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Blog Posts (8)

  • Junior CAC Members & Why You Need Them!

    Student reflection on Student Network Event, "Calling All Conservationists" an online information session about the benefits and necessity of youth involvement in your town's conservation committee. February 2023 As those of you familiar with FCWC know, the Student Network represents high school and college students from Westchester County dedicated to promoting conservation and sustainability across the county. The group’s latest initiative is to increase student participation on the municipal Conservation Advisory Committees (CACs) county-wide. To further this initiative, the Student Network organized, on October 13, 2022, a webinar to brief local officials and students about the benefits of student representation, for both the municipality and the students. The webinar also was intended to bring students together to learn about other opportunities for climate change in their hometowns. Speakers Alexis Friedman, a high school senior from Rye serving on the CAC, and Riley Hester, a high school senior from Pound Ridge who also serves on the local CAC, spoke of their very positive experiences working on these committees. As they pointed out, students are a crucial component of the climate change movement and will be responsible in upcoming years for leading the fight against global warming. Learning how decisions are made, through their CAC participation, has been invaluable, Friedman and Hester agreed; they look forward to taking these skills with them to college and beyond. That reason alone, they thought, was a great motivation for student activism. Currently, of the 48 county municipalities, 8 have junior CAC members, including Ardsley, Greenburgh, New Castle, Pelham, Pound Ridge, Rye, and Tuckahoe. Mamaroneck plans to propose a junior member position to its Town Supervisor while Peekskill and Pleasantville have student volunteers, as opposed to appointed junior members, on their CACs. However, adding a junior member younger than 16 to a CAC may require a regulatory change since the State General Municipal Law now specifies that junior CAC members should be “between the ages of sixteen and twenty-one.” The webinar featured two other speakers: the President of the New York State Association of Conservation Commissions gave a short presentation and Frances Wills, a representative of the State Regents Board, spoke about the Seal of Civic Readiness. According to the New York Department of Education, this “seal” is formal recognition that a student has achieved a high level of proficiency in civic knowledge, civic skills, civic mindset, and civic experiences. Participating on a CAC certainly fits into these criteria. In the short term, as the Student Network moves forward, it wants to continue efforts to broaden student representation on local CACs. It also plans to identify all junior CAC members across the county and invite them to join the group. We are so proud of our Student Network and impressed with their level of environmental commitment. We will keep you posted on the progress of these active and dedicated students. Watch the full program here:

  • Orpheus Chamber Orchestra Rocks!

    January 2023 On Sunday, January 22, 2023, FCWC shook off the post-holiday blues and began the New Year by forging a new partnership with SUNY Purchase and enjoying an excellent concert by the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. To begin the afternoon, we shared a fantastic cheese tray (contributed by Second Mouse Cheese Shop in Pleasantville) and prosecco (purchased at Rye Brook Wine & Spirit Shop in Rye Brook) while we socialized with SUNY staff and administrators, including Milly Pena, the President of SUNY Purchase,. After an opportunity for the musicians to explain the music, answer questions and prepare the audience for the afternoon’s program, it was off to the concert itself. For those who haven’t been to the Performing Arts Center on campus, the acoustics are extraordinary – Orpheus recorded its latest album here! These Grammy-winning musicians, based in New York City, have worked together for over 50 years. It is known for its collaborative leadership style; for its entire history, the society has played without a conductor, managing to deliver complex music to great effect and success. The program consisted of three pieces. First was a work, commissioned by Orpheus for its 50th anniversary, by a rising young composer, Hanna Benn, entitled View(Un)titled. Similar in theme to the last piece on the program (Pictures at an Exhibition), this new work was inspired by art at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMa) in New York City. The second piece, Prokoviev’s Sonata in F Minor the Violin, Strings and Percussion (Op. 80) as arranged by Andrei Pushkarev, featured the talented French violinist, Renaud Capucon. The piece just might be my favorite way to hear strings paired with a wide range of percussion instruments. The last piece, a new arrangement by Jannina Norpoth of the Mussorgsky classic, brought new drama to a familiar theme. The afternoon was an amazing presentation of virtuosity by the musicians on stage, individually and collectively. The concert was wonderful and enthusiastically received by the entire audience. FCWC looks forward to building upon this successful collaboration with SUNY Purchase. We can learn from them: for example, the arts center has eliminated printed programs and instead is providing concert goers with a QR code to scan and access program information, a great way to go green. We hope that SUNY Purchase can benefit from our long-standing roots in the environmental community as they build their own sustainable future. Our thanks to Ian Driver, Executive Director of the Performing Arts Center, for a warm embrace as we all seek new opportunities for future shared programs.


    Upcoming programming for FCWC includes three-part series on the "past, present, and future" of the Bronx River in White Plains, NY. February 2023 Photo Credit: Ben Brown "Documenting the Reservation’s Environmental Beauty" FCWC is very pleased to announce that we have received a small grant to carry out a series of public education/outreach events focusing on the Bronx River in White Plains. Tentatively scheduled for Spring 2023, the series is intended to educate residents about this often-overlooked natural resource and encourage them to be better stewards of the Bronx River. The three programs will cover the river’s history (including the role of early indigenous people and the river’s significance during the Revolutionary War), the river’s ecology/environment (including a guided walk), and an overview of the municipal land use planning and development, emphasizing how local citizens can impact these decisions. Funds for the series resulted from a local citizen's lawsuit aimed at protecting the Bronx River from the impact of real estate development. Planning for this series includes FCWC staff, Executive Board members, and new FCWC member, Benjamin Brown. Brown is a White Plains resident and practicing lawyer who frequently advocates for environmental causes before the City's Common Council. For him, citizen participation is key to protecting local environmental resources and making sure that local governments explicitly include environmental factors in their decisionmaking, as intended by the New York Environmental Quality Act of 1975. As Brown stated, "Given the amount of development pressure the City is facing, if we don't start thinking seriously about the role of the Bronx River and how to be good stewards of it, soon it will be too late.” We will share specifics of this upcoming series as they are finalized. We hope that as many of you as possible can join what promises to be fascinating and educational events.

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  • Community Events

    Community Events Mar 22, 2023 Bronx River Education Series Join Stephen Paul DeVillo and Captain Cameron Colby for an all-encompassing presentation about the history of the Bronx River. Our guest historians will highlight the Bronx River’s critical role in the early nation’s efforts to gain independence and the restoration and conservation efforts to the present day. History lovers, naturalists, citizen scientists, and public advocates will all enjoy some part of the series and are all crucial to the future resiliency and stewardship of the Bronx River. Register Now Mar 23, 2023 Bronx Public Input Meeting for the Bronx River IWMP Join the Bronx River Alliance at The POINT CDC on Thursday, March 23 from 5:30pm – 7:30pm for a special Public Input Meeting. This meeting will be an opportunity to submit your comments on Bronx River issues in your community, as well as potential solutions, to help shape a Climate Resiliency Plan for the Bronx River. Register Now Mar 25, 2023 The Power of Trees: Bedford 2030 Forum We have a fantastic lineup of speakers, hands-on activities, and real-world tips to protect our tree canopy. With everything from nature-inspired yoga to mindfulness, a delicious brunch from Ladle of Love, and 60+ exhibitors… Regardless of experience or age, we invite everyone to take Climate Action NOW and embrace the Power of Trees! Register in advance to reserve your spot! Register Now Mar 30, 2023 Save Pocantico Lake Town Hall Meeting Support Save Pocantico Lake in their efforts to prevent development and pollution that threaten the county park and lake. For more information visit the link below. Register Now Mar 31, 2023 Ossining Boat & Canoe Club Friday Talks Ossining relies on the Indian Brook and Croton reservoirs as the source of its drinking water. Learn more about the status of Ossining's drinking water source protection efforts, the Hudson River water quality data Riverkeeper and Columbia have gathered for years. Free and open to the public! Register Now Apr 7, 2023 Climate Action Mixer Thank you for being part of the local climate movement. Join your peers from across the region on Tuesday, April 4th, in Poughkeepsie to strengthen existing partnerships and make new connections. At 4:00 pm, hear directly from government staff on how to support your work through state and federal funding opportunities for local climate action. Presentations by: Mark Lowery, Office of Climate Change, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation Juan Gutierrez, US Environmental Protection Agency At 5:30 pm, join us for opening remarks as we move into a lively networking cocktail hour. Register Now Apr 22, 2023 Green Ossining Earth Day Festival As we honor the 53rd anniversary of Earth Day, we remain keenly aware of the great challenges affecting our natural environment, our planet, and life as we know it. Educational opportunities will include renewable energy solutions, local resilience and the importance of supporting our local economy as well as the organizations that will help toward that, using and wasting less, being more resourceful, and being a more conscious consumer, among other things. Register Now May 13, 2023 Net-Zero Cities Rye Sustainability Save the date for this informative event and clean energy fair! Registration details to follow. Register Now

  • Member Organizations | FCWC INC

    Member Organizations Our member organizations are local non-profit and green groups whose mission corresponds with FCWC's mission to protect Westchester's natural resources and to support sustainability in all aspects of our lives. Member organizations, including their websites and contact information, are listed on our website. ​ Our coalition benefits both from these groups' identification of issues for us to address and from their support. The addition of their members' voices to those of FCWC's individual membership base, when we educate or advocate for particular environmental positions, adds to FCWC's overall influence. Become a member Bedford 2030 Bedford 2030 addresses the urgent issue of climate change through the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and preservation of natural resources. We organize a grassroots effort in our community to achieve aggressive climate action goals identified in the Bedford Climate Action Plan. Central Westchester Audubon Society The Central Westchester Audubon Society is about birds, as its name suggests, but it is also about education: education for our neighbors and community about what birds, animals, rivers and streams, trees and plants mean to the Earth and our own lives and to the future of the Earth we all live on. Citizens' Climate Lobby Westchester Citizens’ Climate Lobby is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, grassroots advocacy organization empowering people to experience breakthroughs exercising their personal and political power. Our chapter is just one of hundreds of chapters across the world working to create the political will for a livable world. ​ Croton Arboretum The Croton Arboretum and Sanctuary, Inc. is a volunteer, non-profit organization that provides environmental stewardship for 20+ acres of wetlands and woods at the Jane E. Lytle Arboretum in Croton-on-Hudson, New York. ​ ​ Grassroots Environmental Education Grassroots Environmental Education is a science-based environmental health non-profit, seeking to inform the public and decision makers about the health risks of common environmental exposures and to empower individuals and organizations to act as catalysts for change in their own communities. Bronx River Sound Shore Audubon Bronx River Sound Shore Audubon facilitates the protection and conservation of natural resources and wildlife through assisting its members and others in studying their life habits, learning how to identify wildlife, and understanding the interdependence between Man and Nature. The Center at Mariandale The Center at Mariandale is a place of hospitality for all who seek spiritual, personal, and communal growth. Care of Earth, reflection through the arts, wellness practices, contemplation, and concern for social and ecological justice center us. Mariandale welcomes diverse faith traditions, and is inclusive and nurturing of body, mind, and spirit. Cortlandt Conservation Advisory Council The Conservation Advisory Council (CAC) was established by the Town Board in 1975. The CAC was formed to ensure the preservation and improvement of the quality of the natural and man-made environment in the Town in the face of urbanization and the accompanying demands on natural resources. Films on Purpose A Northern Westchester County, NY group, Films On Purpose hosts films that speak to the issues of today - to encourage thought, discussion and action. ​ Green Ossining Green Ossining was created to promote environmental sustainability community-wide, and develop practical methods that protect our natural resources. Groundwork Hudson Valley Groundwork Hudson Valley creates sustainable environmental change in urban neighborhoods through community-based partnerships that promote equity, youth leadership, and economic opportunity. ​ Irvington Green Policy Task Force The Green Policy Task Force (“GPTF”) shall advise the Village administration and Board of Trustees and put into practice educational and action initiatives related to sustainability. ​ ​ Mount Kisco Conservation Advisory Council The Conservation Advisory Council (CAC) was established with the primary mission being to advise in the development, management, and protection of the Village of Mount Kisco's natural resources. Pleasantville Garden Club Our goals are to promote the practice of healthy horticulture, civic beautification, environmental protection and friendship. We strive to meet the original objectives of learning, growing and working together to keep our towns and gardens beautiful. Hilltop Hanover Farm and Environmental Center Hilltop Hanover Farm and Environmental Center is dedicated to the development and advancement of sustainable agriculture, environmental stewardship, community education, and accessible food systems for all. A minimum 10% of produce grown is donated to food pantries and soup kitchens. League of Women Voters of Westchester County The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy. We never support or oppose any political party or candidate. Mount Vernon Citizen Tree The Mount Vernon Tree Advisory Board (TAB) is established to assist the City of Mount Vernon with planting, management, and preservation of trees. ​ Riverkeeper Riverkeeper protects and restores the Hudson River from source to sea and safeguards drinking water supplies, through advocacy rooted in community partnerships, science and law. ​ Rusticus Garden Club The purpose of Rusticus Garden Club is to promote the knowledge and love of gardening, horticulture and floral design; to further appreciation of the beauty and composition of gardens; and to restore, improve, and protect the quality of our environment through educational programs and initiatives in the fields of conservation and civic improvement. Save Buttonhook Forest We are dedicated to saving the 20.3-acre Buttonhook forest/Zauderer property in Chappaqua, NY from development ​and keeping it forever protected. We are working with the ​Brothertown Indian Nation to make this a reality. Sierra Club - Lower Hudson Group The Sierra Club is America’s earliest grassroots environmental organization, and it’s run by volunteers. We cover Westchester, Rockland and Putnam counties in New York State’s Hudson Valley, just north of New York City. ​ ​ ​ Tarrytown Environmental Advisory Council The Tarrytown Environmental Advisory Council (TEAC) is an all-volunteer, citizen led committee established to advise the Village on environmental issues. Town of Mamaroneck Sustainability Collaborative The Sustainability Collaborative works to preserve and enhance the long term viability of the Town from both environmental and fiscal perspectives. The Collaborative serves as an advisor to the Town Board and to such other authorities, boards, departments, committees, commissions and employees of the Town as the Town Board may authorize from time to time. Save Pocantico Lake Save Pocantico Lake is a grassroots group based in central Westchester County, NY dedicated to the preservation of one of the most important wild places left in the NY metropolitan region, Pocantico Lake and its surrounding wetlands. ​ ​ Saw Mill River Audubon We are a friendly community of people who enjoy exploring the outdoors. Our 1,100+ members are drawn from northwestern Westchester County, New York and beyond. All share a common desire to learn more about birds and other wildlife, and a common belief in the importance of preserving and protecting wildlife habitats. We hope you’ll browse through our upcoming events and join us for a field trip, workshop or community program. Sustainable Westchester Inc. Sustainable Westchester is a nonprofit consortium of Westchester County member municipalities that facilitates effective collaboration of environmental sustainability initiatives. Teatown Lake Reservation Teatown is a nonprofit nature preserve and environmental education center in the Lower Hudson Valley, with 15 miles of hiking trails, a two-acre island refuge for over 230 species of native wildflowers, year-round programming, wildlife exhibits, and natural science day camps in the summer and school breaks. ​ WESPAC Foundation, Inc. WESPAC has been a leading force for progressive social change in Westchester County, New York, since 1974. Educating, agitating, and organizing for change. Westchester Land Trust Westchester Land Trust works together with public and private partners to preserve land in perpetuity, and to protect and enhance the natural resources in our communities. Westchester Community College Native Plant Center The Native Plant Center was established in 1998 and its mission is to educate people about the environmental necessity, economic value, and natural beauty of native plants in the Northeast.

  • Board Member Bios Under Construction | FCWC INC

    Meet the FCWC Board of Directors Dedication. Expertise. Passion. The Board of Directors helps not only the Federated Conservationists of Westchester County thrive, but the environment too! Learn more by interacting with the images.

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