Ashland Climate Action Project

SOCAN’s Ashland Climate Action Project was formed in 2019 to work to ensure that climate action is a top priority in Ashland and incorporated into all city planning and decision-making. Through education and outreach we inform and engage residents to work together to reduce our community’s climate impact and support full, timely implementation of Ashland’s Climate and Energy Action Plan (CEAP). We complement and support the work of the Ashland Climate Policy Commission, the Conservation and Climate Outreach Commission, and the Transportation Commission. For more information or to receive periodic emails about our upcoming programs and events, email Chair Lorrie Kaplan, at

2021 Initiatives

Zoom Conversations

Thursday Aug 19, 2021, 7-8:30pmvia zoom, Rethinking Streets: Lessons for Ashland. Click here to register!

Rethinking streets for safety, health, climate, affordability, equity, happiness, apple pie, and more

Hosted by the Ashland Climate Action Project and the Ashland Bicycle Advocacy Group

Across the U.S. and the world, communities ranging from small towns to large cities have implemented strategies to become easier and less stressful to get around without a car. By doing so, they’ve fostered more vibrant, active lifestyles, while also making meaningful reductions in traffic and local fossil fuel consumption.  We can do it too, Ashland!

To achieve our city’s greenhouse gas emission reduction goals, it’s imperative we take steps to make bike riding in Ashland as safe, convenient, and efficient as driving our own cars. Motorists, parents, kids, older adults, and local businesses can all benefit from street redesign.

The City of Ashland will be updating its state-mandated Transportation System Plan over the next year and a half.  This Zoom program kick-offs a campaign to elevate the voices of residents who see the need for safer streets in Ashland. Come hear about this campaign and how you can get involved!Guest Speaker: This presentation features Dr. Marc Schlossberg, an expert in street design for sustainability.  Dr. Schlossberg is a Professor of City and Regional Planning in the University of Oregon School of Planning, Public Policy and Management. He is also Co-Director of the Sustainable Cities Institute and the lead author of three books on street redesignRethinking Streets, Rethinking Streets for Bikes, and Rethinking Streets During COVID-19. In 2016, Dr. Schlossberg won the University of Oregon Sustainability Award. Take a minute to hear him in this brief YouTube video.

YouTube recording of our July 2021 program,  Electric Landscaping Tools: All You Need to Know

Spotlight on Local Climate Solutions: published biweekly in
The Ashland Tidings 

In November 2020, we launched “Spotlight,” a bi-weekly column on climate solutions in The Ashland Tidings. Our focus is on how residents, businesses, nonprofits, and the city are working to achieve Ashland’s local climate goals and learn from what other towns and cities are doing. Send story ideas anytime to

Ashland Community Climate Action 2021 Survey 

The SOU Office of Sustainability and the SOCAN-Ashland Climate Action Project invite community members to help Ashland reach its climate goals by helping to create the 2021 Ashland Community Climate Action Survey.  

 The purpose of the survey is to continue to build effective, sustained climate action in Ashland.  We are committed to: 

  • Embracing our responsibility to address climate change with urgency, optimism, and care for all members of our community, our natural environment, and future generations
  • Building momentum for effective community action and results aligned with the Ashland Climate and Energy Action Plan
  • Bringing forth the voices of all members of our community, in all its diversity. 
  • A thoughtful, professional, and transparent process
  • Using best practice survey methodologies, engaging expertise and survey technology from SOU 
  • Learning from other cities, nongovernmental organizations, research/academic institutions and scholarly publications

All correspondence related to this project should be sent to Lorrie Kaplan, Chair, SOCAN-Ashland Climate Action Project –, and Rebecca Walker, SOU Sustainability and Recycling Manager,  

Transit Equity

We organized a panel presentation for Transit Equity Day, February 4, 2021, in honor of Rosa Parks birthday.  Thank you to our AWESOME moderators and panelists:  Linda Peterson Adams, Stephen Bishop, Karyn Criswell, Stacy Matern, Tonia Moro, Amanda Pietz, and Paige West. You brought us a wealth of information with grace and style.

Transit Equity resources:

“Other Side of the Hill” Film: Just Watch It.

Our screening of the new independent film “Other Side of the Hill” attracted some 80 attendees in October and 140 in January.  The film is now available free on demand from the film websiteThe film spotlights Eastern Oregon communities that have embraced renewable energy projects, defying assumptions about climate change attitudes in conservative rural Oregon.  

Produced by James Parker of Synchronous Pictures, Other Side of the Hill is a beautiful and compassionate film that defies the narrative that conservative Eastern Oregon is ignoring climate change. From large-scale solar and geothermal in Lakeview to innovative timber and wind energy operations in Wallowa County, the film shows how renewable energy projects are taking off in Eastern Oregon, providing skilled jobs and substantial county tax revenues– nearly $1 million to Lake County alone in 2020. 

The film also offers an opportunity to strengthen connections between regions of Oregon that have become isolated from each other by bitter partisan divides. 

2020 Initiatives

LED Bulbs Project

ACAP partnered with Oregon Energy Trust  and Rogue Climate to make LED bulbs available to residents of Talent and Phoenix as these communities rebuild.

2020 Ashland Climate Voter Project

In the run-up to the November 2020 elections, the Ashland Climate Action Project hosted the 2020 Ashland Climate Voter Project  — a series of Zoom Candidate Events to discuss local climate issues and action with the mayoral and city council candidates. Our candidate forums–recorded live and then uploaded to YouTube — were viewed nearly 1,000 times. Thank you to all who participated and shared this information. Visit the Ashland Climate Voter Project page, including links to the recordings of the Candidate Events on YouTube.  We’ll look to build on this success in 2022. 

Summer 2020 Survey

In June and July 2020, the Ashland Climate Action Project of Southern Oregon Climate Now (SOCAN), conducted an online survey of Ashland residents entitled, “Lessons Learned from Recent COVID Restrictions: Imagining the Future of Ashland.” Executive Summary: 225 individuals completed the survey, nearly all of whom live in Ashland as well as some who work here. The responses shed light on Ashlanders who are highly concerned about climate change and already taking individual action. Despite the disruption, confusion, and isolation of recent COVID social restrictions, nearly all respondents described positive aspects to their experience and an opportunity to see Ashland’s beauty and vulnerabilities in a new light. The vast majority stated that they are extremely (61%) or very (29%) concerned about climate change. Other findings:

  • 88% stated that it is important for individuals to take steps to adapt to climate change
  • 82% of respondents stated it is important for residents to reduce their climate impacts and nearly 86% have already taken steps to do so
  • Nearly 88% believe we can reduce our climate impacts and have a healthy local economy, and are calling for leaders to create a more diversified, sustainable, affordable, and resilient economy  
  • 84 respondents want to work on climate action issues in Ashland; the issues that most interest them include supporting local growers and promoting renewable energy

The results suggest that there is a significant number of Ashland residents who care deeply about climate issues and are willing and ready to work on climate action. The results also suggest that more education is needed about Ashland’s Climate and Energy Action Plan (CEAP) and how to achieve local greenhouse gas reduction goals. We conclude the report with additional recommendations for city operations, policymakers, residents and businesses along with resources for more information. Read the full Ashland Action Final Survey Report

More About Us

Our Vision: Full and timely implementation of Ashland’s Climate and Energy Action Plan (CEAP).  We believe that leadership and informed action by the city, its residents, and businesses will reduce Ashland’s climate impact and strengthen our community. 

Our Mission: SOCAN-Ashland Climate Action Project, a project of Southern Oregon Climate Action Now (, works to ensure that climate action is treated as a top priority in Ashland and incorporated into all city planning and decision-making. Through education and outreach we inform and engage Ashland residents to support full, timely implementation of the CEAP.

Why We’re Here: Thanks to the hard work and dedication of a great number of people, Ashland developed and approved a Climate and Energy Action Plan (CEAP) in March 2017. The CEAP is a comprehensive, landmark document. However, implementing it takes time and commitment, and a willingness to change the way we think about our city and how we get things done. SOCAN-Ashland Climate Action Project was formed to raise the voices of climate activists and raise awareness bout climate action. Read the CEAP Executive Summary here.

How We Do Our Work

  1. Outreach and Organizing: Increase the number of Ashland residents who are knowledgeable about the Climate and Energy Action Plan (CEAP) and supporting its implementation
  2. Education: Provide, facilitate, and/or promote education and information dissemination on timely topics related to CEAP and greenhouse gas reduction.
  3. Advocacy: Ensure a robust citizen voice that prioritizes climate action and advocates for full and timely CEAP implementation 

For more information about the Ashland Climate Action Project, contact