Rockland Youth and Professionals Come Together to Plan for Sustainable Communities in Rockland


How do we build economically and socially vibrant communities we where we will want to live and work? How can we plan for development that addresses the critical need to conserve water, save energy, and reduce the fossil fuel emissions that are contributing to climate change? How can I make a difference today and into the future?

These are the questions that 150 high school students and 50 participating local professionals will address when they gather for the Rockland P.L.U.S. 2019 culminating symposium at St. Thomas Aquinas College on Friday, March 29, 2019. Sharing their visions for the redevelopment of sites throughout the county, the students gather feedback from the volunteering professionals who are mentors and facilitators for the day. After these poster presentations, students work collaboratively in mixed-school groups to map out a redevelopment plan for another local site that is actively under consideration for redevelopment. This year’s site is the former Empire Chair Factory in the Village of Haverstraw.

Rockland P.L.U.S. is a unique and valuable hands-on program that applies school curriculum to real-world issues in our communities. Students are given a rare opportunity to gain perspective from peers from across the county and to gain a real sense of empowerment after working with local professionals. The mentors benefit from hearing the perspective and fresh ideas of our youth. The program opens the door to a wide range of exciting academic disciplines and professions.

There are 368 students from 10 high schools in Rockland participating in Rockland P.L.U.S. 2019:

Albertus Magnus, Clarkstown North, Hudson Valley P-TECH, North Rockland, Nyack, Pearl River, Ramapo, Spring Valley, Suffern, Tappan Zee. All 368 students participate in three classroom workshops where they explore the perspectives and needs of community members at different ages and stages of life. They then weigh and consider a variety of specific smart building and green infrastructure design features, while looking for ways to promote a balance of Social Connections, Economic Opportunity & Environmental Sensitivity (S.E.E.) – to see their community in a whole new way.

Rockland P.L.U.S. is a partnership of Keep Rockland Beautiful, Columbia University Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Rockland Conservation & Service Corps, Rockland Economic Development Corporation, and St. Thomas Aquinas College.

This program is made possible with funding from Old York Foundation, Peoples United Community Foundation, M&T Charitable Foundation, Orange & Rockland, Rockland Municipal Planning Federation, and Rockland County.

Please join us on March 29th to see students hard at work, as they prepare for leadership roles in our community. Attached is the day’s agenda and names of participating Mentors and Facilitators.

For more information on the local sites considered for redevelopment and RPLUS curriculum, visit:

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