Sustainable Long Island
April 2012  
Sustainable Long Island Newsletter
The one-stop-shop...
For all Sustainable Long Island news! 
In This Issue
Sixth Annual Conference
Fortune 52
Citi Foundation Awards Sustainable LI
Long Island Collegese: Sustainability Courses
Long Island Small Farm Summit
Community Gardening for Public Housing
Huntington Station BOA (Step 2)
Charlotte Biblow to be Honored
Donate today!
Board of Directors

Ruth Negr
n-Gaines: President

Kevin McDonald: Vice President

The Nature Conservancy   

Charlotte Biblow, Esq: Secretary

Farrell Fritz, P.C.

Lauren Furst: Treasurer   


Russ Albanese

Albanese Organization Inc.

Lennard Axinn

Island Estates   


Robert Bernard

Capital One Bank 

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


Dr. Miriam K. Deitsch

Farmingdale State College, State University of New York 


Pat Edwards

Citi Community Development     
Amy Hagedorn
Hagedorn Foundation   


Jeff Kraut

North Shore - LIJ Health System


Mitchell H. Pally

Long Island Builders Institute


Ron Shiffman

Pratt Institute


Robert Wieboldt  
















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"The Many Facets of Sustainability"
Sixth Annual Sustainability Conference 
Sustainable Long Island's Sixth Annual Sustainability Conference will take place on Friday, June 1st, 2012 at the Carlyle on the Green in Bethpage State Park.

This year will focus on "The Many Facets of Sustainability." Attendees will have the opportunity to discuss and learn what the face of sustainability is today, where it has come from, and where it is going.  


The 2012 event will feature:

  • Keynote Speaker Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone
  • Thought-provoking workshops on brownfield redevelopment, food access, economic growth and recovery, and greening Long Island 
  • The "Sustainable Samplings" luncheon, showcasing local restaurants from across the Island as they provide samples of their signature dishes
  • An exhibit hall highlighting local businesses and nonprofits
  • The 2nd annual "Getting It Done" Awards honoring those who move beyond the talk toward implementation; featuring Kevin Law, Stuart Rabinowitz, Bridget Fleming, and George "Butch" Starkie 

Register TODAY for early discount pricing (before May 1st). Sponsorship, advertising, exhibiting, and restaurant opportunities available. Contact for details or call 516-873-0230.


Fortune 52 Honoree: Amy Engel
Executive Director, Sustainable LI 


Amy Engel, Executive Director of Sustainable Long Island, is this week's Fortune 52 honoree. The Fortune 52 weekly column in The Long Island Press written by Associate Publisher, Beverly Fortune, honors local women who lead multiple lives, making significant and unique contributions in their community or workplace: women from all walks of life. Below read an excerpt of the inspiring column and visit Sustainable Long Island's Blog for the full article.


Amy Engel's enthusiasm is contagious and our region is going to catch on soon now that she's become the new executive director of Sustainable Long Island. She is pumped up and ready to lead the grassroots organization to its next phase by building on existing partnerships and collaborating with new ones to achieve her mission: rethink, rebuild and renew Long Island. Working with municipal and civic leaders, environmentalists, developers and the general population of Long Island, she wants to bring about a positive change. 


"I've tried to make a difference in every role or job I've had," says Engel ."I love that I can be part of an organization that makes a difference to everyday people."


Citi Foundations Awards Sustainable LI $45,000 for Hempstead Rebirth Capacity Building Initiative


Sustainable Long Island has been awarded $45,000 from the Citi Foundation in support of the Hempstead Rebirth Capacity Building Initiative. This Initiative will enable Sustainable Long Island to help expand the organizational capacity of the Hempstead-based not-for-profit, Hempstead Rebirth.


"With the generous funds from the Citi Foundation, Sustainable Long Island will aid Hempstead Rebirth in advancing its revitalization efforts within the Village of Hempstead," said Amy Engel, Executive Director of Sustainable Long Island. "With a focus on affordable housing and economic development, we will work with them to help refine their mission, identify priority goals, and assist in conducting a feasibility study centering on redevelopment opportunities."


Hempstead Rebirth is a faith-based community development corporation that was founded in June 2000 to address the housing needs of the Village of Hempstead. Since then, Hempstead Rebirth has expanded its work beyond housing to include technical and financial support to small businesses and support of community clean-up projects.


"Citi and the Citi Foundation are proud to continue our long association with Sustainable Long Island by providing resources that will allow the organization to further its work transforming Hempstead into a model community," said Pat Edwards, of Citi Community Development's Long Island office."With a thriving business community and exciting economic development initiatives on the horizon, Citi's support and Sustainable Long Island's leadership mean that Hempstead will continue moving in the right direction."


Through Citi Foundation's funding, Hempstead Rebirth will receive a finalized mission statement; staff training; an organizational management plan; prepared applications for additional funding; and new strategic partnerships.


Currently, Hempstead Rebirth's immediate goal is to build organizational capacity for implementing its redevelopment plan; operating as a full Community Housing Development Organization and serving as a community resource to increase affordable housing and the number of small businesses in the Village of Hempstead.


Long Island Colleges: Offering Sustainability Courses For One of the Fastest Growing Sectors of the Economy


Networking Magazine has published an article on how many Long Island Colleges are now recognizing the importance of one of the fastest growing sectors of the economy: sustainability. The piece highlights programs from LIU Post, Farmingdale State College, Stony Brook University, Hofstra University, and Molloy College. Below read an excerpt from the article featuring Sustainable Long Island discussing what exactly sustainability is. For the full article visit Sustainable Long Island's Blog:

What is Sustainability? Sustainability, in its most basic form, is using our resources in a way that allows them to stretch as long as possible and remain open to everyone, according to Amy Engel, executive director of Sustainable Long Island.


When choosing a degree program, Engel advises to make sure "it's not just narrowly focused" on environmental issues. "For instance, most sustainability programs have three prongs (economy, environment, and equity)."


Sustainable Long Island actively recruits interns to work on issues of economic development, environmental health, and social equity. Engel said an important part of their organization is making sure everyone involved with an issue has a seat at the discussion table, and interns gain valuable experience from it.


"It's great that most of the universities and colleges on Long Island are heading in this direction because it's training an entire new generation to lead the cause into the next several decades," Engel told Networking Magazine.  


"I think the smart use of resources is one of the best things students can learn and I think it helps make them more marketable... it helps set these students apart."


Long Island Small Farm Summit:
Cultivating Food Justice Panel 


This past weekend, Sustainable Long Island attended the Small Farm Summit; a full-day effort to cultivate active community support of sustainable agriculture on Long Island.


Sustainable Long Island was part of the panel discussion, "Cultivating Food Justice," which focused on how we can expand the concept of Food Justice, linking it with labor and immigration issues, and bringing in the viewpoints and voices of traditionally marginalized communities. The panel explored initiatives in our region and elsewhere that are helping to highlight inequities throughout the food system and, in so doing, broadening the meaning and impact of food justice.


Some of the points we discussed during the panel:

  • There are many challenges facing communities on Long Island with respect to food justice and food equity:
    • For example, the recently released County Health Rankings for 2012 indicate that more than 83,000 people (roughly 3%) on Long Island have limited access to healthy food - defined as living below the poverty level and more than 1 mile from the nearest grocery store
    • This measure does not even take into account the more than 50,000 households on LI with no access to a vehicle, making it even more difficult to obtain fresh, healthy food
    • In a national survey, the New York-North New Jersey-Long Island MSA was ranked 11th worst out of 100 Metropolitan Statistical Areas for accessing affordable, fresh fruit & vegetables among all households from 2008 to 2010
  • Ways communities can practice food justice:
    • Start by sharing information with those who are not yet aware of food justice issues. For example, within your own community, you might raise food justice issues at community or civic meetings, share what you learn and steps you're taking with your family. By increasing our own knowledge and talking about what we know, we become ambassadors of a healthier, more just food system.
    • Support local businesses that provide (grow, produce, sell) affordable, healthy, and locally grown - when possible - produce
    • Help advocate or work for policies that can help to transform the local food system, create opportunities for a healthy, local food system
    • Get involved in food projects. Projects that address food equity can help build resilient communities - Not only do they create a sense of place, and improve community health and the environment, but they can be economic drivers as well - boosting local economies by creating jobs and generating multipliers - additional maintenance or supply jobs. Local or regional food projects can also increase revenue for local farms, in turn, supporting supply vendors, employees, distributors, etc.
      • Support community based farmers' markets
      • Get involved in a community garden
      • Start or get involved in farm-to-school program
      • Improve food in local schools
      • Encourage youth food movement perspectives
Community Gardening for Public Housing Training Opportunity


Last month, we joined the Partnership for Sustainable Communities (EPA, HUD, DOT) and the Huntington Housing Authority for a training session on establishing community gardens at public housing authorities (PHA). The training included a presentation from a PHA that has run a successful community garden, hands-on demonstrations of gardening basics with a Master Gardener-in-training, and sessions on soil health and soil testing by the EPA.
Credit: American Community Gardening Association

We were so pleased to show our support toward the Community Gardening training opportunity. Community gardening can help to enhance the public's quality of life by providing a method for revitalization to take place. Community gardening can beautify neighborhoods, produce healthy food - while decreasing expenses, and bring people of all different backgrounds together.


A project like this goes hand-in-hand with our food equity program, which is highlighted by community-based youth-staffed farmers' markets, which Sustainable Long Island launched back in 2010 (in partnership with the Long Island Farm Bureau and community partners). These markets provide fresh, affordable produce direct from local farms to residents of numerous low-income communities (Roosevelt, Bellport, Flanders, and New Cassel so far).


Like a community garden, the markets also promote nutrition and education, contribute to a sense of place, and help boost local economy. The farmers' market project is just the beginning of our food access efforts. Projects such as our food access map and food system report card also aim to combat this issue. We launched the interactive food access map detailing the existing food retail environment across Long Island. The map is intended to bring attention and problem-solving ideas to the issue and shows locations where supermarkets and large grocery stores exist across Long Island and where there are gaps in, or areas without, the availability of these stores. The report card is an ambitious indicator project that will assess the state of Long Island's food system; informing recommendations for a safe, fair, and sustainable food system and serve as the platform for subsequent community discussions about policy and program development.

Huntington Station Brownfield Opportunity Area (Step 2) Update


The Town of Huntington is advancing Huntington Station's Brownfield Opportunity Area (BOA) project and continuing the success achieved during the first phase of the process.


A public meeting for the Huntington Station BOA was held on March 27, 2012. With approximately 130 community members in the audience, the Town and consultant team highlighted ongoing revitalization efforts within the Town, reviewed the NYS BOA Program, and provided an overview of the Huntington Station BOA, including phase one accomplishments, opportunities for public participation, and next steps for phase two. The meeting was designed to maximize community input, and many participants asked questions about the project and shared interests and concerns for the revitalization efforts. 


During phase two of the Huntington Station BOA, the consultant team will develop planning and redevelopment programs that incorporate community input received during the process, conduct environmental site assessments and economic and financial analyses, and facilitate public participation. Sustainable Long Island will conduct small group meetings with community stakeholders. These meetings will be held throughout phase two to ensure consistent, sustained engagement. Their focus will be to provide information about the NYS BOA Program, Huntington Station BOA, and project updates, as they are available. If you have a suggestion about the types of groups who should participate in the small group meetings or are interested in taking part, please contact Sustainable Long Island at  


Charlotte Biblow, Secretary of the Board, to Receive LIBN's Top 50 Influential Women in Business Award


Farrell Fritz has announced that environmental partner and Sustainable Long Island Secretary of the Board of Directors, Charlotte A. Biblow, will receive Long Island Business News' "Top 50 Most Influential Women in Business" award at a gala to be held on Thursday, May 17, 2012 at The Crest Hollow County Club in Woodbury, NY. The Top 50 program recognizes the Island's top women professionals for business acumen, mentoring and community involvement. As Ms. Biblow was selected a third-time honoree (2007, 2008), she will become a member of the program's Hall of Fame.


Charlotte leads Farrel Fritz's environmental practice group and in addition to Sustainable Long Island, also serves on the board of directors of Unisphere, Inc.; the Women's Fund of Long Island (formerly the Long Island Fund for Women and Girls); and the Queensborough College Fund, Inc. From 1993 to 2007, Ms. Biblow served as a board member of the American Heart Association, Long Island region.  


Ms. Biblow was selected by the Bank of America Charitable Foundation as a 2011 (Local Hero) awardee through their Neighborhood Excellence Initiative (nominated by Sustainable Long Island). In 2008, The Ward Melville Heritage Organization honored her with the "Heritage Partner" award for her outstanding achievements in community service. In 2007, Ms. Biblow was honored by The Queens Courier and Queens Business Today as a "Female Professional of the Year."


Together we can build a more
sustainable Long Island


These challenging 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 interests to stay engaged and do what we can together to build a more sustainable Long Island.


Please consider making a tax-deductible gift to Sustainable Long Island that will help support our ongoing, and future work within your Long Island communities; while helping advance economic development, environmental health, and social equity!

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The Board and Staff of Sustainable Long Island