REAC-Green Team Joint Meeting Minutes 20190521


REAC: Bob Upton, Christine Amundsen, Pam Perron, Michael Sedon (Village Council Liaison), Robert Kearney (Village Staff Rep).

Green Team: Justin Manger, Bob Upton, Cathy Brienza, Michael Sedon (Village Council Liaison).

Other: Rich Calbi, Serena Iacoviello, Chris Houghton, Dianne Kidwell, Bob Leibow.

  1. Introductions/Membership update:

We welcomed Rich Calbi of Ridgewood Water & Recycling/Sanitation Depts who asked to speak about Earth Day 2020.

Mike reported that Village Council appointment of new committee members is imminent.

  1. No changes were suggested to the April minutes but again due to absences we could not approve the March or April minutes.
  2. Sustainable Jersey
  3. Plans for Silver recertification.

We are depending on committee members to be advancing their assigned Actions. Rob & Cathy are in discussion with Dawn Cetrulo about lead education plans (see below). Serena & Rob were looking for raingarden info & were referred to Chris R. Mike has a picture of the Village medicine collection.

  1. Gold Star Standard in Waste

Waste Reduction & Recycling Level Reporting: General discussion about the desire to establish baseline data for waste & recycling. Bob will follow up with Johanna about expected County data. In spite of the success of the Styrofoam collection addressing that product has little impact on waste weight. Rich sees food waste reduction as more impactful and continues to explore options.

  1. Green Business Program

George & Pam have had valuable meetings with It’s Greek to Me and Café 37 who are willing to work with a “core group” of restaurants. The questionnaire is evolving with learnings from these visits.

  1. SJ Bergen Hub
  2. “Styrofoam” Program: The Ridgewood Styrofoam collection drive on Saturday was hugely successful. Estimated about 300 lbs (2 truckloads) of Styrofoam were collected and delivered to Foam Pack for recycling. Other BC Hub towns have similar events scheduled (next Leonia June 8, Oradell June 15).
  3. Justin, Bob & Christine attended the Hub meeting at Glen Rock May 13th. Good presentations including Glen Rock’s Energy Aggregation program. Next Hub meeting Fair Lawn July 15th, topic Solar.
  4. Energy Aggregation: Cathy, Pam, Serena & Christine have formed a sub-committee to learn about these programs including Glen Rock’s and perhaps schedule a meeting with them.
  5. Rebranding/By-Laws: Following our last meeting it was realized that some revisions were still needed to the proposed “Green Ridgewood” by-laws and that there are inconsistencies and omissions in the Ordinances establishing the two committees. Bob will review the three documents and suggest revisions but also everyone should familiarize themselves with them. Rob reviewed some learnings from his recent ANJEC training on the topic of committee vs commission. We will review the differences in future discussion.
  6. Ridgewood Daffodil Festival & Earth Day Fair 2020: Event is scheduled for April 19th. In the past few years a Village department has been featured at the Fair (Water, Recycling, Parks). Rich, representing the Earth Day Committee, suggested that for 2020 Green Ridgewood/Green Team be featured. The consensus of those present was to move ahead with the decision to be formalized when we have a quorum. Bob will contact Sustainable Jersey and ANJEC to see if they are interested in participating.
  7. Single Use Plastic Bag Ban – The proposed ordinance was introduced at the Village Council meeting May 8th and should be voted on at the next Village Council Public meeting June 12th.
  8. Grants & Opportunities
  9. Our application for a $1,500 ANJEC Open Space Stewardship Grants, for an Eagle Scout project for the Parks Dept was unsuccessful. Bob has asked ANJEC for some insight as to why.
  10. Similarly Bob will follow up with SJ about our failed Food Waste Grant application.
  11. Suggested uses for REAC funds.
  12. RHS & BFMS/RAEC Grant: We are awaiting confirmation that the schools have submitted their forms and that the check has been issued.
  13. Middle school sustainability/environmental grant – no discussion.
  14. Purchase re-usable shopping bags: Agreed that after the vote on the Plastic Bag ordinance we will discuss the education requirements which can include distributing re-usable shopping bags.
  15. Regenerative Environmentalism (Permaculture) Meet-Up Group – Leslie was not available for an update. The scheduled May 15th meeting was postponed. Possible next meeting June 19th – date and topic to be confirmed.
  16. Educational events
  17. “Schoolhouse Rock – Earth” was postponed due to poor response. We hope to reschedule later in the year with improved promotion.
  18. Water Bottle Filling Station Promotion – REAC and LWV had a table at the RBSA Family Fun Day and Pam has attended some games to promote the water bottle refilling stations.
  19. Lead Education: As noted Rob & Cathy are working with Health Dept. Date TBD. Focus school age children – paint, antiques etc. Rob will review latest school testing.
  20. Glen Rock had about 150 people attend the movie “Plastic Ocean” which was highly praised. Perhaps to be included in our Plastic Bag education efforts?
  21. Master Plan/Visioning – Watch for public meetings starting soon.
  22. Schools. – no update.
  23. Presentation to Midland Park Boro Council – Bob will follow up after the Plastic Bag vote.
  24. Plaque for Andy Antista Tree: The plaque is installed and can be viewed behind the Stable.
  25. Future start/finish times for our meetings: All responses to the survey of preferred start time either favored 7.00 PM or had no preference so we will continue to start at 7.
  26. Artificial Turf: Following the conversation on this topic at the last meeting Mike & Bob met with Linda McNamara. Bob reiterated that he feels REAC is obligated to inform itself about this complicated topic because of our “duties & responsibilities” and because the 2009 REAC report is still being used to endorse one product. Bob will research the subject and invites others to join him in the endeavor. However, we understand the RHS field decisions have been made but this will be an ongoing discussion as more fields need to be refurbished.
  27. New business: Pam brought some recycled paper goods (from Whole Foods) with the suggestion we try them. They are
  28. Toilet paper, 365 brand, 100% recycled whitened without bleach, actually (80% post-consumer recycled paper).
  29. Facial tissues, Seventh Generation brand, 100% recycled (minimum 50% post-consumer recycled paper maximum/ 50% pre-consumer recycled paper ). 
  30. Paper Towels, Seventh Generation brand, unbleached 100% recycled (minimum 80% post-consumer recycled fiber).
  31. Next Joint Meeting: Tuesday June 18th, 7.00 PM.
  • Hits: 180

REAC-Green Team Joint Meeting Minutes 20190416


REAC: Bob Upton, George Wolfson, Ellie Gruber, Christine Amundsen, Mary Mogerley (Parks & Recreation Rep), Jennie Smith Wilson (School Board Rep), Robert Kearney (Village Staff Rep).

Green Team: Justin Manger, Bob Upton, George Wolfson, Ellie Gruber, Cathy Brienza.

Other: Serena Iacoviello, Leslie Lello, Chris Houghton.

  1. Introductions/Membership update:

We welcomed Chris Howton, long time Ridgewood resident, who attended to learn about our activities.

Serena, Anthea, Jamie and Leslie are awaiting interviews/appointment by the The Village Council for committee memberships. Also we understand Yvone Nava has applied.

  1. No changes were suggested to the minutes from the March meeting but they were not approved due to the lack of a quorum.
  2. Sustainable Jersey
  3. Plans for Silver recertification.

Justin led a review of planned SJ Actions for our re-submission. Some additions were suggested for consideration. Bob will discuss Greening Your Green Fair with the Earth Day committee. Leslie will review the Action in the Arts & Creative Culture category.

  1. Gold Star Standard in Waste
  2. Waste Reduction & Recycling Level Reporting: George & Bob met with the Sanitation/Recycling Dept on April 11th. They expect to get some improved data from the County in May. Again it was noted this is a long-term project.
  3. Food Waste Pilot: The application to Sustainable Jersey for their $20K SJ PSEG Municipal Grant made jointly by Ridgewood, Glen Rock & Fair Lawn to fund a Food Waste Pilot Program was unsuccessful. Ridgewood Recycling has allocated funds in its 2019 budget but needs additional municipalities to partner. They will continue to explore options. Bob has communicated this to the SJ Bergen Hub members.
  4. Green Business Program

George & Pam have started restaurant visits with more scheduled. These visits will include a discussion of food waste options. We have Styrofoam Free Bergen certificates, window clings and brochures for use with this program.

  1. SJ Bergen Hub
  2. “Styrofoam” Program: The Science of Styrofoam event at The Stable on March 24th was attended by about 20 children & adults. Ridgewood collection drive is scheduled for Saturday May 18th, 10 AM – 2 PM, Graydon Parking Lot. Numerous other towns have similar events scheduled. Program paid for by a SJ Hub Grant.
  3. Justin & Bob attended the Hub meeting at Ridgefield Park March 25th. Minutes available on Basecamp. Next Hub meetings Glen Rock May 13th, Fair Lawn July 15th.
  4. Rebranding/By-Laws: There was general agreement to change the name of REAC to Green Ridgewood. Justin will re-distribute the proposed single By-Laws for the two committees and request a vote by e-mail.
  5. Ridgewood Daffodil Festival & Earth Day Fair, April 14th – We were incredibly lucky with the weather and the event was once again hugely successful. Thanks to our members who manned our table.
  6. Single Use Plastic Bag Ban – The proposed ordinance was discussed at the Village Council work session April 3rd and we understand will be discussed again at the April 24th work session to address some Council members’ concerns.
  7. League of Women Voters proposed resolution to discontinue the purchase of single-use PET water bottles using municipal funds – we understand such purchases will be discontinued but no resolution passed.
  8. Grants & Opportunities
  9. SJ PSEG Municipal Grant program. Application for Food Waste Pilot was unsuccessful.
  10. ANJEC Open Space Stewardship Grants ($1,500, application deadline April 15th) – Sam Beinstein’s Eagle Scout project to create a brochure for the Parks Dept was approved by the Boy Scouts and we have applied for a $1,500 grant to pay for printing.
  11. Info about the NJUCF Stewardship Grant Program received from Sustainable Jersey was forwarded to the Shade Tree Commission.
  12. Suggested uses for REAC funds.
  13. RHS/RAEC Grant Project Proposal

Chris Rutishauser has requested the $541.98 from REAC funds be sent to Ridgewood schools for this project. RHS and BFMS must submit grant/donation request forms and Jennie will try to ensure the check and the forms come together.

  1. Middle school sustainability/environmental grant – no discussion.
  2. Purchase re-usable shopping bags: Ellie suggests a cotton fabric bag. Agreed we will discuss when the fate of the Village ordinance is determined.
  3. Regenerative Environmentalism (Permaculture) Meet-Up Group - Mar 20th meeting “ ‘No Stink’ Composting” was well attended with informative presentation and useful input from attendees. Next events are scheduled for April 24th (“The 12 Permaculture Principles”) and May 15th, (“Swales”).
  4. Educational events
  5. “Schoolhouse Rock – Earth” interactive presentation for children grades 3 & up & parents at the library is scheduled for Monday April 22nd at 4 PM. The Library has publicized the event with poor response to date and we ask members to promote it.
  6. Water Bottle Filling Station Promotion – REAC will join LWV at the RBSA season opening event April 27th. Volunteers welcome.
  7. Master Plan/Visioning – We understand the Visioning process is coming to an end and public meetings will start soon. Members are encouraged to follow and participate.
  8. Schools. – Waiting for RHS teachers to reschedule our postponed meeting.
  9. GeesePeace – REAC/GT are not participating.
  10. Presentation to Midland Park Boro Council – Bob made a presentation reviewing the work of REAC and the Green Team, Sustainable Jersey and the Bergen Hub. MP Schools have been active in the SJ Schools program but not the town. Council members expressed interest in getting involved and will discuss the topic further.
  11. Plaque for Andy Antista Tree: Expecting progress soon.
  12. Future start/finish times for our meetings: After a short discussion it was decided we will survey members by e-mail whether a 7.00 PM start time is preferred and decide based on responses.
  13. New business – Bob had drawn attention to a letter in the Ridgwood News (April 5th) from Linda McNamara about artificial turf options for playing fields and the proposed resurfacing of the RHS field. Several members shared recollections of the history of this issue. It was decided to learn more about the topic. We will ask Jennie if she can provide info about the RHS project and Mary will look into the history of Maple Field.
  14. Next Joint Meeting: Tuesday May 21st, 7.00 or 7.45 PM to be announced.
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