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.
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