Sustainable Tompkins is delighted to introduce Marisa Lansing, our new part-time program assistant for our Finger Lakes Climate Fund. Marisa worked for ST over the summer as one of our Clean Energy interns partially supported by NYSERDA, and devoted her time to promoting the Climate Fund and assisting videographers documenting our carbon offset program. 

In her new role as Climate Fund Coordinator, Marisa will be encouraging everyone to offset their carbon emissions, conducting outreach to inform LMI (lower to moderate-income) residents about the benefits of switching to heat pumps, and maintaining our social media accounts. She will be working with Gay in our partnership with HeatSmart Tompkins using funding from a 2-year NYSERDA grant to combine our carbon offset grants with new additional incentives for lower-income families to switch to heat pumps for heating, cooling, and hot water. These incentives will be offered in Tompkins and Chemung counties, as well as the adjacent towns of the surrounding counties. We’re also partnering with CNY HeatSmart on a similar program in Cayuga, Cortland, Onondaga and Madison Counties.

As a co-founder of the Ithaca Sunrise Hub, Marisa has been extremely busy in our local climate action movement already. Last winter, ST awarded a mini-grant to their group to get started and we witnessed the stellar organizing work of their chapter which eventually led to passage by the City Council of a Green New Deal for Ithaca.  Sunrise Ithaca is now deeply embedded in numerous local partnerships to help see through the implementation of the Green New Deal with support from the Park Foundation.

We’re proud to provide the opportunity for Marisa to deepen her work on the climate front and be part of the movement for climate resilience and energy democracy. As we said in our letter of support for her Cornell Civic Fellowship award, it’s essential that young people organize themselves in ways and venues that make sense to them and empower their leadership for the future. Young people hunger for a chance to feel useful in addressing the climate emergency, and Marisa is helping them find their way.

Check out our video of Marisa describing her journey into taking climate action and how her work with our Climate Fund is helping to bring climate resilience to all income levels in our communities.