June 2023 Community Meeting: Residents discuss working together to create a sustainable future for Naperville

Naperville Environment and Sustainability Task Force (NEST) hosted a meeting with Naperville residents about community engagement and a sustainable future for Naperville on June 19, 2023 at Naperville Municipal Center.

Ashfaq Syed, community activist and community organizer was the speaker and shared his thoughts on how to increase NEST’s efforts with community engagement to help build a sustainable future for Naperville. Syed is concerned about the impact that we are collectively having on the planet and stressed how critical it is to handle this problem to save our next generation. Syed also said it is very important to create awareness and educate the Naperville community about how they can contribute to environmental protection. “We need to continue our work to create a broad-based coalition to support specific sustainability goals, including a transition to clean energy, policies that promote energy efficiency, and expansion of access to recycling,” Syed said.

Cathy Clarkin, co-chair of NEST, talked about NEST and its mission, which is to advise City government and Naperville residents and businesses on sustainability and greenhouse gas reduction. Cathy encouraged attendees to reach out to their networks of friends and colleagues to get involved in creating positive change in our community. Cathy said, “By growing NEST’s network, we can help more people save money by ‘going green’ and demonstrate to our elected officials that there is widespread support for sustainability initiatives in Naperville.”  

Carl VanDril, co-chair, stressed the importance of coming together as a community to support action on climate change and protection of the natural environment. Carl has been working with NEST for 2 years and talked to many elected officials and the city leadership team. Carl said, “For the many residents who care about leaving a livable future for their kids and grandkids, NEST is working to make sure their voices are heard by our elected officials.”

Around 40 plus Naperville residents attended the meeting on June 19th, 2023.