Philipstown Climate Stories

Personal stories from friends and neighbors about how climate change is affecting their lives and what's at stake in Philipstown as climate change continues to accelerate. Stories were collected in collaboration with the Climate Stories Project.  

Each climate story is told within the framework of five prompts:

  1. Who are you, and where do you live? What in your local environment or community is special to you?

  2. Describe the moment when you realized that climate change was affecting your life. How did you feel? What specific changes have you seen or experienced in the places that are special to you?

  3. Describe your emotional responses to climate change as you consider yourself, family and community.

  4. How do you imagine the future? What advice would you give to the world about climate change?

  5. What changes are you making in your own life and/or in your community to solve climate change?

We'd love to add your climate story to our collection! Please record your climate story--audio, video or in writing--and submit it to Thank you for your contribution.


Erin detrick, cold spring | February 24, 2019

Erin is the founder and operator of Signal Fire Bread, baking bread with stone-ground flour in a wood-fired oven. Cold Spring drew her in with its river, open space and the multitude of hiking trails and she’s appreciative of all the community support she’s received for her and her business. Like Josh (see his story below), experiencing Superstorm Sandy in New York City in 2012 turned climate change and its impacts from an abstract concept to a “terrifying” reality for Erin. As a baker focused on sustainability and climate adaptation, Erin tracks how a changing climate is changing the one-thriving agricultural region of New York State and the Northeast, specifically how it impacts the growth of wheat and other grains that go into her bread. Erin recorded her Climate Story interview-style with Task Force member Erik Brown.

Dave Llewellyn, Nelsonville | February 23, 2019

Dave Llewellyn is a veteran farmer at Cold Srping’s Glynwood Farm, a functioning farm that also provides education about sustainable and climate-adapted farming practices to farmers in the Hudson Valley. Dave largely views climate though an agricultural lens and finds climate change-triggered increases in extreme weather events—particularly heavy rainfall—to be troubling for the future of sustainable agriculture in the Hudson Valley and beyond. He encourages government policies and consumer practices that support sustainable, adaptable food production as important steps toward climate adaptation. Dave is a member of the Climate Smart Task Force; you can read his full Climate Story here.

Josh Garrett, Cold Spring | January 12, 2019

Like many others, the rich ecosystem, hundreds of acres of nature preserves and countless miles of hiking trails are what make Philipstown special to Josh. While living in New York City in 2012, Josh experienced Superstorm Sandy and the destruction it brought to the city, which caused him to realize that climate change was no longer a “threat” but a phenomenon that was changing the world and his way of life right now. In the following years, Josh became more devoted to helping his family and community prepare for the inevitable future impacts of climate change while also making small but meaningful changes in his life to help reduce his contributions to the GHG emissions that continue to intensify climate change and its impacts. Josh is a Philipstown Climate Smart Task Force member.

roberto muller, Cold SPring | September 25th, 2018

Roberto grew up in Cold Spring and works for the Town of Philipstown as the Coordinator of Climate Smart Philipstown. He is concerned about the prospect of climate change making our planet a more difficult place to live, especially for those who live in or on the edge of poverty and / or in regions of the world that are most at risk to extreme storms, drought, wildfires, flooding and food shortages. He believes that we will get our greenhouse gas emissions under control, but is concerned that if we do not do so urgently, many people will suffer unnecessarily. Luckily, the solutions to reducing many of our emissions are already available, such as changing our eating habits, increasing the energy efficiency of our buildings, and transitioning to electric vehicles for commuting and short-distance driving. He encourages all visitors to this website to explore the many resources available, and if you can’t find what you’re looking for, please contact us at

Gretchen dykstra, cold spring | September 20, 2018

A 40-year resident of Philipstown, Gretchen is a firm believer in the axiom that reminds us to “think globally, act locally.” A humanitarian trip to poverty-stricken areas of the Indian Sub-Continent in 2016 snapped the impacts of climate change into focus for Gretchen, who came away from the experience with a newfound appreciation of the importance of preparing for a climate-changed world (an approach known as “climate adaptation”). Gretchen’s full climate story is available here.

Carolyn Llewellyn, COLD spring | september 19, 2018

Carolyn’s realization that climate change was altering her life came when she was working as a sugar farmer in 2004 and extreme and erratic weather that summer profoundly disrupted her ability to producer her crop. She cherishes the wildlife and forests of the Hudson Valley feels deep concern for her children’s future in a climate-changed world. Her roots in agriculture make her keenly aware of the climate impacts of our food system and her current profession as an outdoor educator make her determined to spread the word about climate action. Carolyn’s full climate story is available here.

Ethan timm, cold spring | September 18, 2018

For Ethan, the Hudson River, the surrounding highlands and the diverse bird species he encounters every day are highlights of living in Philipstown. Ethan’s “a ha” moment on climate change came while he was reading The Long Emergency and watching the catastrophe of Hurricane Katrina unfold in real time. Since then, he’s come into an optimistic point of view of the climate challenge and has some advice for the world: “embrace non-state solutions to climate change…including local food networks, walkable communities and non-digital social networks.” Ethan is a member of the Climate Smart Task Force.

Erik brown, cold spring | August 16, 2018

After becoming aware of human-driven climatic changes in his late teens, Erik found himself motivated to learn more about climate change and sustainability. At the same time, Erik was--and still is--coping with feeling of helplessness in the face of such a massive problem. Erik has seen manifestations of climate change in Philipstown and his home town of Charleston, South Carolina and is taking action in his personal life by reducing water usages and growing more of his own food. His full climate story is available here. Erik is a Climate Smart Task Force member.

melinda wenner moyer, cold spring | August 16, 2018

Like so many Philipstown residents, Melinda and her family moved to the area in large part to enjoy the multitude of natural beauty and green space. During her time in Philipstown, Melinda has noticed more intense, more frequent winter storms and more prevalent tick populations--two trends which can be linked to a changing climate. As she eloquently puts it, "Climate change has stolen my time and money as I work ever harder to keep my family safe from these blood-sucking parasites [ticks]." Melinda's full climate story is available here.

Zoe Tcholak-Antitch, Cold spring | August 10, 2018

Zoe is a professional climate activist, working with Mission 2020 to “drive urgent action to limit the effects of climate change” around the world. Her journey to climate activism as a cause and a profession began during a trip abroad that taught her about the deep interconnections between nature and human activity, especially agriculture. Zoe loves the abundance of nature Philipstown provides and personally felt the local impacts of climate change during a recent string of extreme weather events that disrupted her life as a working mother by causing an extraordinary number of school days cancelled by snow. Zoe invites her neighbors to check out this comprehensive (and growing) list of reasons to be optimistic about climate action. Zoe’s full climate story is available here.

peter callAway, cold spring | August 3, 2018

Peter appreciates the natural beauty of Philipstown, and especially enjoys the Hudson River in winter. Locally, he's seen changes in which plant and bird species appear in the community as effect of climate change. Peter is a member of the Climate Smart Task Force.