Climate Smart Communities

Climate Smart Community

The Village of Lancaster is a Climate Smart Community

On June 27, 2016, the Village of Lancaster passed resolution 117, pledging to become a Climate Smart Community. Climate Smart Communities acknowledge the legitimate threat posed by climate change. These communities understand they have a responsibility to calculate and mitigate their impact on the climate, alleviate their reliance on fossil fuels and other limited resources, and to enhance the community’s resilience to the impacts of global climate change. See New York State’s Climate Smart Communities website for more information.

Since the original pledge, the Village of Lancaster has completed over 20 specific actions toward those goals. In the Summer of 2022, the Village joined Erie County, the City of Buffalo, and the Town of Grand Island as a Climate Smart Certified Community by earning its Bronze Certification. The Village was one of just 91 Bronze Certified communities across New York State at that time. Through Bronze Certification, New York State acknowledges that the Village of Lancaster is a committed leader in climate action, and it opens the door to additional resources to be used toward the commitments stated in that original resolution.

The Road to Bronze Certification

A community may apply for Bronze Certification after completing a number of Actions showing its commitment to its Climate Smart Communities Pledge. Each Action is assigned a point value by New York State, and a community must accumulate 120 points to apply for Bronze Certification. The Village of Lancaster’s application contained actions worth 139 points total. The Village’s Certification Report on New York State’s Climate Smart Communities website details each of those actions and the points alloted.


Task Force Members

  • Michael E. Stegmeier, Climate Smart Coordinator
  • Mayor Lynne Ruda, Committee Chair
  • Amy Stypa, Sustainability Coordinator/ CCE Coordinator
  • Wayne Cisco
  • Jason Kulaszewski
  • John Mikoley
  • Gavin O’Brien
  • Kristen Shelly
  • Isaac Szymanski

There’s More Work to be Done

Achieving Bronze Certification was a step toward further action. To continue to set and meet climate change mitigation and resilience goals, the Village of Lancaster Climate Smart Task Force is open to residents of the Village with expertise in climate and environmental related matters or even a passion for creating a more climate conscious community. The Task Force meets quarterly at the Village Municipal Building (see Event Calendar for the next meeting), and all interested parties are welcome to attend. The next level of certification, Silver, requires 300 total points worth of Climate Smart Actions, and it is achievable if we continue to work together.

Clean Energy Community

As a part of our commitment to sustainability, the Village of Lancaster is participating as part of NYSERDA’s Clean Energy Communities Round 3.0.

By completing a series of high-impact initiatives, Lancaster not only earns recognition but also becomes eligible for grant funding to further bolster its clean energy endeavors. These actions range from implementing energy-efficient measures to promoting renewable energy adoption within the community. As Lancaster earns points for each completed action, it gets closer to higher designations and more substantial grant awards. To date, the Village of Lancaster has completed 10 high impact actions for a total of 2,900 points. The Village is ranked second in the region and one of only eight Advanced Communities in the region. Lancaster is a designated one-star community and will soon earn the two-star status! This tiered approach not only encourages sustained engagement but also rewards communities for their dedication to advancing clean energy objectives.

The program provides municipalities like Lancaster with the necessary tools and resources to effect change. Whether it’s through streamlined access to grant funding or ongoing support from dedicated coordinators, the program empowers local municipalities to take tangible actions.  The program offers a customizable approach that allows Lancaster to tailor its involvement based on its specific circumstances. Through the updated Clean Energy Communities program, Lancaster finds itself in a prime position to enhance the community through targeted clean energy endeavors.

For a more comprehensive understanding of the Clean Energy Communities program and its impact, consider visiting the program’s website.

Climate Reporting


WNY Clean Energy Hub

The Western New York Regional Clean Energy Hub is a non-profit, community-based energy efficiency and clean energy program serving Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, and Niagara counties. We advise individuals, small businesses, and whole communities on resources that they can access to make their homes more energy efficient and clean energy ready.

PUSH Green

Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper

Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper protects and restores our water and surrounding ecosystems for the benefit of current and future generations.

BN Waterkeeper

WNY Stormwater Coalition

The Western New York Stormwater Coalition (WNYSC) is a forum for these regulated communities to share resources and work in partnership toward compliance with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) Phase II Stormwater requirements.

The overall goal of the Coalition is to utilize regional collaboration to identify existing resources and develop programs to reduce the negative impacts of stormwater pollution. The purpose of the public outreach website is to enhance public knowledge and awareness of stormwater pollution and provide information to individuals and households to prevent stormwater pollution and protect water quality.

WNY Stormwater Coalition


Thank you for your interest in the Village of Lancaster’s Climate Smart Initiatives.

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