A line of cars wait at the Lincoln Avenue railroad crossing Friday in Goshen. A sign typical of Goshen rail crossings, asks motorists to reduce air pollution by turning off their vehicle's engines. Goshen's production of greenhouse gases will be studied this summer. Staff photo  by Ben Mikesell
A line of cars wait at the Lincoln Avenue railroad crossing Friday in Goshen. A sign typical of Goshen rail crossings, asks motorists to reduce air pollution by turning off their vehicle's engines. Goshen's production of greenhouse gases will be studied this summer. Staff photo by Ben Mikesell
GOSHEN — How much greenhouse gases are produced in the city will be the topic of a study this summer.

The goal of the study is to provide a baseline for just how much greenhouses gases are produced locally and what the sources are. That information will be used in the future to “help Goshen employees identify greenhouse gas-reduction strategies for the municipality,” according to a news release from Mayor Jeremy Stutsman’s office.

Specifically, the study will gather data on the amount of energy consumed, the diversity of energy supplied to the grid, vehicle fuel use within the city and the amount of waste generated in the city.

Goshen is one of 13 Indiana communities that will be part of the study by the Indiana University Environmental Resilience Institute. An IU student will be assigned to Goshen to help collect data. In addition, city employees will have access to technical resources, a peer network and training in sustainability.

“We are excited to start this process,” Stutsman said in the news release. “The more data we have, the better we can manage our budgets and plan for the future. An energy-efficient community will help us save dollars in the future, provide a better quality of life and help protect the next generation of community members.”

The collection of data, according to the news release, is the first step needed so local governments in Indiana can prepare for such events as heavier rainfall, flash floods, freeze and thaw cycles that degrade road pavement and other infrastructure.

The greenhouse gas study is the latest initiative by Stutsman to address greenhouse gases and the community’s impact on climate change.

In April, the mayor announced a “45 by '45” program. That project has the goal of increasing the city’s tree canopy to 45% by 2045.

City Forester Aaron Sawatsky-Kingsley is taking the lead on that city project. He told the members of the Goshen Board of Public Works and Safety in April that in order to reach the 45% canopy cover by 2045, the city will need to have between 78,000 and 104,000 trees by that target date. He said the current tree population in Goshen is estimated at 39,000 to 52,000.

In addition to the tree canopy and greenhouse gas study, Stutsman made a presentation to the Goshen school board April 23, telling board members city consultant Paul Steury will be leading an effort to create an environmental curriculum for local students.

Goshen Community Schools, Goshen College, Goshen Hospital, the chamber of commerce, Everence Financial and city government are financing the creation of the curriculum, according to Stutsman.

Other cities that will have similar studies completed this summer are Bloomington, Carmel, Columbus, Delaware County/Muncie, Evansville, Fort Wayne, Gary, Greencastle, Michigan City, Oldenburg, Richmond and West Lafayette.
© 2019 Community Newspaper Holdings, Inc.