TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — Terre Haute community members want to be proactive rather than reactive when it comes to the potential impacts of climate change.

On Wednesday, the Terre Haute Sustainability Commission hosted a Climate Vulnerability Assessment Workshop that took place at Sisters of Providence at Saint-Mary-of-the-Woods.

Local stakeholders and community members discussed climate risks and potential challenges posed to the Terre Haute area.

“To our parks, to our agriculture, to our economic system. What’s life going to be like for our kids in the years to come? We just want to make sure that we’re ready, that we adapt where possible, and that we put systems in place to protect the most vulnerable,” said Mark Minster, Rose-Hulman Professor.

According to a news release the sustainability commission began as an effort made by a local youth activist group.

Originally climate awareness was instigated by the youth activist group EARTHlings (Environmental Activists for a Resilient Terre Haute) right here in Terre Haute. The founding members of this group were Ahan Bhattacharyya, Julie Pichonnat, Diarmuid Corcoran, Leif Speer, and Elias Hellmann. EARTHlings was established in August 2020 with the guidance and support from Earth Charter Indiana. As a result of their persistent efforts and hard work, the Terre Haute City Council passed a resolution in 2021 to address climate change, setting in motion the development of a climate action plan. This resolution also led to the formation of a Terre Haute Sustainability Commission.

Sustainability Commission news release

The ultimate goal of the workshop is to develop strategies to protect the Terre Haute Community.