September 27, 2023

UMW Hosts “CLEAR” Planning Session, Nov. 13

The University of Mary Washington is spearheading the creation of a Climate, Environment and Readiness (CLEAR) plan to support the quality of life of the Fredericksburg region. On Wednesday, Nov. 13, community leaders and concerned residents came together to set preparedness goals, prioritize needs and start coordinating plans for a CLEAR blueprint.CLEAR has five main goals, including protecting private property by creating and coordinating plans for floods and severe weather emergencies; preserving our resources and open spaces; identifying sustainable activities that save money for homeowners, businesses and local governments; enhancing resilience through activities aimed at preventing crises; and diversifying our regional economy by attracting new businesses that build green jobs. “Fredericksburg, Stafford, Spotsylvania, King George and Caroline have a well-deserved pride in preserving historic legacies,” said Richard Finkelstein, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, in a recent op-ed. “They share in the beauty that distinguishes our region. Our infrastructure is strained. The environment of our area is at risk. But by working together to strengthen resilience we can grow our economy, sustain the values that have made us strong, and be optimistic about the future of our region.” Fredericksburg Mayor Mary Katherine Greenlaw, a signatory for the U.S. Conference of Mayors Climate Protection Agreement, addressed the group at 8:30 a.m. UMW Professors Melanie Szulczewki, Alan Griffith and Grant Woodwell discussed sustainability, diversity and global climate change, respectively, during the morning sessions. The planning session concluded with breakout groups at 10:30 a.m. led by representatives of Marstel-Day, Public Works of Stafford, Friends of the Rappahannock, Worrell Management and the National Academy of Environmental Design. For more information, contact Richard Finkelstein, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, at