The Town and Village formed the ‘Go Green Committee’ in the 2000’s in order to have a committee and/or task force that could work on behalf of the municipalities to install sustainable government practices into everyday operations and to plan for the future through climate resiliency and energy efficiency planning. The committee members are listed below.
Dan Barusch, Town of Lake George, Chair/Climate Smart Community Coordinator
Keith Lanfear, Village of Lake George
Marisa Muratori, Town of Lake George
Jim Martino, Town of Lake George
Ray Perry, Village of Lake George
Jenn Farrell, Town of Lake George
Lori Bott, Village of Lake George
Judy Gearwar, Horticulture Expert
Chris Navitsky, Lake George Waterkeeper
The Town and Village of Lake George are two of New York’s newest CERTIFIED BRONZE Climate Smart Communities, and the first two local governments in the Adirondack Park to become certified. The Climate Smart Communities actions and endeavors undertaken by Lake George are led by the Planning and Zoning Office with the help of the Town’s “Go Green” Committee (to act as the local CSC Task Force). These actions include but not be limited to a local (or County) GHG emissions inventory, a local Climate Action Plan, increasing the communities use of renewable energy and decreasing overall energy use, and informing and educating the public on these endeavors.
Through a network of coordinators and program services, Climate Smart Communities are engaged in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving climate resilience. The Climate Smart Communities program is free and voluntary; there are no fees or legal requirements. The Climate Smart Communities program supports municipalities as they plan and carry out climate-friendly actions that match community goals and save taxpayer dollars. Over 160 New York municipalities have made the decision to engage their citizens in energy efficiency, renewable energy and the green economy through the ten program elements in the Climate Smart Communities pledge.
By enabling localities to act on climate without mandating which programs or policies they should adopt, the Climate Smart Communities program helps localities to discover and adopt the measures that will work best for them, and to create sustainable, vibrant and attractive places to live and work.
Climate Smart Communities are positioned to increase leadership in climate planning and success in gaining incentives, in particular through the Climate Smart Communities Certification Program. These communities served as leaders in several Cleaner, Greener Communities regional sustainability plans, helping their regions to benefit from as much as $90 million in state Cleaner, Greener Communities funding.
Adoption of the measures developed in sustainability plans and enabled by Climate Smart Communities and Cleaner, Greener Communities are expected to lead to more livable neighborhoods and communities that can retain residents and businesses while attracting new citizens and economic opportunities. Read more about the program here: http://www.dec.ny.gov/energy/50845.html Click here (http://www.dec.ny.gov/energy/95222.html) to learn about the Climate Smart Communities Toolkit.
Lake George Climate Action Plan
The Town and Village of Lake George were awarded a $25,000 grant IN 2016 from DEC to compete a joint Climate Action Plan to create strategies to reduce GHG emissions and dependence on fossil fuels, and to help the community understand and prepare for climate change. Through this project, the Town became the first Certified Climate Smart Community in the Adirondack region.
The CSC Certification Framework is driving change in Lake George and has reinvigorated the Town and Villages’ joint Go Green Committee (GGC). The GGC actively pursued and helped obtain CSC Certification for the Town and Village, and has already implemented and submitted documentation to DEC for certification points for both municipalities. This CAP project created estimated 80 additional points. Specifically, the Town (sponsor) and the GGC will launch a high profile, multiple year-long planning process to do the following:
While the CAP is a vision document, it will focus on identifying and developing projects, strategies, and concepts intended to compete for private sector, federal, and additional state funding. Below is the final plan and workshop presentations.
Clean Energy Communities
Local governments in New York State can use the Clean Energy Communities program to implement clean energy actions, save energy costs, create jobs, and improve the environment. In addition to providing tools, resources, and technical assistance, the program recognizes and rewards leadership for the completion of clean energy projects. The Town of Lake George is a certified Clean Energy Community as of 2020, and has completed 5 or more of the high impact action items required as part of the program to be certified. Read more about the program here: https://www.nyserda.ny.gov/All-Programs/Programs/Clean-Energy-Communities.
Cleaner, Greener Communities
Cleaner, Greener Communities is a competitive New York State grants program that funds locally designed sustainability plans and projects. Its focus is integrating statewide investments with regional and local decision making on land use, housing, transportation, infrastructure, energy and environmental practices.The Town was awarded $5,000 from this funding source in 2017.
Cleaner, Greener Communities Phase 2 funds projects that implement the regional sustainability plans. In Cleaner, Greener Communities Phase 1, regional sustainability plans were prepared by consortia of municipalities in ten economic development regions. The plans outline strategies and projects that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve energy efficiency and deploy renewable energy. They emphasize urban revitalization and “green” infrastructure, but tailor these strategies to regional and local needs.
Together, Climate Smart Communities and Cleaner, Greener Communities are creating regional networks of community support to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across the state, lower costs to municipal taxpayers and increase activity in the new “green” sector of the economy. Read more about the program here: http://www.nyserda.ny.gov/Statewide-Initiatives/Cleaner-Greener-Communities.aspx
Tree City USA
The Town worked with the Go Green Committee and the Village on becoming Tree City USA desinees, and both communities were certified Tree City communities in 2021. The first item completed was an Arbor Day Proclamation, signed by the Town Supervisor in March 2021. The second item was a Tree Care ordinance, designating the Go Green Committee as the Lake George Tree Board. The third item was clarifying the expense of $2 GPD for tree care in the Town and Village for public/street/parks trees. Annual Arbor Day events will be planned for this program.