The Queens Library Foundation announced this week that it is partnering with the Community Environmental Center (CEC) of Long Island City to retrofit five branches of the Queens Library and create green education programs for the community. The $250,000 project is funded by the Greening Western Queens Fund of North Star Fund and is set to begin by the end of the month.

queens public library, green libraries nyc, green libraries queens, queens public library retrofit, queens public library green retrofit, queens public library green education programs, green education programs nyc, community environmental center Queens Library serves more than 15 million visitors a year, meaning that the sustainable projects and green education programs, like recycling and hands-on gardening, will reach a lot of community members. The five Queens Library branches that will receive retrofits, which are also currently creating  sustainability programs, are the branches at Astoria, Broadway, Steinway (Astoria’s second branch), Sunnyside, and Woodside. The Queens Public Library has the highest usage in the country, with many different branches actively promoting youth and education enrichment programs for the community.

CEC was founded in 1994 by Richard Cherry to address the housing and energy efficiency needs of low- and middle-income communities. Since 1994, CEC has grown into the largest not-for-profit energy-conservation organization in New York State and holds the state’s largest contract for weatherization assistance services. CEC’s aim is to create a cost effective alternative to operating the libraries through energy retrofits. As a way to give back to the community, the funds will also promote environmentalism and sustainability through its green education programs.

“A library is the original ‘reuse’ center,” said Cherry, “so it is really the perfect go-to place for information about living green and using our natural resources efficiently. To start, CEC will perform energy audits in each library, and install energy-saving lighting and water-conservation measures. Public areas will receive low-VOC (volatile organic content) paint and carpeting, and we will clean heating and ventilating systems and make them more efficient. And CEC will help Queens Library educate its users about how to create a green environment inside and outside their homes.”

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