After two years of gathering input from the community on how they wanted to see Duck Hill improve, part of a program known as ASEEDS, Alex Score With EcoAdapt said the next step is to put the plan into action, starting with the smallest things that can be done.
Score said in July 2018, meetings were held in the community to gauge how they saw Duck Hill.
“We wanted to know what value was placed on Duck Hill,” Score said.
She said those in attendance came and provided their recommendations and priorities were set. The biggest thing was flood mitigation. Score said she was very proud of the steps taken to help mitigate flooding in Duck Hill and the creation of the Duck Hill Creek Rangers.
Score said with the help of ACER and North Montgomery County Citizens United for Prosperity, the ASEEDS project is working to make Duck Hill more sustainable and more resilient.
According to the executive summary, Duck Hill’s proposed climate action plan would “include an analysis of current and future climate and extreme weather assessment, input from residents on values and assets of Duck Hill, vulnerability assessment of those assets, and adaptation strategies to reduce those vulnerabilities. Community members also prioritized solutions and adaptation options for inclusion of “Adaptation, Resiliency, Smart Growth, and Sustainability Principles and Practices” into a revised Township of Duck Hill, 1975 Zoning Plan.” It goes on to state, “This commitment was adopted August 31, 2017, unanimously during a special meeting of the Mayor and Board of Alderman of Duck Hill, MS. The Climate Action Plan aims to increase the resilience of Duck Hill’s resources, people, and infrastructure by providing a plan to help improve quality of life, water quality, storm water, public health, safety, and general welfare of its citizens and landowners.”
Score said the most significant priority was critical infrastructure (repairing roads), health care access/hospital (those in Duck Hill who have to see a doctor, travel 10 minutes either to Winona or Grenada), Route 51 (mitigating the flooding on 51), Binford High School and gym (reducing the flooding that takes place), residential homes (homes prone to flooding), elderly residents (those who aren’t able to get help if needed), church/historical sites, more affordable housing, energy efficiency programs, open space and parks, agriculture (educating on what’s available), and Bogue Creek.
Score said the recent rain that’s been in the area, flash flooding, and the increased temperatures are indicative that climate change is happening. She said Mississippi currently does not have a climate action plan, and Duck Hill would be the first town in the state to have one.
She said the changes would be felt in 2100 when the temperature will increase by 2-6 degrees, which could have its
“Why not be at the forefront of change?” Score said.
She said the hope is that Mississippi will see Duck Hill’s plan and enact a broader climate action plan on a state scale. Score said now the plan is to put it in action.
“The plan was never intended to sit on the shelf,” she said. “We’ll continue to get input, implementing the plan, and continue evaluating. It’s a circular learning process.”
She said because Duck Hill’s thinking outside of the box, it could open the door for industry to come to Duck Hill if they see the town is serious about protecting the environment where they live.
“It could open the door for a solar farm to come,” Score said.