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Sustainability at HVSF

At Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, nature is our stage.

The gorgeous greenery we’re surrounded by here is as moving as the plays that take place under the Tent. HVSF’s vision has evolved to explicitly highlight sustainability as a core guiding principle — we want to treat this land well and serve as stewards for the landscape of the Hudson Highlands for future generations to enjoy.

In our new home, we’re starting with small changes that will have a big impact. Theatre has a tradition of reuse and circularity, both onstage and in materials like props and costumes. HVSF now does this with intention for all productions through the company’s prop and costume shops and has followed this logic to expand to plans for concessions, rehearsal spaces and more aspects of the HVSF experience for visitors.

When you eat at concessions you’ll notice there are no more single use items (check out the great tote bags used for carrying food, which then get returned after your meal) and food waste will be composted! There are also discounts for folks who bring their own cups!

On our site, we took the step of rewilding the meadows, reintroducing native plants, which also supports the native wildlife — animals, pollinators, etc.  

HVSF is not doing this on their own. The community is vital to this mission and its success. This includes audience members and the larger Garrison community.

The company has a sustainability task force made up of staff and board members as well as members of the community with a breadth of knowledge and experience in sustainability. The sustainability task force works on both short and long-term planning for sustainability at the festival, ranging from researching clean energy options to rethinking food service to reduce food miles and packaging waste. 

HVSF has partnered with community organizations like the Philipstown Climate Smart Task Force, the Ecological Citizen’s Project, the Hudson Highlands Land Trust, Scenic Hudson.

You might know that HVSF has big plans for the future. That includes more than the permanent theater that will be built, it also includes sustainability goals. Future plans are:

  • Working towards LEED Platinum certification — we’d the first theater in the country to do so!
  •  Restoration of wetlands of riparian buffers for biodiversity of the site.
  • A goal of carbon neutrality by 2040 across our entire 98-acre campus.
  • Using local sustainable materials for the construction of our new theater.

We’ve always been proud to contribute to the artistic life of the Hudson Valley, and now we’re thrilled that we can be advocates for keeping this land green and beautiful.