When Carol Davis took on the role of Sustainability Manager of Blacksburg, Virginia, adaptation and resilience were not recognized as pressing issues for her community. At the time, sea level rise was the climate concern du jour and it didn’t seem relevant to Blacksburg, nestled in the New River Valley of southwestern Virginia—more than 300 miles from the nearest coastline. Nonetheless, with an eye to the future, Carol began work developing the Town of Blacksburg’s Climate Action Plan, which was adopted in 2016.
At the same time, the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy, a global alliance dedicated to climate leadership at the local level, was spurring communities to develop mitigation strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adaptation strategies to make our communities more resilient in a changing climate. With their 2016 Climate Action Plan in hand, Blacksburg was ready to take up the charge.