Sustainable Long Island
July 2011 
Sustainable Long Island Newsletter
The one-stop-shop...
For all Sustainable Long Island news! 
In This Issue
Film Fundraiser
Newsday Opinion Article on Healthy Eating
Agricultural Listening Session
Freeport BOA Program
HS Youth Visioning
Hobbs Community Farm Revitalized
Farmingdale Public Hearing
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Board of Directors

Ruth Negr
ˇn-Gaines: President

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Kevin McDonald: Vice President

The Nature Conservancy   
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Charlotte Biblow, Esq: Secretary

Farrell Fritz, P.C.

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Lauren Furst: Treasurer   

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Russ Albanese

Albanese Organization Inc.

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Lennard Axinn

Island Estates

  

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Robert Bernard

Capital One Bank   

 

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Dr. Calvin O. Butts, III
SUNY College at Old Westbury

  

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Dr. Miriam K. Deitsch

State University at Farmingdale

  

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Pat Edwards

Citibank

  

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Richard Grafer


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Amy Hagedorn
Hagedorn Foundation

 

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Jeff Kraut

North Shore - LIJ Health System

  

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Mitchell H. Pally

Long Island Builders Institute

 

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Ron Shiffman

Pratt Institute

  

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Robert Wieboldt

  

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Have a Happy Independence Day! 

Sustainable Long Island Film Fundraiser:
Sunday, August 14: Huntington Cinema Arts Centre
Film
Click for preview video!

 

Set in a wide array of suburbs and metropolitan areas around the United States, "Suburban America: Problems & Promise" presents a dynamic and thought-provoking exploration of suburbia, including its genesis and history, its dramatic political and social changes, as well as its developmental challenges and sustainable solutions. Produced & Directed by Emmy«-winning filmmaker Ron Rudaitis, the documentary will air nationally on Public Television beginning September 2011 via American Public Television (check local listings).

 

To celebrate the film's release, Sustainable Long Island is hosting a special preview screening event, a "FIRST LOOK FOR THE FIRST SUBURB," on Sunday afternoon, August 14, 2011 at the Cinema Arts Centre in Huntington. The documentary will be screened in its entirety for the very first time - fitting that Long Island, the nation's first suburb, will get the very 'first look' at this vital documentary film in advance of its national broadcast television release.

 

The screening will include a delicious luncheon and a Q+A with the creators of this landmark film, which brings to light key issues and opportunities concerning the changing needs of America's suburbs with the aim of helping to create more sustainable, economically viable metropolitan regions.

 

"Suburban America: Problems & Promise" focuses on many of the primary issues that Sustainable Long Island advances in economic development, environmental health, and social equity. Proceeds from this special event screening will go to Sustainable Long Island.

 

For more information on the screening click here! 

Newsday Opinion Article:
MyPlate's going to need some help 
 

 

A recent Newsday Opinion article discussed the idea that healthful eating takes access to fresh food and doing so has become a matter of economic disparity and education. Sustainable Long Island's food access efforts were mentioned in the piece which can be read in full on Sustainable Long Island's website:

 

MyPlate

Access to fresh, affordable food is a necessity, not a luxury. First Lady Michelle Obama has set the tone with her example; as the picture of health earlier this month when she kicked off MyPlate, the Department of Agricultures's new dietary guideline campaign. The cornerstone of the campaign is a simple representation of what a healthy meal should look like.  

 

For national efforts to have full impact, action at the local level is essential, too. The location of food stores and how close they are to public transportation makes a huge difference in how well a community eats. The Long Island Index and Sustainable Long Island have found that poorer people have the least access to supermarkets.

 

Sustainable Long Island helped start up of two youth-run farmers' markets in North Bellport and Roosevelt last year, bringing fresh, nutritious food to these areas between July and October. An impressive 65 percent of the transactions last year were made using government assistance money. Based on last year's success, Sustainable Long Island is providing assistance to get markets up and running in Flanders, New Cassel and Wyandanch this summer.

Sustainable LI provides testimony at Senator Gillibrand's Agricultural Listening Session

 

This past month we provided testimony at Senator Kirsten Gillibrand's Agriculture Listening Session at Deer Run Farms in Brookhaven. As Congress begins debating the next Farm Bill, Senator Gillibrand has held statewide agricultural listening sessions to gather input and discuss new efforts to help New York farmers and farming communities. Highlights from our testimony are below:

 

Gillibrand

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (Left) and Sustainable LI Director of Programs Donna Boyce (Right) at the forum. 

Some of the challenges farmers come across in their line of work was, and is directly, addressed by Sustainable Long Island's community-based youth-run farmer's market model.  

 

There is great demand for availability of fresh, local produce at markets and grocery stores across the region, but there still remains a great disconnect between the farmers and the community.  

 

Farmers often don't have enough time to harvest and grow their food and deliver it to each and every outlet. Transportation issues and lack of resources cause numerous challenges as farmers need to devote more time tending to their farms rather than traveling back and forth to a specific market.

 

 

Our market model provides an easy, affordable system for farmers to get involved; evident by the six Long Island farms who participated last year and the eight local farms who already plan to participate this year. The produce is picked up from each farm in the morning, along with occasional afternoon shifts, and delivered directly to the market. Formerly homeless veterans participating in Suffolk County United Veterans job training program were employed to pick up and deliver the food last year, which by itself is great success. These veterans who have often struggled with readjusting back into civilian life, now serve our communities through the creation of these green jobs. With young people from low-income communities operating the market, this model is hassle-free for the farmers and provides them with incentives to sell their fresh fruit and vegetables to more markets as well as provides veterans with employment.

 

We must make sure the next Farm Bill will be one of great advantage for New York and Long Island specifically. As you know, this bill will set the framework on what we eat, how we will able to eat it, and if we are able to afford eating it. Priorities set forth in the bill - such as expanding funding for food security programs, increasing access of federal nutrition program participants to farmers' markets, CSA's, and other food enterprises, and putting an emphasis on economic development and job creation - will surely improve sustainability and enhance our regional food system.

 

To read our testimony in its entirety visit our blog! 

Village of Freeport NYS BOA Program Step 2: Nomination Study

Sustainable Long Island has been working together with the Freeport Community Development Agency to advance the Village of Freeport's BOA application and recently provided testimony at a public hearing; sharing insight on the proposed brownfields redevelopment. Below are some excerpts from the testimony:

Freeport Study Area 

Our work with the Village of Freeport community began several years ago with the commencement of its revitalization efforts. With our project partners, Sustainable Long Island began a participatory planning process to build consensus, identify community goals, and determine various study priorities. Together, we created a sustainable community plan which would catalyze the brownfield redevelopment process.

 

Within this plan, an important project is the development of a NYS Brownfield Opportunity Area (BOA) Program Step 2: Nomination Study to create a strategy for stimulating economic growth, improving transit networks, and creating a vital mixed-use district within Freeport through brownfield revitalization. The study area for this BOA application includes a 275 acre area with potential brownfield sites along the North Main Street and Sunrise Highway corridors in Freeport.

 

The revitalization efforts enabled by the NYS BOA Program are driven by community engagement, and provide developers with the assurance required to speed reuse.

 

To read our testimony in its entirety click here!

Farmingdale High School Youth Visioning 
Youth Visioning
Click for additional photo's of the visioning!

Sustainable Long Island's High School Fellows held a youth-visioning exercise at Farmingdale High School this past June to nearly 50 students. The students had the opportunity to see what it's like to plan for the future of downtown Farmingdale.The fellows focused on the Village's assets and opportunities - gathering input and opinions on what the young adults from Farmingdale HS want to see in their community.  

 

Some of the student's favorite ideas - that were chosen, voted on, and drawn on table sized aerial maps of the Village - included adding more lights to Allen Park, a public pool for residents to enjoy, and a dog park in the lot of the closed down Waldbaum's.


Youth VisioningYouth Visioning

 To review the students full report on the event  

visit our HS Fellowship webpage!

Hobbs Farm: A Community Resource
Since 2006, Sustainable Long Island has worked collaboratively with the Middle Country Coalition for Smart Growth, Town of Brookhaven, and other local partners and elected officials to advance redevelopment projects in Centereach and Selden. One of the major goals the community has focused on has been the revitalization of Hobbs Community Farm as a working, thriving farm and education center. Below is an excerpt from an article on raising food, hope, and community at the farm: 

Hobbs Farm 

Off the commercial strip that is Nicolls Road in Centereach sits an 11-acre piece of nondescript farmland, rich in soil, history and significance.  

 

Hobbs Farm is the only remaining farm in Centereach and the last Long Island farm to be owned by a black family. The James Hobbs family moved from Georgia to New York City in 1906 and later to Long Island, laboring on farms as they purchased their own land, which Hobbs' son, Alfred, took over upon his father's death.

 

"Right from the beginning, lots of people were telling us to sell it, but we wanted to keep the heritage of the farm and Hobbs' memory alive," said the Rev. Gregory Leonard, who has been pastor of Bethel AME for the past 15 years.

 

Maintaining that vision proved difficult.  

 

To read the full article at Newsday.com click here. 

Village of Farmingdale's Downtown Master Plan and DGEIS Public Hearing

On behalf of the Village of Farmingdale, you are invited to a public hearing on the environmental analysis of the Village's downtown revitalization efforts on Monday, July 11, 2011 at 7 pm at the Farmingdale Public Library. The Village began formulating a strategy to revitalize its downtown area in 2006 by initiating a visioning process. A master planning process followed in 2009 to evaluate the downtown area to guide development and public investment in Downtown Farmingdale over the next 25 years.

Main StAs the Downtown Master Plan was being drafted, New York State awarded a Brownfield Opportunity Area (BOA) Step 2 Nomination Study grant to the Village, and the Village was able to use the BOA funding for additional studies regarding the proposed Downtown Master Plan.  

In compliance with the New York State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA), the Village has conducted an environmental review of the proposed Downtown Master Plan, in a document called a Draft Generic Environmental Impact Statement (DGEIS), taking all aspects of downtown development into consideration. As part of the BOA Program, the DGEIS and BOA Nomination Study have been combined into one document to fulfill both requirements.

All Farmingdale residents are invited to provide comments at the public hearing regarding the proposed Downtown Master Plan DGEIS/BOA Nomination Study. You can find the DGEIS/BOA Nomination Study at www.farmingdalevillage.com as well as hard copies at the Village Hall and Library.

Written comments on the DGEIS/BOA Nomination Study will also be accepted until close of business, Friday, July 22nd and can be sent either by mail or email to Brian Harty, Village Clerk at Village Hall, 361 Main Street, Farmingdale, NY 11735 or bharty@farmingdalevillage.com.

Together we can build a more sustainable LI

  

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These rough economic times have magnified the problems we Long Islanders face each and every day. With our leaders warning us of tougher times to come, thinking regionally and acting locally is urgent. It is in all of our best interest to stay engaged and do what we can together to build a more sustainable Long Island.

 

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Sincerely,

The Board and Staff of Sustainable Long Island