Green Initiatives

 

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Go Green Committee

Dan Barusch, Town of Lake George, Chair/Climate Smart Community Coordinator
Dave Harrington, Village of Lake George
Marissa Muratori, Town of Lake George
John Earl, Village of Lake George
Jim Martino, Town of Lake George
John Root, Village of Lake George
Wendy Baird, Town of Lake George
Deb McKinney, Village of Lake George
Robyn Reynolds, CDRPC
Judy Gearwar, Horticulture Expert
Chris Navitsky, Lake George Waterkeeper

Climate Smart Communities

The Town of Lake George is one of New York’s newest Climate Smart Communities, and only the second community in Warren County (behind Glens Falls) to enter the program. The Climate Smart Communities actions and endeavors that will be undertaken by Lake George will be lead by the Town’s Planning and Zoning Office with the help of the Town’s “Go Green” Committee (to act as the local CSC Task Force). These actions will 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.

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.

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 has identified plans to become a Clean Energy Community by 2017, and has already completed some of the high impact action items that are required as part of the program. Read more about the program here: https://www.nyserda.ny.gov/All-Programs/Programs/Clean-Energy-Communities.

Lake George Climate Action Plan and future CSC Certification

The Town and Village of Lake George have recently been awarded a $25,000 grant 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 intends to become 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 is actively pursuing CSC Certification for the Town and Village, and has already implemented and submitted documentation to DEC for certification points for both municipalities.  This project will create estimated 80 additional points, more than enough to achieve certification and enough reach part way to Bronze level certification. Specifically, the Town (sponsor) and the GGC will launch a high profile, year-long planning process to do the following:

  • Develop local government and community GHG inventories, establish respective GHG reduction goals, and identify strategies designed to meet these goals.
  • Conduct a vulnerability assessment of the Town’s infrastructure and natural environment to projected climate change, develop resilience goals, and identify strategies to meet these resilience goals;
  • Formally draft, adopt, and promote a comprehensive Climate Action Plan (CAP) as the Town and Village’s joint commitment to climate protection.

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.

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.
Cleaner, Greener Communities Phase 2 funds projects that implement the regional sustainability plans. The Phase 2 link on right leads to details of the funding process.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

A Foundation for Sustainability and Community Success
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.

RELATED DOCUMENTS

Go Green Committee’s 1st Climate Smart Public Meeting

Town of Lake George Community Profile

CSC Guide for Local Officials

Guide for Assessing GHG emissions and Energy Use

Capital-Region Sustainability-Plan-Report

What CSC are doing

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Updates by James P. Mathis

Background photo by Luke Dow