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Randolph hosts regional summit on climate change

Randolph Sustainability Coordinator Sara Woodward and Rick Barnes, a psychology professor, lead a session at the Community Resilience Building Forum.

Randolph Sustainability Coordinator Sara Woodward and Rick Barnes, a psychology professor, lead a session at the Community Resilience Building Forum.

Randolph College hosted a special forum Friday that brought dozens of Lynchburg community members together to talk about climate change and its effects on the local area.

Participants from the City of Lynchburg, Lynchburg College, Liberty University, numerous non-profit organizations, and more attended the College’s daylong Community Resilience Building Forum. Randolph hosted the event as part of the President’s Resilience Commitment for Climate Action signed by President Bradley W. Bateman in January 2017.

The main topic of discussion was climate resilience, which is defined as the approach an organization or community takes to mitigate or adapt to the effects of climate change. In small group discussions, participants worked to identify the most pressing threats to climate resilience, as well as to identify residential areas that are most vulnerable to hazards like extreme weather and public health crisis. The discussion touched on Lynchburg’s key social and economic institutions and how they can help provide resilience in the community. Participants also talked about what actions should come next, including the potential creation of a community resilience planning team.

Environmental science major Tyrah Cobb-Davis '19 (right) takes notes during a group discussion.

Environmental science major Tyrah Cobb-Davis ’19 (right) takes notes during a group discussion.

Today’s event is one of the many initiatives Randolph has undertaken to combat climate change. The program was organized by Randolph professors Karin Warren and Rick Barnes, Randolph’s Sustainability Coordinator Sara Woodward ’16, and Laura Henry-Stone, a Lynchburg College professor.

Earlier this week, the College pledged its support for the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality’s (DEQ) recently proposed regulation to reduce carbon emissions from the electricity sector. And in February, Randolph announced its new partnership with Lynchburg Grows, which is an effort to reduce pre-consumer food waste. Also in February, Bee City USA® renewed Randolph’s Bee Campus USA certification, thanks to the College’s efforts to enhance pollinator habitats both on and off-campus.



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