The Environmental Clearinghouse, INC. (ECOS) Records, 1971-2004

Descriptive Identification

Unit ID
apap180
Repository
M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections & Archives
Extent
3.66 cubic ft.
creator
Environmental Clearinghouse of Schenectady
Location
The materials are located on site in the department.
Language
English
Abstract
The Environmental Clearinghouse, Inc. also known as ECOS, is a regional environmental organization founded in Schenectady, New York in October 1971 by members of the Junior League of Schenectady, Inc. and supported since 1974 by membership contributions, donations, and volunteers.

Administrative Information

Processing Information

Processed in 2006 by Tim Bridgman and Kayla Misner.

Access

Access to these records is unrestricted.

Copyright

The researcher assumes full responsibility for conforming with the laws of copyright. Whenever possible, the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives will provide information about copyright owners and other restrictions, but the legal determination ultimately rests with the researcher. Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be discussed with the Head of Special Collections and Archives.

Acquisition Information

All items in this manuscript group were donated to the University Libraries, M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, by Environmental Clearinghouse, Inc. in August 2004.

Access

Access to this record group is unrestricted.

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Identification of specific item, series, box, folder, Environmental Clearinghouse, INC. (ECOS), 1971-2004. M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University at Albany, State University of New York (hereafter referred to as the ECOS Records).

Biographical History

The Environmental Clearinghouse, Inc. also known as ECOS, is a regional environmental organization founded in Schenectady, New York in October 1971 by members of the Junior League of Schenectady, Inc. and supported since 1974 by membership contributions, donations, and volunteers. ECOS mission has been to provide environmental information and education opportunities that enhance the appreciation of the natural world, to organize a community of citizens who are aware and knowledgeable about environmental issues, and to advocate for informed action so as to preserve the areas natural resources. From its inception, ECOS has concentrated its efforts on Schenectady County while cooperating closely with other environmental groups inside and outside New York State such as the Environmental Clearing House of Buffalo on which the organization seems to have been modeled.

Based upon the records in this collection, an environmental clearinghouse was first thought of by members of the Junior League of Schenectady when they were presenting an Environmental Forum a one-day seminar on environmental concerns. The group, spearheaded by Mrs. Richard Lange, then presented a proposal to the Community Research Committee of the Junior League. The latter accepted the proposal by the membership in October of 1971. An Advisory Committee was then formed made up of eight league members, a representative from American Association of University Women (AAUW), one from League of University Women (LUW), a lawyer, a local assemblyperson, and three people from General Electric. The committees first meeting was held on November 1, 1971.

Helped by a Junior League grant in the amount of $15,700 to be dispersed over a three-year period, the committee began the search for an office, office equipment, hired a part-time administrator, initiated a monthly newsletter, and recruited volunteers. The First Reformed Church offered a room in the Stockade section of Schenectady for which the fledgling ECOS paid custodial services and utilities. A part-time director was hired to work four hours each weekday for nine months of the year. The committee then submitted the name of the organization (ECOS Environmental Clearinghouse of Schenectady) to the New York State Attorney General accompanied by a request to be incorporated under state laws. Once the latter was achieved, the first Board of Directors was nominated. At a joint meeting on June 2, 1972, the Advisory Committee officially transferred the reins of power to the newly elected Board of Directors. ECOS was slated to become financially independent after three years and it had been decided that there would be an evaluation at that time to determine its future. This evaluation, in fact, was made earlier than anticipated.

At the October 1973 meeting, a report suggested that there was a need to consider some facts and ask some questions about the future of ECOS. ECOS director had resigned, the future funding on which the organization had counted had not proved viable and there was only a limited number of volunteers, as many of those available had already been recruited by existing environmental groups. ECOS had, however, already proven what it has intended to prove: a coordinating agency for environmental information and organizations could be extremely important in informing and educating the public on environmental concerns. The question then arose as to whether ECOS should be dissolved as a corporation and the funds returned to the Junior League. The Board, however, decided to continue the operation and it grew to 200 members in 1976 and to 400 members in 1982, its tenth anniversary. In addition to the Board of Directors, an Executive Committee was created as well as several activities and programs committees, including the Riverfront Committee in 1974.

ECOS has been active in a variety of activities including organizing environmental action programs such as recycling, dealing with toxic household waste, cleaning up sections of rivers, and advocating for restructuring programs such as creating walkways and cycling paths along naturally occurring environmental features. ECOS has also continuously organized courses, audiovisual presentations, workshops, and lectures by specialists in the field of environmentalism for access to the general public. The organization has provided environmentally-friendly activities to the general public such as nature walks, museum visits, and skiing trips. ECOS maintains a library of resources for those who are interested in environmental issues and careers. ECOS has also cooperated with the Schenectady County Environmental Advisory Council (SCEA) and eventually became their education subcommittee.

Major activities and programs for ECOS have included: improving recycling; reporting environmental infractions; publishing a newsletter which has provided a summary of environmental programs, progress, and problems in the Capital Region; creating a calendar which has been much valued for its listings of outdoor activities and indoor meetings of local environmental groups; supplying information concerning local and state environmental legislation and energy conservation; the Green-up Spruce-up phase of the Schenectady Bicentennial in 1975-1976; preparing an audiovisual presentation on Schenectadys environment for use by clubs and school classes; publication of the book Environmental Trip Tips; sponsoring an environmental lecture series at the Schenectady Museum; support of the Riverfront Committee in its long-term goal of establishing a hike-bike trail along the Mohawk river across the county; and dump and river clean-up operations.

The Environmental Clearinghouse of Schenectady, now known as the Environmental Clearinghouse, Inc., but also known under the acronym ECOS, as of 2006, continues to be an ever-evolving ever-industrious organization. It is currently located in the Niskayuna Community Center. The staff and volunteers of ECOS still believe that educational outreach is the best way of building an informed community that will lead to an appreciation of the interdependence of natural and human systems, a recognition of the inherent value of natural ecosystems, as well as an understanding of the importance of community action to create ecological sustainability.

Scope and Contents

This collection documents the organization, evolution, thinking, activities and programs of the Environmental Clearinghouse, Inc. over a period of more than three decades. The earliest items date from 1971, but continuous records begin in 1972 and run up to 2004, with the largest portion of the records dating from the 1970s and 1980s. Preservation concerns in this collection include water damage to some of the records, documents that are stuck together and newspaper clippings, which are either glued or taped onto paper backing.

Topics that are documented in the collection include: advocating for riverside walkways and bikeways, environmentally-friendly art, biking, Camp Mohawk, canals, courses and lectures, river cruises, Earth Day/Week, Earth Month, ECOS exhibits, nature explorations, Grassroots Environmental Fair 1976, Gulf Oil Conservation Awards, hiking, household hazardous waste, ECOS library and resources, museum trips, picnics in the park, recycling, river clean-up, the Riverfront Committee, the Organization for Action for the Riverfront (O.A.R.), whose educational and informational services were coordinated by ECOS (both groups shared members and functioned as subcommittees of the Schenectady County Advisory Council), skiing, the 1990 ECOS Symposium, Thacher State Park trips, and nature walks.

Arrangement of the Collection

The collection is organized into the following series: Series 1- Administrative Records 1971-1997, Series 2- Activities and Programs 1971-1997, Series 3- ECOS Publications 1971-2004, Series 4- Non-ECOS Publications 1971-1989.

Components List

  • Administrative Records, 1971-1997

    Unit ID
    1
    Extent
    1.33 cubic ft.
    Arrangement

    Arranged Alphabetically.

    Scope and Contents

    This series consists of materials relating directly to the operations of the Environmental Clearinghouse, Inc. There is one folder of correspondence covering 1971, but most of the series dates from 1972-1997. The records of the Board of Directors, Executive Committees and activities and programs committees are to be found here, as are some of their lists of participating members. Other items found in the series include financial reports, by-laws, fundraising materials, general correspondence, membership lists and materials, annual reports, program committee reports, program coordinator reports, director's reports, projects reports, annual meetings material, and records on all-member meetings.

    • Administrative Committees, 1992-1993
      Box
      1 (1-Administrative Records)
      Folder
      1
    • All Member Meetings, 1980-1991
      Box
      1 (1-Administrative Records)
      Folder
      2
    • Annual Meetings, 1978-1992
      Box
      1 (1-Administrative Records)
      Folder
      3
    • Annual Reports, 1974-1997
      Box
      1 (1-Administrative Records)
      Folder
      4
    • Board Committee, 1982-1996
      Box
      1 (1-Administrative Records)
      Folder
      5
    • By-laws, 1972-1996
      Box
      1 (1-Administrative Records)
      Folder
      6
    • Correspondence, 1971-1972
      Box
      1 (1-Administrative Records)
      Folder
      7
    • Correspondence, 1973-1974
      Box
      1 (1-Administrative Records)
      Folder
      8
    • Correspondence, 1975-1976
      Box
      1 (1-Administrative Records)
      Folder
      9
    • Correspondence, 1977-1978
      Box
      1 (1-Administrative Records)
      Folder
      10
    • Correspondence, 1979-1980
      Box
      1 (1-Administrative Records)
      Folder
      11
    • Correspondence, 1981-1982
      Box
      1 (1-Administrative Records)
      Folder
      12
    • Correspondence, 1983-1984
      Box
      1 (1-Administrative Records)
      Folder
      13
    • Correspondence, 1985-1986
      Box
      1 (1-Administrative Records)
      Folder
      14
    • Correspondence, 1987
      Box
      1 (1-Administrative Records)
      Folder
      15
    • Correspondence, 1993-1997
      Box
      1 (1-Administrative Records)
      Folder
      16
    • Fund Drives, 1980-1993
      Box
      1 (1-Administrative Records)
      Folder
      17
    • Long-Range Planning Committee, 1995
      Box
      1 (1-Administrative Records)
      Folder
      18
    • Membership, 1973-1999
      Box
      1 (1-Administrative Records)
      Folder
      19
    • Membership, 1973-1999
      Box
      1 (1-Administrative Records)
      Folder
      20
    • Membership, 1973-1999
      Box
      1 (1-Administrative Records)
      Folder
      21
    • Membership, 1973-1999
      Box
      1 (1-Administrative Records)
      Folder
      22
    • Membership, 1973-1999
      Box
      1 (1-Administrative Records)
      Folder
      23
    • Board of Directors, 1972-1973
      Box
      1 (1-Administrative Records)
      Folder
      24
    • Board of Directors Minutes, 1974-1975
      Box
      1 (1-Administrative Records)
      Folder
      25
    • Board of Director Minutes, 1975-1977
      Box
      1 (1-Administrative Records)
      Folder
      26
    • Board of Directors Minutes, 1978-1980
      Box
      1 (1-Administrative Records)
      Folder
      27
    • Board of Directors Minutes, 1981-1983
      Box
      1 (1-Administrative Records)
      Folder
      28
    • Board of Directors Minutes, 1984
      Box
      1 (1-Administrative Records)
      Folder
      29
    • Board of Directors Minutes, 1985
      Box
      1 (1-Administrative Records)
      Folder
      30
    • Board of Directors Minutes, 1986
      Box
      1 (1-Administrative Records)
      Folder
      31
    • Board of Directors Minutes, 1987
      Box
      1 (1-Administrative Records)
      Folder
      32
    • Board of Directors Minutes, 1988
      Box
      1 (1-Administrative Records)
      Folder
      33
    • Board of Directors Minutes, 1989
      Box
      1 (1-Administrative Records)
      Folder
      34
    • Board of Directors Minutes, 1990
      Box
      1 (1-Administrative Records)
      Folder
      35
    • Board of Directors Minutes, 1991
      Box
      1 (1-Administrative Records)
      Folder
      36
    • Board of Directors Minutes, 1992
      Box
      1 (1-Administrative Records)
      Folder
      37
    • Board of Directors Minutes, 1993
      Box
      1 (1-Administrative Records)
      Folder
      38
    • Board of Directors Minutes, 1994
      Box
      1 (1-Administrative Records)
      Folder
      39
    • Board of Directors Minutes, 1995
      Box
      2 (1-Administrative Records)
      Folder
      1
    • Board of Directors Minutes, 1996
      Box
      2 (1-Administrative Records)
      Folder
      2
    • Board of Directors Minutes, 1997
      Box
      2 (1-Administrative Records)
      Folder
      3
    • Board of Directors Minutes, 1998
      Box
      2 (1-Administrative Records)
      Folder
      4
    • Directors Reports, 1993-1998
      Box
      2 (1-Administrative Records)
      Folder
      5
    • Executive Committee Minutes, 1978-1990
      Box
      2 (1-Administrative Records)
      Folder
      6
    • Financial Reports, 1984-1998
      Box
      2 (1-Administrative Records)
      Folder
      7
    • Nominating Committee, 1971-1994
      Box
      2 (1-Administrative Records)
      Folder
      8
    • Personnel Committee, 1986-1990
      Box
      2 (1-Administrative Records)
      Folder
      9
    • Program Committee, 1972-2000
      Box
      2 (1-Administrative Records)
      Folder
      10
    • Program Coordinator Reports, 1984-1987
      Box
      2 (1-Administrative Records)
      Folder
      11
    • Project Reports, 1972-1973
      Box
      2 (1-Administrative Records)
      Folder
      12
    • Slide Show Committee, 1979-1994
      Box
      2 (1-Administrative Records)
      Folder
      13
  • Activities and Programs, 1971-1997

    Unit ID
    2
    Extent
    1 cubic ft.
    Arrangement

    Arranged alphabetically

    Scope and Contents

    This series consists of materials relating directly to the activities and programs of the Environmental Clearinghouse, Inc. Topics of interest include art, biking, Camp Mohawk, canals, river cruises, Earth Day/Week activities, Earth Month activities, ECOS exhibits, suggestions for explorations of natures by families, Grass Roots Environmental Fair 1976, Gulf Oil Conservation Award, household hazardous waste management, ECOS library and resources, museum trips, picnics in the park series, recycling, Riverfront Committee, Organization for Action for Riverfront (O.A.R.), 1990 ECOS Symposium, Thacher State Park trips, and nature walks.

    • Art, 1994
      Box
      1 (2-Activities and Programs)
      Folder
      1
    • Biking, 1981-1986
      Box
      1 (2-Activities and Programs)
      Folder
      2
    • Camp Mohawk, 1998-1999
      Box
      1 (2-Activities and Programs)
      Folder
      3
    • Canals, Undated
      Box
      1 (2-Activities and Programs)
      Folder
      4
    • Courses, 1973-1987
      Box
      1 (2-Activities and Programs)
      Folder
      5
    • Courses, 1975-1993
      Box
      1 (2-Activities and Programs)
      Folder
      6
    • Courses, 1975-1993
      Box
      1 (2-Activities and Programs)
      Folder
      7
    • Courses, 1975-1993
      Box
      1 (2-Activities and Programs)
      Folder
      8
    • Courses, 1991-1999
      Box
      1 (2-Activities and Programs)
      Folder
      9
    • Cruises, 1982-1985
      Box
      1 (2-Activities and Programs)
      Folder
      10
    • Cruises, 1982-1985
      Box
      1 (2-Activities and Programs)
      Folder
      11
    • Earth Day/Week, 1972-1975
      Box
      1 (2-Activities and Programs)
      Folder
      12
    • Earth Day/Week, 1980-1992
      Box
      1 (2-Activities and Programs)
      Folder
      13
    • Earth Month, 1993-2000
      Box
      1 (2-Activities and Programs)
      Folder
      14
    • ECOS History, 1970-1983
      Box
      1 (2-Activities and Programs)
      Folder
      15
    • ECOS History, 1971-1994
      Box
      1 (2-Activities and Programs)
      Folder
      16
    • ECOS Library and Resources, 1992
      Box
      1 (2-Activities and Programs)
      Folder
      17
    • Environment, 1992-2001
      Box
      1 (2-Activities and Programs)
      Folder
      18
    • Exhibits, Undated
      Box
      1 (2-Activities and Programs)
      Folder
      19
    • Family Nature Explorations, Undated
      Box
      1 (2-Activities and Programs)
      Folder
      20
    • Grassroots Environment Fair, 1976
      Box
      1 (2-Activities and Programs)
      Folder
      21
    • Gulf Oil Conservation Award, 1982-1983
      Box
      1 (2-Activities and Programs)
      Folder
      22
    • Household Hazardous Waste, 1997
      Box
      1 (2-Activities and Programs)
      Folder
      23
    • Museums, Undated
      Box
      1 (2-Activities and Programs)
      Folder
      24
    • Picnics in the Park Series, 1990-1993
      Box
      1 (2-Activities and Programs)
      Folder
      25
    • Press Releases, 1972-1981
      Box
      1 (2-Activities and Programs)
      Folder
      26
    • Press Releases, 1983-1984
      Box
      1 (2-Activities and Programs)
      Folder
      27
    • Press Releases, 1984-1985
      Box
      1 (2-Activities and Programs)
      Folder
      28
    • Press Releases, 1985-1986
      Box
      1 (2-Activities and Programs)
      Folder
      29
    • Press Releases, 1987
      Box
      1 (2-Activities and Programs)
      Folder
      30
    • Press Releases, 1988-1990
      Box
      1 (2-Activities and Programs)
      Folder
      31
    • Programs, 1985-1998
      Box
      1 (2-Activities and Programs)
      Folder
      32
    • Programs, 1985-1998
      Box
      1 (2-Activities and Programs)
      Folder
      33
    • Recycling, Undated
      Box
      1 (2-Activities and Programs)
      Folder
      34
    • Riverfront Committee, 1974-1978
      Box
      1 (2-Activities and Programs)
      Folder
      35
    • Organization for Action for Riverfront, 1962-1985
      Box
      1 (2-Activities and Programs)
      Folder
      36
    • Organization for Action for Riverfront, 1962-1985
      Box
      1 (2-Activities and Programs)
      Folder
      37
    • Organization for Action for Riverfront, 1962-1985
      Box
      1 (2-Activities and Programs)
      Folder
      38
    • Skiing, 1977-1982
      Box
      1 (2-Activities and Programs)
      Folder
      39
    • Skiing, 1983-1991
      Box
      1 (2-Activities and Programs)
      Folder
      40
    • Skiing, 1984-2000
      Box
      1 (2-Activities and Programs)
      Folder
      41
    • Symposium, 1990
      Box
      1 (2-Activities and Programs)
      Folder
      42
    • Tenth Anniversary, 1983
      Box
      1 (2-Activities and Programs)
      Folder
      43
    • Thatcher State Park Trips, 1991-1992
      Box
      1 (2-Activities and Programs)
      Folder
      44
    • Twentieth Anniversary, 1991
      Box
      1 (2-Activities and Programs)
      Folder
      45
    • Walks, 1976-1982
      Box
      1 (2-Activities and Programs)
      Folder
      46
    • Walks, 1983-1985
      Box
      1 (2-Activities and Programs)
      Folder
      47
    • Walks, 1986-1989
      Box
      1 (2-Activities and Programs)
      Folder
      48
    • Walks, 1990-1995
      Box
      1 (2-Activities and Programs)
      Folder
      49
    • Walks, 1995-2000
      Box
      1 (2-Activities and Programs)
      Folder
      50
  • ECOS Publications, 1971-2004

    Unit ID
    3
    Extent
    1 cubic ft.
    Arrangement

    Arranged Alphabetically

    Scope and Contents

    This series includes newsletters and books published by the Environmental Clearinghouse, Inc. Newsletters includeECOS News, the official newsletter of the Environmental Clearinghouse of Schenectady, (1972-2004, the majority of the issues date from 1971-1997). Books published by the Environmental Clearinghouse of Schenectady includeEnvironmental Trip Tips and Natural Areas of Albany County. The former is a book for newcomers or long-time residents who enjoy planning outings to interesting natural places. It can be used to discover appealing sites in which to observe natural beauty, enjoy outdoor activities and learn about the environment. It includes places open to the public in a seven-county area. The latter features nearly seventy natural areas open to the public in Albany County. The descriptions include points of interest and contact information.

    • ECOS News, 1972 1973
      Box
      1 (3-ECOS Publications)
      Folder
      1
    • ECOS News, 1974
      Box
      1 (3-ECOS Publications)
      Folder
      2
    • ECOS News, 1975
      Box
      1 (3-ECOS Publications)
      Folder
      3
    • ECOS News, 1976
      Box
      1 (3-ECOS Publications)
      Folder
      4
    • ECOS News, 1977
      Box
      1 (3-ECOS Publications)
      Folder
      5
    • ECOS News, 1978
      Box
      1 (3-ECOS Publications)
      Folder
      6
    • ECOS News, 1979
      Box
      1 (3-ECOS Publications)
      Folder
      7
    • ECOS News, 1980
      Box
      1 (3-ECOS Publications)
      Folder
      8
    • ECOS News, 1981
      Box
      1 (3-ECOS Publications)
      Folder
      9
    • ECOS News, 1982
      Box
      1 (3-ECOS Publications)
      Folder
      10
    • ECOS News, 1983
      Box
      1 (3-ECOS Publications)
      Folder
      11
    • ECOS News, 1984
      Box
      1 (3-ECOS Publications)
      Folder
      12
    • ECOS News, 1985
      Box
      1 (3-ECOS Publications)
      Folder
      13
    • ECOS News, 1986
      Box
      1 (3-ECOS Publications)
      Folder
      14
    • ECOS News, 1987
      Box
      1 (3-ECOS Publications)
      Folder
      15
    • ECOS News, 1988
      Box
      1 (3-ECOS Publications)
      Folder
      16
    • ECOS News, 1989
      Box
      1 (3-ECOS Publications)
      Folder
      17
    • ECOS News, 1990
      Box
      1 (3-ECOS Publications)
      Folder
      18
    • ECOS News, 1991
      Box
      1 (3-ECOS Publications)
      Folder
      19
    • ECOS News, 1992
      Box
      1 (3-ECOS Publications)
      Folder
      20
    • ECOS News, 1993
      Box
      1 (3-ECOS Publications)
      Folder
      21
    • ECOS News, 1994
      Box
      1 (3-ECOS Publications)
      Folder
      22
    • ECOS News, 1995
      Box
      1 (3-ECOS Publications)
      Folder
      23
    • ECOS News, 1996
      Box
      1 (3-ECOS Publications)
      Folder
      24
    • ECOS News, 1997
      Box
      1 (3-ECOS Publications)
      Folder
      25
    • ECOS News, 1998
      Box
      1 (3-ECOS Publications)
      Folder
      26
    • ECOS News, 1999 2002 2004
      Box
      1 (3-ECOS Publications)
      Folder
      27
    • Trip Tips, 1976 1982
      Box
      1 (3-ECOS Publications)
      Folder
      28
    • Natural Areas of Albany County, 1981-1994
      Box
      1 (3-ECOS Publications)
      Folder
      29
    • Publications Reports, 1983-1985
      Box
      1 (3-ECOS Publications)
      Folder
      30
  • Non-ECOS Publications, 1971-1989

    Unit ID
    4
    Extent
    0.33 cubic ft.
    Arrangement

    Arranged Alphabetically

    Scope and Contents

    This series includes publications by organizations other than the Environmental Clearinghouse, Inc. Newsletters includeEcho Issuespublished by the Environmental Clearing House Organization, Buffalo Museum of Science, Room 216, and issues ofNew York State Environmentpublished by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. The bulk of the latter concerns 1979-1984 with one part of an issue dating from 1976 and one whole issue dating from 1989.

    • ECHO Issues, 1971
      Box
      1 (4-Non-ECOS Publications)
      Folder
      1
    • New York State Environment, 1976-1979
      Box
      1 (4-Non-ECOS Publications)
      Folder
      2
    • New York State Environment, 1980
      Box
      1 (4-Non-ECOS Publications)
      Folder
      3
    • New York State Environment, 1981
      Box
      1 (4-Non-ECOS Publications)
      Folder
      4
    • New York State Environment, 1982
      Box
      1 (4-Non-ECOS Publications)
      Folder
      5
    • New York State Environment, 1983
      Box
      1 (4-Non-ECOS Publications)
      Folder
      6
    • New York State Environment, 1984-1989
      Box
      1 (4-Non-ECOS Publications)
      Folder
      7