Upstate New York Community Leading the Way on Climate Change

By Judith Enck

I love visiting Ithaca, New York. It is a vibrant college town with Ithaca College and Cornell University anchoring a long tradition of civic engagement. The only thing better than viewing the beautiful gorges and eating at the Moosewood Restaurant is admiring the creativity and drive that goes into environmental protection initiatives in the area. This is evidenced in EPA’s recent decision to award a $375,000 grant to Tompkins County and their local partners to fund innovative approaches to combat climate change. The county has teamed up with EcoVillage at the Ithaca Center for Sustainability to implement energy efficiency and land use policies that will dramatically reduce the use of energy. After construction of three new energy-efficient residential projects, the county will monitor each project for greenhouse gas reductions. The results will be closely monitored and then model local zoning and land use policies will be developed for other communities to learn from. The attractiveness of this approach is that it can be modeled in scores of other communities around the world. Watching the results unfold will be exciting and informative. Congrats to Tompkins County and their partners for this ground breaking initiative. Learn more about Climate Showcase grants and grant recipients.

About the author: Judith Enck is Regional Administrator of EPA Region 2 and a native New Yorker.

Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in Greenversations are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.