Letter to the editor

Oregon is going green! Many individuals and organizations are helping to make Oregon more sustainable. Here are just a few examples.

The Oregon School District built the Forest Edge Elementary school, which opened in September 2020, as the first net-zero energy school in Wisconsin. It features geothermal heating/ cooling, over 1,700 solar panels, and does not require the use of natural gas.

Each year, the school produces more energy than it uses. The school is a model for other sustainable buildings.

The Oregon Village Board recently formed two committees to look into ways to make our town more sustainable.

The village public transportation committee created a survey to assess the need for public transit within our village, and between Oregon and surrounding communities. The survey will be available in both online and paper form in December, with submissions due by Jan. 13. To find out more about the survey, look for posters around town or check out the village website.

The village sustainability committee is working on a plan for Oregon to reduce its impact on the environment and increase its resilience to climate change. The committee will present proposals to the village board about how to achieve sustainability goals, like converting to solar power, reducing sprawl, and decreasing stormwater runoff.

Other areas of village government are doing their part too. The public works department organized listening sessions to get public input on grass mowing practices. The Oregon planning and development office will be conducting a bike and pedestrian study to offer recommendations for building a better walking and biking system.

Community groups and churches are also helping to create a more sustainable Oregon.

The Peoples United Methodist Church recently held an “Earth Care Green Fair” promoting environmental protection and good stewardship.

The Friends of the Badfish Creek Watershed are working to reduce e-coli in the creek, clear debris and brush, and promote enjoyment of the water through paddling. (I took a paddle there and loved it.)

The Oregon Nature Alliance has been volunteering in the parks, organizing native garden tours, assisting at library story walks, providing monarch displays, and helping people design and plant native gardens.

To find out more about these and other green initiatives, attend Oregon’s Sustain Dane Event from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 29 at the Kickback Café. This will be a great time to enjoy refreshments and hear from people who are working on these very important issues. Everyone is welcome!

Rae Vogeler

Chair, village board ad hoc public transportation committee

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