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Community Impact Report 2009

Community Impact Report 2009

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08/11/2014

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The health and enhancement o our region’s natural assets is crucial to the revitalizationo this area and to the wellbeing o its residents. Our region, like many others, aces a widerange o challenges in protecting and restoring its natural environment—and historically,ew philanthropic resources have been devoted to address these needs.
To ll this void and provide leadershipand targeted resources to the region’senvironmental movement, theCommunity Foundation or Greater Bualo (CFGB) created the Western New York Environmental Alliance (WNYEA).A collaborative umbrella group, its goal isto help organize and rally those workingtoward a greener WNY.
During the past 24 months, representativesrom 150 organizations helped identiy andprioritize the challenges acing all acetso our region’s natural surroundings. Thesum o these eorts is
Our Shared Agenda for Action
 —a blueprint or restoring andpreserving WNY’s natural environment.
Community Impact Report 
Leading Community ChangeThrough Collaboration
FOCUS AREAS
Increasing Self-sufciencyReducing Racial & EthnicDisparities
Environment & Architecture
Arts & Culture
Enhancing and LeveragingSignicant Natural Resources
CONTENTS
 Creating a Blueprintfor Action
 Declaration of Action
 Agenda for Action
 Next Steps
Although home to an Olmsted-designed park system,
Buffalo has lessparkland than cities with similarpopulation densities.
Toxic contamination and a lack of greenspace has resulted in increasedrates of health problems,
includingasthma, obesity and heart disease.The
Great Lakes contain 20% of theworld’s total fresh water supply
andis vital to the quality o lie o 10% o allAmericans.
Buffalo recycles just 6.5% of its solidwaste
 — 
well below the national averageo 27%. A 1% increase would generate$72,000 or the city.
WHY IT MATTERS
Fall 2009
    D   a   r    l   e   e   n    S    t   r   y
 
The planning process or 
Our Shared Agenda for Action
began in January 2008 when the WNYEA SteeringCommittee representing more than twenty-veorganizations, agencies, and businesses met or the rst time.
The group established three objectives:
Increase collaboration among organizations working onenvironmental issuesDevelop a consensus around a shared agenda for action Attract resources to support the Agenda
To design and acilitate the WNYEA’splanning process, CFGB partneredwith the Urban Design Project atthe University at Bualo Schoolo Architecture and Planning andbrought in a consultant rom theInstitute or Conservation Leadership, an organizationspecializing in building environmental coalitions. Inaddition to organizing discussions, these partners providedthe WNYEA with research and recommendations or best practices to take action and sustain a large-scaleenvironmental collaborative.The Foundation also recruited the Bualo News and WBFOas media partners. They donated print and radio ads invitingthe participation o interested individuals and organizationsrom throughout the WNY area.From there, three large public congresses were convenedattracting more than
300 attendees representing 150environmental organizations and individuals
interestedin working together to improve WNY’s natural environment.
WNYEA Steering Group Members
Bualo Audubon SocietyBualo Museum o Science/Tit Nature PreserveBualo Niagara Partnership Bualo Niagara Riverkeeper Bualo Olmsted Parks Conservancy  Bualo Urban Development CorporationCommunity Action Organization/WNY Environmental Justice Center Community Foundation or Greater BualoCornell School o Industrial & Labor RelationsDaemen College, Center or Sustainable Communities and Civic EngagementEcology &EnvironmentErie County Industrial Development Agency(ECIDA)Great Lakes Program, SUNY BualoLocal Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC)New York Sea Grant,Cornell UniversityNew York State Department o State,Division o Coastal ResourcesNiagara County Department o Economic DevelopmentNiagara Greenspace Consortium Niagara University Environmental Leadership InstituteSierraClubUpstate Green Business NetworkUrban Design Project US Army Corps o EngineersUS Fish and Wildlie Services US Natural Resources Conservation ServiceWind Action Group  WNY Apollo AllianceWNY Land Conservancy
Congress 1: October, 2008
Task groups ormed
around the ollowing topics to developthe issues, actions, and quantiable measures or the
Agenda
:• Energy and Climate Change• Urban Regeneration and Land Use• Waste, Water and Pollution Prevention• Parks and Recreation• Habitat and Natural Resources• Environmental Organizations’ Capabilities
Congress 2: February, 2009
Participants reviewed best practices orcollaboration
on environmental issues and prioritized keyissues or action based on work done in the individual taskgroups. An
Environmental Declaration of Action
 
was drated
 
to provide a vision or the WNYEA and set the stage or the development o the
Agenda
.
Congress 3: April, 2009
The
Declaration o Action and the ramework orthe
 Agenda
were fnalized.
Following this meetingSteering Group members developed
Our Shared Agenda for  Action on the Environment.
 
1601401201008060402002006 2007 2008
Groups Participating inCFGB Environmental Work
Creating a Blueprint for Action
 
 We, the people
 
o Western New York, are resolved to work collaboratively to improveour environment and our regional, international community. We are a Great Lakes region andstewards o the world’s largest supply o resh water, vast orests, rich agricultural land, abundantwildlie, an incredible built heritage, historic park systems, the magnicent Niagara Falls andhundreds o wonderul communities. Unortunately, much o our natural heritage has beenlost and what remains is threatened. And, like the rest o the world, we ace the prospects o climate change. We thereore establish this agenda to protect and restore our globally signicantenvironment.
w
We know that our environmental resources are immeasurable assets; they have direct impactson our quality o lie and our economy. Healthy ecosystems provide habitat or wildlie; theyprovide clean air, clean water and other ecological services such as stormwater control andcarbon sequestration; and they provide recreational and business opportunities. The environmentis a source o wealth or all o us.
w
Like our natural heritage, our environmental community is strong.
We are the birthplace o the environmental justice movement,
a product o both our legacy o contamination andour determination to seek action through justice. We are home to thousands o individuals andhundreds o organizations aiming to improve our region.
w
Although our assets are plentiul and our voices numerous, our region and its people have sueredthrough the despoiling o our environment and the ragmentation o our collective eorts. Our dwindling population, declining health, vacant and contaminated land, and altering economyare proo o this. Although some progress has been made, much more is needed. At this time, wemake a commitment to collaboratively increase our region’s environmental literacy, preserve itsbiodiversity, and ensure that our energy is sustainable, our air is clean, our water drinkable, our fshedible, and our orests, arms, and gardens plentiul.
w
With
Our Shared Agenda for Action,
we have a vision or our uture. Together, we are committedto strengthening the work o our environmental community through collaboration andimplementation. This includes long term, overarching goals as well as specic measurable actionsthat can be accomplished soon. We are determined to leave those who ollow us a sustainable,thriving community where they can live healthully, work productively, learn, teach, grow old,and choose their own path. This is the aim o the Western New York Environmental Alliance – the purpose o 
Our Shared Agenda for Action.
w
Environmental Declaration of Action
To ensure that the WNYEA would be consistent in its activities toward developing and implementing a plan or action onthe environment, the group developed an
Environmental Declaration of Action
.
Now, this piece also serves as the preambleto
Our Shared Agenda for Action.

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