Working to be Smarter about the Climate Crisis

What is a Climate Smart Community?

North East and Millerton are a jointly registered New York State Climate Smart Community, committed to a resilient and sustainable future. 

Climate Smart Communities (CSC) is a New York State program that helps local governments take action to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions and adapt to a warming climate. The CSC program was launched in 2009 as an interagency initiative of New York State. The CSC program is jointly sponsored by six New York State agencies including the DEC and NYSERDA.

Who we are

In 2018, the Town of North East and the Village of Millerton each signed a pledge, along with hundreds of other municipalities around New York State, to develop community-wide climate mitigation strategies and improve sustainability. A Climate Smart Task Force was assembled and is initiating projects that will build environmental and economic resiliency: Chris Kennan, Town of North East Supervisor;  Griffen Cooper, Town of North East Councilman; Matthew Hartzog, Village of Millerton Trustee; Laurie Kerr, Village of Millerton Trustee; Kathy Chow, Task Force Coordinator; Jennifer Dowley, Rhiannon Leo-Jameson, Deborah Maier, Claire Owens, Tom Parrett, Eliot Ramos, Rich Stalzer, Andrew Stayman, Chris Virtuoso and Carrissa Whitehead.

“The Climate Smart Community initiative holds such promise for our Village and Town. There are multiple grants available to help us find ways to decrease our energy expenses, increase economic opportunities, and preserve the environment that we all hold dear.”
Chris Kennan, Town of North East Supervisor, and Debbie Middlebrook, Village of Millerton Mayor, 2019

We partner with local and regional organizations including the Millerton Library, North East Community Center, Housatonic Valley Association, Cary Institute, Cornell Cooperative Extension, Webutuck Central School District, and neighboring towns, villages, and schools.

Meetings take place monthly at Town Hall (and Zoom) every third Thursday, 5:30 to 6:30 pm. Contact us if you’d like to join a meeting.

Climate Smart Task Force members collect e-waste for safe recycling or disposal during North East’s 2020 Bulk Trash Fall Day.

How does it work?

By completing specific, proscribed actions such as auditing municipal energy use and emissions, expanding recycling opportunities for visitors, protecting natural resources, installing LED streetlights, involving the public—the list is long—a registered Climate Smart Community achieves levels of New York State certification: bronze, silver, gold, platinum, americium, posthumanium. Certification means that North East and Millerton are recognized as leaders in the effort to combat the climate crisis, and eligible to obtain state funding to improve local climate resiliency.

CSC Task Force goals

  • Reduce the town’s greenhouse-gas emissions
  • Conserve and protect our natural resources
  • Educate and engage the community about the climate crisis and inspire local efforts to adopt solutions
  • Build a climate-smart culture throughout our municipal government and the  community at large
  • Help find cost saving green efficiencies for residents, businesses and government.

Progress Toward Certification

In April 2022 the CSC Task Force submitted an application with 155 possible points, of which at least 120 need to be approved to achieve the Bronze Certification.  Click here for a table of actions the Town has completed.  So far 82 communities in NY State have achieved Bronze Certification, including our neighbors Village of Rhinebeck, Dover Plains and Town of Red Hook.

Clean Energy Community

The Task Force has achieved Clean Energy Community certification, a sister program from NYSERDA. It makes us eligible for state sustainability grants, and we have already received one.

Social Media links

Follow Climate Smart Millerton on  Instagram and Facebook for updates on our progress on becoming a Climate Smart Community, as well as information about our events and tips on how you can become more environmentally conscious.

Email signup

Do you have questions, concerns, or comments about Millerton or North East becoming a Climate Smart Community or about one of our initiatives? Please fill out the form below or email us at ClimateSmartMillerton@gmail.com.