Welcome to the Town of Poughkeepsie Climate Smart Task Force Webpage!
Task force members:
- Susan Karnes Hecht, Chair
- Laura DiStefano
- Katherine Espinosa
- Joan Freeman
- Richard Levine
- Stanley Merritt
- Beverly Santero
- Kristen Taylor, AICP, Town of Poughkeepsie Planner
- Ann Shershin, Town of Poughkeepsie Board Liaison
- Michelle Gluck, Environment and Energy Program Resource Educator, Cornell Cooperative Extension
The task force meets on the first Thursday of the month at 7 pm at Town Hall
Meeting agendas and minutes can be viewed at https://www.townofpoughkeepsie.com/meetings/index.html#Agendas
Contact us at email@example.com
Look for us in the Town of Poughkeepsie Booth at the Arlington Street Fair on September 21st
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Climate Smart Communities (CSC) is a New York State program that helps local governments take action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to a changing climate.
CSC began in 2009 as an interagency initiative of New York State. The program is sponsored jointly by six New York State agencies: Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC); Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA); Department of Public Service; Department of State; Department of Transportation; and Department of Health. DEC acts as the main administrator of the program.
The original focus of the program was on encouraging local governments to commit to act on climate change by passing a resolution containing the CSC Pledge. The certification program was added in 2014 and provides specific guidance on how to implement the pledge. Certified communities are leaders, going beyond the pledge by completing and documenting a suite of actions that mitigate and adapt to climate change at the local level. Communities earn points toward certification for each action they complete. In addition to accumulating points, each community must complete a number of mandatory and priority actions at each level of certification.
Learn more about CSC at https://climatesmart.ny.gov/
The Town of Poughkeepsie is one of 275 registered communities; together these communities represent more than 8 million residents. The Town Board pledged to become a CSC on 4-18-18 and passed a second resolution creating a dedicated Climate Smart Task Force on 7-10-19. Our town has committed to:
- Set goals, inventory emissions, and plan for climate action
- Decrease community energy use
- Increase community use of renewable energy
- Realize the benefits of recycling and other climate-smart solid waste management practices
- Reduce greenhouse gas emissions through use of climate-smart land tools
- Enhance community resilience and prepare for the effects of climate change
- Support development of a green innovation economy
- Inform and inspire the public
- Commit to an evolving process of climate action
October 2019 update
At our October meeting, task force members were provided with an update on the Dutchess County Task Force’s progress. The County recently achieved bronze-level Climate Smart Certification and is committed to moving forward and to supporting municipalities. We reviewed our participation in the recent Arlington Street Fair and ideas for increasing our public profile and outreach. We discussed the status of our certification assessment and continued to plan for obtaining the needed detailed baseline information that will enable us to make specific recommendations to the town and begin documenting our actions towards certification.
September 2019 update
At our September meeting, task force members benefitted from a discussion of the Comprehensive Plan process. They identified areas of interest and committed to pursue updating the town assessment in those areas. Note was made of our new webpage, direct email and linkage to the NYS Climate Smart portal, where our actions towards certification will be documented. We also established a liaison to the Dutchess County Climate Smart Task Force and, for the near future, the planned Dutchess County Climate Action Planning Institute. We discussed initial opportunities for public outreach and education. We’ll be at the Arlington Street Fair on 9/21 and the Peach Hill Park Cider Ramble on 9/28, along with the CAC.
August 2019 update
The task force has begun working towards initial certification at bronze level. The Climate Smart Resiliency Planning Tool is nearly complete and will be presented to the Town Board in the near future. This is a review of existing town plans and projects to identify climate adaptation strategies and policies or projects that may decrease vulnerability. Members of the task force are delving into a detailed assessment to identify and complete documentation of actions already completed and prioritize actions to be pursued.
Other links of interest
Meetings of the Dutchess County Climate Smart Task Force are open to the public. Learn more at