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Page last updated on September 6, 2021 at 10:55 am


In 2018, the City of Bloomington worked with Gnarly Tree Sustainability Institute to develop a five-year framework for Bloomington’s sustainability strategy that identifies both short- and long-term goals and actions in City operations and within the broader community. The plan includes an evaluation and reporting mechanism for a comprehensive, community sustainability program that references environmental, economic and equity elements.

Plan Development & Community Engagement

The 2018 Sustainability Action Plan was developed by the Department of Economic and Sustainable Development, in coordination with consultants Gnarly Tree Sustainability Institute, and substantial input from City employees and community stakeholders.  Two open houses were held in February 2018 to solicit general public feedback on thematic areas of the plan and an online survey was shared via social media and on the City’s website to provide an ongoing mechanism for public input.

An Advisory Board was also formed in February to advise the SAP development process and provide input on draft documents. To provide opportunities for meaningful public input and facilitate collaboration between the public, private, and nonprofit sectors, four working groups were established around key themes. Each working group met four times between March and May and identified priority issues, goals and actions for inclusion in the plan.

More than 20 existing City reports and plans related to sustainability were reviewed in development of the SAP, including the 2018 Comprehensive Plan which has a strong focus on climate change and sustainability goals for Bloomington. The consultants also enlisted the research support of Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs Masters students to review relevant metrics and actions included in community frameworks, such as STAR Communities, and to compare sustainability initiatives in six college towns of similar population to Bloomington. This information was evaluated in conjunction with public input to develop a draft plan, which was made available for public review from August 21-30.  Four community presentations were also held during that time to provide an overview of the plan and key recommendations and receive additional stakeholder input.  The SAP was approved by City Council on October 31, 2018.  


Contact Information

For more information, please contact the Department of Economic and Sustainable Development by email at or phone at 812-349-3418.