Working Towards Becoming a Climate Smart Community
The Climate Smart Communities (CSC) Certification program provides local governments with a framework to guide climate action and enable communities to achieve recognition for their leadership towards climate action goals. The goals of the CSC program are to engage and educate local governments in New York State about goals that can address climate action initiatives and to recognize their achievements as they make progress. The program is free and voluntary and designed to encourage ongoing implementation of actions that reduce greenhouse gas emission and help communities adapt to the effects of climate change.
In 2018 the Town and Village of Potsdam joined over 300 participating communities, within New York State, as they work towards achieving best practices for mitigating and adapting to climate change. A joint task force was created consisting of members of the community representing a wide breadth of knowledge and expertise to facilitate reaching CSC goals.
By taking the Climate Smart Communities pledge our community expresses its commitment to taking action on climate change and is designated a Registered Climate Smart Community. Becoming a member of the Climate Smart Communities (CSC) program is free and voluntary; there are no fees or legal requirements.
As part of the certification process the program lists action items that have point values associated with them: https://climatesmart.ny.gov/actions-certification/actions/. To achieve Bronze status a community needs to score 120 points, while a SIlver status requires 300 points. In September of 2021 both the Town and Village of Potsdam achieved Certified-Bronze Status.
Documents linked at the bottom of the page show items that have been tackled by the group.
Registered and Certified CSCs who apply for funding from the Climate Smart Communities Grant program receive more points in the scoring process compared to applicants who are not members of the CSC program. Each community defines its own best strategies for cutting energy use, reducing emissions, and adapting to climate change. The CSC program is one of the few places where local governments can find free technical support that is tailored to the needs of New York State communities.
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2021 Potsdam Climate Smart Communities Task Force Roster
- Erik Backus, P.E., Clarkson University
- Karen Bage, Community Coordinator St. Lawrence Health Initiative
- Ray Bowdish, WISER Center SUNY Potsdam
- David Bradford, Ph.D., Energy Navigator for CCE
- Jan DeWaters, Ph.D., Clarkson University
- Alex French, Clarkson University
- Frederick Hanss, Village of Potsdam Planning & Development Office
- Toni Kennedy, Town Council - CSC Coordinator
- Maggie McKenna, Village of Potsdam Board of Trustees
- Chip Morris, Community Stakeholder - Co-Chair
- Rebecca Munn, Potsdam High School
- Thomas Ortmeyer, Ph.D., Clarkson University
- Susan Powers, Ph.D., Clarkson University
- Rose Rivezzi, Community Stakeholder - Co-Chair
- Clare Sullivan-Catlin, Student at Potsdam High School
- Carol Strome, Community Stakeholder
- Gregory Thompson, Village of Potsdam Administrator
- David Trithart, Community Stakeholder
- Eileen Visser, Ph.D., St. Lawrence University
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