At just over 70˚F, Gilroy’s weather was relatively mild when the Forum for a Greener Future took place, compared to the high temperatures that the city experiences throughout the year. Local residents are experiencing extreme heat conditions becoming more common in recent years, inspiring the community to come together to protect the city from increasing climate risks.
The Forum For a Greener Future, presented by Greenbelt Alliance and the Community Agency for Resources, Advocacy and Services (CARAS), brought the Gilroy community together for a conversation on climate vulnerability and how to build resilience against climate impacts such as extreme heat.
Over 40 people joined the Forum at the Gilroy Library, engaging with informative stations to learn about climate risks and opportunities, including extreme heat, fires and smoke, and flooding, and how these risks exacerbate social and economic factors in the South Bay city. Inspired by Greenbelt Alliance’s Bay Area Resilience Hotspots research, Gilroy residents were invited to participate in a visioning exercise to provide input on their city’s risks and help shape the future for collective resilience.
Organizations Community Health Partnership, Our City Forest, and Silicon Valley Clean Energy joined us to share more about the environmental and community health resources they offer in the region and how people can get involved.
The community conversation will continue with a follow-up forum on February 17, at 11 a.m. hosted in partnership with CARAS, when we will present preliminary insights into the community input provided during The Forum For a Greener Future..
A Resilience Hotspot
Gilroy is one of Greenbelt Alliance’s Resilience Hotspots due to its significant climate risks of fire, flooding, and extreme heat. Severe flooding and wildfires have historically and recently caused serious property damage and economic challenges for local residents—a community that is also grappling with health issues caused by rising temperatures. Learn more at Gilroy’s Community Profile, which is also available in Spanish (acceda en espanõl).
The Bay Area Resilience Hotspots initiative shines a light on places where investing in people and leading with nature will change the trajectory of our region’s future so that people and ecosystems thrive. These Hotspots were determined through an in-depth, data-driven, and community-informed process. Both physical features and socioeconomic factors were incorporated to consider opportunities for nature to play a role in mitigating the risks of wildfire, flooding, and extreme heat.