Sustainable Putnam

Putnam County restarts its Climate Smart program participation

Way back in 2019, Putnam County announced its participation in the NYS Climate Smart Communities program. That may have been the last you heard about it. The original Task Force and Coordinator(s) made no announcements, and apparently no accomplishments.

That story has now changed. 

Map of NYS Climate Smart participating communities.
Map of NYS Climate Smart participating communities.

As of last December, Putnam County re-started its Climate Smart Communities participation, designating a new Task Force which has already met three times. It’s led by Ilona Campo of the County Planning Department. Earlier this month, Ms. Campo finalized the documentation of past and recent accomplishments that meet the requirements for Bronze Certification – the first level in the Climate Smart program. The County expects a response to its application in the coming months.

“Bronze certification is no small feat,” said Joe Montuori. “If the County is awarded Bronze certification, it will represent a big step toward reducing the County’s climate impact. My hope is that the Task Force will next work toward Silver certification and help residents and businesses to pursue similar goals.”

Those next steps could include enhanced recycling and composting programs, electric vehicle charging stations, and residential energy efficiency and clean energy campaigns, to name a few. 

There are many available options that the Task Force can choose from. The program is designed to encourage Task Forces to assist every sector – local government, residential, and business – in reducing climate impact, and increasing resilience and sustainability measures.

The Task Force now includes Kent Town Councilperson Anne Campbell, Commissioner of Planning Barbara Barosa, County Legislator Amy Sayegh, and our own Executive Director, Joe Montuori. Other Task Force members include residents as well as County staff from Planning, Transportation, Environmental Health Services, and other departments.

Climate Smart Communities is an inter-departmental NYS program that encourages and assists New York villages, towns, and counties in reducing the greenhouse gasses that cause climate change, as well as preparing for and reducing the increasing impacts we’re experiencing such as extreme weather events including flooding and wild fires.You can learn more by visiting the County’s new and improved Climate Smart webpage or visiting the NYS website.