Our History

Formed as an education and networking organization in the late 1990s, SHV has been an innovator bridging between the worlds of best practice in planning and development, and the communities that seek more innovative ways forward. From 2002 – 2005, we educated thousands of citizens and elected leaders through forums, columns, conferences, the news media, public testimonies and the creation of the Sustainable Living Resource Center, now operating independently in Cottekill.

Our project partners have included World Resources Institute, Global Community Initiatives, Northern Dutchess Alliance, Sullivan County Partnership for Economic Development, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Nature Conservancy, Hudson River Research Reserve, the Ulster County Legislature, New York State Department of Labor, the SUNY Community College System, NYSERDA, the Environmental Consortium of Hudson River Colleges and Universities, Hudson-Fulton-Champlain Quadricentennial Commission, Americorps, Project for Public Spaces, Hudson Valley Smart Growth Alliance, US Green Building Council, and the Green Map System. Beginning in 2005, SHV began defining projects that brought powerful collaborative approaches into wider use, including:

  • coauthoring Taking Action for Sustainability: The EarthCat Guide to Community Development, a whole-systems, asset-building framework, and helping to show its potential in the city of Newburgh’s comprehensive plan;
  • developing the Northern Dutchess First economic strategy for strengthening local food, education, culture, professional services and other key economic sectors in ten rural towns and villages;
  • creating the Green Building Materials and Products Directory for the Sullivan County Partnership for Economic Development;
  • convening the first Municipal Climate Action Summit with a standing-room crowd of elected officials, state agency staff, and citizen leaders in 2007, introducing the region to key tools and groups for climate action;
  • framing Ulster County’s climate change strategy including its emphasis on innovative energy financing tools;
  • framing Ulster County’s “green technology” strategy to build upon solar success with an expanded industry cluster initiative;
  • helping the City of Kingston to launch its Green Corridor initiative;
  • addressing the new challenge of climate change adaptation in the Rising Waters scenario planning project;
  • assessing the region’s work force development, education and training systems and framing recommendations for a stronger knowledge economy for seven counties in the Green Talent Pipeline Partnership;
  • bringing together green technology innovators from the Netherlands and the Hudson Valley to share ideas on commercialization;
  • creating resource centers on green jobs training in five counties and a web presence for the SUNY Clean Energy Technology Training Consortium;
  • launching the first Hudson Valley Green Map to celebrate the region’s assets and progress.