Ten towns in New York State have been recognized by the New York Department of Environmental Conservation this year for being Certified Climate Smart Communities, and one of them is right here in the Hudson Valley.

What's a 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.

Communities needed to choose specific actions related to climate to tackle, like incorporating renewable energy, creating "climate-smart communities", and "implementing climate-smart land use". Each completed action is worth a certain number of points. When enough actions are completed, the community can earn its certification. So what's the lone town in the Hudson Valley that got its certification this year? For starters, it's in Dutchess County.

Hyde Park photos
The most environmentally friendly town? (Don Gehring, TSMHV)

Climate Smart in Hyde Park, NY

The sole Hudson Valley community to be certified in 2022 is none other than Hyde Park, NY. 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. A big congratulations to Hyde park, though, because this was an accomplishment years in the making.

The Town Board voted back in August of 2020 to create a task force aimed at achieving their Climate Smart certification. They listed their two main goals as greenhouse gas emissions and "adapting to a changing climate". Nice work!

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