Green Ridgewood Meeting Minutes 20220602
Held at The Stable
Green Ridgewood: Bob Upton, Christine Amundsen, Yvone Nava, David Refkin, Saurabh Dani (School Board Rep), Frank Mortimer (Parks & Recreation Rep), Jill Fasano (Village Staff Rep), Pam Perron (Village Council Liaison), Tessa Florida (Student Liaison).
Green Team: Justin Manger, Mike Faherty, Roman SanDoval.
Guests: Miles Luo, Carolyn Jacoby, Nurhan Ezik, Adam Peterseil, Virginia Daut.
As always for this Green Ridgewood meeting Green Team members are encouraged to attend and the public is invited. We welcomed regular and first time guests.
Apologies had been received from Beth Creller, George Wolfson, Ellie Gruber, Sofia Moreno.
2. Approve April and May Meeting Minutes
Approval of April & May draft minutes as distributed April 19th & May 29th respectively was proposed by Pam, seconded by David and carried unanimously.
3. Membership & Election of Officers
a) Christine Amundsen and Yvone Nava offered to act as co-secretaries for Green Ridgewood and were appointed with gratitude.
b) Village Council will be interviewing potential new members on Monday, June 6th.
c) Ordinance 3907 up for vote by the Village Council on Wednesday June 8th. Purpose:
Key point - If you cannot attend a meeting, it is necessary to advise the Village Liaison (Pam) or committee chair.
Pam & Bob plan to meet to try to finalize Green Ridgewood/Green Team by-laws. Mike S and others interested are invited.
d) ANJEC – members are encouraged to take Fundamentals for Effective Environmental Commissions training, link below:
Look into having a consistent input on the e-notice email from town to publicize recycling and other topics and keep top of mind for residents.
Ongoing discussion around boosting communications strategy, via Facebook, emails, etc.
5. Project 1,000 Acres
Mike reported 120+ acres so far. Word is getting out, need more referrals. Mike’s daughter (Sophia) is going to help with social media and PR over the summer. Sophia to reach out to Yvone and Beth.
Mike to send small verbiage to copy / paste and for member to share with their networks
Encouraging members to sign up. Longer term looking to explore other towns involved, initial focus on those serviced by Ridgewood Water.
Suggested make a presentation to Parks & Rec Board.
6. Leaf Blowers/Gas Powered Lawn Equipment / Noise Pollution
Meeting on June 2nd attended by Ellie, Pam, Justin Jonsson
Looking to narrow scope. Potential options:
- Follow other towns with leaf blower bans and phase them in. Ex. Year 1 no sale of leaf blowers, Year 2 you don’t allow them during certain months of the year, like Maplewood
- During the day no noise above 65db, and at night 55 db (example). Requires a noise control officer / certified expert.
- Share the officer / investigator with other towns to issue violations (investigator does not need certification)
Pam spoke to Dawn Cetrullo, exploring if a volunteer or existing village employee can get certified. Adam expressed interest in this volunteer role.
Adam & Nurhan volunteered to join this sub-committee.
4th of July fireworks - potential to give out ear plugs to attendees during ticket delivery. Health department to provide ear plugs. Saurabh offered to arrange to distribute the free ear plugs at entry points.
- Ridge School Block Party Friday May 13th – George, Beth and Mike had a table to spread the word about 1000 acres. Good publicity for Green Ridgewood. Feedback for future events: have some give away (candy, food, etc).
- RHS Chempost Project - Created a questionnaire - pending answer. Prototype of a device that collects compost material and captures emissions. If interested look for emails by keyword “chempost”. Students offered to do a demonstration.
- Miles reported on RHS SJ grant implementation, tree planting by Ho-Ho-Kus Brook, seedlings next year.
8. Ridgewood Daffodil Festival & Earth Day Fair
- Earth Day Fair 2022 – Received final financials from Nancy Bigos. It appears, after sharing with the Ridgewood Conservancy, Green Ridgewood will net about $2,300. Pam will check on our current balance in the Village account.
- Earth Day Fair 2023 – Looking to have it later in the month. Suggestion to potentially make it longer (ex: 10am-4pm). Check for other conflicts: spring break, easter, other events. Potential date April 23rd, 2023.
Theme topic: brainstorming and ideas are welcomed. Explore partnering with other commissions Shade Tree?) or explore 1000 Acres as a theme. Ideas: “You can green your Ridgewood” (using “green” as a verb). Or taking a broader view, focus on resiliency/stormwater; highlight Engineering Dept?
9. Recycling Issues
- Subcommittee Miles, David, Pam, Christine. Pam setting up follow up conversation (Recycling Improvement opportunities) to bring ideas more into focus/work with Sean. Topics for discussion with Sean:
Corrugated cardboard: Looking to do a pilot for a segment of town to do weekly pickup (vs bi-weekly) and use specific containers with lids to protect corrugate from weather. To get full benefit, look into the automatic truck that limits workers interaction. Pair it with an education campaign.
Business case in progress to run a model and see what the financial implications are (David leading).
Communication campaign ideas: e-notices, texts, recycle coach to alert people when weather can affect their recycling.
Styrofoam densifier. Visit upcoming to see how it works for our committees and Hub towns. Densifier will be purchased by the town after trial. More advertisement is needed as residents are still putting Styrofoam out with bulk.
Other towns have public space recycling collection but Ridgewood does not.
Looking into potentially installing solar panels at the recycling center.
Looking into renewable energy being used at the schools. Going with PSEG for now.
Check grants on ANJEC, Sustainable Jersey, PSE&G etc.
Are grants available for automatic recycling truck? EV?
Could we do something for Twinney Pond? People interested in joining this subcommittee contact Pam.
11. Planning Board
Waiting stage for Master Plan / Open Space Plan. Consultants to publicize draft.
David has suggested that Green Ridgewood seek a seat on the Planning Board. Meetings are 1st and 3rd Tuesday of every month and everyone is encouraged to attend to ensure sustainability and environmental guidelines are top of mind on the decisions for the town. Meantime Beth & Pam have been monitoring agendas for topics of concern to attend when appropriate. David will join in that effort.
Carolyn encourages us to attend the June 7th meeting in which they will address the development of properties at Linwood Ave/Paramus Rd. Developer is proposing a 16 townhouse development. Important to proactively go challenge their plans and ensure all sustainable considerations are being met.
12. NJ Plastics Ban
This NJ law became effective May 4th. No update
13. EAGER (Encouraging Alternative Green Energy for Ridgewood)
Sent out first RFP for an energy consultant to help formulate a program. No responses back. Second RFP issued May 27th and proposals have to be in by June 15th. Expected that three or more firms will submit proposals.
14. Green Team/SJ Silver Recertification - submission completed, awaiting feedback.
Sustainable Jersey Summit June 24th. Consensus agreement that Green Ridgewood will reimburse $38 fee if committee members attend.
15. SJ Bergen Hub Meetings - neither the Hub Committee nor sub-committees have met this month.
FYI June 10th -12th Creative Bergen Arts Amble.
16. New/Other Business
- RHS students Carly Anzalone & Shea Gorman have a project to study the impact of climate change on human health. They want to know what Green Ridgewood is doing about it. Bob responded to them and shared the overview of some of our actions. If someone wants to share more info with them, Miles can put them in touch with you (1000 acres, walks in Ridgewood), They will be invited to a future meeting to present their final project.
-Carolyn invites us to a walk on June 11th at 9:30 at to learn about trees (meeting point corner of Broad and Ridgewood Ave by Stella restaurant). She will be talking about how we are “re-treeing” the downtown area; there are 88 new tree wells.
-Flooding issues. George, David, Justin met with Jovan from Engineering. Follow up to see how we can use the grant and review more information to help push this through.
-Stormwater Management Plan related to points for Sustainable Jersey. Education around mapping tool, answer survey. Roman and Mike to meet with Chris Rutishauser on Monday June 6th. (Note: let’s coordinate Green Ridgewood & Green Team efforts).
-June 20th @ 9am road trip to Hoffman Grove, Wayne - related to flood acquisition plan (Village purchases houses that consistently get heavily flooded). Wayne has created rain gardens. Contact Pam if you are interested.
-Noted that disposal of cut down trees due to Emerald Ash Borer will cost $50K.
-Concern expressed about mosquito spraying on private property. Destructive to all insects and species that feed on them. Can vendors be required to delay 24 hours?
17. Next Meeting will be Thursday July 7th 2022 at 7:00 pm at The Stable.
Note: The Stable has been reserved for the next 3 meetings: July, August, September.
Minutes submitted by: Yvone Nava, June 3rd, 2022.
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