Greater Racine Water Council


Climate Crisis: Science, Consequences, Solutions

We are living in an era when a rise in global temperatures is creating havoc around the world – extreme weather, flooding, wildfires, hurricanes, tornadoes, unbearable heat in locations, and ocean levels rising.

This event was an opportunity to learn what has led to our present crisis, the effects of climate change, projections from climate scientists through the remainder of the century, and solutions that we can follow to save our planet.

Featured speaker: Bob Lindmeier, Chief Meteorologist at WKOW-TV in Madison
Local speakers include:
Cara Pratt, sustainability and conservation coordinator, City of Racine
Tom Rutkowski, chair, Sierra Club SE Gateway Group

First 86 attendees will receive a free tree: white pine, red maple and white spruce. ​All were donated! Thank you to our partners, speakers and the 100+ attended!

Meteorologist Bob Lindmeier On Global Warming 11-17-19
Check out or download the presentation from the event below. 
Bob Lindmeier Presentation 1


Saturday October 27 from 8:00 to 11:00
Racine Room, Ascension All Saints Hospital
8:00 – 8:30: Register, Networking and Light Breakfast. Slide show of Community activities
8:30 – 8:35- Welcome and Introductions.
8:35 – 9:05- Speaker: Kumar Jensen, Sustainability Coordinator, Evanston, IL
9:05 – 9:15- Table Interactions
9:15 – 9:30- Q&A with Kumar Jensen
9:30 – 10:00- Sustainability Reports- Round 1
  • City of Racine Energy Update: Cory Mason, Mayor, City of Racine
  • Southeast Wisconsin Solar Group Buy: Dana LaFontsee
  • AmeriCorps workers: Julie Kinzelman, City of Racine Health Department
  • Greater Racine Water Council: Jim Chambers, Green Architect, Root River Council.
  • Connecting Nature Corridors: Marilyn Kiemen, retired educator
  • Racine Sustainable Business Network: Damon Hassel, Alter Trading
  • Clean Power Coalition: Tom Rutkowski, retired teacher
10:00 – 10:10- Table Interactions
10:10 – 10:40- Sustainability Reports- Round 2
  • Greening School Cafeterias: Shannon Gordon, COO of Racine Unified School District
  • “Food Justice” Field Trip for students: Amy Macemon, UW Extension
  • Green Lifestyle Challenge at the Library: Sandy Roberts, retired clergy
  • Eco-Art Photo display of Nature Centers: Katie Blaisdell, UW Parkside art student
  • VGR Eco-Wave Team: Rose Woodruff, resident of Sturtevant
  • Energy Saving Workshop for Faith Communities: Myles Mullikin, Racine Green Congregations
  • EcoFest and Leadership Racine: Sister Janet Weyker, Eco Justice Center
10:40 – 10:50- Table Interactions
10:50 – 11:00- Closing and Announcements

About Our Speaker: 
Kumar Jensen is the Sustainability Coordinator of the city of Evanston, Il, a lakefront Chicago suburb of 74,000. Jensen manages strategic planning and project implementation for energy efficiency, water and waste reduction, renewable energy and climate change. Under his guidance, the city has achieved a four-star rating with STAR Communities (now merged with LEED for Cities)
He also works on natural resources policy related to their urban forest. Kumar has developed a new set of solid waste RFPs for residential services. He seeks to advocate for high energy-efficient buildings with advocates of affordable housing. He worked on the energy and water benchmarking ordinance and was coordinator of the annual Evanston Recycles and Clean up Evanston events. He works to expand Evanston’s renewable energy options.
Kumar grew up on an Ohio commune. He holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies from Earlham and is a certified TreeKeeper. He helped to start the local Environmentalists of Color group, which seeks to expand diversity in sustainability circles.
Kumar Jensen was recently named to the 2018 GreenBiz “30 Under 30” global list of 30 young leaders in sustainable business who demonstrate “the world-changing promise of sustainability in their everyday work.”


In October, roughly 70 people attended “Celebrating a Greener Racine”, representing a variety of conservation and sustainability groups throughout Racine. This was the second annual fall gathering for members and partners supporting Greening Greater Racine. Among those were Racine County Executive, Jonthan Delagrave and City Administrator, Jim Palenick. Our featured speaker was Steve Perkins. He organized and led the “Star Community” initiative in Evanston, IL. The “Star Community” is similar to certifying buildings, rather certifying a community. Steve explained the process he endured for years from rejections from the City to convincing community leaders advantages of being more sustainable. Steve managed to jump many hurdles and eventually achieved success! The city of Evanston is a “Star Community” with a track to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions by 80% by the year 2020! All in all, the city made great strides in improving the environment and connected the community in ways it did not expect before. 

We thank all the attendees for joining in the program, all the speakers, and responses in the surveys. Below are the photos from the event. Click on the agenda to download it to see the listed speakers. If you’re interested to see the sustainable organizations and activities, download the list by clicking HERE. If you think we missed anything, please let us know! 


Thanks to Gateway, Greening Greater Racine was able to host the first fall gathering. It was well-attended and we celebrated the progress in a greener Racine!

Thank you to all that attended and presented!

Below describes the event agenda. 
8:30 Refreshments and Networking
9:00 Welcome and overview, Dave Rhoads
9:05 Featured Speaker, Cory Mason IV, WI State Representative
9:30 GGR Initiatives

  • Energy – SOLARacine, Tom Rutkowski
  • Native Plants/Land Use: Butterfly Corridor Project, Melissa Kaprelian-Becker
  • Greater Racine Food Council, Amy Macemon
  • Greater Racine Water Council, Jim Chambers

9:55 Small group discussion at tables

  • What excited you about these presentations?
  • What else would you like to see happen?
  • 10:10 Outreach Happenings I
  • Faith communities: Racine Green Congregations,
  • Environmental Organizations, Allison Thielen
  • Racine Sustainable Business Network – Small Businesses
  • Racine Sustainable Business Network – Corporations, Audrey Van Dyke
  • Municipal and county Gatherings, Jonathan Delagrave

​​10:30 Small Group discussion
10:40 Outreach Happenings II

  • Leadership Racine Team,
  • Schools: Environmental Educators Network,
  • Community: EcoFest 2017 and Library Series,  Jayne Herring

10:55 Closing comments, Dave Rhoads