Keene Sustainable Energy Plan

The City of Keene launched a new website on Keene’s Sustainable Energy Planning process. The website includes a roadmap of pathways, strategies, and tools to achieve Keene’s energy goals, and you can listen to stories to learn more about tools like Community Power.

The Keene Energy and Climate Committee and City staff are looking for your ideas and feedback. Please, take the survey on how Keene should define renewable energy as the City develops an energy plan, and tell them what you think of the draft vision statement for the planning process. You can visit to learn more.

Organizations and Programs Helping Build the Local Cycling Community


Groups across the Monadnock Region and the State are helping build the local cycling community, through offering cycling-related programming, developing safe cycling infrastructure, advocating for cyclist needs, and more.

Local Groups

The Monadnock Alliance for Sustainable Transportation (MAST) is a coalition of organizational and individual members focused on sustainable transportation solutions in the Monadnock Region of New Hampshire.  MAST recognizes the broad impacts that our transportation system has on individuals and communities – everything from jobs to cost of living, health and beyond.

The City of Keene Bicycle and Pedestrian Pathway Advisory Committee (BPPAC) promotes communication and exchange of ideas and concerns among users of the City’s bicycle/pedestrian facilities and local officials; makes reports and recommendations to the city council and city staff with respect to the development and management of bicycle/pedestrian facilities; serves as an advocate for the interest in bicycle/pedestrian infrastructure; assists with publicity for the bicycle/pedestrian system; and more. The BPPAC meets the second Wednesday of every month. Meetings are open to the public.

Pathways for Keene

Pathways for Keene, Inc. (PFK) is a non-profit, 501 c (3), group of volunteers promoting the development, maintenance and enhancement of active transportation in the City of Keene, NH.

Monadnock Cycling Club

The mission of the Monadnock Cycling Club is to “promote, organize, educate, and facilitate safe and enjoyable bicycling in the Monadnock Region with representation of all interests in the cycling community.” Check the MCC Facebook page for the status of group rides. You can become a member of MCC on the group’s BikeReg page.

New England Mountain Bike Association, Brattleboro-Keene Chapter (BK NEMBA)

Brattleboro-Keene NEMBA was founded in 2009 as a chapter of the New England Mountain Bike Association in order to better advocate for improved access to trail networks in the region. BK-NEMBA currently has 117 members.  The New England Mountain Bike Association (NEMBA) has 27 chapters and more than 5,000 members throughout New England. Its mission is to promote responsible mountain biking and to protect and preserve New England trails and open spaces.  Every year, NEMBA leads about a thousand recreational rides, runs hundreds of trail care events, and hosts about a dozen mountain bike festivals across New England.

BK-NEMBA has a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the City of Keene to maintain trails throughout City parks, and also steward other trails in the Keene and Brattleboro area, including Stonewall Farm, Living Memorial Park in Brattleboro, and trails on other private lands. Additional information can be found at

Keene Bike Park

The Keene Bike Park is a joint project of Brattleboro-Keene NEMBA and the City of Keene to build a fun, family-oriented park where people of all ages can learn, play, and enjoy bike-related activities. In 2020 BK-NEMBA will be designing, building, and donating a bike park to the City of Keene. This bike park will provide a safe, fun, and challenging place for bike riders of all ages to learn and develop their mountain biking skills. The Bike Park is still under construction and seeking donations.

Critical Mass Keene

A group bike ride to celebrate and promote cycling in Keene, NH.  Rides like this are held monthly in cities throughout the U.S. and around the world. Although group rides aren’t currently scheduled, you can sign up to receive updates about future rides.

Monadnock Rail Trail Collaborative

An informal group made up of representatives of local municipalities, non-profits and volunteers that recognize the value in collaborating on shared goals and interests for improving regional rail trails. The objective is to restore and maintain the Cheshire, Ashuelot, and Fort Hill Rail Trails throughout the Monadnock Region.

Green Bikes at Keene State College

Green Bikes at Keene State College provides bicycle transportation and education to the Keene area community, operates a community bike repair shop, a bicycle lending program, and education programs on maintenance, repairs, and safety.

BF Community Bike Project

A non-profit community bike center in Bellows Falls, VT that provides community access to reclaimed bicycles and bike repair skills, encouraging safe bicycling as a means of affordable transportation, self-sufficiency, and overall wellness.

Cycling without Age, Monadnock Chapter 

Would you like to see a Cycling Without Age chapter in the Monadnock Region? E-mail Todd Horner at if you’re interested in discussing and learning more.

Statewide Groups

Bike Walk Alliance NH

Bike-Walk Alliance of NH advocates for policies, laws and conditions that increase safety and accessibility for bicyclists and pedestrians. It also works to educate all road users about the responsible use of New Hampshire’s roadways, sidewalks, bike paths and rail trails. One of their goals is to become the statewide voice of bicyclists and pedestrians as well as serve as a clearinghouse for information and resources about biking and walking in the Granite State.

NH Rail Trails Coalition

A statewide group with a mission “to promote the development, maintenance and active use of trails constructed on New Hampshire’s railroad corridors.”

Commute Smart NH

CommuteSmart NH is dedicated to encouraging and assisting people to choose sustainable transportation options in place of driving alone. Partners actively support the development and provision of strategies and policies to reduce travel demand across the state including walking, bicycling, carpooling, telecommuting, and using public transportation. CommuteSmart NH is a partnership between the state’s regional planning commissions, state agencies, and various non-profit transportation-oriented programs, working in collaboration with transit providers and businesses.

Join the (Energy) Conversation

From the City of Keene Website

Attend a small group discussion led by a volunteer facilitator to learn about the City’s 100% renewable energy goals and share your thoughts, concerns, and ideas related to Keene’s energy future.  

The Keene City Council recently made a commitment that all electricity consumed in the City will come from renewable energy sources by the year 2030 and that 100% of all energy used for transportation, heating, and cooling will come from renewable energy sources by the year 2050 (Resolution R-2018-36).  This fall and winter, volunteers from the community will facilitate a series of small group discussions called “Community Energy Conversations” to provide individuals with an opportunity to learn more about the renewable energy goals, express concerns and hopes, and share ideas.

Each community energy conversation will be limited to ~10 people in order to ensure everyone in the group will get an opportunity to fully participate in the discussion. The discussions will be facilitated by volunteers, who will take notes and share feedback with City staff. Feedback from Keene citizens and others will be used to inform the vision, goals, and strategies of a community energy plan.

We want to hear from you! Please consider getting involved by registering for one of the meetings listed below.

 Tuesday, January 7th, 11 am – 12:30 pm

Tuesday, January 14, 7:00-8:30 pm

Wednesday, January 22, 6:30-8:00 pm

Friday, January 24th, 11 am – 12:30 pm

To learn more about the energy plan project or to get involved further, please contact Mari Brunner, staff liaison to the Energy and Climate Committee at (603) 352-5440 /

A Decade of Plaid Friday Celebrations in the Monadnock Region

Yarden of Eatin'

For the tenth year, independent businesses and community members in the Monadnock Region will celebrate Plaid Friday on the day after Thanksgiving. This year’s event falls on Friday, November 29, 2019.

Individuals will wear plaid on Plaid Friday to show support for the local economy and their commitment to spending more of their dollars at locally owned businesses during the holiday season. Last year, nearly 400 community members pledged to participate in Plaid Friday.

To amplify this year’s event, Savings Bank of Walpole will host a Plaid Friday Week from Friday, November 29 to Tuesday, December 3.  The bank will set up information tables at each of their branches with Plaid Friday swag to inspire more people to participate in this year’s event.  Community members are encouraged to wear plaid throughout this week and stop by the bank’s Marlboro Street branch to take a selfie in front of the bank’s…

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City of Keene Highlights Efforts to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions & Increase Energy Savings during NH Energy Week

From the City of Keene Planning Department

During NH’s 2018 Energy Week, March 12 – 16th, the City of Keene will present both the results of its 20-year greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction initiative as well as provide an update on the substantial cost avoidance gains resulting from its 5-year Energy Services Contract with Honeywell Energy Solutions.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Initiative

According to Keene’s 2015 Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory Report, the City has achieved a 25% reduction in municipal GHG emissions from 1995 to 2015 as a result of the City’s ongoing energy efficiency, renewable energy and energy optimization projects. This number exceeds the original GHG reduction target of 20% set in 2004 as part of its Climate Action Plan. Keene’s landfill gas to energy system approved by City Council and installed in 1994 pushes this reduction figure even higher.  The system captures landfill gas, which is about 50% methane, and converts it to usable energy.  The methane gas reductions are particularly important due to the fact that methane is 28 times more powerful than carbon dioxide (CO2), according to the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report.

“Keene was the first municipality in New Hampshire to join the Cities for Climate Protection campaign in 2000,” said Rhett Lamb, the City’s Planning Director and Assistant City Manager.  “Our goal has been to protect Keene’s quality of life and economic vitality and become a more sustainable city.  These same projects have reduced energy costs and strengthened Keene’s economic resilience in the face of a changing climate.”

At the broader community level, nearly 50% of Keene’s GHG emissions are on-road fuel use. Just over ¼ (28%) are from commercial and industrial uses followed very closely by 25% emissions from residential energy use.  A tiny fraction, 3% of Keene’s community GHG emissions are from solid waste generation and transportation.

Notable past projects which have contributed to the reduction in GHG emissions include the City’s Landfill Gas Capture (LFG) system, the City’s recycling program, hydroelectric turbines at the Water Treatment Plant, a geothermal HVAC system at the Public Works Department, the use of biodiesel for the City vehicle fleet and multiple energy efficiency projects.  Current projects include negotiations for a 1.2 megawatt solar array on the City’s municipal complex roof anticipated to reduce 1.8 million pounds of GHG emissions annually.  Additionally, a new 100% post-consumer vegetable oil (biodiesel) generator will begin generating 250 kW to power the City’s recycling center and transfer station this spring.

A summary document of the Greenhouse Gas Emissions 1995-2015 Report will be made available at the March 15th City Council presentation.  The report will be available for viewing and download at the City’s website. Keene’s Cities for Climate Protection Committee anticipates making their recommendations for a new GHG reduction target and additional renewable energy, energy efficiency and energy conservation initiatives to City Council later this spring.

Energy Services Contract Results

Also at this meeting, Honeywell Energy Solutions will update City Councilors on the cumulative cost avoidance gains from the City’s 5-year Energy Services Contract. It is anticipated that the lighting efficiency improvements, building envelope upgrades, energy management system and heating plant improvements along with the existing solar PV at City Hall will show that 683 tons of CO2 were saved per year with a total cost avoidance of $1,484,063.

Meeting Details
The Thursday, March 15, 2018 Keene City Council meeting will be held at 7 PM in Council Chambers on the 2nd floor of Keene City Hall at 3 Washington Street, Keene NH.

Additional Information
For more information on the City’s Energy and Climate Change Program, please visit the Cities for Climate Protection Committee webpage.

To learn more information about NH Energy Week, including the Monadnock Region Energy Forum scheduled for Monday, 4:30 – 6:30 PM, March 12th at Scores Sports Bar &  Grille, please visit

Button Up Workshop

Button Up New Hampshire, the popular home energy savings workshop series, is coming to Keene, NH. The City of Keene’s Cities for Climate Protection Committee, the Monadnock Progressive Alliance’s Climate Action Team, the Monadnock Sustainability Network and Southwest Community Services are hosting this free workshop for residents.  The workshop will take place on Saturday October 7th at the Stone Arch Village Senior Housing Community Room at 835 Court Street in Keene, NH. Doors open at 9:30am with the presentation from 10:00am-11:30am. The workshops are being sponsored by NHSaves and coordinated by the Plymouth Area Renewable Energy Initiative (PAREI). To check out the workshop flyer, click here.

Keene-ButtonUp-2017 flyer

RootSkills Conference: Coming to NH in November

The RootSkills Conference is an annual conference hosted by the New England Grassroots Environment Fund. The RootSkills Conference brings together 300+ students, community organizers, nonprofits, and sustainable businesses who are working to address social justice challenges and improve community health, community resilience, and the environment in New England. Now more than ever, it is critical that organizers work together to build a shared vision for a more just and sustainable region!

Learn more about this year’s RootSkills Conference

November 30 , 2017 – December 2, 2017


From Hurricane to Climate Change Film Showing: SWRPC Winter Commission Meeting

The Southwest Region Planning Commission Winter Commission Meeting is scheduled for February 28, 2017. The meeting will feature the film From Hurricane to Climate Change and a panel discussion. For more information, please view SWRPC’s event flyer.

From Hurricane to Climate Change

Staff from Franklin Pierce University’s Monadnock Institute of Nature, Place  and Culture will  present a showing of their recently released film entitled From Hurricane to Climate Change.

The film is a collaborative effort between the University Institute, area residents, officials, business owners and nonprofit organizations, as well as regional and national subject experts and documents how the greater Monadnock region is addressing the challenges of an increasingly unstable climate.

The film opens with rare  footage of the Hurricane of 1938 impacting New England and communities such as Peterborough, and traces the increase in extreme precipitation events like the Alstead flood of 2005.  A focus of the film is the City of Keene, which has  experienced  repeated flooding events and has been judged  a “shining example of climate preparedness and adaptation.”

There will be a panel discussion following the film as well as a question and answer period.

Weathering Change Webinar: Incorporating Climate Solutions into Day to Day Adaptation

Upcoming Webinar – Thursday, February 9, 2017 – 12:00 PM – 1:15 PM EST
Incorporating Climate Solutions into Day to Day Adaptation

Participants in this webinar will learn how to approach development, financing and implementation of climate adaptation strategies across all municipal planning activities.

This webinar will cover:

  • How to incorporate adaptation thinking into day-to-day municipal processes
  • How to incorporate climate preparedness strategies into a comprehensive Master Plan
  • How to develop measurable benchmarks for assessing progress towards stated climate adaptation and mitigation objectives



Future of Farming in a Changing World Conference

Yarden of Eatin'

Save the Date:
March 25, 2017 at the Monadnock Center for History and Culture in Peterborough

The Cornucopia Project will host the Future of Farming in a Changing World Conference to discuss how to build a sustainable and community-based food system, look at land availability, and how climate change will impact farming practices, with a focus on young farmers.

The keynote speaker is Philip Ackerman-Leist, professor, farmer and author of Rebuilding the Foodshed: How to Create Local, Sustainable, and Secure Food Systems.  For more information, contact Joyce at


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