The full range of unexpected and delightful days at Greenovate Boston.
Before I took the position as Greenovate Boston Program Manager this past fall, I was familiar with Greenovate’s work, and even collaborated with the past team on some projects. But when I started, I had no idea the range of things I would be doing with my time here. Not only was there a lot to catch up on – like the basics of the 98 actions laid out in the Climate Action Plan and the role that Greenovate plays – but there were so many people behind the Greenovate brand really driving the progress that I had never met before! So many great things happening because of so many dedicated people. What I needed was time to process how all the pieces fit together, and the best ways to tell the story of how much our community is accomplishing – as well as what lies ahead.
In the meantime – I went with it, and learned a lot. I met with partners – from community groups who were loosely organized but brought together by passions and the desire to influence their city government, to large renewable energy developers looking for opportunities to collaborate. I told people about the past successes of Greenovate and how they might be able to benefit from lessons learned – from a Boston Public Schools high school classroom, to a delegation from Mongolia (and Singapore!).
I also helped to coordinate the multi-department, multi-agency effort to inform our residents about the upcoming changes to the FEMA flood insurance rate maps in the City of Boston. A big deal for a whole host of reasons, and I was happy to be able to assist in providing a vital communication service to our residents – even if it meant preparing the letters and envelopes myself (plus a team!) to go out to thousands of residents.
Most of all, I’ve been overwhelmed by the kindness and generosity of people who are interested in helping – wanting to know more about how they can contribute.
I’ve had a great opportunity to put everything into context since stepping into this role, and I’m really excited to move forward on the goals I’ve had a chance to set for myself. I’m ready to partner with all of you to chip away at the actions that the community (including me!) had a chance to weigh in on in our City’s 2014 Updated Climate Action Plan. I know with the support of Mayor Walsh and the Greenovate team – which includes the entire Environment department, the Environment, Energy and Open Space cabinet staff (which includes Parks, the Boston Landmarks Commission, Inspectional Services) and Chief Austin Blackmon, and so many other key people throughout City Hall (too many to name now – but I will soon!) – that we’re going to do this. We can become the greenest city in the world, while continuing to make Boston a thriving, healthy, and innovative city.
But don’t be fooled – just because I needed a chance to get up to full speed doesn’t mean there haven’t been huge strides since Greenovate Boston went through some transitions! In fact, it’s been a whirlwind of activity, which speaks to all of the things happening that Greenovate is the microphone for – not the catalyst (even though we do some of that too).
Below are key updates in areas of work that Greenovate has traditionally covered; be sure to stay tuned for more regular updates as we build the capacity to bring you news and opportunities to stay involved in climate action work in the City of Boston.
This is not meant to be comprehensive list of updates, but links highlighting the work coming out of the City of Boston. Has your group made significant strides on climate action progress? Let us know! Email firstname.lastname@example.org so we can help spread the word.