Solar One, a non-profit organization in New York City affiliated with the Community Environmental Center, celebrated their successful fundraising and outreach programs this week at Sotheby’s on the Upper East Side. The Environmental News Network, a media partner of Solar One, was present for the event known as Revelry by the River. Members of the organization were honored for their tireless efforts, and funds were raised through a silent auction. Overall, the night was a smashing success for all, ensuring Solar One will be influential as New York City strives to become more sustainable.
The history of Solar One goes back to the 1960s. The local community centered around Stuyvesant Town wanted to create more open space on the East River, and Stuyvesant Cove Park was created off 20th Street and FDR Drive. The parkland was formerly industrial, known as Gastown in the 19th century due to the prevalence of manufactured gas plants. The park is now home to the city’s first standalone solar-powered building. From this point, Solar One has worked hard to create a greener NYC through education, outreach, and the arts.
The organization is affiliated with the Community Environmental Center (CEC), one of the largest non-profit organizations in New York State. The group began as an energy efficiency outfit, weatherizing buildings across the outer boroughs. They eventually spread into other areas such as green building, sustainable waste management, and renewable energy, and today employ over 100 people.
Once Stuyvesant Cove Park and the Solar One building were built, CEC decided to create a new organization to oversee running the project and working towards the building of Solar Two. In 2003, CEC Stuyveseant Cove, Inc. was born, whose name later changed to Solar One or simply S1. The organization is now led by executive director, Chris Collins
This week, Solar One celebrated its successes in spreading the message of sustainability throughout New York in an annual event called Revelry by the River. The honorees of the night were Gena Argento and Broadway Stages who were given the Environmental Stewardship Award, and Elettra Wiedemann who received the Young Environmentalist Award. Also present at the event was former honoree, Kick Kennedy, granddaughter of the late Senator Robert F. Kennedy and daughter of famed environmental activist Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
The future of the Solar One organization looks bright. Their mission of empowering people with the vision and resources to attain a more environmentally sustainable future is spreading through the five boroughs and beyond. Their education program engages residents of all ages. Their green arts program presents exciting series of cultural events while demonstrating the use of renewable energy in everyday life. Their outreach program builds cohesion around environmental issues, promoting healthier urban communities. Solar One will continue to advocate for environmental sustainability in individual lives, communities, cities, and around the world.