Rural Ulster Preservation Company (RUPCO), www.rupco.org, a non-profit, affordable housing organization based in the Hudson Valley, and Clearwater, www.clearwater.org, America’s environmental flagship have formed a new partnership to provide outreach, education, recruitment, and workforce training to encourage energy efficiency practices and economic growth in the Hudson Valley.
In 2011, RUPCO was selected to receive Green Jobs – Green New York funding totaling approximately $600,000 over two years from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to provide outreach, marketing and education services to promote energy efficiency within priority communities throughout the 10-county, Hudson Valley region.
The funding through NYSERDA is provided through the Green Jobs Green NY Act of 2009, legislation enacted to significantly increase the number of energy efficiency improvements in the state while creating green jobs. RUPCO CEO Kevin O’Connor said, “For nearly two years, RUPCO has been busy marketing the availability of free energy audits to residents throughout the Hudson Valley in partnership with several great organizations. We are excited to partner with Clearwater and hope for greater impact for more residents through improved energy efficiency in their homes. Our leadership role in this effort and our ability to deliver results is why NeighborWorks®
Targeted “Green” Outreach to Low-income and Spanish Speaking Populations
Clearwater, through its Green Cities Initiative, will work with RUPCO and a team of over 20 constituency-
RUPCO’s VP for Community Development and Green Jobs Program Director Guy Kempe said the partnership will provide major benefits to the region at large. “Housing and energy efficiency, like transportation, are regional issues, not county-by-county issues. Working with new partners like Clearwater that have an established and active outreach network will make all of us more effective.” Kempe added, “Our ultimate goal is to make the Hudson Valley housing stock greener and more sustainable, and at the same time, help stimulate job growth and the economy with green-building activities.”
Global Sustainability Begins Locally
“Clearwater has taken a strong leadership role in developing a new sustainability plan for the Hudson Valley,” stated Clearwater Executive Director, Jeff Rumpf, “Our work is based in Pete Seeger’s insight that we must build a new sustainable future now, by creating a scenario where healthy ecology, economy, and equality of life all come together, before our people and our planet suffer irreversible consequences."
As part of their Environmental Action platform, Clearwater actively campaigns on issues such as Indian Point, Hydrofracking, and Climate Change, including resiliency of Hudson River cities to sea level rise and storm surge.
Rumpf added, “As we continue to work to solve our region’s most pressing environmental and public safety issues, it’s important to remember that proactive action from the community is integral to effecting change. Clearwater is delighted to partner with RUPCO on this initiative that will spread the word about energy efficiency and spur sustainable economic development in our region. The transition to a Hudson Valley Green Energy Economy starts with conservation at the local level, and we urge all of our supporters to do their part.”
NYSERDA is a public benefit corporation, offers objective information and analysis, innovative programs, technical expertise, and funding to help New Yorkers increase energy efficiency, save money, use renewable energy, and reduce their reliance on fossil fuels. NYSERDA professionals work to protect our environment and create clean-energy jobs. NYSERDA has been developing partnerships to advance innovative energy solutions in New York since 1975. For more information, visit www.nyserda.ny.gov.
RUPCO is a non-profit, affordable housing organization. Founded in 1981, the agency is a leading provider of affordable housing solutions in the Hudson Valley, an HUD certified counseling agency celebrating its 30th anniversary of providing housing and community development services for a diverse community in Ulster County and the Hudson Valley region. Promotion and preservation of homeownership is a cornerstone of the agency’s work and in December, 2012, it was one of 16 organizations nationwide to receive a Green Agency designation by the national NeighborWorks®
Hudson River Sloop Clearwater has been inspiring, educating and activating millions of people for over 45 years, Hudson River Sloop Clearwater has been at the forefront of the environmental movement as champion of the Hudson River, working to pass landmark legislation like the Clean Water Act, providing innovative educational programs, environmental advocacy, and musical celebrations, including the renowned annual Clearwater Festival. The organization was founded by music legend and environmental activist Pete Seeger in 1966. The iconic sloop Clearwater was launched in 1969 and is a majestic replica of the sloops that sailed the Hudson in the 18th and 19th centuries. To date, more than half a million people have experienced their first real look at an estuary’s ecosystem aboard the vessel. The organization's strong connection to youth, environmental education, and its agenda to create the next generation of environmental leaders are all part of building and strengthening a Green Cities Initiative for a green economy and a more inclusive and diverse environmental movement. Utilizing the greatest natural resource in the region, the Hudson River, Clearwater has become the grassroots model for producing positive changes to protect our planet. For more information, visit www.clearwater.org.
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Ryan Palmer, Clearwater’s Green Cities Initiative Director, (845)265-8080, x7114, Ryan@Clearwater.org
Guy Kempe, RUPCO Green Jobs Green NY Program Director, (845) 331-2140 X265, firstname.lastname@example.org
Susan Andrews, NYSERDA Senior Project Manager, Marketing (518) 862-1090 x3234, email@example.com