Bronxville Certified as a
NYS Bronze Climate Smart Community
By the Bronxville Green Committee
On September 19th, Westchester County Executive George Latimer announced that Bronxville has been awarded Bronze Certification, the first level of achievement in the Climate Smart Communities program. This New York State program provides a framework for tackling climate change and sustainability in local municipalities. Members of the Bronxville Climate Smart Task Force worked for almost 18 months to complete and document twenty Action Steps outlined in the program and accrue 149 points, more than the 120 points needed to achieve this designation.
Certification in the Climate Smart Communities program indicates Bronxville’s commitment to lowering our greenhouse gas emissions to meet the goals of New York’s climate law, the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act. This law, passed in 2019, sets the goal of reducing emissions by 40% by 2030; and of reducing emissions by 85% by 2050. Scientists tell us that we must significantly reduce emissions by 2030 to avoid the most catastrophic effects of climate change.
Bronxville is one of three newly certified communities in Westchester; the others are Pelham and North Salem. New York’s total number of certified Climate Smart Communities to 105 – nine silver and 96 bronze certified participating municipalities.
To win the Bronze designation, Bronxville completed these Actions Steps, among others:
* Greenhouse Gas Inventory of Municipal Operations
* Greenhouse Gas Inventory for the Village of Bronxville
* Documented how Bronxville’s 2020 Comprehensive Plan contains elements supporting sustainable living
* Installation of EV charging stations and LED Traffic Signals
* Installation of ground-source heat pumps in Village Hall, in 2006
* Food Scrap Recycling program
* Campaigns to reduce solid waste, including TAKE BACK DAY and communications on recycling
* Creation of the Green Committee website, social media efforts and resident communications
For details about the Action Steps we took, documentation supporting them, and points awarded, click on Bronxville’s icon on the map found at https://climatesmart.ny.gov/actions-certification/participating-communities/.
At the press conference announcing the achievement, which was attended by Green Committee Chairs Ellen Edwards and Maria Terjanian, several state officials lauded the achievement, including Lieutenant Governor Antonio Delgado, DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos, and CEO of NYSERDA Doreen Harris.
Many thanks to Mayor Marvin, the Trustees, and Village Administrator Jim Palmer for making a commitment to the Climate Smart Communities program. Special thanks are due to Task Force members whose exceptional contributions made this achievement possible: Ellen Edwards, for her leadership, persistence and execution of various Action Steps; Carole Upshur, for her exemplary work on the Greenhouse Gas Inventories; Maria Terjanian for her meticulous project management and community outreach; Assistant Village Administrator Stephen Shallo for acting as liaison with the Village and his dogged work on a variety of Action Steps; Trustee Helen Knapp for her unfailing support and advocacy. Thanks also to Green Committee members Susan Cody and Kyra Shassberger for taking on important tasks at critical moments; and SUNY Albany intern Alexandra O’Keefe for help on the Greenhouse Gas Inventories. Finally, thanks to Christina Weiler, 2021 summer intern, whose enthusiastic encouragement gave us the confidence to set Bronze Certification as our goal.
Even as we celebrate this significant milestone, the Climate Smart Task Force will continue its work. One next step: to formulate and execute a Climate Action Plan that significantly reduces greenhouse gas emissions. It will require all of us, working together, to reach emission goals and achieve the next level in the Climate Smart Communities program–Silver Certification—and a sustainable future for Bronxville.
The Bronxville Green Committee is a volunteer organization that is part of the Village of Bronxville. We work to propose and implement environmentally sustainable programs in our community. Visit https://www.bronxvillegreencommittee.org/home to learn more.