Climate Smart Task Force (CSTF)

Climate Smart Task Force Supports the Dutchess SUPP Campaing to reduce plastic pollution


The Climate Smart The Task Force (CSTF) force meets on the first Thursday of the month. Meetings Start at 7 pm online via Zoom.  Zoom meeting details provided on the town calendar.  Please see posted agenda for more.

Several Wind Turbines in a sunset
  1. Susan Karnes Hecht

    CSTF Committee Chair

  1. Katherine Espinosa

    CSTF - Member

  1. Joan Freeman

    CSTF - Member

  1. Richard Levine

    CSTF - Member

  1. Stanley Merritt

    CSTF - Member

  1. Beverly Santero

    CSTF - Member

  1. Kristen E. Taylor, AICP


  1. Ann Shershin

    Sixth Ward

Climate Smart Communities

CliNew York State Climate Smart Communities Logomate 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.

The Town of Poughkeepsie is one of 313 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

A photo of someone holding a leaf that is half burned showing extremes in climate.
  1. February 2021
  2. December 2020
  3. November 2020

February 2021 Update

While awaiting feedback from the NYS Office of Climate Change regarding our application for initial “Bronze” certification, the Task Force continues to work on planning additional actions. One focus is the area of EV charging infrastructure, and how we can help to educate both our business community and our elected officials and town staff in this area. Next month, we’ll host a speaker from NYSERDA to help us identify appropriate steps. 

We’ve started to discuss Clean Energy Communities, a separate NYS program with its own actions and point system which can position us for grants to do further work. The CEC program has just been reissued with updated actions. Several Climate Smart actions overlap CEC, including obtaining our certification. We plan to invite our CEC liaison from the Hudson Valley Regional Council, who has extensive expertise, to address key town stakeholders in order to create shared context for any discussion of pursuing the separate designation. 

The Dutchess Climate Action Planning Institute, delayed several months, remains imminent. Currently the municipalities involved await completion of final contract steps involving the Dept. of Environmental Conservation. 

There is a beginning discussion about composting occurring across Climate Smart representatives from several communities in Dutchess…please stay tuned for an update. 

On the lighter side, we reviewed Climate Smart logo designs submitted by the Graphic Arts students in DCC’s Service Learning program. We have several strong contenders and will soon have our own logo gracing our web page and other communications. Opportunities for students to support us, while also honing pre-professional skills, are an added benefit to our work.