GreeningUSA logo
About Us

Starting March 4, 2003, the core organizing committee met every two weeks to formulate a mission, vision, business plan and structure for a broad based coalition of sustainability advocates.


  • Sustainable Communities:  Promote, support and advocate for sustainable communities.
  • National membership:  Develop a national membership base, and a financial sponsorship base, with programs and/or resources specifically for members and sponsors.
  • Sustainable organizations:  Foster synergy, awareness, and linkages with other sustainable organizations.


November 13, 2010,  Our "Bridging Education for Sustainability" event at the Syracuse Center of Excellence attracted 60+ educators from across Central New York. It was an opportunity to raise awareness about their sustainability education programs and investigate how we can coordinate and support each others' activities and establish a means of connecting everyone by developing a comprehensive Directory ad ListServ.

October 5, 2010,  Completion and public launch of the Onondaga Citizens League "What Does it Mean to be Green?" study; a year-long effort with significant contributions by GreeningUSA.

May 26, 2010,  GreeningUSA created some real excitement at their Sixth Annual meeting on May 26 by announcing the launch of the 12 Traits© Community Rating System Beta Test Self Assessment Manual and Public Comment Period. The Syracuse Post-Standard picked up the story on May 27, and again in their editorial section on Sunday, May 30. 

May 13, 2010,  Provided a presentation outlining the launch of the 12 Traits© Community Rating System Beta Test at the SUNY Upstate Medical Center "Think Green" Fair, and hosted an informational table.

April 22, 2010, Hosted a GreeningUSA sustainable communities informational table at the Onondaga County Sustainability Fair.

April 21, 2010, Hosted a GreeningUSA sustainable communities informational table at the SUNY Oswego Sustainability Fair.

April 17, 2010, Hosted a "Green Schools" table at the "Party for the Planet" at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo as a collaborative effort with the U.S. Green Building Council New York Upstate Chapter.

January 25, 2010, As part of our efforts with the Onondaga Citizens League study "What Does it Mean to be Green?," and in conjunction with the U.S. Green Building Council New York Upstate Chapter, GreeningUSA provided a presentation on "LEED and Green Buildings:  What are they and why should I care?"

November 19, 2009, The Sustainability Academy hosted a "Dream Neighborhood" session with the Near Westside residents. Sustainability Academy events were partially funded by grants from the P2I Institute at RIT and OCRRA, as well as many local sponsors who provided food and other support.

November 7, 2009,  In cooperation with other agencies, GreeningUSA's Sustainability Academy assisted with organizing and hosting the "Trick or Trees" Tree Festival and Sustainability Academy Fair at Skiddy Park on the Near Westside in Syracuse. It was a real success with over 400 participants.

October 24 & 25, 2009,  GreeningUSA exhibited at the Wolf Oak Acres Conservation event.

October 22, 2009, GreeningUSA provided a presentation on the Twelve Traits of Sustainable Communities at the National Teach-In on Global Warming Solutions on the Onondaga Community College campus.

October 13, 2009,  In a cooperative effort with the Onondaga Citizens League, GreeningUSA provided a presentation on "Sustainability - The Big Picture". The information presented will be incorporated into a study titled, "What does it mean to be green?"

September 13-17, 2009,  GreeningUSA exhibited at the Syracuse Center of Excellence "Healthy Buildings" conference.

June 17, 2009, Syracuse Mayoral Candidate Forum at the SUNY Oswego Metro Center in Syracuse, organized jointly with Walkable Eastwood, Urban Design Center and F.O.C.U.S. Greater Syracuse. Over 100 citizens were in attendance. Questions were specific to moving Syracuse toward becoming a sustainable community.

June 12, 2009, Presentation at "Women Leading Sustainability" event at Onondaga Community College, organized by the Institute for Community College Development.

May 27, 2009, Exhibited at "Plan it for the Planet" event organized by the Sierra Club Iroquois Group in Syracuse.

May 12, 2009, Invited to team with Onondaga Citizens League for their next study titled,
"What does it mean to be a green community?"

May 7, 2009, Three sessions of Sustainability Academy started at Fowler High School in Syracuse, including Sustainability 101 Recycling; Food, Gardening & Green Infrastructure on May 14; and Healthy and Green Schools on May 21.

April 25, 2009, Exhibited at the "Party for the Planet" at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo in Syracuse.

April 22, 2009, The 5th Annual Meeting was held at the SUNY Oswego Metro Center in Syracuse. Government officials, business people, educators, and more filled the room to hear a presentation on the progress of achieving the requirements of the Presidents' Climate Commitment. Presentations were provided by Syracuse University, Onondaga Community College and SUNY ESF.

After the presentations, the "Third Annual Sustaining our Community" awards were presented.

April 7, 2009,  Hosted an informational table at the SUNY ESF Green Infrastructure Event at the MOST in Syracuse.

March 21, 2009,  The Sustainability Academy "Get Your Green On" Spring Festival was an overwhelming success at the Blodgett School, with close to 400 attendees. There were fun, hands-on activities to engage children and adults in learning about sustainable living.

March 20, 2009,  Exhibited at and sponsored the SUNY ESF Green Building Conference at the OnCenter in Syracuse.

January 21, 2009,  Board members presented the "12 Traits of Sustainable Communities" at the "Planning for Sustainability 2009" conference held by the Onondaga County Planning Federation.

October 16, 2008,  The Sustainability Academy schedule was set for the Blodgett School, with the first session on October 16, 2008 (Quality of Life 101) and the following three sessions to be held on October 23 (Home Heat Home), November 6 (Food: green and on the cheap) and November 13 (Green Jobs and Education).

September 18, 2008, Sustainability Academy made a promotional appearance at the Blodgett School open house night.

August 21 thru September 1, 2008,  GreeningUSA partnered with The Amos Project and Clear Channel Communications to host a booth at the New York State Fair in an exhibit titled, "Vision New York – Innovation at the Center of Progress". Jim Reith broadcast his 570 WSYR Radio Show live from the booth on August 26 from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m.

June 28, 2008,  Board members presented information about Sustainability Academy at the world premier of the film "EcoSutra" at the Palace Theater.

June 23, 2008,  The "Green Creators" were formed to color and develop GreeningUSA's public image, with the goal of designing a GreeningUSA exhibit for the New York State Fair "Vision New York" exhibit.

May 31, 2008,  Board members hosted a GreeningUSA table at the City of Auburn and Cayuga County Summit on Sustainable Economic Development and Energy Efficiency, and were interviewed by The Citizen newspaper.

May 22, 2008,  A successful Sustainability Academy planning session, with more than 40 community leaders attending.

April 22, 2008,  The Syracuse Chamber of Commerce meeting room exceeded its capacity with representatives across public and private sectors, as well as the media, when GreeningUSA held their 4th Annual Meeting. After a brief update on GreeningUSA's achievements in 2007 and goals for 2008, Syracuse Mayor Matthew Driscoll and Onondaga County Executive Joanne M. Mahoney presented their past sustainable achievements and future plans to make Central New York "The Green Capital of the World".

The 2nd Annual "Sustaining Our Community" awards were presented to five award winners who are leading the way to sustainability in our communities across Upstate New York.

The complete proceedings were video taped by Ensemble Video and will be made available to the public on the CNY Video Showcase website, as well as on the newly revised GreeningUSA web site by ITT Technical Institute.

March 28, 2008,  Board members presented information about the GreeningUSA Sustainability Academy at the SUNY ESF Green Building Conference.

March 26, 2008,  The Sustainability Academy sub-committee of GreeningUSA's Education Committee met for another planning session at Blodgett School. It was decided that the first session of Sustainability Academy will be held in the Fall of 2008.

March 4, 2008,  Board members presented "The Green Building Industry and Sustainable communities:  From the 'Big Picture' to the Details" at the Finger Lakes Institute at Hobart and William Smith Colleges.

February 28, 2008,  The Sustainability Academy sub-committee of GreeningUSA's Education Committee launched a web site to facilitate interaction between committee members, and keep the public abreast of progress.

January 30, 2008,  An organizational meeting of Sustainability Academy was held at Syracuse’s Blodgett School. One of the goals was to tie together different aspects of the SDAT, West Side Initiative, Connective Corridor projects, among others. Another goal of the meeting was to seek input from the community in order to respond to their specific needs. Over 30 people gathered representing community groups, government and education sectors.

November 30, 2007, The GreeningUSA Education Committee held an open meeting. Four subcommittees were formed:  Sustainability Academy, Curriculum/Training, Communication/Website, and Resources.

October 1, 2007, A letter, signed jointly by GreeningUSA, the U.S. Green Building Council Upstate New York Chapter and F.O.C.U.S. Greater Syracuse, was sent to the candidates for Onondaga County Executive, urging them to establish an Onondaga County Office of Sustainability. The office would be led by a Director of Sustainability who would have direct responsibility to the County Executive. The Director's role would be to work with other County departments to integrate sustainable objectives throughout each department and to collaborate with academia, community businesses and private or non-profit groups to initiate projects and strengthen the resolve to build a sustainable Central New York.

September 14 and 21, 2007, The GreeningUSA Education Sub-Committees met to continue discussions and planning. One of the very exciting initiatives advanced was the "Sustainability Academy" to support not only the Syracuse City Schools massive renovation project, but also to examine the idea set forth in the Sustainable Design Assessment Team's recommendations for neighborhood revitalization within a 1/4 mile radius of those schools. It would involve neighborhood stake-holders and include each school's "Working Group" in a series of two-hour workshops, that will focus on various sustainability topics and be delivered by experts in those fields. Topic experts will be drawn from a pool of local people, groups and college students - a collaborative effort.

July 18, 2007,  The GreeningUSA Education Committee held a meeting regarding Sustainable Education that attracted nearly 30 people representing a broad spectrum of the education field, as well as other interested citizens. The event included discussions about sustainable curriculum and the definition of a sustainable community in terms of sustainable educational opportunities.

May 24, 2007, GreeningUSA's third annual meeting hosted candidates for Onondaga County Executive, who were questioned about their strategies to move our community toward sustainability. The meeting attracted over 50 local community leaders and generated a lively conversation.

The meeting also included GreeningUSA's First Annual "Sustaining Our Community" awards.

September 25, 2006, GreeningUSA presented further details on its Sustainable Community Rating System to over 50 people at the 6th Annual Empire Energy & Environmental Exposition (E4TM) at the OnCenter in Syracuse.

February 13, 2006,  The American Institute of Architects (AIA) Center for Communities by Design selected eight communities to receive technical assistance under the Sustainable Design Assessment Team (SDAT) program in 2006. GreeningUSA played a key role in facilitating the application that successfully brought the SDAT team to Syracuse as one of the eight cities selected.

March 24, 2005, GreeningUSA held its first annual meeting. The keynote speaker was Charlotte "Chuckie" Holstein, Founder and Executive Director of F.O.C.U.S. Greater Syracuse. She spoke about her organization's theme for 2005, "I Love CNY, F.O.C.U.S. on Building a Sustainable Community."

On January 5, 2005, GreeningUSA presented their Sustainable Communities Rating System concept to a Green Building Salon presented by the Environmental Business Association of New York at the Genesee Inn in Syracuse. Those attending were very receptive and many of them subsequently joined the organization.

On November 19, 2004, GreeningUSA held a public meeting to introduce their concept for a Sustainable Communities Rating System. Once again, the crowded Chamber meeting room was filled with interdisciplinary participants who were asked to brainstorm ideas for the ambitious undertaking. All of the thoughts were recorded and will be referenced as the rating system is developed.

On June 15, 2004 an organizational meeting was held, the initial Board of Directors was identified and interim officers were nominated and elected.

On May 21, 2004 a Certificate of Incorporation was issued to GreeningUSA, Inc. by New York State as a perpetual Not-for-Profit corporation.

On Earth Day, April 2004 the second public meeting met with similar success and enthusiasm, once again filling the Chamber's meeting room.

Attendees included David Coburn, Director of Environment for Onondaga County, James W. Farrell, 4th District Onondaga County Legislator, T. Brendan Whelan, 14th District Onondaga County Legislator, along with interior designers, architects, engineers, energy companies, recyclers, educators, product representatives and students.

Presenters included Marian Brown, Special Assistant to the Vice President of Ithaca College discussing the college's move toward a sustainable campus; Eugenia Brevia of QPK Arcihtects discussing their LEED Registered Project, SUNY ESF Baker Lab; Edward Bogucz, Executive Director of the NYCenter of Excellence in Environmental Science with an update; and a representative from Onondaga County Resource Recovery Agency discussing their latest recycling programs.

In October, 2003 GreeningUSA held their first public meeting at the Greater Syracuse Chamber of Commerce, sending invitations to a broad base of professionals. The Chamber's meeting room was filled in spite of cold temperatures and wet snow, including County Legislator
Jim Farrell. There was a lively interchange of information after which the majority of participants signed up to work in the many committees required to make GreeningUSA a success.

On Thursday, May 29, 2003, the GreeningUSA organizing committee met with Onondaga County Executive Nick Pirro, David Cordeau of the Syracuse Chamber of Commerce and Lee Davis of the New York Indoor Environmental Quality group to present their ideas.

Follow us on Facebook!  Follow us on Twitter!
Click here to donate to GreeningUSA.  Join GreeningUSA or renew your membership today!
Apply for GreeningUSA Community Membership!

Quick Navigation
:: Home
:: Contact us
:: 12-Traits of Sustainable Communities Rating System
:: Climate Change Info
:: Green Bag Lunch Series
:: Subscribe to our newsletter
:: Sustainability Academy
GreeningUSA's 12 Traits Rating System: The most comprehensive community rating system in the U.S.
Click to search our Database of Sustainability Resources for Teachers
Helpful Links
:: Syracuse Center of Excellence
:: CNY Energy Challenge
:: FOCUS Greater Syracuse
:: U.S. Green Building Council NY Upstate