Greenscape Geeks had an excellent opportunity to attend the Hoosier Environmental Council’s Greening the Statehouse event this past Saturday. The day was filled with panels, guest speakers, and networking with other environmentally-minded Hoosiers. The keynote speaker was former South Carolinian congressman, Bob Inglis. His talking points centered on garnering support among his party lines for improved environmental legislation. As a Republican, Inglis feels like there are foundational conservative values (economic and social) that integrate with environmental policies for a more united plan of attack on battling climate change. More info can be found about his mission here (republicen.org). -NOTE: the views and opinions of Inglis and the RepublicEN campaign website are solely those of the original author and other contributors-
Mr. Inglis was followed by panelists that discussed a wide range of topics: purchase agreements and accessible financing for rooftop solar energy, continual improvements to public transit, green infrastructure, and conservation farming. It was also very encouraging to see Mayor Andy Cook of Westfield talk about the native grass implementation along the highway shoulders in his city. After a great vegan lunch (hot veggie soup hit the spot on a chilly Saturday), the panels continued with a suite of engineers and academics outlining potential solutions to what new weather patterns due to climate change will bring. Sheila McKinley, of Christopher B. Burke Engineering, LLC, showcased the natural and beneficial functions of floodplains and green infrastructure stormwater management practices. Dr. Laura Bowling and Dr. John Dunning of Purdue University went over data points about how U.S. agriculture will need to respond to water-usage and extended growing seasons for specific crops. They also discussed what type of new migration and breeding patterns birds will exhibit in the future with a warmer, wetter Indiana, as well as what we can do to conserve bird habitats.
While our presence at Greening the Statehouse was small, Greenscape Geeks was very excited to meet people as passionate about the environment as we are. Whether they had heard our name before or not, we were so thrilled to answer questions and see the delight on people’s faces when we shared our guiding principle of creating beautiful, natural landscapes through the usage of native plants and sustainable ecological practices. Whatever the Hoosier Environmental Council has in store for next year’s Greening the Statehouse, we want to be involved again!