Beaumont’s going “green” with your help!

April 11, 2014 by  
Filed under Solar Energy Tips

As a good steward of the environment, Beaumont will join the effort to reduce greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming.

By 2020, California is asking cities to cut greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide by 25 percent. This year, the city is holding a series of Climate Action Planning Workshops to focus on how to reduce our “carbon footprint” and preserve the environment.

“When it comes to the environment, we each have a contribution to make,” said Mayor Brenda Knight. “These workshops are a wonderful opportunity, and Beaumont needs to hear your thoughts and ideas.”

The workshops are sponsored by the Southern California Association of Governments. Starting this summer, topics will include air quality, transportation and water conservation.

This past February, Beaumont held its first climate workshop, which was attended by public agencies, businesses, and residents. Sponsors of that event were Southern California Edison Co. and Southern California Gas Co.

Those who were unable to attend a workshop, can take a survey on the city’s Web site, or pick up a copy of the survey at City Hall. For information, email Management Analyst Kelsey Gormley at

The city’s first climate session impressed Kurt Meidinger, a Beaumont resident who teaches elementary school in Yucaipa. Residents might have noticed him bicycling around town as he often does, enjoying 27 miles of special bicycle lanes built by the city.

“Beaumont is being proactive,” Meidinger said. “It’s a difficult problem, and you need to have buy-in from the community to find solutions.”

In 2017, Beaumont plans to add a climate section to the city’s General Plan, which guides future development. The city is leading the “green” revolution and saving taxpayers money, too. Everywhere you look in Beaumont, you can see evidence of this.

For example, the city has cut its electricity usage by 20 percent with new, energy-efficient lighting at City Hall and “smart” pumps at the sewer plant that run when electric rates are low.

Residents may have also noticed the old-fashioned street lamps with cutting-edge LED light bulbs that cast a soothing, natural white “moonlight” across Beaumont’s historic downtown. This eco-friendly city of 40,000 people also offers compressed natural gas to power cars and buses. And an energy-efficient partnership with SCE has saved Beaumont millions of kilowatt hours and reduced electricity bills for many homeowners and businesses.

Bicycle and hiking trails get people out of their cars to enjoy nature and city life. In the coming years, you’ll be able to traverse the entire city— east, south, north, and west—along a network of hiking and biking trails and golf cart and electric cart lanes. Residents will travel from home, school, and work and reach wildlife nature areas like Cooper’s Creek and San Timoteo Creek.

About one-third of Beaumont will remain in permanent open space, including spacious green parks and the Potrero Preserve. A “dark sky” ordinance reduces light pollution and preserves starry views.

Meanwhile, the city is treating and recycling millions of gallons of water each day to preserve riparian habitat and replenish the Beaumont Basin. Community recycling events make it easy to be kind to Mother Earth. E-waste items can be dropped off at the Beaumont Civic Center and safely recycled. Residents can also pick up a free oil filter recycling container at City Hall and drop off used oil filters at local businesses participating in California’s Used Oil Recycling Program. Those wanting to go “paperless” when it comes to the sewer bill, can sign up for online bill pay. City building inspectors even make free house calls to offer tips about the rules for installing solar energy.

Even with all these efforts, the city and its residents can do more to help achieve a sustainable energy future. With that in mind, your support and ideas are encouraged at upcoming Climate Action Planning Workshops.

Steve Moore works for the City of Beaumont and writes for the city newsletter.

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