Decorah’s Sustainability Committee Releases Draft Sustainability Plan

The Winneshiek Energy District recognizes and applauds the process the city is going through to craft a comprehensive sustainability plan. We have been contributing to the energy portion of this plan and believe that this tool will help propel the community of Decorah toward a more sustainable future. 

We encourage all Decorah residents to take a look and submit their thoughts and suggestions through the Decorah Sustainability Plan Feedback Form.

Decorah IA (December 17, 2019) – The City of Decorah has posted a DRAFT of the City  Sustainability Plan 2020 for public comment. The draft can be found on the City of Decorah website. The council will seek to adopt the plan in early January. Public comments are welcome, please submit feedback and questions to the City of Decorah Sustainability Committee Chair, Emily Neal,

The Sustainability Plan has been developed over the course of the last year and a half, by a nine-member committee appointed by Mayor Lorraine Borowski. The process began with a robust public input process that included several “Build a Better Decorah” visioning sessions and an online survey open for all residents, that was posted on the city website for a majority of last summer. In addition to public meetings, the sustainability committee met with both city employees and business owners to develop specific ideas and actions outlined in the plan.

After compiling community input, the Sustainability Committee organized eight different task groups that focused on one of the eight themes highlighted in the plan: Energy, Transportation, Waste, Communication / Education, Social Sustainability, Water and Air, Land Use and Economic Vitality. Task groups worked throughout the fall to build a vision for Decorah in relation to their theme and to make recommendations for specific actions that the city should initiate over the course of the next several years in order to accomplish our sustainability goals.

Within the plan, the Committee has adopted a multi-prong approach to sustainability that views economic prosperity, environmental integrity, and community resilience as essential ingredients to our vision for Decorah – one that is healthy, resilient, adaptable, and safe. The plan seeks to connect current and on-going projects within the city to new initiatives that when combined will move us towards actualizing our community vision statements.

The eight interconnected systems outlined in this plan will have a tremendous impact on creating the type of community we want for our grandchildren. They will also help Decorah thrive in the face of outside threats and rapid social and environmental pressures. The plan outlines a series of specific policies, infrastructure improvements, communication tools, and educational programs that will reduce our carbon footprint, mitigate our vulnerability to floods, strengthen our local economy, and cultivate a more connected and welcoming community.

For further information please contact Chad Bird, City Manager at or Emily Neal at or either at 563-382-3651.


For Immediate Release
Contact: Chad Bird, City Manager, 563-382-3651
Emily Neal, Chair, City of Decorah Sustainability Committee;

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