Forest Preserve District of DuPage County – Developing a Clean Energy, Resiliency, and Sustainability Plan

Photo of Herrick Lake, courtesy of the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County

The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County has partnered with Delta Institute and ECT to develop a plan promoting clean energy, resiliency, and sustainability. The plan will be comprehensive, equitable, partnership-driven, actionable, fundable, and measurable, ultimately positioning the District as a regional leader in environmental sustainability.

Brief Overview of What We’re Doing

In Summer 2022, the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County (the District) began partnering with Delta Institute (Delta) and Environmental Consulting & Technology, Inc. (ECT). Our team is exploring multiple sustainability issues to propose a comprehensive, focused, and actionable plan.  The Plan has three overarching areas we are addressing:

  • Clean Energy: We are developing an action plan to assess the feasibility of a number of energy efficiency, renewable energy, and alternative fuel vehicle strategies to help the District reduce its carbon footprint and greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Resiliency: Using Green Infrastructure, our team is developing plans to help improve and preserve the District’s stormwater management and water quality.
  • Sustainability: The project team is helping review opportunities to help the District advance its other environmental sustainability goals, including identifying new opportunities for addressing waste, recycling, composting, transportation, and carbon sequestration.

Clean Energy: Efficiency, Renewable, and Alternative Fuel Vehicles

Our project team seeks to advance climate action by building upon the District’s existing clean energy activities. This includes:

  • Retrofitting the system to reduce consumption and increase the balance of clean energy in the agency’s portfolio;
  • Developing an action plan to assess the feasibility of energy efficiency, renewable energy, and alternative fuel vehicle strategies in Forest Preserve facilities;
  • Reviewing Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions quantifications for the District based on provided total natural gas, diesel, and electricity consumption; and
  • Creating in-depth ASHRAE-level auditing on targeted buildings/campuses to provide more detailed energy efficiency analyses, renewable energy strategies unique to each building, and cost savings opportunities.

Resiliency: Green Infrastructure, Stormwater Management, Water Quality, and Nature-Based Designs

Our project team seeks to increase the District’s resiliency through the use of Green Infrastructure (GI). Doing so will protect water quality and advance co-benefits by decreasing the built environment’s impermeable surfaces and reducing runoff by encouraging more water infiltration that will cool and cleanse. We will do so by:

  • Evaluating opportunities for integrating GI into the District’s built environment;
  • Developing GI goals for runoff reduction and water quality improvement;
  • Developing prototypical GI project concepts;
  • Preparing capital improvement recommendations;
  • Assisting with funding and financial pathways; and
  • Assisting with equitable distribution of GI.

Sustainability: Waste, Transportation, and Carbon Sequestration

Our project team is also providing a comprehensive overview of the District’s other sustainability areas — namely waste management, transportation, and carbon sequestration — by:

  • Developing a Waste Characterization & Generation Update, Peer Agency Analysis, and Materials Management Strategies to advance the agency’s zero-waste goal;
  • Providing system-wide solutions for reducing transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions through clean energy fleet conversions and charging infrastructure, reductions in vehicle-miles traveled;
  • Advancing non-motorized transportation and trail connectivity as well as strengthening transit access;
  • Accurately estimating the carbon sequestration value in the soil and above-ground biomass in the District’s natural areas;
  • Expanding on the District’s sequestration capacity through restoration activities; and
  • Integrating offsets during the transition to renewable energy and using battery-powered commercial equipment.

Photo of Fullersburg Woods, courtesy of the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County

Questions? Want to get involved?

We are still in the preliminary planning and research phase for this project throughout the remainder of 2022; we will be sharing more updates on this webpage as our work progresses. We plan to host an online survey, public meeting, presentation webinar, and open house for the public in 2023. In the meantime, please feel free to message us below if you want to stay connected.

Photo of Waterfall Glen, courtesy of the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County

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