Irvington Green Policy Task Force

January 2024 

2023 Review & 2024 Plans

On December 12th, Sustainability Director Charlotte Binns presented to the board on an annual metrics review, Clean Energy Communities Campaigns, and the Village Climate Action Plan and Mitigation Strategies. You can see the slides here or watch the meeting here from 1:15.

2024 Goal

Our goal for the new year is to empower more residents to have an impact and harness collective action to become a leading environmental municipality in New York State. On Feb 7th, our first monthly meeting of the year,  we will refresh the Irvington Green Policy Task Force structure to enlist and empower more people effect change. We have created a new Volunteer page and will divide into Sub-Committees organized into our website pillars of Climate, Energy, Land and Waste. Participants have the opportunity to select from a great number of tasks that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and potentially earn the Village grant funds. 

Irvington Green Policy Task Force

November  2023 

School Wellness & Sustainability Update


The school entered into a new food contract with Aramark that began this year. See the document below for a list of new provisions. Note that 25% of produce is sourced locally. And flatware is now compostable. Now we need to make sure the kids compost them.


One of the challenges of keeping healthy food in the schools and mitigating waste is the amount of door dash deliveries ordered by the students. A relatively new phenomenon, it poses many problems on campus and should be discouraged by parents:

If anyone would like to try and run a campaign about this, the PTSA Greening Committee  would support you. 



Main Street school continues to be the model of waste mitigation and proves that the students can rise to the occasion. We should all talk to our kids about recycling and composting at school. 


NYSERDA has established the NY School Bus Incentive Program (NYSBIP) to assist school districts in meeting the zero-emission bus timelines: all school buses purchased by 2027 must be zero-emission buses, with the entire fleet transitioned to zero emission by 2035. $100M will be available to fund the acquisition of new ESBs and charging infrastructure costs.

Irvington is looking into this with the Ardsley school bus consortium (Ardsley, Hastings, Dobbs and Edgemont) but the number of districts involved complicates matters and most buses are owned by outside vendors. The grant application has a rolling deadline starting November 29, 2023.



The complaints have been registered and the school is taking action. 6 new No Idling signs are going up on campus. Help us spread the word - idling for more than 3 consecutive minutes is against the law - and for good reason, it produces both air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.  Fines can be issued for $250. 

Irvington Green Policy Task Force

September  2023 

Irvington on Climate

Climate Talks: Bringing It Home - Starting September 6

Each first Wednesday of the month, Irvington Green invites the community to gather and discuss local environmental issues and opportunities to have an impact. This fall we are adding a speaker series to address global issues, understand potential impacts on our village, and explore strategic responses. 

Starting September 6th, at the library at 7pm RSVP here. Tickets are free limited. 


Topic: Heat Waves, Forest Fires and Flooding, from Global Scales to Irvington Village

Topic: Climate Change and the Mysterious Power of Local Land Use Law

Topic: The Carbon Almanac, a Collaborative Resource

Topic: Environmental Debt, Hidden Costs and The End of Single Use Plastic

Join our conversation, guest speakers, light food and action plans. Learn more and RSVP here: Scroll down to find past event documentation.

Irvington’s Climate Action Plan 

Irvington’s commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions includes the creation of a Climate Action Plan. The process takes place from February of 2023 to August of 2024 as part of a DEC Climate Smart Communities grant funded program and is guided by the Hudson Valley Regional Council and the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives.

We have completed the first stage, which is a GHG emissions inventory and analysis of municipally owned buildings, infrastructure, vehicle fleet, street lights and more. The full report can be found here. The good news is that the biggest impact actions are already in the works or done: updating our fleet with EVs and overhauling the HVAC in our Town Hall, Senior Center, Library and Fire Station.

This fall we will consider mitigation strategies. In the spring, we will define goals and solicit feedback from stakeholders. We aim to have a Climate Action Plan in place by the summer of 2024. Starting in September, we will also begin the process to analyze our community residential GHG emissions. 


Irvington Green is always looking for folks to help:

Please reach out to if you would like to help. 

Click here and choose GPTF to stay up on our news. 

Visit our extensive local sustainability resources at 

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Irvington Green Policy Task Force

August 2023 

Spotted Lanternfly, Climate Talks

The Spotted Lanternfly Has Arrived

We have known for years that it was coming. The Village of Irvington has now received numerous reports of Spotted Lanternfly (SLF) sightings. SLF is an invasive, destructive pest from Asia that primarily feeds on Tree-of-heaven (Ailanthus altissima) but can also feed on a wide variety of plants such as grapevines, red and silver maple, walnut, sycamore, rose bushes, oak, birch, fruit trees, Virginia creeper, Porcelain berry and others. This insect threatens New York's forests and agricultural and tourism industries. SLFs feed by sucking on sap which stresses plants, making them vulnerable to disease and attacks from other insects. As adult SLFs feed, they excrete honeydew, a sugary substance, which can attract bees, wasps, and other insects. The honeydew also builds up and promotes the growth for sooty mold (fungi), which can cover the plant, forest understo-ries, patio furniture, and cars etc. NYS is asking its residents to kill SLF egg masses, nymphs and adults.

Help Stop the Spread by Manually Removing the Pest

• Squish them: Approach them from the back if possible. SLFs get tired after about 3 jumps so are easier to catch. 

• Use a vacuum: use a handheld vacuum with a clear, removable canister (not a bag); to prevent spread through waste management, immediately dispose of the SLF from the canister into a sealed ziploc bag with a squirt of hand sanitizer.

• Trap them: Use a wide mouth plastic bottle and seal them in with a shot of water. Tree traps can be purchased or made at home. Install and monitor circle traps on Ailanthus trees. Please AVOID using glue traps as they also kill beneficial insects as well as birds.

• Destroy any Lanterfly egg masses by immediately scraping them into alcohol or hand sanitizer in a sealed ziplock bag. They can be found September to June.

• The Green Policy Task Force is not currently recommending insecticides and herbicides for the control of Spotted Lanternflies. Residents should adhere to Village rules and regulations regarding tree removal and the use of pesticides.

Residents are encouraged to document SLF sightings by joining the "Spotted Lanternfly Watch FLX" group on iNaturalist.

Photos should include a scale when possible, such as a coin or ruler.

More information can be found on the website of NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets, Cornell College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the Penn State Extension and Irvington Green:

For more information and a printable flyer, go to our Invasive Species page here.

Climate Talks - Save the Dates

We gather on the first Wednesday of the month at 7pm at the Irvington Library  to discuss local environmental issues and opportunities to have an impact. Starting in September, we are adding a speaker series to address how climate change may impact our community and consider strategic responses. Our guest speakers are Westchester residents  with climate expertise that spans the globe. 

Topics will include weather patterns and local flood risks; how comparable communities are using land use law to implement climate adaptation and mitigation strategy with impacts that are much further reaching; potential impacts of proximity to NYC; and social justice considerations of carbon capture.

Join our conversation, guest speakers, light food and action plans. Learn more and RSVP here.

Past events are documented with photos and minutes at


Irvington Green is always looking for folks to help:

Please reach out to if you would like to help. 

Irvington Green Policy Task Force

June 2023 

Waste Not

This month, Irvington Green is focusing on Waste. Learn all the ways you can mitigate and responsibly dispose of waste locally in our flier below, which you can also download here. And if you missed it, you can download and print our overview of sustainable landscaping practices here. Find all of these resources and more on

Tonight, 7pm at Village Hall, there will be a public forum on the gas powered leaf blower ban. If you want to share your views, come in person or zoom in. A link and agenda can be found here

Wednesday June 7th at 7pm, Irvington Green hosts its monthly meet up at the library. Guest speaker Vincent Nicolosi of the Westchester County Department of Environmental Facilities will speak about the County’s food scrap recycling efforts; including, the County’s Residential Food Scrap Recycling and Transportation Program (RFSTAD) as well as the growing CompostED Program. RSVP here.

Saturday June 10th 2-5pm Old Croton Aquaduct clean up, pollinator garden maintenance and removal of invasive species. NEW: The invasive Spotted Lanternfly has arrived in Irvington. The Lower Hudson Partnership for Regional Invasive Management will help us learn to recognize and remove them without the use of chemicals. 

Sunday June 25th 1-4pm Repair Cafe will be hosted at the library.

Irvington high school students tie for 2nd place in the Bedford2030 Greenlight Awards with their initiative to expand composting on the campus and in the community! 

Well done Jake Epple, Banjamin Kasoff and Emmaline LeBuhn!

Irvington Sustainability Director Charlotte Binns was also there as a judge for the 2nd group of projects. Irvington represents!

New: A Resilient River Towns Sustainable Living Map.

Find local restaurants & shops that offer sustainably sourced products, health & wellness, green spaces and public transport at the digital map here. As always, share feedback and suggestions via our Contact form. 

Irvington Green 

NEWSLETTER: Earth Day & Call for Volunteers

April  2023

April is National Volunteer Month and Earth Day is Saturday April 22nd. Irvington is ramping up environmental campaigns and WE NEED YOU

Find yourself in the descriptions below and enlist in a group. Then scroll down for some Earth Month celebrations in Irvington and beyond.

Irvington Green Volunteeers

Do you find yourself getting worked up about waste, plastics in our water, mass extinction, the decommissioning of Indian Point by a disreputable company, extreme weather events, ecosystem collapse or climate destabilization? Are you a closet doomsday prepper? Concerned for future generations? Or just want your family to be able to walk and bike safely? The Green Policy Task Force will harness that energy for good! 

Together, we can build efficient and resilient energy, ecology and supply chain systems in advance of pandemic-level disruptions. As a community in action, we can support the local green economy, forge bonds with solutions-oriented folks and work to enjoy lush forests, safe streets and clean air and waterways for the rest of our years. 

Skill Sets:

We are looking for a diverse representation of people and skill sets to form working groups focused on Climate, Safe Streets, Energy, Waste and Land Stewardship. 

Do you love research, data analysis and earning points? We have action tasks for you with Climate Smart Communities. Help us get to Silver! 

Are you happiest in nature and just need an excuse to hang out with friends while digging in the dirt? We have gardens that need you. 

Are you a connector-communicator? Will you help us get the word out to your church, neighborhood, yoga class, bandmates, mahjong group and  book clubs? Or can you whip up a snappy social post? Shoot a quick video? Make yourself known. 

Are you an organization maven, list mistress/master, wo/man with a plan? Let’s create memorable events together.  

The Green Policy Task Force will meet monthly at the Library for social work gatherings.  Mark your calendars for the first  Wednesday of the month starting May 3rd at 7pm and dig in with us. All are welcome. RSVP to 

Other Village Committees: 

The village has many committees that depend on volunteers. Please take a look and see if you might like to join one. The Tree Preservation Commission is currently in need of new members. If you are interested in serving on any of these Boards or Committees, please email Village Administrator Lawrence Schopfer or call (914) 591-4358

Volunteer Spotlight: Nicola Coddington

Nikki is seen here with a bag she had made for a Dows Lane Earth Day in 1998. Nikki has served as a Village Trustee and Mayor and worked on some form of local green committee for more than 25 years. She has been the Executive Director for New York Interfaith Power & Light, the Energy Conservation Coordinator for Greenburgh, Co-Coordinator of Planting Westchester, Chairman of the Irvington Woods Committee and Copy Editor for this very newsletter (thanks Nikki!). 

You model the essence of sustainability with your calm demeanor and persistent passion. 

We love you!

Irvington Earth Day Events

Irvington Green Earth Day celebration at the Farmers Market on Sunday April 23rd 

The launch of a new Resilient Rivertowns sustainable living map

Various student groups will show off an impressive array of environmental projects

Fun activities for the little ones.  More soon!

Education about the ways you can save money and support clean energy

Japanese Barberry Removal in the Irvington Woods: register in the Nature Programs

When: April 15th and 22nd 10:00AM - 12:00PM

Where: O’Hara Nature Center

Heirloom Apple Grafting

When: April 29th 10:30AM - 12:00PM

Where: O’Hara

Old Croton Aqueduct Clean Up and Vine Removal

When: April 30 2:30-4:30pm

Where: Old Croton Aqueduct

Regional Earth Month Events

Greenburgh Nature Center: Natural Connection

When: April, Saturdays (1,15, 22, 29) 10AM-12PM

Where: 99 Dromore Rd. Scarsdale, NY 10583

Tarrytown Environmental Advisory Council Meet the Arborist and learn about local trees

When: April 1 9AM - 11AM

Where: Lakes parking lot - Tarrytown

Untermyrer Gardens Birdhouse building workshop 

When: April 2 · 10:30 - 11:30am 

Where: Cola Community Center

Tarrytown Vines clean up 

When: April 8  10AM - 12PM

Where: Lakes parking lot Neperan RD

Tarrytown Glenville Woods trail Blaze 

When: April 8 1:30PM - 3:30PM

Where: lower lakes pump house

Rivertowns Repair cafe 

When: April 15 10AM - 2PM 

Where: Neighborhood house,43 Wildey street Tarrytown

Tarrytown Lakes clean up 

When: April 16 10AM - 2PM

Where: Lakes parking lot Neperan Rd 

Sustainable Dobbs: Woodland Walking tours

When: April 21 - Riverview Manor Walking Tour

April 23 - The Children’s Nature Walk

May 1 - Chauncey Park, Dobbs Ferry

May 1 - South County Trail (north end)

May 7 - South County Trail (south end)

Where: Dobbs ferry

Tarrytown Bird walk 

When: April 22 8:30AM - 10AM

Where: Lakes parking lot Neperan Rd

Earth Day Celebration 

When: ​​April 22 10PM

Where: Rockefeller State Park Preserve

Great saw mill river cleanup 2023

When: April 22 10AM - 1PM

Where: Groundwork Hudson Valley

Tarrytown Village wide clean up 

When: April 22 10AM - 12PM

Where: Patriots park

Tarrytown Pollinator garden clean up

When: April 22 10AM - 12PM

Where: Parking lot next to the sleepy hollow high school field 

Tarrytown Village Wide clean up 

When: April 22 1PM - 3PM

Where: The crest - TBD

Irvington Earth Day Celebrations

When: April 23 

Where: Farmers Market, Main Street 

Hastings Spring Thing

When: April 23

Where: Warburton Avenue, Hastings

Tarrytown Lakes trail hike 

When: April 23 1PM - 3PM

Where: Lakes parking lot 

Tarrytown Film screening: the story of plastic 

When: April 23  4PM - 5:30PM

Where: Neighborhood house,43 Wildey street Tarrytown

Tarrytown Kids day, healthy kids YMCA 

When: April 29 11AM - 3PM

Where: Patriots park

Tarrytown Community garden spring prep

When: April 30 9AM - 12PM

Where: Community garden, John Pauding school, on the corner of Broadway and cobb lane

Tarrytown Clothing and housewares swap 

When: April 30 10AM - 2PM

Where: The Neighborhood House, 43 Wildey St - Park on South circle in Patriots Park

Tarrytown Riverkeeper sweep 

When: May 06 9AM - 12PM

Where: Kayak Launch Tarrytown, Lot G 

Untermyer gardens president’s tour with Stephen F. Byrns

When: May 7 11:00AM to 12:30PM

Where: Untermyer Gardens Conservancy 945 North Broadway Yonkers, NY 10701

Sustainable Dobbs: Kiss the Ground documentary screening 

When: May 11 

6:30PM Reception & light refreshments

7:00PM Film screening 

Where: Dobbs ferry Public library

Sleepy Hollow Environmental Advisory Committee Earth Day Volunteer Celebration 

When: May 22 12PM

Where: Barnhart Park, Sleepy Hollow, NY

Sleepy Hollow Environmental Advisory Committee Annual Earth Day Litter Cleanup event 

When: May 22 10AM

Where: Reverend Sykes Park (the corner of Valley St. and Wildey St.)

Girls Scouts & The Irvington Woods Park

The Irvington Girl Scouts have put together a letter to the Irvington Board of Trustees highlighting all of the fantastic work the scouts have been doing with CJ in the Irvington Woods Park. We LOVE everything about this.  Read all the letters here.

Irvington Green 

NEWSLETTER: Sustainable Landscaping

March 2023

Welcome to GPTF News

One of the biggest ways we can have an ecological impact, as Irvington residents, is in how we manage our landscapes and gardens. Common practices adversely affect soil, water and wildlife, while contributing to CO2  emissions. Habitat loss is a challenge for virtually all species, as humans convert natural habitats to other land uses, disrupt the balance, and introduce chemicals and invasive species that kill or outcompete native species to the point of extinction. Sustainable practices, on the other hand, bolster a healthy biodiverse ecosystem, support food security and sustained livelihoods, mitigate the impacts of extreme weather and sequester carbon.

60% of our Sustainability Survey participants said they wanted to contribute to climate action with sustainable garden upgrades and maintenance. Here is how you can do that.

Sustainable Landscaping: Best Practices offers guidance on everything from leaf mulching, native and invasive species, tree stewardship, water conservation and lawn care. A handy overview  pamphlet can be found at the Town Hall, or at the Farmers Market soon.  

Work with your landscapers to follow best practices. offers helpful guidance on interviewing landscapers,  a checklist of discussion points and resources for landscaper support (associations, education, native nurseries and materials in English and Spanish). 

Healthy Yards has compiled a list of landscapers who offer sustainable services. We are collecting recommendations from residents for companies who use electric equipment and follow sustainable practices in the community. Please note: we cannot vet claims made by landscaping companies. It is important that you discuss their practices with them directly. 

Leaf Blower Ban

On November 3, 2020, the village passed Local Law #8 2020 banning gas powered leaf blowers from December 16, 2023. The ban will be enforced with financial penalties for the violators and property owners. So make sure to talk to your landscapers now. 

Gas-powered leaf blowers pollute the environment in 3 ways: exhaust emissions, noise, and particulates/dust blown into the air. Per the Department of Environmental Conservation website: "Emissions from gas-powered leaf blowers are substantial. The amount of CO (carbon monoxide) emitted from a typical backpack leaf blower for just 1 hour is equal to CO coming from the tailpipe of a current year automobile operating for over 8 hours. For the other pollutants, the amounts are even greater." Click here to learn more about a state bill prohibiting gas-powered leaf and lawn blowers.

The village has already converted 90% of its gas powered leaf blower and mower equipment to electric, with the remaining 10% of  gas powered machines retained as backup for extreme circumstances.

Great Landscaping News on the School Campus!

Last August, Superintendent Kristopher Harrison told the board  that the school district landscape would work toward becoming a model of sustainability. In the fall, a Sustainable Landscaping Committee was formed. 

Members include: 

Peter Strom: horticulturist, Tree Officer for Sleepy Hollow and Consultant to the Parks Department

Suzanne Nolan: landscape architect and consultant to the Village 

CJ Reilly: educational and horticultural developer for the Parks Department & O’Hara Nature Center

Chet Kerr: of the Irvington Pollinator Pathway Project and Greater Irvington Land Trust

Several community members and members of the Green Policy Task Force, 

Students and a teacher from the HS Environmental Club, a school board member and District Administration including Head of Facilities

Already, the school has: 

1- Bought all native trees to replace the trees that were removed for the capital project on the High School campus. 

2- Identified areas where the leaves can be left to encourage pollinator habitat and nourish the soil.

3- Launched plans for a rain and pollinator garden on the high school campus, led by the Environmental Club. 

4- Begun explorations to bring back the Dows Lane garden. 

5- Purchased emission-free electric leaf blowers

And student Joanna Paul, the GPTF Student Liaison, organized Fun Run for a More Sustainable  Irvington on October 16, 2022, raising funds that will be used for planting and maintenance of the future native gardens at IMS/IHS campus. 

The Irvington School District, Recreation and Parks Department and O’Hara Nature Center staff are partnering on several programs, including vocational training, landscape management and horticulture. Scroll down to Irvington Woods to learn more.

Interested in helping to maintain school gardens in the summer? 

Reach out to Irvington Sustainability Director Charlotte Binns at

Irvington Woods

The Parks Department's CJ Reilly has led numerous significant stewardship projects in the Irvington Woods and O'Hara Nature Center including:

For an overview of O'Hara Nature Center Activities (2022 - 2023) click here

Linking Habitat Development to Educational Programming and Stewardship click here

Harvard Research Projects in the Irvington Woods click here

2022 DEC Tree Planting Project and Greater Irvington Land Trust (GILT) Deer Exclosure Grant click here

Cornell Long-Term Pollinator Research Project at the ONC click here

Vocational Independence Program—Partnership between the Village of Irvington Rec. and Parks and the Irvington School District click here 


The Parks department regularly hosts invasive species removal days of service in the woods. It is a fun activity for the whole family with pizza, donuts and hot chocolate. You can stay up on volunteer opportunities by signing up through the Parks Department portal here.


We love Bedford 2030 Forums. The Power of Trees offers an impressive immersion into the world of trees. Learn from the experts March 25, 9am-1pm, Fox Lane HS. Register at

Share Your Eco Story or Event

We want to hear what environmental actions you or your kids are taking. Please share stories and any events to Charlotte Binns

Click here to sign up for all GPTF news 

(choose “GPTF”)

Irvington Green 

NEWSLETTER: Sustainability Survey Results 

February 2023


Create a high level overview of the issues to:


Residents were asked to  share what they deemed to be a priority for the village across the categories of Climate, Biodiversity and Waste, and a bit about how they might like to take action. 5 stars is the biggest priority.

140 residents responded, with nearly 100 offering to participate in some way!

The number one polled priority is Stewardship of our Parks and Woods. The Parks department and C.J. Reilly at the O’Hara Nature Center are currently running and rolling out numerous stewardship programs which are effectively saving the Irvington Woods. But they depend on community volunteers. We will share more about this work in the coming months. In the meantime, you can stay up on volunteer opportunities by signing up through the Parks Department portal here.

Offers to participate were primarily focused on: 

1- Composting. We are looking into expanding compost collection offerings.  Find information on current food scrap solutions here and backyard composting here.  

2- Sustainable garden upgrades and maintenance. Landscapers are strongly encouraged to participate in a free and catered workshop including electric equipment demos:  February 15, 2023 from 8:00 am to 2:00 pm at the Fire House in Nyack, NY. Learn more at New York - State of the Industry Symposium Final_Rev-2  Visit to register. Space is limited and selling out. 

Topic Priorities