Plan Development Program

Our Plan Development Program, Climate Solutions University: Protecting Natural Resources & People, guides your team through a strategic process to determine where your community is most vulnerable to climate change, AND what to do about it.

Effective planning takes place at a watershed scale because natural systems do not adhere to jurisdictional boundaries. Cities and counties must work together to protect their vital natural resources. Our team specializes in building your capacity to assess the current condition of natural systems, and determine what will happen moving forward in the face of flood, fire, drought, and other climate-related threats.

Through this process, we help rural and urban areas collaborate. Healthy water and forest systems in rural communities provide benefits downstream for urban areas. These natural systems ensure resilience in the face of a changing climate.

The end result of the Plan Development Program is a ready for implementation forest and water climate adaptation plan.

We have helped leaders in over 33 communities across the U.S. take the following actions:

  • Build public support for climate change initiatives.
  • Develop leadership skills and organizational capacity.
  • Calculate the value natural resources deliver to a region.
  • Prioritize the risks climate change poses to local natural resources, people, and economy.
  • Identify public policy gaps and solutions.
  • Engage with the most vulnerable citizens to discover how they are impacted by climate change.
  • Create adaptive goals and action steps.
  • Succeed with implementation challenges like fundraising, political support, outreach & engagement, monitoring & evaluation, and implementing climate considerations into decision making process.
  • And much more!

Want a more detailed picture of how your climate adaptation plan is created throughout the year? View a sample program syllabus here: Climate Solutions University Syllabus

Find out if your community is a good fit for Climate Solutions University! Contact our Recruitment Coordinator Josh Dye at 612-481-8059 or Email Josh to discuss your interest.

Climate Solutions University Success Stories

“Climate Solutions University was an invaluable resource as we created the Nashville Area MPO’s regional resilience and climate adaptation plan. The Climate Solutions University team is composed of experts in economics, public policy, environmental communication, stakeholder engagement, environmental science, climate change, and green infrastructure, and they provided organizational support, deep knowledge of relevant issues, and kept us on track throughout the process.”

~ Wesley Rhodes, 2015 Participant, Nashville Area Metropolitan Planning Organization

“Climate Solutions University provided us with the guidance and leadership necessary to conduct a successful climate adaptation planning process. It is an ideal program for organizing small-scale resources, building community relations, and conducting thorough assessments that can lead to actionable climate preparedness plans.”

~ Alba Polonkey, 2015 Participant, Sustainable Sandhills (NC)

In Sumner County, TN the 2035 Comprehensive Plan now includes climate resilience measures including a goal  for new steep slope protection ordinances, and a county wide 2% increase in tree canopy, reversing tree loss trends along headwater streams.

In Taos, NM, the town awakened to water supply threats and adopted a new water conservation ordinance.

In Durango, CO, the Mountain Studies Institute is active in climate resilience and adaptive management through climate change monitoring for the San Juan Resource Management Plan.

In Keene, NH, the Sustainability Project members facilitated adoption of the Ashuelot River 10 year Implementation Plan. It is the first river protection document in the state to address climate change, for which they received recognition.

In Moab, UT, the Canyonlands Watershed Council’s climate planning contributed to  receiving a  $50,000 grant and recently created the Moab Area Watershed Partnership (MAWP) covering over 11,000 square miles and five designated impaired water bodies.

In Norton Bay, AK, the Norton Bay Watershed Climate Adaptation & Action Plan is being used as the initial climate planning template to facilitate development of localized regional plans for the Native Alaskan Villages of Norton Sound.

“The support system Dan River Basin Association (DRBA) built through Climate Solutions University- from state and federal government agencies, to local leaders, to other environmental groups – were vital to DRBA in responding to and navigating media relations, public concerns, and corporate negotiations. ….because of Climate Solutions University, we were able to quickly find our bearings after the Dan River coal ash spill and move into action, into the solution. We worked with our partners to press for and won passage of the strongest coal ash management laws in the nation.”

~Jenny Edwards, 2011 participant, Dan River Basin Association, NC

“I think the CSU program is well organized and in a great format for writing a climate adaptation plan. I am excited to start implementing!”

~ Morgan Green, 2014 Participant, Nisqually River Council, WA

“I highly recommend any agency seeking to pursue these issues engage MFPP for assistance. They fully understand the complexities of problems associated with forest, water and climate and how various policies can be implemented for governmental institutions to modify and change their existing directives and policies.”

~ James A. Stafne, Chairman Cookeville Planning Commission, TN