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Climate Action in North Hempstead
The Town of North Hempstead recognizes the detrimental impact of climate change on our community. In an effort to do our part, Supervisor DeSena and the Town Board are committed to implementing policies to reduce the Town's carbon footprint in its own operations and increase resiliency, as well as to assist residents and businesses in their sustainability efforts through education, legislation, and other measures.
The Town of North Hempstead has launched a Community Survey to identify key issues, perceptions, concerns and priorities facing our Town with respect to climate change. Results will help shape the Town's Climate Action Planning. The survey is completely anonymous.
Click HERE to take the short survey.
The following programs are some of the actions that the Town of North Hempstead has taken in furtherance of its fight against climate change:
Clean Energy Communities Program
This program is administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and helps local governments to implement clean energy actions, save energy costs, and improve the environment. The Town completed the following 4 high-impact action items to become a designated Clean Energy Community:
- Used multiple alternative fuel vehicles, such as plug-in hybrid and battery electric cars, for municipal business.
- Participated in a Solarize North Hempstead campaign to reduce solar project costs through joint purchasing.
- Completed energy code enforcement training on best practices for code compliance officers and other municipal officers.
- Adopted a benchmarking policy to track and report the energy use of the Town's municipal buildings.
The Town is also working toward completing more actions under the new leadership round of CEC. In the new version of the program communities complete actions for certain point values and are eligible for grants once a certain point total is reached. Visit this site for more information on the program: nyserda.ny.gov/All-Programs/Programs/Clean-Energy-Communities.
Climate Smart Communities Program
The Town is actively working toward certification to become a Climate Smart Community. This program, run by New York State, provides guidance to local governments on best practices for mitigating and adapting to climate change. Communities can take action in two main ways to minimize the risks of climate change and reduce its long-term costs by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to a changing climate. For more information click here.
Planning and Setting Goals
- The Town has created a Climate Smart Communities Task Force, which includes Town staff, elected officials and Town residents to advise on climate related activities as well as the Town's Climate Smart Communities certification planning.
- GHG inventory- The Town is in the process of completing an inventory to determine how it can reduce emissions from its operations.
- Climate Action Plan- This comprehensive plan is currently in progress and will detail how the Town can mitigate and adapt to climate change effects.
- Benchmarking Town building energy use- the Town is currently tracking all energy use in its buildings over 1,000 square feet to see where it can reduce use:
Education and Outreach
- Climate Stories Project- The Town hosted a workshop on sharing personal stories about climate change to build an inclusive and effective movement to confront the climate crisis. To watch a recording of the workshop click HERE.
- Share Your Story: To create your story answer 3 short questions related to your feelings on climate change HERE. Your story will then be shared with the community to help us understand why climate change affects everyone personally and what we can do to help mitigate and adapt in our changing world.
- Under Our Feet: The Resiliency of Our Drinking Water- This workshop focused on the state of LI's underground aquifers that provide all of our drinking water, threats to these important resources and actions the community can take to keep them resilient in the face of climate change. View Recording
- Transportation Innovation Series- The Town hosted a series of 3 workshops focused on environmentally friendly transportation options.
- The Town is a member of the Clean Energy Leadership Taskforce and Long Island Green Homes Consortium.
- In 2016 the Town completed a Solarize campaign to promote solar to residents and businesses, which included providing discounts to those that installed a solar project on their building. For more information on Solarize click here.
- The Town is currently working on a Public Engagement Plan that will detail how to accomplish climate change related outreach and events in the community. This includes this webpage, social media posts, multiple educational events, and more.
- The Town teaches and facilitates Home Sustainability Workshops each year on sustainable landscaping, including the topics of composting, using a rain barrel, gardening with native plants and creating rain gardens.
- Organics Management Plan- The Town is working on a plan to educate residents and businesses on ways they can reduce food waste and aid in food recovery for local food banks.
- Buy Green/Local Campaign- in 2021 the Town launched a campaign to showcase sustainable businesses in North Hempstead. These businesses can apply to be a part of the Town's Small Business Spotlight and be showcased for their green practices. Apply here.
- The Town is a WaterSense Promotional Partner and uses outreach to encourage its residents to save water. Saving water saves energy that is needed to pump and treat this limited resource.
Decrease Energy Use and Shift to Clean, Renewable Energy
- Clean Fleets:
- The Town currently has multiple plug-in hybrid vehicles for employee use.
- The Town is looking to increase electric vehicle charging stations on Town properties for employees and public use and is currently contracting with a company to install a small number of public chargers on Town property.
- Energy Code Enforcement Training- the Town trains compliance officers in energy code best practices to ensure the reduction of energy use.
- Energy Conservation Requirements for Residential Construction- this Town code requires that certain new residential construction achieve minimum energy conservation performance as verified by the Home Energy Rating System (HERS). Click here for more details..
- Energy efficiency measures- The Town is continually replacing old equipment with more efficient equipment like LEDs in lights of Town buildings, exterior lights and street lights, new insulation and windows, and HVAC systems in its buildings.
- Gas-Powered Leaf Blower Regulation- The Town adopted a local law that landscapers and Town employees are not authorized to operate gas-powered leaf blowers between June 15 and September 15 to reduce noise and air pollution and gasoline usage during times when the public spends peak time outdoors
- The North Hempstead Yes We Can Community Center in New Cassel uses a ground source geothermal heat pump for heating and cooling.
Natural Solutions and Resiliency
- Conservation of trees- Trees provide many benefits like carbon dioxide removal, stormwater absorption, habitat for wildlife, windbreaks, and shade, which can lower cooling/heating costs. The Town is a Tree City USA Community and has a tree committee to manage tree resources. The Town also recently passed an amended strengthened tree code. For more information on tree conservation visit NorthHempsteadny.gov/Trees
- Native Plantings- native plants have long root systems, which help to absorb carbon dioxide, as well as other air pollutants and stormwater. The Town is increasing its use of native plants in our park system. These plants are also drought tolerant and thereby save potable water. Click here to learn more.
- Cooling Centers- during extreme heat events the Town has cooling centers at Yes We Can Community Center, Tully Park and the Port Washington Senior Center.
- Hazard Mitigation Plan- Nassau County's Hazard Mitigation Plan emphasizes the identification and reduction of risks associated with natural hazards to increase community resilience. The North Hempstead plan can be found here.
These websites provide information on how you can reduce your climate impact:
Please call 516-869-6311 or email email@example.com with any questions or comments.