2019, Chair, Energy & Environment Committee
Manna Jo Greene is the Environmental Director for Hudson River Sloop Clearwater. Formerly the Recycling Coordinator/Educator for Ulster County for ten years, and a Registered Critical Care Nurse for 22 years, Manna is a lifelong environmental professional and community activist. As a teenager Manna worked with Dr. King and other civil rights leaders of the day to lobby for the passage of the Civil Rights Bill, an event that has empowered her for life. She currently serves on the Hudson Valley Smart Growth Alliance, Citizens for Local Power, is a member of EPA's Community Advisory Group for remediation of Hudson River PCBs and EPA's Local Government Advisory Committee. Manna has also served as Chair of the Rosendale Environmental Commission and Vice-Chair of the Ulster County Environmental Management Council, helped found the HV Green Building and Renewable Energy Working Group, was on the board of the Hudson Valley Materials Exchange, help start the Hudson Valley Biodiesel Coop, and is a long-standing member of the Mid-Ulster League of Women Voters and numerous other civic organizations. She has also served on the Hudson Valley Regional Packaging Task Force, the NY State Battery Task Force and the NYS Roundtable for Consensus on Tire Management, the Mid-Hudson Regional Sustainable Planning Consortium and for five years hosted a local weekly environmental call-in radio show, the Recycling Hotline & Environment show on WGHQ. She avidly supports collaborative land use planning and problem-solving.
Working with Hudson Valley Sustainable Communities Network (which has since become Sustainable Hudson Valley or SHV) to promote sustainable agriculture and green building and landscaping practices, Manna helped create the Finding Common Ground process to restore a healthier working relationship between area farmers and environmentalist, which resulted in a Hudson Valley Harvest "buy local" campaign and a genuine shift in agriculture in the region. Modeling green building and landscaping practices, she built a solar-powered Sustainable Living Resource Center to host seminars and workshops and house a large collection of resources on a variety of sustainability related projects. As a sustainability educator Manna teaches communities how to balance environmental preservation, economic prosperity (based on quality of life indicators) and social equity using effective communication. Manna has studied to become a trainer for the Natural Step Framework, a sustainability methodology for businesses and institutions.
In 1996, Manna was nominated as "Woman of the Year" by the Ulster County YWCA, received the prestigious "Spirit of the Universe" award in 1997 for her commitment to Earth and to her community, Mohonk Consultations' award for Distinguished Service and Environmental Sensitivity in June 2000 and the US EPA's Environmental Quality Award in 2011. Graduating with an AAS in Nursing from SUNY/Ulster in 1976, Manna was certified as a childbirth educator and in critical care. She earned a B.A. in biology (premed) from SUNY/New Paltz, Magna Cum Laude, in 1986, and completed course work towards a Masters in Environmental Studies at Bard College.
Manna also practices yoga and enjoys dancing, kayaking and spending time with friends and family. She has two grown sons, one, a world class rock climber, Ivan Greene, runs a cafe in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, called Pudge Knuckles and the other, Solomon, graduated from Yale Law School and works for the Urban Institute in Washington, DC.
In February 2003, Manna made a trip to Iraq for two weeks with two other women as peace delegates in the Hudson Valley Peace Brigade of the Iraq Peace Team/Voices in the Wilderness. Their intention was to bring a message of peace and friendship to the people of Iraq, and to return to bring the faces of the people of Iraq, their hopes and dreams, to the people of the Hudson Valley.
Prior to joining the Ulster County Legislature, Manna served as a Councilperson on the Rosendale Town Board for eight years. She also publishes a bimonthly calendar which is emailed to over 3,000 people in the Hudson Valley.
Manna is committed to the belief that humans can live in harmony with each other and the Earth, and that if your cause is just and you are persistent, you will eventually triumph.