Sustainable Long Island
October 2012  
Sustainable Long Island Newsletter
The one-stop-shop...
For all Sustainable Long Island news! 
In This Issue
Nassau Evaluates Reviving Downtown Bethpage
Sustainable LI Awarded $65K
Agricultural Sales Vital to Local Economy
Celebration of Suburban Diversity
Brownfield to Greenfield Conference and Expo
NY Farm Bureau Offers Scholarships
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  
















Join Our Mailing List
Reading this newsletter, but not on our mailing list?
Join Today!

Downtown in the Midst of Revitalization 

Nassau evaluates reviving downtown Bethpage

Newsday recently published a story on the Downtown Bethpage Revitalization project, where Sustainable Long Island is working with Nassau County; Nelson, Pope & Voorhis Environmental Planning and Economic Consultants; and Nelson & Pope, Engineers & Land Surveyors to facilitate community outreach and public participation. The key goal of the project is to provide the community of Bethpage with the tools to attract and maintain economically viable businesses in the downtown.


(via Newsday) - Downtown Bethpage, with its empty storefronts and anemic commerce, is not a happening place. But Nassau wants to give the humble hamlet, hometown of County Executive Edward Mangano, the business, through a $140,000 county initiative to help find a cure.


The county is conducting a retail market study, a traffic analysis, a resident and business survey on its newly launched, and public workshops, the first of which is set for November 28, 2012 from 7pm-9pm at Bethpage High School. 


The market analysis and parking evaluation are to be completed by year's end. The entire project is set to wrap by July with a revitalization report, officials said.


The downtown's commercial vacancy rate is higher than the average for Nassau downtowns, county public works department spokesman Michael Martino said. Data provider Long Island Index in 2010 put Bethpage's downtown vacancy rate at 12 percent, compared with the 9 percent county average, he said.


"This made little sense, since the area has the attributes necessary to support a thriving local business district," Martino said in a statement. He cited mixed-use opportunities, the Long Island Rail Road station and "engaged civic and business organizations" as examples.


Bethpage Chamber of Commerce president Gary Bretton said he has seen many places "going out of business right in the heart of Bethpage . . . The potential for growth could be great if it's done right."


The county said Mangano was not available for comment on Bethpage, but his spokesman, Brian Nevin, said the project could lead to job creation and Bethpage could serve as a model for other Nassau communities. Martino said the county also has provided downtown planning support to Glen Cove, Port Washington and Inwood, among others.


According to Nelson, Pope & Voorhis, one of the county-hired project partners, Bethpage's downtown is defined as the area around the train station that includes Stewart Avenue and Broadway.


The firm is studying parking use to learn if and where more is needed, partner Kathy Eiseman said. It's examining where people shop, eat and "where else they might be spending money that they could be spending downtown," she said.


Eiseman said the project is meant to collect data and make recommendations for action. "You have to make sure you identify the problem before you solve it," she said.

Preliminary studies have shown that the downtown could use more sit-down restaurants, and that it has the potential to be a niche market for recreational goods, with Bethpage State Park nearby, she said.


"It makes sense to me," said Doug Rodriguez, 47, owner of the Bike Junkie bicycle shop downtown. The hamlet has benefitted from beautification efforts that standardized the look of sidewalks, streetlights and garbage bins on both sides of the train tracks, he said.


The county hired sustainable development nonprofit Sustainable Long Island to oversee (public participation) and community outreach.


"This is going to build a really strong foundation," said group executive director Amy Engel.


Sustainable Long Island Awarded $65K

Pritchard Charitable Trust funds food equity initiatives    

Sustainable Long Island has been awarded $65,000 from the William E. & Maude S. Pritchard Charitable Trust in support of the organization's food equity program. Through three new efforts, Sustainable Long Island will continue to make fresh, healthy, and local foods accessible to all communities through research, local and regional planning processes, and project implementation.


Prioritizing economic development strategies that improve the health of the regional food system and support the local economy has always been a major focal point of Sustainable Long Island. This generous support from the Pritchard Charitable Trust will have significant long-term impacts on this food system by improving policies, codes, and regulations across Long Island.


Descriptions of the three projects that will contribute to a more sustainable regional food system are as follows:

  • Commission an economic impact study of Long Island's food environment that will examine the current food retail landscape and assess the impact of shifting a portion of current food spending to locally-produced or locally-grown products.
  • Complete a comprehensive review of plans, policies, codes, and regulations that impact, directly and indirectly, the Long Island regional food system; helping build understanding of how local government policies affect local food production, distribution, and sales.
  • Identify ways to help Sustainable Long Island's youth-staffed farmers' market model become more financially sustainable in the long-term, including possible market-level changes like fundraising or project adjustments, as well as broader changes, such as state and local policy, state funding priorities, etc.
Across the nation attention is shifting to issues of food access with a growing interest in creating more sustainable local and regional food systems. What's missing in the local conversation that Sustainable Long Island brings to the dialogue is equity - making sure that this new emphasis on local, fresh, healthy food includes everyone. Sustainable Long Island works to address the need to increase the accessibility of fresh and local foods to all communities in local and regional planning processes as a matter of social justice, economic development, and environmental health.


Agricultural Sales Vital to Local Economy 

State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli announces Suffolk Highest Grossing County for Agricultural sales in State

Sustainable Long Island was proudly in attendance this week as State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli released a report stating agricultural production on Long Island has reached nearly $260 million in annual revenue.


"Long Island's agricultural industry and wineries generate much needed economic activity and provide a bountiful harvest for local consumption," said DiNapoli. "Visitors who travel to the Island for its fall festivals and winery tours also frequent nearby restaurants and shops, helping sustain many small businesses. These industries create jobs and stimulate spending in local communities to the benefit of all New Yorkers."


Highlights of the report:

  • Long Island is home to 644 farms and 35,690 acres of farmland.
  • Long Island is the top regional producer of nursery, greenhouse, floriculture and sod products.
  • At $7,249 per acre, agricultural sales on Long Island were more than ten times the state average.
  • Long Island is home to 57 of New York State's 316 wineries. Its wineries cover more than 3,000 acres and produce 1.2 million gallons of wine annually.
  • Suffolk County accounted for more than 90 percent ($242.9 million) of Long Island's $258.7 million in agricultural sales for 2007.
  • Suffolk County is the state's largest producer of pumpkins, cauliflower and tomatoes and is the third-largest producer of grapes, peaches and strawberries.

DiNapoli released the report at White Post Farms, a fifth generation family-owned farm that has been in operation since 1886.


For a copy of the report click here. Note: Agriculture sales exclude wine sales.


Ruth Negron-Gaines, Sustainable Long Island to be Honored  

Celebration of Suburban Diversity 2012


Long Island's multicultural diversity is the key to our social and economic survival. Diversity and sustainability go hand in hand. The ability of people from different  races, religions and regions to live and work together is crucial to our prosperity. In the spirit of promoting tolerance and understanding, the National Center for Suburban Studies at Hofstra University will hold the fourth annual Celebration of Suburban Diversity banquet on Thursday, November 8,  2012 at the Long Island Marriott, Uniondale, NY.


An inspiring evening of awards, art work, entertainment and inspirational speakers will be highlighted by honorees:

  • Ruth Negron-Gaines

    • Sustainable Long Island 
  • Keynote Speaker Robert B. Catell

    • Advanced Energy Research + Technology Center

  • Alice Chan

    • Chinese American Association of North Hempstead

  • Henry Holley

    • Henry Holley Group, Inc.

  • David Powell

    • Hofstra University

  • Harendra V. Singh

    • Raj & Rajeshwari Foundation

Diversity is everybody's business -- and "good" for everybody's business.  Long Island's new suburbanites are the new students, patrons, customers and entrepreneurs who can revive and sustain our economy. Getting to know one another is essential to all our success.


For additional information, contact Ina Katz at 516-463-9939 or via email.  


Brownfield to Greenfield  

Conference and Expo   

Sustainable Long Island to participate in land, legal, development & LEED panel discussions


Why acquire contaminated property and invest millions to clean it up and build?

With over 6,000 Brownfields on Long Island, the term certainly conjures up negative connotations, but it often doesn't depict actual conditions. At the Brownfield to Greenfield Conference and Expo, attendees will learn how a Brownfield becomes a Greenfield with a panel of experts who face the challenge of Land, Legal, LEED and Development.


When and Where:

November 7th, 2012 7:45 AM, Omni Theater, Omni Building 33 Earle Ovington Drive, Uniondale, NY


More information and registration at 

$55 Member $75 non-member Food is included


Continuing Education Credits


National Food Day: October 24, 2012 

Transforming the way we think about our food options

Food Day is a nationwide celebration and a movement toward more healthy, affordable, and sustainable food. Food Day, created by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), is powered by a diverse coalition of food movement leaders, organizations, and people from all walks of life.  


Food Day takes place annually on October 24 to address issues as varied as health and nutrition, hunger, agricultural policy, animal welfare, and farm worker justice. The ultimate goal of Food Day is to strengthen and unify the food movement in order to improve our nation's food policies. Join this push for a stronger, more united food movement by signing up to organize or attend Food Day events in your community today and in the future!


Throughout our history, Sustainable Long Island has identified an issue affecting numerous Long Island communities that many will focus on during this national movement. That issue is known as food equity - the notion that access to fresh produce and healthy food options is not universal and that some communities are at a disadvantage in the regional food system.


Over the past few years, Sustainable Long Island established a Food Equity Advisory Committee, which comprises multiple organizations including emergency food groups, community garden representatives, developers, town officials, departments of transportation, retailers, food distributors, institutional food service operators, farmers, and policymakers. The Committee has worked to identify initial issues in food access on Long Island and think through project strategies. Advisory committee members were important partners in many of our food projects, including:

  • The launch of youth-run farmers' markets in low-to-moderate income communities throughout Long Island
  • The release of an interactive food access map; detailing the existing food retail environment across Long Island;
  • The upcoming release of the Food System Report Card; an ambitious indicator project to assess the state of Long Island's food system, focusing on agricultural production, food distribution and retailing, environmental protection, food access, and community health.  

Remember Food Day's national priorities address overarching concerns within the food system and provide common ground for building the food movement. Moving forward, remember to do your part by always:

Want Your Logo Here?
Become a Sustainable LI Enewsletter Advertiser 

Reach thousands of sustainability advocates, professionals, community members, elected officials, businesses, nonprofits and Long Islanders by becoming the feature advertiser for an upcoming Sustainable Long Island newsletter. We accept orders on a first-come, first-served basis. Logo, small overview, and a link to organizational website included.  


Rate: $100/issue  

Click here to bring the next newsletter to

thousands of subscribers and readers!


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 donation 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!

Want community updates on various planning projects? Exciting tidbits on events, meetings, and engagements in your neighborhood? Exclusive information and the latest feedback about everything Long Island?

Real-time updates on all the news you've read today?

What are you waiting for?  

Join us, like us, follow us, and stay informed!


Find us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Visit our blog


The Board and Staff of Sustainable Long Island