NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE FEATURES ULSTER COUNTY'S ENVIRONMENTAL INITIATIVES
Ulster County Executive Mike Hein recently announced that Ulster County was prominently featured in National Geographic December, 2016 edition. The county was selected for its “Dreaming Green” campaign that highlights some of the county's environmental achievements.
“The fact that Ulster County is featured in such an iconic and globally significant publication as National Geographic is extraordinary for our community, humbling for my administration and a source of great pride for everyone involved in our environmental initiatives. I firmly believe that we have a fundamental obligation to protect our pristine environment for all our citizens as well as for future generations. The work my administration has done in conjunction with our many partners, especially the Ulster County Legislature, has helped deliver responsible environmental stewardship as the only net carbon neutral county in the state plus the highest concentration of municipal electric vehicle charging stations and the purchasing of all our electricity from renewable sources,” said Ulster County Executive Mike Hein.
Ulster County's environmental initiatives include:
„„ Becoming the first and only county in New York State to become Net Carbon Neutral;
„„ Becoming the only county that gets 100% of our electricity from renewable resources;
„„ Converting the county's fleet to alternate fuel vehicles;
„„ Creating an electric vehicle charging network;
„„ Embarking on a Utility-Scale Solar Project at the Community College in Stone Ridge and at the former landfill site in the Town of Ulster with the potential to ultimately generate 20% of the county's electric;
„„ Creating a Green Campus at the Kingston Center of SUNY Ulster by using adaptive reuse and practical green building techniques which included installing a green wall, rain gardens and bio-retention areas, and using permeable pavers and asphalt in order to control stormwater runoff;
„„ Creating a world-class interconnected rail trail system; and
„„ County light fixtures were replaced with LEDs, bottled water was replaced with energy efficient water fountains, and environmentally friendly cleaning supplies used.
Some of the environmental awards received by Ulster County include:
„„ 2015 Recipient of a U.S. EPA Green Power Leadership Award;
„„ U.S. EPA continues to rank Ulster County as a leader in Green Power Use (most currently ranked 26th nationally among local governments);
„„ 2015 National Achievement Award from the National Association of Counties for County Resiliency and Sustainability for the “Carbon Footprint Reduction program";
„„ Awarded the Bronze Level Certified Climate Smart Community by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (one of three municipalities, and the only county, in the state to reach this level which is the highest that has been achieved through the program);
„„ The Hudson Valley Trail Network, which Ulster County hosts sections of, was the most recent inductee into the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy's Rail-Trail Hall of Fame; and
„„ In the fall of 2016 the White House recognized Ulster County for its commitment to reducing Green House Gas Emissions with the deployment of alternate fuel vehicles as well as expanding the county's charging station network.