Climate Showcase Communities
   Local Climate and Energy Program
                                Effective Practices for Implementing Local
                                Climate and Energy Programs:
                                Working in Small or Rural Communities
Lessons Learned by Communities for Communities
The views expressed in this document are those of the Climate Showcase Communities grant recipients. U.S. EPA does not endorse any
products or commercial services mentioned.
WHAT IS IT?
Small and rural communities are the majority of the jurisdictions in the United States. They
are home to up to 80 percent of the population in some states. These communities offer
several unique opportunities for engaging residents in sustainability initiatives, as well as
challenges related to funding, access, and capacity.
WHY DO IT?
  Small and rural communities may benefit from technical assistance for their programs.
  Environmental staff members (if they exist) may have multiple roles and resources, and
   may be spread thin.

WHAT WORKS?
  Listen to people where they gather (for example, in community centers, schools,
   libraries, churches). Become familiar with community values and needs.
  Work with local figures who can help deliver your message.
  Establish personal relationships with diverse stakeholders. Get to the point where you
   are broadly recognized by different stakeholder groups.
  Create opportunities for small jurisdictions to collaborate with larger cities and share
   their capacity and expertise.
  For multiple small jurisdictions, have a common contract for common services. Jointly
   procuring services or equipment can save resources compared to replicating the process
   across all jurisdictions.

WHAT SHOULD YOU WATCH OUT FOR?
  People may be uncomfortable collaborating with unfamiliar groups.
  Avoid strict geographic boundaries. Stay flexible to work where your message
   resonates.
  Plan well. News of poor planning and negative experiences can spread quickly.
  Be aware of concerns surrounding the use of taxpayers' money.

WHAT RESOURCES HAVE PROJECTS FOUND TO BE USEFUL?
  California Center for Rural Policy: www.humboldt.edu/ccrp
  Small Town Energy Program: smalltownenergy.org/
                                                                 "Use established
                                                                 community networks to
                                                                 spread information (e.g.,
                                                                 Rotary, Chamber,
                                                                 churches, community
                                                                 organizations)."

                                                                 Linda, Land-of-Sky Regional
                                                                 Council, Asheville, North
                                                                 Carolina
                                                                 "Hold customized
                                                                 workshops or webinars
                                                                 specifically for small
                                                                 communities. Focus on the
                                                                 unique issues that they
                                                                 face."

                                                                 Small Cities Climate Action
                                                                 Partnership, El Cerrito,
                                                                 California
vvEPA
United States
Environmental Protection
Agency
                                        April 2015
                                                             EPA-430-F-15-021

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