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Healthy Habitats Initiative

Our Healthy Habitats Initiative focuses on how individuals can create an environment in their backyard and neighborhood that supports nature and balances our needs with those of other living things. We work to support efforts in urban and suburban neighborhoods that increase the beauty of our surroundings and bring more people outdoors, creating healthier lifestyles, while also sustaining a habitat in which plants and animals can thrive. Our events include workshops, open houses, park and river cleanups, tree and garden plantings, and educational talks and tours.  

Natural Resources Inventory

The Environmental Cooperative developed a Natural Resources Inventory (NRI) for Poughkeepsie that provides baseline information on natural resources including parks, tributaries to the Hudson, the Poughkeepsie waterfront and city trees. We partnered with Hudsonia to identify and map the City of Poughkeepsie’s habitats.  While NRIs have a standard set of components, we also included sections specific to Poughkeepsie, such as an assessment of the health of the City’s ash trees and a management plan for Emerald Ash Borer, which threatens our ash population. The final Hudsonia report can be found here

Full NRI

To see the full NRI [18.7 MB], click the above photo.

For a breakdown of each section, see below: 

NRI 0 Executive Summary [364 KB]

NRI 1 Introduction [1 MB]

NRI 2 Geology and Soils [887 KB]

NRI 3 Water Resources [2 MB]

NRI 4 Botanical Communities and Habitats [969 KB]

NRI 5 Land Use [1 MB]

NRI 6 Recreational Resources [1 MB]

NRI 7 Historical Resources [717 KB]

NRI 8 Climate Change [436 KB]

NRI Apdx A Significant Habitats [4 MB]

NRI Apdx B Ash Tree Assessment [338 KB]

NRI Apdx C College Hill Park Invasive Species Survey [340 KB]

NRI Apdx D Poughkeepsie Scenic Resource Inventory [5 MB]

NRI Apdx E Map Metadata [152 KB]

NRI Apdx F Species of Conservation Concern [145 KB]

NRI Apdx G Poughkeepsie Zoning Map [769 KB]

NRI Apdx H Climate Smart Resilience Planning [252 KB]

NRI Apdx I Fall Kill Intermunicipal Agreement [498 KB]

This project was funded in part by a grant from the New York State Environmental Protection Fund through the Hudson River Estuary Program of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

Mapping Emerald Ash Borer in the City of Poughkeepsie

Emerald Ash Borer Information

Assessing Urban Ash Trees - Summer 2017

Bee Campus 

Vassar College Campus is a certified Bee Campus, committed to creating pollinator friendly habitats. We have created resources about local native plants to help educate the Vassar community and Poughkeepsie residents about beneficial plants for the area. 

Pollinator Pathways 

The Town of Poughkeepsie is working towards becoming a Pollinator Pathway. Poughkeepsie is working to establish pollinator friendly habitats and food sources for bees, butterflies, hummingbirds and other pollinating insects and wildlife along a series of continuous corridors.

You can learn about creating pollinator habitats by checking out the Environmental Cooperative’s Pollinator Pathway padlet (Password: PollinatorPathway2021) and by reading more about the Town of Poughkeepsie’s Pollinator Pathway project.

Tree Campus USA

Vassar College, home to 230 tree species, has been a certified Tree Campus since 2012. As a Tree Campus, Vassar is dedicated to managing all campus trees, integrating the campus with the surrounding city to promote urban forests, and engaging students in campus and community forestry work. 

More information about Tree Campus USA can be found here.