Green Ridgewood-Green Team Joint Meeting Minutes 20200121
Green Ridgewood: Bob Upton, George Wolfson, Pam Perron, Christine Amundsen, Jennie Smith Wilson (School Board Rep), Michael Sedon (Village Council Liaison), Mary Mogerley (Parks & Recreation Rep).
Green Team: Justin Manger, George Wolfson, Bob Upton, Serena Iacoviello, Anthea Zito, Michael Sedon (Village Council Liaison).
Other: Miles Luo, RHS.
Following welcome & introductions Bob & Justin addressed committee memberships for the coming year. We have written to the Village Manager requesting info from Village records as to who they show as current members and when those memberships expire. We have contacted members who have not attended recent meetings to inquire their future intentions and suggest interested new members submit the Village Citizen Volunteer Leadership Form. It was noted that it is hard to find on the Village web site so it will be added to our web site.
Bob noted the committee chairs & vice-chairs are elected for a one year term so we agreed to hold an election at our next meeting with a quorum.
2. Approve November & December minutes:
Jennie & Pam proposed and seconded approval of the November & December minutes and all present voted yes.
3. Sustainable Jersey
a. Silver recertification.
The initial certification deadline is now May 17th, 2020. Justin presented an updated list of available and targeted SJ Actions listing those responsible for each action. He will begin asking those people to submit updates via e-mail.
Christine advised that the Village’s Anti-Idling Resolution is 10years old so we need it to be renewed. Mike will address that with the Council. We will check on anti-idling signs at schools and have anti-idling pledge forms at the Earth Day Fair.
c. Green Business/Green Restaurant Program.
George & Pam have evaluated 12 restaurants and issued 5 Styrofoam certificates. We will hold off any announcement until the restaurants can be recognized, perhaps at a Village Council meeting.
d. Waste reduction/food waste.
The Village Recycling Dept. is moving ahead with the pilot program to accept food waste, initially from 60 households. Also Repair Café (see 3e.) & Styrofoam collections (see 4b.) will help waste reduction.
e. Repair Café.
Ridgewood Library will hold this event again on Saturday February 1st. (Check with library for times). Possibly eligible for SJ Action?
f. Drug take-back program – no progress.
g. Lead Education.
Rob has scheduled a Lead Education Event in conjunction with the Bergen Co. Health Dept. It will be on Tuesday January 28th, 5:30 – 6:30 PM at the Senior Center, Village Hall. It has been publicized but not yet on Ridgewood Moms & Dads.
Roots for Rivers. We missed the deadline but did not have a suitable project to submit. Anthea had been considering an application and will continue research, as this and other opportunities will arise.
Sustainable Jersey Grants. We need suitable projects. Deadline February 14th & Schools March 13th.
Also ANJEC is offering Open Space Stewardship $1,500 Grants, deadline April 3rd. Shade Tree is aware and we will discuss with Nancy Bigos.
4. SJ Bergen Hub
a. Hub meetings.
Bob & Pam attended the January 13th Hub meeting in Glen Rock. Minutes have been distributed. Interesting presentation about BCC’s Rocket composter by Prof. PJ Ricatto.
Next meeting scheduled for Upper Saddle River. Possible topic the Emerald Ash Borer & Spotted Lantern Fly. March date to be announced.
b. “Styrofoam” Program.
Glen Rock will hold a collection drive (open to all) on Saturday February 8th. Details will be posted on our web site when available.
5. Glen Rock Energy Aggregation Program – “DEAL”
It has been suggested we schedule a presentation to the Village Council but all agreed we need a better understanding of the program and results so far before taking further steps. To be addressed after Earth Day.
6. Green Ridgewood Rebranding/By-Laws/Web Site. No discussion.
7. Single Use Plastic Carry-Out Bags Ordinance.
a. Education Program.
The ban has been implemented with little objection to our knowledge except some stores complained they did not hear about the ban and had purchased plastic bags they can now not use.
b. State Legislation
The State legislature did not pass the bill in the last session so it will be introduced again in the new session.
The installation of geothermal heating/cooling at a village residence has raised the opportunity to learn more about this technology with the idea of holding an educational seminar for the public and perhaps exploring options for use in new Village facilities when the opportunity arises, e.g. new Ridgewood Water HQ? We are seeking more information.
9. Ridgewood Daffodil Festival & Earth Day Fair, April 19th 2020.
Updated financial data from last year’s Earth Day show that Green Ridgewood netted $300 more than we had previously understood with the result that, even after allocating $1,000 for the Middle School Grant Program we have just over $11,000 in our account with the Village.
Given the importance of the Earth Day Fair as Green Ridgewood’s only source of funds (other than grants) George asked everyone to think outside the box about organizations that might sponsor or exhibit at the Fair. Information about the event and an invitation letter will be available soon.
The Earth Day subcommittee met again on January 11th: Bob, George, Pam, Yvone, Christine, Justin, Jennie, Diala, Joanna plus Dave Amundsen, and Sean Hamlin from Recycling Dept. We continued to develop the themes for the four main tables: Green Ridgewood, Waste Reduction/Recycling, Educating the Educators and Energy. Sean will host the next meeting February 1st at 10 AM.
The first Village Earth Day planning meeting was held on January 15th. We discussed the need to grow participation, promotional activities, events & entertainment etc. Next meeting January 30th.
Serena provided more information about Clean Water Action’s Rethink Disposable program offering reusable containers for food vendors and cleaning & collecting them. She will see if a representative can call in to the next Village planning meeting.
Since one goal in 2020 and the Earth Day Fair in particular is to launch our new identity as Green Ridgewood a vote (proposed by Justin and seconded by George) was passed unanimously to allocate up to $300 to purchase 25 T-shirts in the same color & style as our REAC Green Team T-shirts but now with the new logo and the words GREEN RIDGEWOOD above it on the back and the tree emblem small on the front.
10. Climate Change Rally/Parade.
Joanna Hanrahan is planning this event for the day of the Ridgewood Earth Day Fair, independent of Green Ridgewood but coordinating with us and, as she progresses, we will see how we can support the event.
a. 2019 RHS/BFMS Grant
We understand the RHS Green Club and BFMS club have purchased the hydroponic carts and greenhouse with the grant money we awarded last school year. BF is awaiting approval of the site for the greenhouse and will keep us informed.
b. 2019/20 Middle School Grant Proposal
More information is still needed for the BFMS & GWMS application for our 2019/20 grant and will become available as the BF 2018/19 project moves ahead.
c. New programs
Diala Pharaon and Joanna Hanrahan are coordinating their activities with various schools with Christine. They have asked if money from our grant offering might be made available. The committees are prepared to consider requests for funds either from the grant offering or in addition.
d. UN Sustainability Goal.
Miles and another teacher are leading some freshmen to work on this effort.
12. Shade Tree Commission Support.
STC has asked us to support their efforts to encourage the Village Council to fully fund the $150,000 requested in the upcoming budget to fund 1:1 or better replacement of lost trees to offset losses of trees in recent years. Bob will speak at a Council meeting on behalf of our committees.
13. Artificial Turf for Playing Fields
With the upcoming replacement of artificial turf at Stevens Field Linda McNamara, who has been campaigning against these products for many years, wrote a couple of e-mails addressed to the Green Team seeking our support in opposing their use. There are many aspects to this subject and we believe that the available information lacks clarity. It was concluded that Green Ridgewood does not have the resources or the expertise to take a position on what is a very complex issue. This does not imply that investigation by a suitable independent body is unwarranted.
14. Next Joint Meeting will be Tuesday February 18th at 7:00 PM in the Garden Room.
REAC-Green Team Joint Meeting Minutes 20190618
REAC: Bob Upton, Ellie Gruber, Christine Amundsen, Pam Perron, Yvone Nava, Michael Sedon (Village Council Liaison), Mary Mogerley (Parks & Recreation Rep), Jennie Smith Wilson (School Board Rep), Robert Kearney (Village Staff Rep).
Green Team: Bob Upton, Ellie Gruber, Serena Iacoviello, Michael Sedon (Village Council Liaison).
Other: Chris Houghton, Dianne Kidwell, Bob Leibow.
Mike confirmed that the Village Council has made appointments to the committees which, after adjustments, will be as follows. Christine Amundsen becomes a full member of REAC and Yvone Nava is appointed to REAC. Serena Iacoviello, Jamie Miller and Anthea Zito are appointed to the Green Team. All positions on both committees are now filled. Leslie decided not to become a committee member but will still attend when possible and contribute towards SJ Actions.
2. The March, April and May meeting minutes were approved by consensus.
3. Meeting schedule.
It had previously been suggested we skip meetings in either July, August or both. Based on availability of those present we will meet in July but not in August.
4. Sustainable Jersey
a. SJ Annual Summit
Bob had attended the SJ Annual Summit on June 14th. 650+ attended. Bob noted that Glen Rock pays the fee for EC/GT members to attend but it was agreed that the fee does not affect attendance by our members. Speakers stressed the urgency to address climate change and other issues, the Annual State of the State report shows only 2 of 10 metrics improving, SJ urged members to promote participation in the national census which affects funding. Presentation slides have been posted at http://www.sustainablejersey.com/fileadmin/media/Events_and_Trainings/Sustainability_Summit/2019/Summit_Plenary_Slides_FINAL.pdf.
b. Plans for Silver recertification.
Committee members are asked to work on their assigned SJ Actions in preparation for a progress review in September.
c. Gold Star Standard in Waste
Waste Reduction & Recycling Level Reporting: Recycling Dept has not received some new data expected from the County. Johanna says she will follow up. She says they continue to explore a food waste program but so far the necessary partners have not been found.
d. Green Business Program
George & Pam continue to work on this program. Report is same as last month. Pam & Bob will move it along while George is away and invite others to participate. Serena asked if energy savings programs can be offered to businesses. NJ Clean Energy recently made a presentation to the SJ Bergen Hub which outlined residential & commercial/industrial programs with the opportunity to SJ gain points for outreach for both but requirements would go well beyond the scope of the GB Program.
5. SJ Bergen Hub
a. “Styrofoam” Program.
Since the Ridgewood Styrofoam collection drive 5/18 further drives took place in Leonia & Oradell. The next ones will be in the Fall.
b. Next Hub meeting.
Fair Lawn Community Center, July 15th, 7.00 PM, topic Community Solar.
6. Energy Aggregation.
The sub-committee has contacted Glen Rock to learn about their program.
7. Single Use Plastic Carry-Out Bags Ordinance.
The Village Council passed Ordinance #3722 on June 12th to take effect from January 1st 2020. We will now focus on developing an education plan at the July meeting. Meantime, to provide the option of including free reusable shopping bags in that plan, REAC voted to commit up to $1,600 of its funds for the purchase of up to about 600 bags. (Proposed Upton, seconded Smith Wilson, passed unanimous).
8. REAC Rebranding/By-Laws.
No progress to report. Bob still to review the ordinances & by-laws and suggest revisions. There was discussion about the benefits of becoming a commission but no decision to do so. Either way Rob is keen to explore the creation of an ERI.
9. Ridgewood Daffodil Festival & Earth Day Fair, April 19th 2020.
Before committing to being the focal organization for this event Bob had asked by e-mail for commitments to help prepare exhibits and to staff the event. From our 16 committee members we now have 8 positive responses with about 5 still to respond. Thanks to Dave Amundsen for volunteering also. Sustainable Jersey asked us to resubmit our invitation to participate after New Year. ANJEC responded by offering the use of their displays for the event. We will plan exhibits later, probably about 6 tables. We see this as a great opportunity to publicize our work, educate residents and promote our proposed new Green Ridgewood brand.
ANJEC has not responded to request to review our application for an Open Space Stewardship Grant. Bob will follow up and also with SJ about the failed Food Waste Grant application.
11. Suggested uses for REAC funds.
a. RHS & BFMS/RAEC Grant: The check was requested and we believe the schools submitted their paperwork so Jennie will follow up to see where they are in the process.
b. Middle school sustainability/environmental grant – no discussion.
12. Regenerative Environmentalism (Permaculture) Meet-Up Group.
Leslie has advised she hopes to schedule a July event.
13. Educational events
a. “Schoolhouse Rock – Earth”. Library staff suggest we target a younger age group, perhaps grades 1 – 3 and include some hands-on activities. We will look at the calendar for Oct/Nov and plan to promote in library newsletter, deadline 3rd wk July, and to schools in Sept.
b. Water Bottle Filling Station Promotion – Pam is continuing this effort at events.
c. Lead Education (SJ Action): Rob & Cathy are planning with Health Dept. Event targeted at parents of school age children – paint, antiques etc.
d. Screening of movie “Plastic Ocean” has been proposed. Possible opportunity to partner with Unitarian Society Environmental Committee in Oct/Nov. Dianne will find out their interest. Bob will check with ANJEC availability of this and other movies to borrow.
14. Master Plan/Visioning.
A group of RHS “Dumpster Divers” reported to the school board on their food waste investigation.
16. Midland Park.
The Boro Council has created a “Citizens Concerned with the Environment” group under the leadership of Councilwoman Nancy Peet. Bob has accepted their invitation to attend their second meeting June 20th.
17. Artificial Turf.
This is a complex topic on which we will continue to try to become better informed.
18. New business.
During our discussions the limitations of the Village web site came up and Bob reported that we are exploring creating our own web site.
19. Next Joint Meeting: Tuesday July 16th, 7.00 PM.