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Sustainable Saratoga: Looking Back, Moving Forward…


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As we move into our fourth year as Sustainable Saratoga, I want to recap our accomplishments, thank those who have been responsible for them and announce some exciting plans for the future. 

We are pleased to report that we have secured official not-for-profit designation.  The change in status necessitates some structural organizational changes: organize a strong board of directors, develop a strategic plan, and ultimately develop and implement projects that promote health, conserve our environmental resources and promote the local economy.  We hope that you will join us in our efforts by contributing your time and talents! 

I would like to thank those who have helped us get where we are today.  Amy Stock, co-founder, worked diligently to help launch Sustainable Saratoga and then as Task Force Chair the first year.  A sincere thanks and appreciation for Amy's expertise and persistence in birthing and growing this amazing group.  Bill Sprengnether served as Task Force Chair in our second year and we are grateful to him for further identifying priorities and moving the organization forward. 

For the past two years as Co-chair then as Chair, Celeste Caruso has tirelessly pulled in new members, and worked with committees and volunteers to create programs that shaped Sustainable Saratoga as a key resource and educational organization.  Thanks to Celeste, we have not only built strong partnerships and launched successful new projects but perhaps most importantly, she, with the her co-chair Jim Zack and Andy Zajaceskowski secured 501C3 status for us. 

Being a not-for-profit gives us greater opportunity to expand our volunteer base, cultivate financial resources, and implement ambitious projects.  Although Celeste's term is at an end, she has kindly agreed to serve as Communications Director as we form our new Board of Directors and continue to serve our mission. Her co-chair Jim Zack will continue his dedicated work as Secretary/Treasurer on the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors.

A strategic planning group has been meeting to ensure a smooth
transition and grow to the next level. I want to thank Rayna Caldwell for agreeing to serve as our new Chair of Sustainable Saratoga during this transition and also thank Cathi Anne Cameron, Jim Zack, Rayna, Celeste and Amy Durland for working on a draft of a strategic plan to present to our future newly formed board of directors. 

Major Areas of Concentration that have been identified through this strategic planning process include:

1. Sustainable Planning:
          Urban Forestry/tree inventory and program
          Housing Urban Planning
          Complete Streets
          Greening Ordinances
2. Climate Smart Communities:
          Green House Gas Emission Inventory: Municipal and Community
          Community Emission Reduction Plans
          Energy Efficiency Efforts
          Anti-idling campaign
3. Local Economy; Keeping local dollars local
4. Health and Wellness:
          Healthy Life Style Choices 
          Community Gardens

The board will be responsible for programming as we shift (from monthly to quarterly informational meetings), fund raising, budgeting, communicating and nominating new members.  Please let us know if you have any feedback and/or wish to participate in a particular capacity.

And last, but certainly not least, thank YOU for your interest, your work and involvement in the future sustainability of our City.

With Sincere Appreciation,
Joanne Yepsen, Supervisor, Saratoga Springs;
518.526.5272; jyepsen@nycap.rr.com


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