It takes more than a village, actually.


Greentopia® is leading the way in moving our city and its citizens towards a more sustainable, resilient Rochester.


Established as a fully Federal non-profit (501 (c) (3) in 2011, Friends of the GardenAerial, d.b.a. GREENTOPIA®, has worked to preserve and steward the High Falls Heritage Area and Genesee River gorge, through education, promotion, preservation and development of sustainable communities. Greentopia is headquartered at 74 Browns Race, in the Brown’s Race Preservation District in the High Falls Heritage Area, and it is the only nonprofit organization in the Finger Lakes region dedicated solely to green education, advocacy and sustainable development in downtown Rochester, New York.

Think of Greentopia as a green “platform”, supported by three “legs”: Capital, Community, and Policy.

GardenAerial (Capital)

Row upon row of shale rock line the walls of the cliffs, echoing the many layers of our own history here. The Iroquois and Seneca stood in primeval forests lining our river and wondered at their world. Pioneers built the first water-powered mills – Rochester’s FIRST industry. Highly polluting chemical and energy industries almost destroyed our precious waters. And now, sensitive sustainable development will guide a new generation, eager to enjoy this great resource for decades to come.

Greentopia is transforming the gorge at High Falls through the creation of new green infrastructure and through the sensitive and sustainable development of the built environment, both new and existing. The creation of the GardenAerial is the embodiment of these efforts. GardenAerial will completely reposition the High Falls Gorge from the polluted, forgotten and largely abandoned birthplace of Rochester, into a showcase of community pride, sustainability, and resiliency.

Michael Philipson, Co-Founder Greentopia, is the GardenAerial Project Manager. He may be reached at 585-287-5560, Ext. 22 or at for more information.

Green Visions (Community)

Green Visions works in the JOSANA neighborhood of Rochester’s Northwest Quadrant to bring workforce development skills and experience to 15 youth every year for the past 3 years. This workforce also works in High Falls at the GardenAerial, maintaining and operating our FlourGarden project.

Morgan Barry, Green Visions Director, currently leads this effort. He may be reached at 585-287-5560, Ext. 37 or at for more information.

High Falls EcoDistrict (Neighborhoods)

The creation and implementation of New York State’s FIRST EcoDistrict will work to create measurable environmental achievements. Greentopia advocates for the use of sustainable and resilient policies, techniques and methodologies to move us towards a meaningful carbon reductions and sustainable energy, transportation, and human systems.

The EcoDistrict also provides a framework for its neighborhood to move towards ambitious environmental and social justice goals in a reduced time frame. The EcoDistrict is built from a “ground-up” community-based effort vs. a “top-down” government-imposed effort. The District will be guided by the collaboration of all district stakeholders, including higher ed, government, residents and businesses to create a vibrant laboratory for achieving sustainability goals.

Lewis Stess, Co-Founder Greentopia is the EcoDistrict Project Manager. He may be reached at 585-287-5560, Ext. 21 or at for more information.
Rachel Walsh, EcoDistrict Coordinator, coordinates this effort. She may be reached at 585-287-5560, Ext. 23 or at for more information.

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Greentopia - Smart Green Growth
for a New Rochester


74 Browns Race
Rochester, New York  14614


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