long history as an activist/advocate, initially around affordable housing and lending discrimination when she lived in Chicago. Now as president of 350 Silicon Valley, she is taking on “Oily Wells” in an effort to have Wells Fargo Bank be the first major bank in the U.S. to go […]

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The reward of rain is beautiful landscapes

Ok, ok. We know the rain is getting a “bit old.” But when the result is a scene like this that InMenlo co-founder Scott Loftesness captured out at the Horse Park in Woodside earlier today, how can you really complain? Reports InMenlo weather watcher Bill Russ: “Another .2” has accumulated over the day. I am now […]

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Art Ventures series on climate change concludes Feb. 25 & 26

The Art Ventures Gallery Speaker Series: Stanford’s Climate-Energy Investment In Perspective: Art, Politics, and Science concludes this week with speakers on Monday and Tuesday. Feb. 25, 6:30 pm – Franklin (Lynn) Orr, Ph. D., (pictured right) Former US Dept. of Energy Under Secretary for Science and Energy & Professor Emeritus, Department of Energy Resources Engineering, Stanford […]

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