girl gives presentation
A member of the Climate Smart Communities task force gives a presentation at the April 2019 Climate Action Symposium.
people walking through the waste water treatment facility
CSC Task Force members tour the waste water treatment plant

Saranac Lake Climate Smart Communities Program




In May 2018, the Board of Trustees adopted the New York State Climate Smart Communities pledge. The Village pledged to, among other things: inventory its emissions, set goals and make a plan for climate action; decrease energy use; shift to clean, renewable energy; implement climate-smart land use and support a green innovation economy. Trustees voted unanimously to adopt the pledge. Their resolution read, in part: “We believe that even if emissions were drastically reduced today, communities would still be required to adapt to the effects of climate change for decades to come.” Now, the Village is one of New York’s Bronze Certified Climate Smart Communities (CSC), the first in the North Country to be certified, and was the first community in Franklin and Essex Counties to enter the CSC program.



The Climate Smart Communities (CSC) Certification program provides local governments with a robust framework to guide climate action and enable communities to achieve recognition for their leadership matched with community goals. The Village of Saranac Lake has joined over 300 participating communities, within New York State, to engage their citizens and local governments on best practices for mitigating and adapting to climate change.



The goals of the CSC program are to engage and educate local governments in New York State, provide a robust framework to guide their climate action efforts, and recognize their achievements as they make progress. Participation in the program is free and voluntary; there are no fees or legal requirements. The program is designed to encourage ongoing implementation of actions that reduce greenhouse gas emission and help communities adapt to the effects of climate change.



Read more about the CSC program here.


Get Involved


The CSC Task Force meets on the first Wednesday of each month from 4:00 - 5:00pm. Check the calendar for the next meeting date and reach out to Erin Griffin at to ask about joining a meeting. Meetings are open to the public.


Follow our progress on the climatesmartsl Instagram page. 


Current Initiatives


We are working on an education campaign to help inform Saranac Lake residents and business owners on the benefits of cold climate air source and ground source heat pumps. Find out more on the HeatSmart Campaign Page!


The Task Force is also drafting a Climate Action Plan (CAP) to help guide the Village on climate smart initiatives for years to come. The Task Force hopes to have a version of the CAP ready to share with the public in time for the Village's budget season, March 2024. 




Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Inventory of Government Operations


The CSC Task Force conducted an inventory and analysis of Green House Gases (GHG) produced from Local Government Operations.


Read the full report here.


Saranac Lake CSC Completed Actions For Bronze Certification



 Action Item


 PE1 Action: CSC Task Force The Village Board Appointed a Task Force 
 PE1 Action: CSC Coordinator The Village Board Appointed a Task Force Coordinator
PE1 Action: National/Regional Climate Program

The Village is part of the Clean Energy Communities Program

The Village's projects associated with CEC Program

 PE1 Action: Partnerships with Other Entities The Task Force Has Established Partnerships with Area Stakeholders
 PE2 Action: Government Operations GHG Inventory Report on Green House Gases (GHG) Produced from Local Government Operations
 PE3 Action: Fleet Inventory  The Village Conducted a Basic Inventory of All Operational Vehicles
 PE3 Action: HVAC Upgrades The Village Made Improvements to the System at 3 Main Street
 PE3 Action: Energy Benchmarking for Government Buildings Report on Energy Performance Measures for Village Buildings
 PE3 Action: Energy Code Enforcement Training Recognized As Completing CEC Program High Impact Action
 PE3 Action: Interior Lighting Upgrades Report on Replacement of Old Lighting Fixtures with LED Lights
 PE5 Action: Residential Organic Waste Program The WWTP Hosts a Residential Organic Waste Program
 PE6 Action: Complete Streets Policy The Village Adopted and Enforces a Complete Streets Policy
 PE6 Action: Implement a Safe Routes to School Program The Village Supports the Program at Petrova Elementary School
 PE6 Action: Planning and Infrastructure for Bicycling and Walking

The Village Adopted a Bicycle and Pedestrian Trail Master Plan

Recent Improvements Around the Village

 PE6 Action: Alternative-fuel Infrastructure

The Village Installed an Electric Vehicle Charging Station

Recognized As Completing CEC Program High Impact Action

 PE6 Action: Unified Solar Permit Recognized As Completing CEC Program High Impact Action
 PE6 Action: Incorporate Smart Growth Principles into Land-use Policies and Regulations Principles Incorporated into Development Code (2016) and Local Waterfront Revitalization Program (2002) 
 PE6 Action: Develop a Local Forestry or Tree Planting Project or Program Village Tree Program, Certifications, and Tree Health Events
 PE8 Action: Farmers' Markets The Village Supports a Local Farmers' Market
 PE9 Action: Social Media Climate Smart Volunteers Maintain a Social Media Page
 PE9 Action: Climate-related Public Events

Earth Week 2020 Event Summary

Earth Week 2020 Presentation Slides

 PE9 Action: Local Climate Action Website This Website Documents The Village's Climate Initiatives


Total Points Submitted: 124      Points Needed for Bronze Certification: 120





On September 24, 2020, the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced that the Village of Saranac Lake is now a Bronze Level Certifed Climate Smart Community.




The Climate Smart Communities Task Force meets on the first Wednesday of each month from 4:00 - 5:00pm.



Tom Collins and Garrett Marino, Co-Coordinators


The Village of Saranac Lake is a Certified Bronze Climate Smart Communtiy 


124/120 Climate Action Points

Certified September 2020

CSC Task Force Members

Tom Collins, Co-Coordinator

Garrett Marino, Co-Coordinator

Jenna Audlin, SLCSD, High School Student & Green Team

Steve DeHond, Community Stakeholder,

Harry Gordon, Community Stakeholder, Architect

Katrina Glynn, Community Development Director for the Village

Becca Halter, Community Stakeholder

Carolyn Koestner, Community Stakeholder

Rich Shapiro, Ex-Officio for the Board of Trustees

Diane Strablow, Community Stakeholder

Cassandra Van Cott, Staff person for the Village