Past Events



Recovering Community Equity: Understanding Poughkeepsie’s Tax Lien System and Opportunities for Land Banking

Mapping Police Violence: Samuel Sinyangwe


Hudson Valley Green Building Expo

League of Women Voters: Ulster County Redistricting Commssion Ballot Initiative Panel Discussion


NY Congressional District 19: Meet the Candidates

Hudson Rover Environmental Society Annual Meeting: Contaminants in the Hudson River and Watershed


4th Annual Wallkill River Summit

UlsterCorps Service Summit


Gary King Lecture: Voting Behavior and Punitive Policies: Ariel White


Our Drinking Water Challenges: Infrastructure, Local Water, and Protecting Open Space




Yes or No? A New York State Constitutional Convention


The Hunt For Balance: Deer Management and Ethics


UlsterCorps Service Summit

Women in Politics: A Conference Commemorating the Centennial of Woemn's Suffrage in New York State



National Park Service Centennial: Landscape Conservation in the Hudson Valley

Hudson Valley Green Building Expo


New York State Defenders Association Veterans Defense Program

UlsterCorps Service Summit


Hudson Valley Regional Council Stormwater Workshop

Agenda for A 2020 Vision for Public Education in Ulster County



Hudson Valley Green Building Expo


Benjamin Center Inauguration

Dams Restoration Seminar


Future of the Wallkill

UlsterCorps Service Summit



HV Estuary Program Dams Restoration Seminar


Hudson Valley Green Building Expo

League of Women Voters: Prop 1 Redistricting Debate

A New New York: The Constitutional Dimension (Baruch, SUNY Cortland, Rockefeller Institute of Government)

New York League of Conservation Voters 19th Congressional District Cadidate Forum on Sustainability


1664 New Netherlands Conference

New Paltz Zero Waste Plan Unveiled





June 13 - 14, 2013

EPA Region 9 Leadership Workshops for Local Water Systems

This workshop is designed to make local leaders more effective in both their professional and personal interactions so they can engage listeners, make sound decisions, and get the job done.

For more information and registration visit


2013 Hudson River Science Symposium: "The State of Hudson River Science"

NEW PALTZ – The Benjamin Center at SUNY New Paltz, the Hudson River Environmental Society, and the Hudson River Foundation will host a symposium to present the latest scientific understanding of the Hudson River and environs, discuss the drivers behind the science, identify future challenges, and provide an opportunity for scientists, resource managers, educators, students and the general public to share ideas. Invited speakers will address issues of long-term ecological change, ecosystem restoration, Hudson River fish, sediments, contaminants, and historical ecology and archaeology. A poster session on issues of importance to understanding the valley, coupled with a mixer and reception, will end the day.

Symposium presenters include Jeffrey Levinton of SUNY Stony Brook, David Strayer, Stuart Findlay, and Emma Rosi-Marshall of the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, William Solecki of the CUNY Institute for Urban Systems, Karin Lindberg of the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, David Ralston of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, April Beisaw of Vassar College, and Dennis Suszowski of the Hudson River Foundation.


March 1, 2013 

Mid Hudson Agriculture: Growing our Economy and our Communities

SUNY New Paltz Student Union Multi-Purpose Room. 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Agriculture: Where Will the Hudson Valley Be in Ten Years?
  • Regional Agriculture and Our Schools
  • Reaching the Regional
  • MarketSuccess Stories: Farm Food for Strengthened Families and Communities
  • Our Brand for 25,000,000 Customers in the Tri-State area


July 30, 2012

Mid Hudson Sustainability Meeting

The Mid-Hudson Regional Sustainability Plan, as part of the Cleaner, Greener, Communities Program, looks to utilize the combined knowledge of stakeholders in the seven counties of the Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council Region to create a plan that will lead to a more sustainable region. At this meeting, leaders of the project will brief you on this innovative initiative.


June 15, 2012

Is There a Hudson Valley Regional Agenda?

A primary purpose of the State University of New York at New Paltz Benjamin Center is to provide a neutral venue for the discussion of often controversial matters of broad interest and importance to the Hudson Valley. This conference will engage a broad range of groups and individuals in the valley, with a variety of strongly held interests and priorities, to consider whether this dynamic region, like other key regions in the state, can annually generate and advance a shared regional agenda for legislative action by state government.  We seek to create a shared understanding of the challenges and opportunities confronting us as we develop a regional agenda. We aspire to foster a dialogue among the many diverse partners whose engagement can help us move forward in a positive direction for the benefit of the entire region.

Jan. 30, 2012

Race to the Top: Costs and Consequences

Presentation by Ken Mitchell, District Superintendent of the South Orangetown School District in Rockland County, author of the Benjamin Center Discussion Brief, "Federal Mandates on Local Education: Costs and Consequences – Yes, it's a Race, but is it in the Right Direction?"

"New York's hard won inclusion in the federal Race to the Top (RTTT) initiative has already dramatically changed both how we educate our children and how we fund public K-12 education in our state."

Sept. 8, 2011

Ten Years On…Reflections on 9/11.

SUNY New Paltz Honors Center. 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m

This panel will be moderated by the Benjamin Center Director Gerald Benjamin. Panelists include Lewis Brownstein, professor of political science, presenting “Rethinking American Security in the Aftermath of 9/11;” Nancy Kassop, professor of political science, presenting “Law vs. Politics in the Response to 9/11: One at the Expense of the Other?;” Jerry Persaud, assistant professor of communication and media, presenting "Pedagogy vs. Patriotism: A Decade of Teaching and Learning about 9/11;” and Hamilton Stapell, assistant professor of history, presenting "9/11 and Historical Memory."


Sept. 21, 2011

The Fifth Annual Dennis O’Keefe Memorial Lecture: “College and Community in New Paltz and America”.

SUNY New Paltz CSB Auditorium, 5:00 p.m.

Sponsored by the Friends of Sojourner Truth Library

This lecture will be delivered by the Benjamin Center Director Gerald Benjamin, “We are predisposed to think of “the college” and “the community” as apart from each other, not a part of each other. We speak of the college as a separate community, the college community, that is bounded and has membership,” Benjamin said. “We know that town/gown tensions are pandemic, and certainly present in New Paltz. And we also make commitments to ‘serving the (outside) community,’ and encouraging our students to do so. Yet are we not one community, are we not really and fundamentally all in this together, in this place, at this time? And wouldn’t we benefit enormously from consciously embracing this unity? Certainly, Dennis O’Keefe’s life was a testament to this idea."


October 2011

One Book One New Paltz

This shared reading experience collaboration between One Book One New Paltz and the SUNY New Paltz Common Summer Reader features two books by Sherman Alexie: War Dances (for adults) and The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian (for both adult and young adult readers). Events will be held throughout the month of October. Visit the website for the full calendar.


Oct. 3, 2011

The Tax Cap Challenge, SUNY New Paltz Student Union Building, 8:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

The 2011 Fall Conference on Local Government, presented with Hudson Valley Pattern for Progress Featured speaker: Tom Suozzi, former Nassau County Executive and chairman of the NYS Commission on Property Tax Relief. Discounted reservations are offered to local government officials and employees. Click here for more on sponsorship and registration.


Nov. 16, 2011

Solid Waste Management Past and Future

SUNY New Paltz Student Union Building, 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Presented with the Mid-Hudson Region League of Women Voters

20 years ago the New York State Legislature created Resource Recovery Agencies at the County level in Dutchess and Ulster County. The agencies were responsible for closing non-compliant local landfills, establishing recycling facilities, creating DEC compliant landfills and building waste to energy plants.

    • Today county tax payers are obligated to keep the Resource Recovery Agencies financially afloat.
      • Local solid waste management plans are expiring and new ones are due to be submitted to New York State DEC.
        • Much of our waste is being trucked vast distances to enormous landfills.
          • Recycling is not enforced and very little progress has been made in composting food waste and other organic materials.
            • The total amount of solid waste generated has increased enough to offset any reduction created by recycling.


            May 19, 2011

            The President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, William Dudley, will speak on campus. The presentation will be in the Student Union Multi-Purpose Room and will be followed by a Q&A session. The fee for admission and breakfast is $15 per person. A continental breakfast will be served between 8:00 and 8:30 a.m. For registration and information, call the Office of Regional Education at 845-257-2900.


            April 25, 2011

            An Evening With The Fellows: Financing Smart & Sustainable Place-Making.

            Three Fellows of the American Institute of Certified Planners – recognized nationally by their peers for excellence and leadership in community planning – will explore innovative zoning and fiscal policies, touching on the State Smart Growth Public Infrastructure Policy Act and Transit-Oriented Development. Hosted by the Lower Hudson Valley West Section of the New York Metro Chapter of the American Planning Association in conjunction with the Benjamin Center at SUNY New Paltz. $12


            April 26, 2011

            Second Annual Service Summit.

            8:30-12:00 pm held at the Terrace, SUNY New Paltz: Sponsored by: UlsterCorps and the Benjamin Center


            March 31, 2011

            "An Evening with the Fellows: financing Smart and Sustainable Place-making"

            7:30-9:00 pm The Terrace, SUNY New Paltz.


            March 24, 2011

            "Financing Education through Income Taxes?" 

            With Assemblyman Kevin Cahill and a panel including:

            • Frank Mauro, Executive Director of the Fiscal Policy Institute;
            • Martin Reid, Deputy Director of Government Relations at the New York State School Boards Association, and
            • Gerald Benjamin, Director of CRREO @ SUNY New Paltz.

            7:00-9:00pm at the New Paltz High School on 130 Putt Corners Road. Sponsored by: New Paltz Central School District Board Legislative Action Committee, the SUNY New Paltz School of Education & the Benjamin Center


            March 23, 2011

            Judicial Conference at SUNY New Paltz:  "Justice and Our Justice Courts in Ulster County"

            8:00-12:30 SUB room 62/63


            January 24, 2011 

            "Solar Energy Conference"

            9:00-3:00pm held at the Student Union Building, SUNY New Paltz  

            Sponsored by: The Solar Energy Consortium (TSEC) and the Benjamin Center


            April 13, 2010

            "SUNY Undergraduates Shaping New York's Future: A Showcase of Scholarly Posters at the Capitol"

            The Benjamin Center's Regional Well-Being students will be presenting their research, "Biological Assessment for Water Quality in Plattekill Brook, NY".


            April 21, 2010

            Intermunicipal Watershed Planning Workshop sponsored with the Hudson River Watershed Alliance and the Hudson River Estuary Program.

            SUB Multi-Purpose Room, 9pm to 4pm.


            March 20, 2010

            World History Institute Workshop

            8:00am to 1:00 pm HUM 118


            March 25, 2010 

            Global Water Crisis

            6:30pm to 8:30pm CSB (With World Affairs Council)


            March 25-26, 2010 

            "Cognitive Processing Therapy: Two Day Training for Treating PTSD"


            Feb. 5, 2010

            Solar Farmers’ Workshop 

            Co-sponsor with TSEC

            The Terrace at SUNY New Paltz, 2pm to 6pm.


            Feb. 24, 2010

            Intermunicipal Watershed Planning Workshop sponsored with the Hudson River Watershed Alliance and the Hudson River Estuary Program.

            SUB Rooms 401/405 or 402/408, 9pm to 4pm.


            POSTPONED UNTIL MARCH 13, 2010: February 27

            "Keeping PACE with Energy Options Energy Conservation, Alternative Energy Initiatives, and Funding Strategies for Hudson Valley Municipalities

            Cosponsored with the League of Women Voters of Mid-Hudson Region, Hudson River Estuary Training Program, Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, Hudson Valley Smart Growth Alliance, Sustainable Hudson Valley Town of New Paltz, New Paltz GreenWorks, Ulster County Association of Town Supervisors and Mayors.

            LC 102, from 9:30am to 1:00pm.


            November 2009 

            One Book One New Paltz


            October 2009

            Our yearly joint conference on local government in partnership with Pattern for Progress.


            Sept. 25-26, 2009

            The Hudson Conference

            A celebration to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson's legendary voyage. (Follow Up On Facebook).


            June 10, 11, 12, 2009

            Stream Monitoring Workshop

            Participants will learn a powerful way to measure water quality in the local and regional environment, as a starting point for protecting and restoring streams, rivers, lakes and watersheds.
            » View workshop webpage


            May 30, 2009

            Shakespeare conference for teachers in the region
            » More details on the English Department blog


            April 16, 2009

            "The Hudson: America’s River" Book reading and signing, by local author Frances F. Dunwell.
            » FrancesDunwell*


            April 28, 2009

            Innovative Responses to the Current Funding Crisis in the Arts

            Keynote speaker: Heather Hitchens, New York State council of the Arts.
            » View event flyer * » View event brochure *


            November 2008

            One Book One New Paltz


            Nov. 28, 2007

            NYS Commission on Local Government Economy and Competitiveness Public Hearing


            Dec. 2, 2008

            Climate change and world security is topic of presentation


            Oct. 8, 2008

            Second Annual Fall Conference on Local Government – Government on the Energy Gridiron. Presented by Pattern for Progress, SUNY New Paltz


            Oct. 5, 2007

            Improving Government Efficiency, Accessing New York State's Shared Municipal Services Incentive Program



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            Save the Date: Oct. 12!

            Marking 100 years of the National Park Service, this day-long conference will follow the narrative thread connecting conservation efforts from the Hudson River School painters through to strategies to protect the Hudson River Valley landscape for the next 100 years.

            Morning plenary sessions will include the history of conservation in the Hudson River Valley and contemporary strategies for landscape conservation in the valley and beyond. The luncheon keynote will provide inspiring examples of conservation efforts and foreshadow future possibilities and techniques for conservation. The afternoon will include an engaging stakeholder process which will cull reaction and capture shared values related to regional land preservation in response to the presentation of preliminary findings of a study currently being conducted by the Regional Plan Association and The Benjamin Center at SUNY New Paltz as part of RPA’s forthcoming fourth regional plan.

            The conference is being presented by the Hudson River Valley Greenway, the Regional Plan Association, The Benjamin Center at SUNY New Paltz, and the National Park Service, in partnership with various state, regional and local agencies, land trusts, and non-profits. The event is hosted by the National Park Service and the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum.