Sustainable Long Island
June 2015
Sustainable Long Island Newsletter
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For all Sustainable Long Island news! 
In This Issue
Central Islip (Teatro Yerbabruja) Community Garden Build Recap
Roosevelt Middle School Community Garden Build Recap
East Islip High School Raingarden Build Recap
City of Long Beach Begins Next Stage of Comprehensive Plan
How To Stop Humans From Filling The World With Trash
Position Opening: Community Planner (Part Time)
Board of Directors
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Central Islip (Teatro Yerbabruja)
Community Garden Build Recap
Garden built at Central Islip Arts Center  

On June 26, 2015 Sustainable Long Island worked with community partner Teatro Yerbruja to build a community garden outside of their newly renovated Downtown Performing Arts Center in Central Islip. Teatro Yerbabruja uses the arts as a tool for social change.


Sustainable Long Island, Teatro Yerbabruja staff, members of the community, and a host of volunteers from ERM Group Foundation and Target built six 4'x4' raised garden beds, two of which are considered high beds to allow for easier access for seniors and physically disabled persons. The project aims to empower local youth and residents and will be run by Teatro Yerbabruja, who is committed to ensuring maintenance and upkeep of the garden.

Community gardens are a valuable tool toward promoting greater food access, and bring together people of different ages, genders, and ethnicities. These gardens also reduce neighborhood carbon footprints; beautify neighborhoods; contribute to a sense of place; promote education about agriculture; and improve participants' nutrition.


This project was funded in part by Bank of America and the ERM Group Foundation. Special thanks to Target who provided volunteers, gardening gloves, and shovels toward the build.


Roosevelt Middle School
Community Garden Build Recap
The building and improvement of a school garden continues 

On June 24, 2015 Sustainable Long Island worked with Roosevelt Middle School to add six garden beds to an existing school garden that was originally established last summer (eight total beds are now completed). 


Sustainable Long Island staffers worked alongside students and teachers from the Middle School (led by Physical Education teacher Leslie Pieters) and volunteers constructing four 4'x4' and two 2' x 6' raised garden beds, while mixing compost and peat moss in preparation for planting initiatives. Vegetables were prepared by students and the season's first seedlings were planted.

The garden will be maintained by volunteers from the school's Wellness Committee and is also planned to be used as part of an ag-robics program, an innovative physical education project combining aerobics and agriculture designed to show the healthy benefits of gardening!  


Not only do gardens increase access to fresh food and nature, they also beautify neighborhoods, raise property value, and reduce neighborhood crime. Community gardens provide us with the opportunity to live, learn, and grow together. 


This project was funded in part by Bank of America and the New York Community Bank Foundation. Special thanks to BJ's Wholesale Club who provided volunteers, gardening gloves, and water toward the build. 

East Islip High School
Raingarden Build Recap
Sustainable LI's Reduce Rain Runoff program begins  

On June 4, 2015 Sustainable Long Island conducted a raingarden build at East Islip High School as part of the Reduce Rain Runoff program funded by the NYS Pollution Prevention Institute.


This rainwater capture and storm water management program will implement conservation practices and emphasize the importance of more wisely and carefully using Long Island's natural resource of water.


Sustainable Long Island worked with East Islip Green Academy students to construct the raingarden at a central courtyard within the High School. The raingarden was  designed by students under the guidance of John Reilly,  East Islip High School Science Teacher and Rusty Schmidt, our raingarden consultant for the project    


The raingarden will be maintained by the incoming students into the Green Academy and will be used as a pilot for other easily implementable green infrastructure projects. Special thanks to Israel Malinowitzer, East Islip High School Director of Guidance and Head of the Environmental Green Academy for overseeing this project.  

As an additional component of the grant, Sustainable Long Island implemented a community challenge with the East Islip Green Academy students that worked to design and build a raingarden on the school's property. Each of the students was challenged with creating a PowerPoint presentation that emphasizes the positive impacts and benefits of green infrastructure, such as raingardens, rain barrels, green roofs, etc. in residential, educational, commercial, and public settings.


The presentations needed to have an educational focus, with an end goal of informing the greater community at large about implementable water quality and mitigation strategies. The students presented on June 10th to an evaluation committee that included representatives from Sustainable Long Island, Seatuck Environmental Association, and the School District Director of Science.   


The presentations were evaluated using the following criteria: appeals to all audiences, organization, visual creativity/innovation, educational content, and emphasizes benefits of green infrastructure. A winner and two runners up were selected as follows:

  • Winner: Tom DiOrio - an Ipad Mini and a certificate of achievement (winning presentation available here)
  • Runner up: Jonathan Wilson - received a certificate of achievement
  • Runner up: Steven Cinquemani - received a certificate of achievement
All of the Green Academy students gave excellent presentations that may be used for educational and outreach purposes with the local community moving forward.  


City of Long Beach Begins Next Stage of Comprehensive Plan
Officials call it the next step in Long Beach's Sandy recovery 

(via Long Beach Herald) - A redeveloped bayfront, a revitalized central business district and even a new location for City Hall were among the ideas discussed at a planning meeting last week aimed at gathering public input that could shape the future of Long Beach.


City officials are continuing to engage with the public as it revamps its Comprehensive Plan to create a more resilient and economically sustainable Long Beach, a plan that officials have described as the next step in the city's ongoing recovery from Hurricane Sandy.


The latest round of open house meetings (four total in the month of June) on the plan began this past month as a series of neighborhood-specific open houses held throughout the community as part of the City Council's Long Beach Listens program.


The goal of the meetings was to get feedback on which initiatives residents would like officials to focus on, with particular emphasis placed on plans to develop the bay area, revitalize the central business district and increase connectivity from the ocean to bay front. Different "stations" at the meetings contained information on possible projects for residents to rate their interest. City officials, Sustainable Long Island, and representatives from the various engineering firms they've partnered with were on hand collecting feedback from the different groups of residents that attended.

"If you live in a different part of the community, you're going to look at the city differently," observed Director of Economic Development Patricia Bourne, who added that the open house format of the meetings was designed to make residents more comfortable and give everyone a chance to talk to officials face-to-face without the formality of a city council meeting.


The open houses kicked off on June 8 in the East End at East Elementary School and ran through June 18 with meetings at the Long Beach Public Library, West Elementary School and Martin Luther King Center.


Read more here...


How To Stop Humans From Filling The World With Trash
The future of garbage    

(via The Atlantic) - When the $20 billion Hudson Yards development is finished on Manhattan's Far West Side in 2024, it will have six skyscrapers, 5,000 apartments, more than 100 stores, and a public school. One thing it will not have is municipal garbage trucks. Related Companies, one of the developers working on the project, plans to install pneumatic tubes that will whisk trash to a sorting area.  


The system should decrease the amount of garbage that ends up in landfills: residents will be able to drop recyclables and compost into designated chutes right outside their doors. By replacing trucks, the tubes will also cut down on noise and pollution-and, hopefully, on rats.


New York has experimented with pneumatic tubes before-the city's Roosevelt Island has used them for trash since the 1970s-but they may become more common as cities struggle with the acres of trash their residents create.


The average American produces about 130 pounds of trash a month, and an article in the journal Nature estimates that global solid-waste generation will triple, to 11 million tons a day, by 2100. Meanwhile, we're running out of space for landfills, especially in Japan and Europe.  


Here, drawn from interviews with scientists, environmentalists, and sanitation experts, are ideas for how to tackle this looming problem.


Read more here...

Editor's Note: If you enjoyed this article, you may want to reserve your tickets for Sustainable Long Island's film screening of the documentary Racing to Zero.
Click here for more information...

Position Opening:
Community Planner (Part Time)
Work on a variety of Sustainable LI's programs and projects  

Sustainable Long Island is seeking a qualified individual to fill the position of Community Planner who can contribute to the organization's delivery of resources, services, and expertise to municipalities, community and economic development practitioners, and sustainability stakeholders.  

Client and partner initiatives involve a variety of inter-related issues including economic development & community revitalization, redevelopment of brownfields and vacant properties, environmental justice, community health, wellness and nutrition in the built environment as well as food access & equity issues Island-wide.


This position is being offered on a temporary part-time basis with the option of becoming a permanent part-or-full-time position in the fall, based on work performance and available funding.


Primary Responsibilities

The Community Planner will work on a variety of Programs in areas such as economic development and community revitalization, community outreach and trainings, promoting environmental health and water quality, environmental justice, community health and wellness, and renewable energy.


Under the supervision of the Director of Programs, day-to-day responsibilities of the Community Planner include:

  • Coordinate with and serve as liaison to community partners, clients, and government agencies to coordinate and carry out various program activities, including but not limited to developing and implementing community surveys; crafting outreach strategies; coordinating steering or advisory committees; gathering public input on planning goals, objectives, and strategies; identifying issues, opportunities, and priorities; and assisting with implementation of community-based projects.
  • Conduct outreach and facilitate community engagement and public participation as part of planning and community development projects.
  • Conduct research and prepare reports on current planning, sustainability, environmental health, renewable energy, and community development trends, issues, and best practices.
  • Coordinate and attend meetings, focus groups, and workshops as needed.
  • Assist in project oversight, including tracking and monitoring project budgets, preparing invoices and reports, providing technical assistance to community partners, and other tasks as assigned.
  • Support grant development and reporting for the organization including but not limited to: research for grants and proposals, tracking grant outcomes and preparing metrics (quantitative and qualitative), and drafting reports as related to Programs activities.

Essential Skills, Abilities, and Knowledge

The ideal candidate is a self-directed critical thinker who possesses excellent collaboration, organizational, public engagement, communication, writing and presentation skills, and has experience in community organizing and managing projects. In addition the candidate also possesses a/an:

  • Understanding of economic and community development, environmental health, social equity/justice, and sustainability principles.
  • Excellent analytical, research and writing skills.
  • High degree of comfort with public speaking and making public presentations.
  • A proactive and self-directed attitude with an ability to work independently as a project leader, and as part of a team.
  • Ability to work in an organized, efficient manner with a high level of accuracy, attention to detail, and follow-through.
  • Ability to exercise judgment and discretion. Must be professional at setting priorities and coping with competing demands.
  • Comfortable working in a fast-paced deadline-driven environment on multiple concurrent projects.
  • Excellent time-management and general organization skills.
  • Working knowledge of Microsoft Office, including spreadsheet applications.
  • Familiarity with database and survey software, GIS and thematic mapping programs is a plus.
  • Experience and/or understanding of working with local government officials is a plus.
  • Ability to speak Spanish is a strong plus.

Basic Qualifications

A bachelor's degree in planning, sustainability studies, urban studies, public policy, government relations, community development or organizing, urban design, or related field is required. Master's degree is preferred. A minimum of two years of experience is required; however, various combinations of education and experience will be considered.


Candidate must be willing and able to travel anywhere in Nassau and Suffolk Counties as part of the job. Candidate will be expected to work some nights and weekends as needed depending on projects.


How To Apply

Send a resume and cover letter to with "Community Planner-Temporary" in the subject line.

Sustainable Long Island is an Equal Opportunity Employer.


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.


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The Board and Staff of Sustainable Long Island