Making History: Ulster County’s First “Climate Smart” Town Recognized by DEC
Six new New York towns have recently been added by the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to the list of Certified Climate Smart Communities. Two of them are here in the Hudson Valley, including the very first recognition in Ulster County's history.
What Is a New York Climate Smart Community?
The program was designed to encourage New York towns and cities to "meet the economic, social, and environmental challenges posed by climate change". From the DEC:
DEC applauds the work of these communities taking local action to help address the threat of climate change and bolster our climate leadership... We look forward to working with our Climate Smart Communities... in [creating] policies and plans that benefit local residents, create green jobs, and help build a stronger, more resilient New York State.
So who's climate-smart in the Hudson Valley?.
Climate Smart in Hyde Park, NY
Hyde Park, NY was the first Hudson Valley, NY town this year to make the list back in March. While Mamaroneck, NY was also listed under the Mid-Hudson Valley jurisdiction, I think we can all agree they're slightly out of our area. Joining Hyde Park this month is a town in Ulster County, NY as well as a fellow Dutchess County community.
Climate Smart in Wawarsing, NY
Not only is it fun (and slightly challenging) to say 10 times fast, Wawarsing, NY is the only Ulster County, NY town to make the list. Wawarsing was recognized for " updat[ing] its zoning codes to preserve natural areas like wetlands and stream buffer zones." The last Hudson Valley town to make the list is Dutchess county's North East, NY, for "launching waste reduction and climate change education programs to inform and inspire the public". Congratulations!
Want to enjoy all the beautiful nature the Hudson Valley has to offer? Check out some of the best options below!