In March, the City Council approved New Rochelle’s first-ever Sustainability Plan, GreeNR — a twenty-year blueprint for economic and environmental initiatives intended to improve the vitality and quality of life in New Rochelle, while also saving money.

Last week, the City Administration and our Sustainability Coordinator, Deborah Newborn, presented a memorandum detailing an implementation strategy for GreeNR’s short-term recommendations. The staff’s implementation strategy prioritizes actions for 2011, 2012, and 2013, identifies primary departmental responsibility for each activity, and notes which initiatives would benefit from volunteer participation or public-private task forces.

In light of the immediate fiscal challenges confronting New Rochelle — and all cities — the short-term implementation strategy focuses heavily on measures that either require no additional costs or will achieve immediate savings. Other initiatives may depend on receiving outside grants, which New Rochelle has already been aggressively pursuing as a way to invest in our local infrastructure without further burdening local taxpayers.

Writing the Sustainability Plan was a challenge, and implementing its recommendations will be a challenge, too. But the effort will be well worth our time and energy, and will help New Rochelle better achieve a positive vision for the future.