Climate Smart Communities Certification Report

Download PDF Version

silver Certified

This is the Climate Smart Communities Certification Report of Kingston, City (Ulster). Kingston, City (Ulster) is a silver certified Climate Smart Community.

Kingston, City (Ulster) was certified on May 28, 2020 with 305 points earned from 51 completed actions. Listed below is information regarding Kingston, City (Ulster)’s Climate Smart Communities efforts and materials associated with its certified actions.

The certification for Kingston, City (Ulster) will expire on September 30, 2025.

Contact Information

The designated Climate Smart Communities contact for Kingston, City (Ulster) is:

Name:Julie Noble
Title:Sustainability Coordinator
Address:420 Broadway
Kingston, NY 12401

Actions Implemented

Each approved action and supporting documentation for which Kingston, City (Ulster) was approved for in 2020 appears below. Note: Standards for the actions below may have changed and the documentation listed may no longer satisfy requirements for that action.

  • 1. Build a climate-smart community.

    1.1 Pass a Resolution Adopting the CSC Pledge

    4 Points

    Program Summary:

    PE1 Action: CSC Task Force

    20 Points
    Bronze Mandatory Silver Mandatory

    Program Summary: The Climate Smart Kingston Commission convenes monthly to strategize, plan, and implement the goals of Kingston's Climate Action Plan. The Commission is comprised of residents and officials who want to take action to assure a sustainable future for the city. The Climate Smart Kingston Commission meets the 4th Wednesday of each month from 5:00-6:30pm at Kingston City Hall, Common Council Chambers. Webpage: I have attached the Establishing Resolution for Climate Smart, the last three months agendas and minutes, and the Rules and Procedures.

    PE1 Action: CSC Coordinator

    10 Points
    Bronze Mandatory Silver Mandatory

    Program Summary: The Climate Smart Community Coordinator is the Chair of the Climate Smart Kingston Commission, Julie Noble, who was appointed as such per the establishing resolution, attached. I have attached two previous months Climate Smart Kingston Commission minutes as well as an agenda that demonstrate the Climate Smart Community Coordinator's involvement. I also attached the job description which outlines the role of the Environmental Education and Sustainability Coordinator (Julie Noble) as CSC Coordinator. Further information can also be found at

    PE1 Action: National/Regional Climate Program

    3 Points

    Program Summary: The City of Kingston is a Clean Energy Community, see press release attached. see see also The City of Kingston is a member of the Climate Reality Project, see The CIty of KIngston is a member of Climate Mayors. see

    PE1 Action: Partnerships with Other Entities

    3 Points

    Program Summary: The City of Kingston maintains partnerships with Ulster County Climate Smart Communities as well as Ulster County Conservation Advisory Councils. A liaison from the Climate Smart Kingston Commission attends and collaborates with the monthly Ulster County CSC meetings and reports back at the Kingston CSK meeting. A liaison from the Kingston CAC attends the monthly Ulster County Environmental Management Council and reports back at the Kingston CAC meeting. Minutes demonstrating such are attached. All minutes and agendas from CAC and CSK meetings are available at

  • 2. Inventory emissions, set goals, and plan for climate action.

    PE2 Action: Government Operations GHG Inventory

    16 Points
    Bronze Priority Silver Priority

    Program Summary: The City of Kingston has updated our GHG Emissions Inventory to include 2016-2019 data. The updated Inventory is attached. The original inventory is also attached. Further, we have created a GHG Emissions Inventory Report, which is attached, and has been made available to the public via posting on the city's website at

    PE2 Action: Government Operations Climate Action Plan

    16 Points
    Bronze Priority Silver Priority

    Program Summary: Government adopted Climate Action Plan, 2012, still active. Outreach was done see and . Also the outreach plan is attached.

    PE2 Action: Community Climate Action Plan

    16 Points
    Bronze Priority Silver Priority

    Program Summary: Kingston Climate Action Plan includes community climate action plan, 2012, still active. Outreach was done, see plan attached, and also

  • 3. Decrease energy use.

    PE3 Action: Government Building Energy Audits

    12 Points
    Bronze Priority Silver Priority

    Program Summary: NREL completed energy efficiency analysis for City owned Land Bank buildings and 6 municipal buildings in 2020.

    PE3 Action: Interior Lighting Upgrades

    5 Points

    Program Summary: The City of Kingston retrofit 12 municipal buildings with LED lighting in 2019. The documentation attached is the final payment package and contracts from those improvements. Also, a press release outlining savings. Climate Action Plan pages 196-197 outline electricity use by building based on 2010 data.

    PE3 Action: HVAC Upgrades

    1 Points

    Program Summary: In April 2019, the City of Kingston installed 6 Split Type Mitsubishi Air Conditioners at the Rondout Neighborhood Center, a municipal building. A memo regarding is attached.

    PE3 Action: Benchmarking - Municipal Buildings

    2 Points

    Program Summary: The City of Kingston adopted a Building Energy Benchmarking Resolution, attached, in 2017. Also attached is the NYSERDA Completion Notification of submission.

    PE3 Action: Fleet Inventory

    4 Points

    Program Summary: The City of Kingston has an updated Fleet Inventory which is updated each time the city acquires or sells, or decommissions a vehicle, by the Environmental Asset Manager. This inventory is updated in conjunction with the City's Comptroller as well as with the City Insurance agent.

    PE3 Action: Advanced Vehicles

    2 Points

    Program Summary: The City has 10 alternative vehicles in our fleet of 216 vehicles. This comprises 4.6 percentage of the fleet. Find attached the NYSERDA completion confirmation for the Clean Fleet Action.

    PE3 Action: LED Street Lights

    8 Points

    Program Summary: The City of Kingston is in the process of converting all of our street lights to LED. At this time, we have • 1632 have been converted to LED • 2,435 total lights means 67% of our streetlights are currently LEDs

    PE3 Action: Incentives for Employee Carpooling & Transit

    1 Points

    Program Summary: The City of Kingston is a member of 511 NY Rideshare. see offering carpooling services to City employees. Attached is a flyer used for employee outreach. This information is also posted at

  • 4. Shift to clean, renewable energy.

    PE4 Action: Renewable Energy Feasibility Studies

    3 Points

    Program Summary: The City of Kingston has engaged the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Cadmus to do a 100% Renewable Energy Strategy for the City. Attached find a presentation on their scope of work. The NREL study includes a section discussing solar for government buildings (for 3 points for "Conduct a feasibility study for 1 renewable energy technology"). Also, find two examples of municipal building feasibility reports. Find their final data and report.

    PE4 Action: Solar Energy Installation

    9 Points

    Program Summary: The City of Kingston Forsyth Nature Center hosts two solar arrays, photos attached. The City of Kingston is also in an agreement with the Pointe of Praise Community Solar Project to accept solar power to offset the use of electricity from a city community center. The Resolution permitting this agreement is attached.

  • 5. Use climate-smart materials management.

    PE5 Action: Government Solid Waste Audit

    2 Points

    Program Summary: The City of Kingston has done municipal waste audits as part of an Organics Diversion Feasibility Study. Attached find the results of the municipal buildings waste audit. We also did waste audits of a municipal event and parks.

    PE5 Action: Recycling Bins in Government Buildings

    3 Points

    Program Summary: The city has a government recycling plan, which is established as an Executive Directive from the Mayor, attached. See also, city buildings with recycling stations set up, in 2019.

    PE5 Action: Recycling Program for Public Places & Events

    1 Points

    Program Summary: Events in the City of Kingston are required to have recycling and trash receptacles. See Event Application below, where refuse regulations are outlined. More info about recycling at

    PE5 Action: Waste Reduction Education Campaign

    2 Points

    Program Summary: The City of Kingston has a robust Recycling Education program and a dedicated Recycling Coordinator. Attached you will find school based educational curriculum, outreach to the community in the form of a Fridge Flyer, letter and calendar that is sent to 23,000 people. Also attached is the 2019 DEC grant contract outlining the city's educational program. See pages 49-53 of the PDF of this contract for the work plan that describes the scope of the project.

    PE5 Action: Residential Organic Waste Program

    6 Points

    Program Summary: The City of Kingston regularly collects yard waste, leaves, brush, wood and Christmas Trees for free from residents, curbside, as well as at our Transfer Station. The schedule and outline for what is collected is found in the calendar which is distributed via mail to all residents and also on the website at The Solid Waste Code also outlines yard waste collection on pages 9-13.

  • 6. Implement climate-smart land use.

    PE6 Action: Comprehensive Plan with Sustainability Elements

    21 Points
    Bronze Priority Silver Priority

    Program Summary: The City of Kingston adopted our Comprehensive Plan, Kingston 2025, which has many sustainability elements incorporated. Attached find the adopted Comprehensive Plan as well as the Comprehensive Plan visioning report which outlines many of the sustainability elements. Also find a memo outlining the reference to each sustainability element in the plan.

    PE6 Action: Unified Solar Permit

    5 Points

    Program Summary: The City of Kingston adopted the Unified Solar Permit. See the resolution adopting the permit, as well as the Permit and guidance, attached. More info can be found at

    PE6 Action: Complete Streets Policy

    4 Points
    Bronze Priority Silver Priority

    Program Summary: The City of Kingston has adopted a Complete Streets Policy, which is attached, as well as the Resolution establishing the policy. Annual report and Strategic Plan are attached.

    PE6 Action: Infrastructure for Biking and Walking

    7 Points

    Program Summary: 3 pts - Expand/improve sidewalks. 2017 Safe Routes to School Project (completed Sept. 2019): 2 pts - Improve bike parking. The Kingston Point Rail Trail Phase 1 (completed Sept. 2019): Bike racks were part of this project - they appear in the engineering plans; see page 36 of this doc: 2 pts - Improve bike and pedestrian signage. The 2017 Safe Routes to School Project also included new pedestrian signage. For a full list of transportation projects that the city has planned and completed, see this webpage:

    PE6 Action: Alternative-fuel Infrastructure

    18 Points
    Bronze Priority Silver Priority

    Program Summary: The City of Kingston has EV Charging Stations at 7 municipally owned locations. Of these, 3 locations are open to the public, 24 hours per day, at no charge to the public. The City has EVCS grants through NYSDEC to cover electricity costs, one contract is attached as an example. The publicly available sites are networked into ChargePoint and can be searched for at Usage for the stations is attached. Invoices for purchase of three locations is attached. A photo of a non-networked EVCS at Kingston Parks and Recreation is attached.

    PE6 Action: Access to Public Transit

    6 Points

    Program Summary: See the attched memo outlining the implementation. The City of Kingston and the County of Ulster, in 2019 merged our bus transit system. See this page for a press release: FAQ regarding the merger is attached. This website outlines the transit integration, including expanded service to the train station in Poughkeepsie: An article outlining the merger can be found online:

    PE6 Action: Safe Routes to School

    3 Points

    Program Summary: The City of Kingston has an active Safe Routes to School Program that was established in 2017. See this website:

    PE6 Action: Natural Resources Inventory

    8 Points
    Bronze Priority Silver Priority

    Program Summary: The City of Kingston has completed a Natural Resources Inventory which can be found at Also, a description of the process can be found there as well. The file was too large to upload.

    PE6 Action: Local Forestry Program

    8 Points

    Program Summary: The City of Kingston has completed a Street and Park Tree Inventory and Maintenance Plan. We have an adopted Tree Ordinance. We are a Tree City USA, and have a Tree Commission. The Tree Inventories and Ordinance are attached. Full information can be found at A large tree planting project is designed and going to construction in 2020- Broadway Streetscape, which will include bioswales, street trees, and other green infrastructure. Information regarding this can be found at

  • 7. Enhance community resilience to climate change.

    PE7 Action: Climate Resilience Vision

    3 Points

    Program Summary: The City of Kingston developed a climate resilience vision as part of the 2013 Planning for Rising Waters Waterfront Flooding Task Force Report; see pages 26-30. The report opens with a letter from the mayor and the outreach process is described in the report; e.g., on page 7 of the PDF, it states "The Task Force met seven times between December 2012 and July 2013. Participants at the large public kick-off meeting described their visions of a flood-resilient Kingston waterfront." The report was also followed by meetings of related learning group; info about two of these meetings from 2017 is attached.

    PE7 Action: Climate Adaptation Plan

    4 Points
    Bronze Priority Silver Priority

    Program Summary: The City of Kingston has a climate adaptation strategy, outlined in both the Climate Action Plan and the stand alone Planning for Rising Waters Report, both attached. An update on actions is also attached.

    PE7 Action: Climate-resilient Hazard Mitigation Plan

    3 Points

    Program Summary: Ulster County initiated the process for development of its initial Hazard Mitigation Plan in 2007. The initial plan was approved in 2009. The update to the initial plan began in 2013 and received FEMA approval in 2017. The County and 16 of its 24 jurisdictions opted to participate. The 2017 plan can be viewed by clicking the link., and is attached.

    PE7 Action: Watershed-based Flood Mitigation Plan

    4 Points

    Program Summary: The City of Kingston completed a Watershed Assessment on the Tidal Rondout Creek Watershed, attached. An overview of the project can be found here:

    PE7 Action: Riparian Buffers

    1 Points

    Program Summary: The City of Kingston completed a Natural Resources Inventory which identifies floodplains and riparian buffers, as well as an Open Space Plan which prioritizes protection. Both can be found at kingston-ny.go/nri and are too large to upload.

    7.17 Conserve Wetlands and Forests to Manage Stormwater, Recharge Groundwater and Mitigate Flooding

    5 Points

    Program Summary: The City of Kingston has a Natural Resources Inventory, Open Space Index, and Open Space Plan ( which identify and establish priorities for conserving wetlands and forests. The Kingston 2025 Comprehensive Plan ( also establishes goals to preserve forests and wetlands. Finally, the Kingston Tree Inventory outlines priorities for preserving tree canopy (attached and at

  • 8. Support a green innovation economy.

    PE8 Action: Green Vendor Fairs

    2 Points

    Program Summary: Kingston holds an annual Green Vendor Fair, called Kingston Earth Fair. see for vendors, exhibitors and music from 2019. Also attached, find the poster for the event.

    PE8 Action: Farmers’ Markets

    3 Points

    Program Summary: The City of Kingston has had a weekly outdoor farmers market since 2000. For more information, see this website:

    PE8 Action: Buy Local/Buy Green Campaign

    2 Points

    Program Summary: The City of Kingston participates in two Buy Local/Buy Green Campaigns: the Hudson Valley Current (see and the Ulster County Green Business Challenge (see Hudson Valley Current is a local currency program with many Kingston based businesses participating. There are two representatives from Climate Smart Kingston Commission which directly participate in managing the Green Business Challenge with the County.

    PE8 Action: Brownfield Clean-up & Redevelopment

    5 Points

    Program Summary: For 4 points, Kingston has been issued two Certificates of Completion in the last 10 years, for Utility Platers, Inc. (2010) and CH - Kingston Gas Works (2017), as per the following website: A screenshot of the DEC Certificates of Completion page is attached, with locations in Kingston listed. For 1 point, the Kingston 2025 Comprehensive Plan, attached below, calls out the prioritization of brownfield redevelopment on the following pages: 10, 15, 21, 25, 42, 80, 81 For context, the City of Kingston has done extensive Brownfield redevelopment work, including the entire Rondout Riverport: (Under "Active Projects," select "Hudson Riverport.") We also have a study ongoing to manage brownfields across the city: There was also a brownfield cleanup at a local Walgreens site:

    PE8 Action: PACE Financing

    7 Points

    Program Summary: The City of Kingston has adopted PACE Legislation establishing access to residents for PACE financing. Attached find the legislation and municipal agreement. A copy of the EIC annual report referencing Kingston's involvement can be found . Also, here is an article outlining the program and also where it is linked and referenced. Also attached is the NYSERDA Completion notification for this action.

    PE8 Action: Rooftop Solarize Campaign

    5 Points

    Program Summary: In 2015, the City of Kingston participated in a Solarize Hudson Valley Campaign. The NYSERDA website includes Kingston as a site:

  • 9. Inform and inspire the public.

    PE9 Action: Climate Change Education & Engagement

    8 Points
    Bronze Priority Silver Priority

    Program Summary: The City of Kingston has a robust climate change education and engagement program. We have a dedicated website which provides outreach for adaptation and mitigation strategies and initiatives. We host regular environmental education programs see We hosted Weaving the Waterfront, see attached tour and sign in sheets, for the community to understand our adaptation initiatives on our waterfront. We also hosted communities from the region to understand the same adaptation initiatives, with a more municipal focus. See attached, the Flood Resilience Network sign in sheet and agenda. The City of Kingston is working directly with Citizens for Local Power on an EmPower campaign to engage the local community on energy issues. An outreach and engagement report and meeting attendance is attached. Each organization on the list represents a separate and distinct stakeholder meeting held to engage the constituents of those organizations on Energy issues.

    PE9 Action: Climate-related Public Events

    3 Points

    Program Summary: The City of Kingston hosted our annual Earth Fair, see which is entirely organized and managed by the City of Kingston and hosts green vendors, exhibitors, a bike rodea, electric vehicle expo, etc as a public education event. The event flyer is attached.

    PE9 Action: Local Climate Action Website

    3 Points

    Program Summary: The City of Kingston keeps an active local climate action website within the city's website, at which covers current, past and future initiatives, boards, community engagement opportunities, all related to climate action.

    PE9 Action: Social Media

    3 Points

    Program Summary: The City of Kingston has an active Facebook account as well as a dedicated account just for the Climate Smart Kingston Commission. This account is posted to weekly and kept active. We also have a Social Media Policy for the Climate Smart Kingston Commission social media, which is attached.

  • 10. Engage in an evolving process of climate action.

    PE10 Action: Annual Progress Report

    4 Points

    Program Summary: The City of Kingston produces an annual Sustainability Report which outlines all climate action work for the year. This is posted online, put out to the press, and distributed to the Legislative and Executive Branch of city government. The 2018 report was released on April 22, 2019 as per this press release:

  • 11. Innovation

    Innovation: New Innovative Actions

    6 Points

    Program Summary: The City of Kingston will be submitting for two Innovative Actions: 1) Repair Cafe: flyer and photo attached - The first Kingston Repair Cafe was June 2014. 4 per year 20 events to date Our next event is October 5 Equal partnership with Bike-Friendly Kingston providing bicycle repairs Co-sponsored by Kingston Transition, Climate Smart Kingston and Bike-Friendly Kingston, with support from Clinton Avenue Methodist Church, Midtown Rising, Radio Kingston and the Kingston YMCA Bike It! program. All events are listed in the "DEC Delivers" Solid Waste & Recycling newsletter, which goes out bi-monthly to their listserv of 36,000 2) Sea Level Rise Implementation Learning Group brought together 4 communities to advance adaptation and resiliency on a regional level. The Final Report is here (too large to attach), and Climate Adaptive Design Studio The Climate-Adaptive Design (CAD) Studio links Cornell students in landscape architecture with Hudson Riverfront communities to explore design alternatives for more climate resilient, beautiful and connected waterfront areas. The studio is an effort in partnership with Cornell Landscape Architecture Department, Cornell Water Resources Institute, the NYS DEC Hudson River Estuary Program and the City of Kingston. The CAD Studio envisioned a more resilient Rondout waterfront, focusing on the parcel level on Kingston’s tidal water front, hosting a third studio on Kingston’s Rondout Waterfront in Spring 2018. The project culminated with an open house to share student ideas with the community. CAD designs show the community options for development and revitalization that also deal with expected sea-level rise and flooding. By taking a comprehensive design approach, the student teams incorporate human and natural systems to inspire adaptation and innovation. The City has recently retained one of the student's firms to advance CAD design.

    Innovation: Innovative Approaches to Existing CSC Actions

    5 Points

    Program Summary: PE 6 Action: Smart Mobility Study: The City of Kingston hosted students from Columbia University to do a Smart Mobility solutions study for Kingston. The overview, from the report: In partnership with NYSERDA’s Clean Transportation team, our capstone’s objective was to assess the technical and financial feasibility of implementing smart mobility solutions in a small city — Kingston, NY. For the scope of the project, we considered solutions that could be implemented in the near-term, under five years, and that could be financed for less than $5 million dollars. Although our recommendations are tailored to meet the needs of Kingston, our methodology and models can be replicated to accommodate other similarly sized cities. While we aimed to design specific pilot initiatives that could be implemented in Kingston in the near term, we also aimed to provide a playbook for evaluating mobility innovations more broadly. The pilot initiatives were identified across transportation domains most relevant for our study -- Private Automobiles, Public Transportation, Streets and Signals, Active and Micro-mobility, Pedestrians, Parking and Land Use. Small cities often lack necessary resources to achieve success in rolling out smart mobility solution. Our capstone report considers Sustainable Mobility Enablers that include governance strategies, additional revenue sources and regulatory matters to help address these constraints. The combination of the initiatives and the enablers are designed to improve mobility, lower emissions and boost economic development. The final Report from May 2019 is attached. As a form of land-use and transportation planning, this study has a connection to PE6 Action: Comprehensive Plan with Sustainability Elements. It also has the potential to be a precursor to plan for the implementation of other PE6 actions that are focused on regulations (e.g., zoning, like 6.2 - Smart Growth Policies) and practices (e.g., 6.12 Strategies That Increase Public Transit Ridership and Alternative Transport Modes). Focusing on transportation improvements is critical in NYS as part of meeting the aggressive GHG limits mandated by the CLCPA. This report may offer useful ideas for other small cities.