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Climate Stewards

Applications will soon open for the 2023 Cornell Cooperative Extension Climate Stewards Training for Orange County. 

Sessions will take place from March 23 to June 8, Thursday evenings from 6:00pm - 8:00pm via Zoom.

Your Community Connections Can Help Fight Climate Change

A new Climate Stewards training program at Cornell Cooperative Extension Orange County (CCEOC) is undergoing its first 12-module training this spring. This effort will equip participants to act to address climate change in their communities through educational outreach and steward-led climate smart projects. Volunteer participants who complete this program will be supported in outreach efforts to help educate the public about the science of climate change and engage communities in mitigation and adaptation efforts.

The Climate Steward program will be held weekly via Zoom starting March 23rd. In each of the first 10 trainings, trainees will cover a specific climate change topic, with additional outside readings, videos and group activities designed to develop skills needed to lead and educate their communities in climate science, adaption, and mitigation. Throughout the course, trainees will design an individual or group community action project that they will present and discuss in the final two class sessions. This program’s curriculum was developed by Cornell University in partnership with CCE-Tompkins.

After registering for the program, you will be sent an application. Your application will be reviewed and if approved, your registration will be complete, and the $75 participation fee will be accepted.

For more information, please contact Erik Schellenberg, Climate Smart Communities and Climate Stewards Coordinator at CCEOC. 845-344-1234 Ext. 260

About The Climate Stewards Training Program

The Climate Stewards training consists of 10 modules taught over 12 weeks, beginning March 23rd and continuing every Thursday thereafter. The training will be held virtually over zoom. For each of the first 10 modules include a slide presentation, outside readings and videos, group activities, and work toward final action projects.

  • Module 1: Orientation
  • Module 2: The Science of Climate Change
  • Module 3: Climate Change Impacts 
  • Module 4: Working with Local Governments & Communities
  • Module 5: Climate Change Mitigation
  • Module 6: Community Mitigation Strategies
  • Module 7: Climate Change Adaptation
  • Module 8: Community Adaptation Strategies
  • Module 9: Effective Climate Change Communication
  • Module 10: Planning Your Local Action Project

The last few weeks trainees put their new-found skills into action with completion and presentation of individual or group action projects that will be the first steps in making a difference in our communities.

Learn More: Climate Smart Communities & Clean Energy Communities

Climate Smart Communities (CSC) is a multi-state agency effort led by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYDEC). CSC outlines concrete action lists of steps communities can take to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, adapt for a changing climate, and become more resilient in the face of new environmental challenges. Climate Stewards volunteers will use the CSC action lists to determine what municipalities have already done and opportunities to take action.

Research has shown that a key barrier to local climate action is lack of resources (staff, resources, and training). Climate Stewards will be trained and empowered with practical skills to help fill these gaps, tackle issues, and inspire change in their own communities.

Not only will Climate Stewards volunteers help their communities, but they will make a direct and measurable difference to help mitigate impacts of global climate change.


Erik Schellenberg
Commercial Horticulture and Natural Resources Educator
(845) 344-1234, Ext.260

Last updated February 24, 2023