Bedford is now a NYSDEC Certified Climate Smart Silver Community!
The Town of Bedford recently rose from bronze to silver certification — the highest level of achievement available! Bedford is one of only ten communities in New York State to receive this prestigious award.
Governor Hochul’s recent Press Release announced the latest updates to New York State’s Climate Smart Communities (CSC) program. CSC certification allows local governments accumulate points for planning and implementation actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and “supports local efforts to meet the economic, social, and environmental challenges posed by climate change”. The majority of participating CSC communities are also NYSERDA Clean Energy Communities and are thereby eligible for grants to reduce GHG emissions.
Some of the milestones in Bedford achieving Silver status include:
- adoption of new communitywide and government Climate Action Plans with aggressive 2030 goals
- upgrades to increase energy efficiency and reduce energy use in municipal buildings
- installation of electric vehicle charging stations
- community Education Campaigns
- … and many others.
Bedford was previously awarded funding from DEC’s Municipal Zero-Emission Vehicle (ZEV) program, providing approximately $46,000 in rebates for for three electric vehicles and grants for three Level 2 electric vehicle charging stations. Bedford also received 50/50 match funding through the DEC Climate Smart Communities Grant program, with $37,422 awarded for a food scraps recycling pilot program.
“We are thrilled that the Town of Bedford has achieved Silver Status in New York State’s Clean Energy Communities program. This achievement reflects ongoing partnership and commitment to climate action between Bedford’s Town government, members of the Bedford community and Bedford 2030. We need to build on this momentum, continuing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and working together towards a clean, healthy future,” said Midge Iorio, Executive Director Bedford 2030.
Town Supervisor Ellen Calves stated, “We are honored and incredibly proud to receive NYS’s highest climate award level. This recognition reflects the hard work of our town and the intentional path we have taken through the acts of evolving town codes & policies, monitoring sustainability best practices and identifying grant opportunities. A huge thank you to our amazing department heads who actively work to help us operate at this high level”.
Supervisor Calves went on to say, “We are grateful and humbled by the work of our colleagues at Bedford 2030 who have helped us prioritize and navigate this crucial work. I would like to give special recognition to Mark Thielking, Director of Energy and Sustainability, for this leadership and passion and to Mariah Okrongly of Bedford 2030 for steering the rigorous application process.”