The Village of Saranac Lake and the Village of Homer achieved bronze level certification in the New York State Climate Smart Communities (CSC) Program, as announced by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo on September 24, 2020, during New York State Climate Week. CPO is a partner and advisor on the 2017 grant awarded to The Wild Center, from NOAA’s Environmental Literacy Program, titled “Convening Young Leaders for Climate Resilience in New York State,” that supported the youth leaders spearheading the efforts for climate action and resilience within these two communities.
The NYS CSC Program provides guidance and technical support to local governments to take locally-driven climate action. The Village of Saranac Lake is the first to complete these requirements and achieve bronze status within New York’s North Country.
Over the past two years, youth leaders in Homer and Saranac Lake have effectively partnered with local leaders and decision-makers in their home communities to take action on climate change, providing valuable contributions, conducting climate-related assessments and delivering solution-focused recommendations. The youth leaders were inspired in part by The Wild Center’s Youth Climate Summits, a partner of the Climate Program Office’s Climate Education programs, which convene young people across the country to learn about climate change science, impacts, and solutions. In Fiscal Year 2021, The Wild Center will receive another grant to expand this successful program to more rural communities across New York in partnership with CPO.
Along with the announcement, the Governor’s Office shared a video produced by The Wild Center in partnership with the DEC’s Office of Climate Change and CPO. The video features the efforts of youth-led climate change adaptation and resilience planning in Homer and Saranac Lake. It also highlights The Wild Center’s Youth Climate Summits and CPO’s Climate Education partnership as providing these young leaders with sustainable solutions and actions they can take back to their communities, empowering them with important tools and leadership skills to collaborate with local leaders.