Council Funding will Improve and Conserve the City’s Air, Land, Energy and Other Resources.

BROOKLYN, NY– Today Speaker Mark-Viverito, Council Member Donovan Richards, Council Environmental Protection Chair Costa Constantinides, and Council Finance Chair Julissa Ferreras joined numerous New York City environmental groups at Green Force City to announce over $1 million dollars in funding for the “Greener NYC” Initiative. The initiative supports environmentally friendly focused programs that encourage education, advocacy, community service, and green-job training contributing to the improvement and conservation of New York City’s air, land, energy, open space, and other vital resources.

“New York City is committed to being a leader on environmentalism and sustainability on the city level,” said Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. “This initiative is part of the City Council’s ongoing commitment to making New York City greener and more environmentally friendly. Together we are moving in the right direction, and through the Greener NYC Initiative, we’re bringing every community across the city together to get there even faster.”

The Greener NYC Initiative is part of the City Council’s ongoing commitment to making New York a more environmentally friendly city. In 2014, the Council announced a climate change platform to make New York City greener, more energy efficient, and more sustainable. This platform includes, among many other measures, legislation to reduce the city’s car fleet and update the municipal air code for the first time in over 40 years. Most significantly, Local Law 66 of 2014, which the Council passed by a vote of 47-0, will require New York City to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% before the year 2050.

“As we transition to being a greener city, there will be a growing number of job opportunities for New Yorkers to get involved in pushing us in an environmentally-friendly direction,” said Council Member Donovan Richards. “The programs funded under Greener NYC will ensure that we keep heading in that direction by providing New Yorkers of all ages with the education, knowledge and training needed to guarantee that our city is prepared for a more resilient and sustainable future. I’d like to thank Council Speaker Mark-Viverito for her continued support of this vital initiative and all of the organizations across the city that are focusing their efforts on resiliency and sustainability.”

“The Greener NYC Initiative will improve our city’s environment by getting additional dollars to support those that are working to protect our air quality and fight climate change,” said Council Environmental Protection Chair Costa Constantinides. “Supporting green-job training and environmental education will help bring us closer to our goal of reducing our city’s carbon emissions by 80% by 2050. This initiative will benefit our city’s economy and public health. I thank Speaker Mark-Viverito and Council Member Donovan Richards for their leadership on this important issue.”

Funded organizations include:

• Alley Pond Environmental Center, Inc.
• Eastern Queens Alliance
• Green City Force
• Greenbelt Conservancy, Inc.
• Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance, Inc.
• New York Botanical Garden
• New York Restoration Project
• North Shore Waterfront Conservancy Of Staten Island, Inc.
• Prospect Park Alliance, Inc.
• Queens Botanical Garden Society, Inc.
• Rockaway Waterfront Alliance
• Sustainable South Bronx
• West Harlem Environmental Action, Inc.
• New York Aquarium WCS
• Zimmer Club Youth Conservation Program of Staten Island, Inc.
• Protectors of Pine Oak Woods Inc.
• Van Cortlandt Park Conservancy
• Council on the Environment, Inc.
• City Growers Inc.
• Friends of Hudson River Park, Inc.
• Bed-Stuy Campaign Against Hunger
• Friends of the Highline
• Brooklyn Queens Land Trust
• Goddard Riverside Community Center
• St. Nick’s Alliance

“Green City Force is thrilled to host our Speaker for this announcement. The young leaders in our corps work every day towards her vision of a Greener NYC, while gaining job skills and experience. This initiative is a statement about the Speaker and Council’s commitment to improving the environment in our city for all New Yorkers,” said Lisbeth Shepherd, Director of Green City Force.

“On behalf of NYRP and the youth we serve, I am honored to receive funding from the Greener NYC Initiative for the second year. The City Council’s generous support helps fund NYRP’s environmental education programs for New York City youth. These programs provide students with a hands-on learning experience in our community gardens that parallels the public school science curriculum and enriches their understanding of urban ecology, nutrition, and environmental science,” said Deborah Marton, Executive Director, New York Restoration Project.

“At Queens Botanical Garden we will use Greener Initiative funding to offer environmental education workshops for school children, mentoring & job training for youth, and ‘dig in the dirt’ opportunities that will provide life-time learning. We seek to educate, to transform, to help people live greener, more environmental lives. And we thank the City Council for offering the Greener Initiative,” said Susan Lacerte, Executive Director, Queens Botanical Garden.

Sue Donoghue, President of the Prospect Park Alliance, said, “Thanks to the City Council, we have a greener NYC and a greener Prospect Park. With this important funding, the City Council is supporting the Prospect Park Alliance Woodlands Youth Crew, a unique initiative that employs local high school students to participate in park restoration while learning about environmental preservation and future job opportunities. By countering erosion, removing invasive vegetation, and planting native plants, the Woodlands Youth Crew has given new life to some of the most damaged areas in Prospect Park. Our thanks go to Speaker Mark-Viverito, Council Members Richards and Levine, and the entire City Council for their support of A Greener NYC.”

“With buildings generating 75 percent of NYC’s greenhouse gas emissions, it is imperative that we have a workforce trained to operate and retrofit buildings with energy efficiency in mind. The generous support Solar One receives from ‘A Greener NYC’ Initiative for its Green Workforce Training Program provides disadvantaged New Yorkers with access to a wealth of green career pathways in NYC’s vast building services and construction sectors.” Chris Collins, Executive Director, Solar One

“In addition to making the city healthier by improving the improvement, “A Greener NYC” — through its support of organizations such as ours — helps New York City residents prepare for long-term ‘green’ careers in fields such as building operations and maintenance. The connection between the environment and employment is at the heart of what we do, and we are very grateful for the City Council’s commitment to our work,” said Michael Brotchner, Executive Director, Sustainable South Bronx.

“The Rockaway Waterfront Alliance is excited to initiate school based environmental learning, through our Living Classroom program, with public schools in the Rockaways. We are certain we can activate our young people to become active stewards of their environment through the support of a Greener NYC,” said John Cruz, Program Director, Rockaway Waterfront Alliance.

“The Waterfront Alliance salutes Speaker Mark-Viverito, and Council Members Donovan Richards and Costa Constantinides for their work to expand the Greener NYC Initiative. This support has allowed us to reach thousands of disadvantaged youths through Harbor Camp, which provides on-water educational programming to nurture the next generation of New York’s environmental stewards; to grow our signature Harbor-wide festival, City of Water Day, educating over 25,000 New Yorkers about the wealth of resources our shared waters provide; and to improve resiliency, access, and ecology for communities at the water’s edge through our Waterfront Edge Design Guidelines program,” said Roland Lewis, President and CEO of the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance.