Sustainable Long Island
July 2013
Sustainable Long Island Newsletter
The one-stop-shop...
For all Sustainable Long Island news! 
In This Issue - The Future Home of All Things Riverhead
Youth-staffed Farmers' Market Training - Sustainable LI provides business, nutrition, marketing training to youth-staff and managers of numerous local farmers' markets
8 Ways to Open Up Civic Data So That People Actually Use It - Fast Company article highlights Knight Foundation funding
Car Free Day Long Island - Be part of the first annual car free day on Long Island this fall
Land in Conflict - article on how planners can better manage an increasingly contentious public process
Sustainability Simplified - Mobile apps to help improve sustainability

For more information on this month's enewsletter sponsor, Eldor Renewable Energy, CLICK HERE!

If you or your organization wishes to be a future enewsletter sponsor, please email for rates and opportunities.


Board of Directors
Ruth Negrn-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


Dr. Robert Scott

Adelphi University 


Ron Shiffman

Pratt Institute



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The Future Home of All Things Riverhead 
Sustainable LI, project partners working with the Town on brownfield redevelopment and community revitalization
Sustainable Long Island, along with a project team that consists of Nelson, Pope & Voorhis; Nelson & Pope; and Hawkins Webb Jaegar, are working with the Town of Riverhead to conduct and facilitate implementation of a Brownfield Opportunity Area (BOA) Step II Nomination, which focuses on the area along the Peconic River and NY State Route 25 from the terminus of the Long Island Expressway at the west and encompassing the downtown.

The team recently presented their community participation plan at a Town Board Work Session along with the Project Steering Committee. The presentation included detailing community participation activities, such as upcoming interviews, surveys, focus groups, roundtables, public workshops, and marketing strategies.

One of the most anticipated marketing strategies includes a brand new website: website will eventually serve as an information hub for business, cultural, and recreational assets of downtown Riverhead, including:
  • Ongoing revitalization progress
  • Emerging opportunities for developers
  • Conducting business in downtown Riverhead
  • Ways to get involved and participate in planning efforts
  • Cultural and natural assets, as well as recreational activities
  • Shopping, restaurants, and attractions
  • Getting around Town
  • Calendar of events and activities

Established in 1792, Riverhead is the seat of Suffolk County government. County offices, court buildings, events, and world class attractions bring thousands of visitors to the downtown area for business and pleasure every day. The beautiful Peconic Riverfront, historic Main Street, and iconic buildings such as the 1930s art deco Suffolk Theater are the foundation of downtown Riverhead. Located at the crossroads of the twin forks of the East End, downtown Riverhead is being rediscovered as a family-friendly place to live, work, and play. So whether you're a local, visiting for business, on a weekend getaway, or here for a day, "GO RIVERHEAD" and see the best of what the East End has to offer.


As previously mentioned, is a part of the Town's BOA Step II Nomination. The main goal of the BOA Program is to provide communities with the tools they need to overcome obstacles to redevelopment. The study focuses on identifying strategic sites that may be catalysts for community revitalization, as well as analyzing the area as a whole.  


To share input and ideas on what you want to be considered in this downtown revitalization process, or to be included on the project contact list and stay up to date throughout the entire project, email with your Name, Email, Address, and Phone Number with the subject GoRiverhead.


Youth-staffed Farmers' Market Training 
Sustainable LI provides business, nutrition, marketing training to youth-staff and managers of numerous local farmers' markets
Youth-staff calculating how many teaspoons of sugar each beverage contains

As part of Sustainable Long Island's 2013 technical assistance to a number of youth-staffed farmers' markets across Long Island (made possible by the generous funding from Capital One Bank), we recently helped coordinate and facilitate training sessions for all staff, managers, and volunteers who will be running the markets this season.


Training sessions for the youth-staffed markets in Nassau County were coordinated by Traci Caines of the New Cassel Farmers' Market and took place at the Town of North Hempstead Yes We Can Community Center in Westbury. This session was provided to members from the Freeport, New Cassel, and Roosevelt farmers' markets.  


In addition, Sustainable Long Island coordinated and organized a training day for the youth-staffed markets in Suffolk County at the Boys & Girls Club of the Bellport Area. This session was provided to members from the Flanders, Greater Bellport, and Shiloh (Wyandanch) farmers' markets.


Sustainable Long Island also coordinated and organized a training day for the newest market - a hybrid of the youth-staffed model and a traditional farmers' market in Great Neck, sponsored by North Shore-LIJ and operated by LI Greenmarket. The session took place at North Shore LIJ.

 Topics covered in each training session included, but were not limited to:

  • Healthy eating and nutrition
  • Starting your own small business
  • Safe food handling  
  • Marketing and promotion
  • Customer service
  • Market history and operations
  • Personal finance 


Many market project partners and supporters were on-hand to help with the training sessions, including organizations funding Sustainable Long Island's technical assistance, such as Capital One and Bank of America, among others.


Since 2010, Sustainable Long Island has worked closely with numerous community partner organizations and the Long Island Farm Bureau to provide technical assistance to specific youth-staffed farmers' markets throughout Nassau and Suffolk Counties.

These markets traditionally operate in underserved communities and food deserts, provide jobs to local high school students in each community, promote nutrition and education to residents, contribute to a sense of place, give community members a greater choice of fresh produce and healthy food options, and help boost the local and regional economy.

See below for a list of dates, times, and locations for Sustainable Long Island's partner markets. Also check out these listings in Nassau and  Suffolk for dozens of additional markets across the Island!

Flanders Farm Fresh Food Market

David W. Crohan Community Center

655 Flanders Rd.

Flanders, NY 11901

Open Saturdays from 10AM - 2PM starting June 29 


Freeport Community Farmers' Market

Freeport Recreation Center

130 E. Merrick Rd.

Freeport, NY 11520

Open Saturdays from 11AM - 4PM starting July 13 


Greater Bellport Community Youth Market

Boys & Girls Club of the Bellport Area

471 Atlantic Ave.

Bellport, NY 11713

Open Saturdays 11AM - 4PM starting July 6 


Spinney Hill Farmers' Market

125 Community Drive (parking lot)

Great Neck, NY 11021 

Open Sundays from 9AM - 2PM starting July 14


New Cassel Farmers' Market

First Baptist Cathedral

212 Garden St.

Westbury, NY 11590

Open Saturdays 11AM - 4PM starting July 13 


Roosevelt Community Farmers' Market

Freeport-Roosevelt Health Center

380 Nassau Rd.

Roosevelt, NY 11575

Open Sundays 11AM - 4PM starting July 7 


Shiloh Community Farmers' Market

New Shiloh Baptist Church

221 Merritt Rd.

Wyandanch, NY 11798

Open Saturdays 1PM - 4PM starting July 13


8 Ways to Open Up Civic Data
So That People Actually Use It 
Fast Company article highlights Knight Foundation funding
Open Gov for the Rest of Us
Open Gov for the Rest of Us
(Article via Fast Company) - Government has been one of the slowest sectors to embrace the Internet and open data, but it's starting to happen. Incubators like
Code for America are teaching entrepreneurs to develop civic-minded apps. And city governments in places like Chicago and San Francisco are warming up to open data standards. Recently, the Knight Foundation announced the eight winners of the $3.2 million Knight News Challenge on Open Gov, a competition that asked entrants to design ways to make public data more helpful.


One of the most exciting projects is Open Gov for the Rest of Us, a project that gives residents of low-income Chicago neighborhoods the tools to ask for better data about foreclosure, immigration, crime, and schools. This isn't just an app--it's an entire engagement campaign for low-income parts of the city.


The campaign is using existing infrastructure in five "smart communities"--low income areas of Chicago that are getting increased digital access--to hold civic data trainings. It's also pushing residents to think about what other kinds of open data tools they would like to see. Open Gov for the Rest of Us received $350,000.


Another favorite is OpenCounter, a team that makes it easier for residents to navigate the tricky world of business permitting, which too often turns off burgeoning entrepreneurs. As the brief explains: "Whether it's a startup, boutique or restaurant, OpenCounter helps to simplify this interaction with city government. It collects and sorts data on existing regulations while providing running totals of the costs and time involved in setting up shop."


The creators of the project are, not-so-coincidentally, Code for America fellows. They previously piloted the OpenCounter tool in Santa Cruz, California. The project scooped up $450,000 from the Knight Foundation.


Here are the rest of the winners, courtesy of a Knight Foundation press release:

  • Civic Insight: Providing up-to-date information on vacant properties so that communities can find ways to make tangible improvements to local spaces.
  • Launching a public policy simulator that helps people visualize the impact that public policies like health care reform and school budget changes might have on local economies and communities.
  • Oyez: Making state and appellate court documents freely available and useful to journalists, scholars and the public, by providing straightforward summaries of decisions, free audio recordings and more.
  • Making government contract bidding more transparent by simplifying the way smaller companies bid on government work.
  • GitMachines: Supporting government innovation by creating tools and servers that meet government regulations, so that developers can easily build and adopt new technology.
  • Plan in a Box: Making it easier to discover information about local planning projects, by creating a tool that governments and contractors can use to easily create websites with updates that also allow public input into the process.

Sustainable Long Island applauds these efforts and wants to recognize what a terrific step in the right direction this is for all engaged civic-minded community members across the country.


Beat The Rush Hour!
Be part of the first annual Car Free Day on Long Island

Car Free Day is an international event celebrated every September in which people are encouraged to get around without cars and instead ride a train, bus, bicycle, carpool, subway or walk. This year, Car Free Day will be coming to Long Island on Friday, September 20, 2013. Visit the website:  


Car Free Day gives us the opportunity to consider the negative impact of single occupancy vehicles. Using cars less by using alternative modes such as transit, carpooling, bicycles, walking and telecommuting helps reduce traffic, conserve energy, reduce harmful emissions, reduce parking problems and save money!


To participate in this event, all you have to do is pledge to be car free or car-lite on September 20, 2013 by filling out the pledge form . It's that simple! Once you pledge you'll automatically be entered for a chance to win great prizes! Already car free? That's great and since you're doing the right thing, you will also get the same chance to win prizes when you fill out the pledge form.


Car Fee Day is an event celebrated in over 1500 cities in 40 countries around the world. It's celebrated in different ways but with the common goal of taking cars off the road. The benefit to society is a day with less traffic congestion, a greener environment and reduced energy use.


Help us make the launch of Car Free Day on Long Island a great success - pledge today !


Land in Conflict (
How planners can better manage an increasingly contentious public process
For the past 14+ years, Sustainable Long Island has helped communities across Long Island identify priorities for development and develop practical strategies to build safer, stronger, healthier, and more vibrant downtowns. We bring together diverse stakeholders in to a comprehensive planning process and connect them with the resources they need to create a shared image for the future of the community.

Throughout each public planning process, we work from the bottom-up with the people who live in our neighborhoods - residents of all ages, community members, business leaders, local philanthropists, environmentalists, real-estate representatives, and clergy - coming together over shared concern for their community to develop new solutions. From the top-down, we also work with public officials and other leaders to change policy and identify resources at the village, town, county and state levels to achieve those solutions.

Take a look at the below article which highlights an approach based on mutual gains that may provide a better way to identify and manage the most challenging solutions throughout a public planning process.

(via - Why do some decisions about land use go smoothly, while others generate multiple lawsuits, ruin relationships, and waste community resources? Political polarization, efforts to increase density through infill redevelopment, and tensions over property rights in the wake of natural disasters are just some of the elements that have complicated the public process. Land use disputes are taking up our time and often producing unsatisfying results.

An approach has been identified to minimize the destructive nature of many significant local land use conflicts. This approach, detailed in Land in Conflict: Managing and Resolving Land Use Disputes
, just published by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, encourages parties to focus on mutual interests and strive to achieve mutual gains.

Although there are often implications at the state and national level, involving state and federal agencies accordingly, disputes over zoning, planning, and development decisions most often play out at the local level. However, communities may feel hemmed in because decisions about land use must follow specific procedures codified in state and local laws. This basic framework tends to stifle creativity and promote differences. Most state planning statutes do little to promote effective dialogue and better citizen involvement in comprehensive planning, and only a few states - Florida, Maine, Washington, Oregon, and the District of Columbia-have adopted statutes that encourage more dialogue and collaboration in planning decisions.

The mutual gains approach has its origins in the collaborative practices used by mediators, and offers a better way to manage the most challenging situations. This approach is guided by core principles, follows a set of clear action steps, and is useful at different stages of land use decision making. It is different from, though not incompatible with, the required land use procedures. The mutual gains approach:

  • is based on all stakeholder interests as well as the necessary technical information.
  • involves stakeholders along with appointed and elected decision makers.
  • generates information relevant and salient to stakeholders such as abutters, community leaders, and others.
  • requires strong community and public engagement skills along with strong technical planning skills.
  • engages the public above and beyond sharing information and views.

The mutual gains approach to preventing and resolving land use disputes is not a single process or technique. It draws from the fields of negotiation, consensus building, collaborative problem solving, alternative dispute resolution, public participation, and public administration. The result is a more public, collaborative process designed to tease out the range of interests and criteria, compare various alternatives, and determine which of those alternatives meet the most interests.


If citizens and government acknowledge that the existing process can be adversarial and stifle creativity, they are more likely to seek out and participate in more constructive approaches. State and county governments can help local governments transition to a new approach by providing training and education for local boards. Some regional planning commissions, bar associations, state and federal agencies, and civic groups already provide this kind of training for local leaders. Read more... 


Sustainability Simplified

Check out these unique mobile apps to help improve sustainability and lower environmental impact


Waze - A free community-based mapping, traffic, and navigation app that helps users find the best route.


My Recycle List - This free app makes it easy to find recycling locations near you. Use the tool to find address and contact information, get directions, and make your own list.


My Green Directory - Use this free app to find eco-friendly news, events, and companies.


Green Tips - This free app provides tips for household consumption, transport, water, waste and material resources, and more.

All apps available in your smart phone app store!

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