20220602 - Green Ridgewood Meeting Minutes

Green Ridgewood Meeting Minutes 20220602

Held at The Stable

Attendance:

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.

1. Welcome/Introductions/Apologies

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.

Imagec) 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:

Past Training Resources – ANJEC

 

4. Communications

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.

 

7. Schools

  1. 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).
  2. 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.
  3. Miles reported on RHS SJ grant implementation, tree planting by Ho-Ho-Kus Brook, seedlings next year.

 

8. Ridgewood Daffodil Festival & Earth Day Fair

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

 

10. Grants

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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Green Ridgewood Meeting Minutes 20220505

Held at The Stable

Attendance:

Green Ridgewood: Bob Upton, George Wolfson, Christine Amundsen, Beth Creller,  David Refkin 

Green Team: Justin Manger, Ellie Gruber, Mike Faherty

Guests: Miles Luo, Carolyn Jacoby, Nurhan Ezik, Justin Jonsson

1. Welcome/Introductions/Apologies

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 Yvone Nava, Pam Perron, Roman SanDoval and Sofia Morino.

2. Approve April Meeting Minutes

The meeting had no quorum so this item will pass to our next meeting.

3. Membership & Election of Officers

No update since last meeting.

4. Communications:

No update.

5. Project 1,000 Acres

Mike has been publicizing this project widely to schools, Ridgewood Moms & Dads, etc. A total of 64 1/2 acres have been registered including 9 residential properties totaling about 4 or 5 acres and a number of the Village's parks. We need more people to register their property on the Project 1,000 Acres website. Participants get a certificate and a thankyou letter. Carolyn offered to help people identify plants on their property (native vs non-native). Nurhan expressed interest in supporting the project team.

6. Leaf Blowers/Gas Powered Lawn Equipment

Ellie had addressed the Village Council Workshop in public comments on April 27th on behalf of LWV Climate Committee proposing that the Village adopt a noise control ordinance with a goal of reducing noise and environmental pollution from gas powered lawn equipment (GPLE). Her comments and FAQ's were distributed to members with the agenda for this meeting. Since no Green Ridgewood meeting was scheduled before her remarks we were unable to take a position in support or otherwise. 

Ellie reviewed the limitations of noise control laws in the state and other options for restricting GPLE use such as restricting hours or dates. The capability of current electric leaf blowers to adequately handle fall leaf volume was questioned. Several towns have adopted noise ordinances and gas leaf blower restrictions and the state DEP offers a model noise ordinance. However, it was noted, even if an ordinance is passed enforcement is difficult due to the need to measure the noise for a prolonged period of time.

Ellie, Mike, Nurhan and Justin J expressed interest in working as a sub-committee on this issue.

7. Schools

a. Ridge Block Party Friday May 13th 5:30 - 8:00 pm. We received an invitation to participate in this event and Mike has agreed to lead a group taking a table focusing on Project 1,000 Acres and other Green Ridgewood activities.

b. We were approached on behalf of one of the RHS Applied Engineering Teams, the ChemPost Team, to provide feedback on their project. They provided videos and information and decided to create a questionnaire to go out to our members. Further, as AP Seniors try to tackle environmental issues we may be called upon for financial support for them.

8. Ridgewood Daffodil Festival & Earth Day Fair Review

Overall, in spite of cooler (but dry) weather than is ideal the event was judged a great success but no doubt would have benefited from warmer conditions. Our three exhibits were Green Ridgewood/Green Team actions, Project 1,000 Acres and EV cars (8 cars displayed). The use of QR codes to disseminate information and get feedback was an innovation this year and enabled conducting a quiz resulting in awarding 3 electric leaf blower prizes. After final accounting and sharing of the proceeds with the Ridgewood Conservancy for Public Lands Green Ridgewood will add about $2,300 to its funds so members should give thought to how we can employ our resources to benefit the Village and the planet.

9. Conversation with Sean Hamlin, Sanitation/Recycling Supervisor

a. We are most grateful to Sean for taking time on Saturday morning, April 30th to meet with Yvone, David, Pam & Bob to review various programs for which he is responsible. Bob wrote a summary that was distributed to members. Key points: (1) Food scrap pilot program was successful and informative, participants can continue and it is hoped to expand their number, (2) Composting in the Village faces some obstacles including the need for state legislation, (3) Solid Waste Reduction was reviewed (see 9b), (4) Electrification of municipal vehicle fleet, it is planned to request an EV pick-up truck next year, (5) Plastics recycling challenges including (6) the EPS densifier - Sean agreeable to a demonstration for GR/GT members and SJ Bergen Hub Green Teams and DPW's, hopefully on a Wednesday in June.

b. Sean shared his thoughts on ways to improve recycling and David has expanded on them in his e-mail to members. At our April meeting David had invited members to join him and Christine, Justin M and Miles to focus on this issue.

10. Grants

Limited discussion - we need to be vigilant for grant opportunities and match them with needs identified in these minutes.

11. Planning Board

a. Bob and Beth try to monitor PB agenda topics for those with significant environmental impact. None identified recently.

b. Master Plan draft is awaiting the Open Space Plan to be incorporated. The Parks, Recreation & Conservation Board and the Open Space Committee held a joint public meeting on April 21st to provide their and public input to the Land Conservancy of NJ to guide it in its writing of the Open Space Plan.

12. NJ Plastics Ban

This NJ law became effective May 4th. Pam and Bob had visited just about every retail and food establishment in the Village, mostly ahead of the Earth Day Fair to promote that event and also make them aware of the requirements of the Plastic Ban.

13. EAGER (Encouraging Alternative Green Energy for Ridgewood)

The first RFP for a consultant to steer this program for Ridgewood was unsuccessful and the Village leadership will try again.

14. Green Team/SJ Silver Recertification - no update.

15. SJ Bergen Hub Meetings - neither the Hub Committee nor sub-committees have met this month.

16. New/Other Business

a. Carolyn reported that the Village's Tree Protection Ordinance became effective 2 days previously, requiring a permit for removal of qualified (non-exempt) trees. She noted that carbon absorption of younger trees is good but it depends mostly on size, bigger is better.

b. George wants to look into remedies to address flooding with Chris Rutishauser, including tree planting. Beth noted that pickleball and baseball groups would be willing to participate in such efforts.

17. Next Meeting will be Thursday June 2nd 2022 at 7:00 pm. Bob will check with Parks & Recreation to confirm availability of an appropriate venue for future meetings since, with Covid still very active in the community, it is not ideal to return to the confined space of the Garden Room.

Minutes submitted by: Bob Upton, May 18th, 2022.

 

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Green Ridgewood Meeting Minutes 20220407

Held at The Stable

Attendance:

Green Ridgewood: Bob Upton, George Wolfson, Christine Amundsen, Yvone Nava, Beth Creller, David Refkin, Pam Perron (Village Council Liaison), Tessa Florida (Student Liaison).

Green Team: Justin Manger, Mike Faherty, Roman SanDoval, Krisha Anant (Student Liaison), Sofia Morino (Student Liaison),

Guests: Miles Luo (RHS), Virginia Daut.

1. Welcome/Introductions/Apologies

We opened the meeting by celebrating the occasion of meeting in person by members introducing themselves.

This is a Green Ridgewood meeting however Green Team members were invited and encouraged to attend.

2. Approve March Meeting Minutes

The March draft minutes had been distributed to members by e-mail on March 9th. Christine motioned to approve the minutes, seconded by Pam and passed unanimously.

3. Membership & Election of Officers

Bob suggested members consider offering themselves for election to positions of Vice Chair and Secretary and, in due course, Chair as he expects to leave Ridgewood later this year.

4. Communications:

Mike reiterated the understanding of the relationship between Green Ridgewood and Sustainable Ridgewood for clarification, essentially as reported in the March minutes.

5. Earth Day Fair and Daffodil Festival

With the 2022 Daffodil Festival & Earth Day Fair just 3 days away much of this meeting was devoted to reviewing the plans and assignments for the event, taking place in Memorial Park on Sunday April 10th, 11am-2pm.

George, Pam and Bob have participated in the Village’s planning committee and reported on the overall plan for the day.

Justin is continuing to update our website with information about the main topics for the event which will be accessed using a QR code at the event. A different QR code will be used to access the survey developed by Krisha.

George has created the QR code displays for distribution throughout the event as well as signage promoting the sponsors.

a. Project 1,000 Acres – Mike reviewed plans for this exhibit.

b. EVs & Charging – Beth and Justin now expect eight EV passenger vehicles, all different, to be displayed at the event.

c. Schools – At the time of our meeting four schools had committed to exhibit at the event with hopefully more to come.

d. Green Ridgewood/Green Team Exhibit – David reviewed two resources for estimating residential carbon footprint, coolclimate.org and PSE&G, and will create information to display. We will also have information about the NJ Plastic Ban, EAGER (energy aggregation), Green Restaurants and the Sustainable Jersey program. Other talking points will be Ridgewood’s Tree Ordinance (learn more at the Shade Tree Commission table), EPS Recycling (visit Recycling Dept. and Foam Cycle exhibits), Anti-Idling Campaign, Adopt-A-Drain Program, Companion Animal Management Plan.

e. Justin proposed holding a quiz based on questions about sustainable actions in Ridgewood and awarding prizes of electric leaf blowers or a lawn mower. It was suggested and agreed that this could be conducted using “Cahoots”. Bob proposed and Beth seconded a motion to approve Green Ridgewood providing up to $600 for the purchase of 3 electric leaf blowers for this purpose. The motion was approved unanimously.

6. Planning Board

Bob reported that the Planning Board meeting on April 5th, which had an agenda item “Phase 2 Master Plan- Public Meeting”, was very disappointing consisting merely of a review of section titles and announcement that the draft plan would be publicized the next day but then that was then postponed.

The Land Conservancy of NJ is writing the Open Space Plan for the Village which will be used to create that Element of the Master Plan. They will receive input for the plan at the Open Space Committee meeting on Thursday April 21st which is open to the public.

7. Green Team Sub-Committee/Sustainable Jersey

Mike Sedon will be scheduling a separate Green Team meeting.

8. Sustainable Bergen Hub

a. There was no Hub meeting in March but Woodcliff Lake will host a meeting in April, date to be confirmed.

b. Plastics Sub-Committee met via Zoom on March 29th. The meeting reviewed recent activities in different towns: EPS collections and recycling with much interest in Ridgewood’s program, TREX programs, NJ Plastic Ban implementation and rigid plastics recycling (interest in a visit to Westfield’s recycling center). Interest was expressed in restarting the Composting sub-committee.

c. No other sub-committee reports.

9. Green Acres/Scoping Hearing

It was noted that Rich Calbi and Topology Consultants made a presentation about this topic at the March 23rd Village Council Special Public Meeting. Recording available on Swagit.

10. Updates

a. Tree Protection Ordinance – to be voted on at the April 13th Council meeting.

b. Waste reduction/recycling efficiency – David will lead a group to explore this topic. Christine, Justin & Miles expressed interest previously. Bob will invite Sean Hamlin to meet with the group.

11. New Business

Pam provided several updates as follows:

- Ridgewood Water has been awarded a $2.8 million grant by the EPA for PFAS treatment.

- USDA will provide $200,000 and the Village will add $61,000 for clean-up of the HoHoKus Brook and Saddle River.

- An Eagle Scout has undertaken a project to plant native plants in two areas in Citizens Park.

- The Village Council will vote on the Flood Acquisition Plan at its April 13th meeting.

- The Recycling Department will demonstrate the EPS (Styrofoam) densifier to the Council on April 20th. If approved David and Bob asked to be invited to join them.

17. Next Joint Meeting will be Thursday May 5th 2022 at 7:00 pm, at the Stable (outside with option to move inside if necessary).

Minutes submitted by: Bob Upton, April 19th, 2022.

 

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Green Ridgewood Meeting Minutes 20220303

Held on Zoom

Attendance:

Green Ridgewood: Bob Upton, Christine Amundsen, Yvone Nava, Beth Creller, David Refkin, Saurabh Dani (School Board Rep), Frank Mortimer (Parks & Recreation Rep), Jill Fasano (Village Staff Rep), Tessa Florida (Student Liaison).

Green Team: Justin Manger, Mike Faherty, Roman San Doval, Derek White, Krisha Anant (Student Liaison), Sofia Morino (Student Liaison),

Guests: Miles Luo (RHS), Carolyn Jacoby (STC).

1. Welcome/Introductions/Apologies

George Wolfson had advised that he would be unavailable for the meeting. Pam Perron and Mike Sedon were unavailable due to Village Council commitments, however Pam had provided some comments to be included under several agenda items.

We welcomed Frank and appreciate his volunteering to represent Parks & Recreation on Green Ridgewood and recognized his past contributions to the Green Team through his role in the NE NJ Beekeepers Association.

We also welcomed new Green Ridgewood members David and Tessa and new Green Team members Roman & Derek, all appointed at the Village Council meeting on February 9th. Lastly we welcomed guests Miles and Carolyn.

Bob noted once more that this is a Green Ridgewood meeting however Green Team members were invited and encouraged to attend.

We were pleased to note that our three Green Ridgewood/Green Team Student Liaisons are all leaders or members of the RHS Green Club. It has been suggested that these positions might be better described as Intern rather than Liaison, which is referred to Pam and Mike S for consideration.

2. Approve February Meeting Minutes

The February draft minutes had been distributed to members by e-mail on February 14th. Christine motioned to approve the minutes, seconded by Beth and passed unanimously.

3. Membership & Election of Officers

For the benefit of new members Bob reviewed the role of the two committees and noted that, while we appreciate Mike S taking on leading the Green Team’s Sustainable Jersey re-certification effort as, the Green Team currently lacks an elected Chair.

4. Communications:

Some confusion remains following the discussion of web site coordination between Green Ridgewood and Sustainable Ridgewood at the January meeting since no decision was made. At present each will maintain its own website and Facebook presence and each group support the other. 

Following the presentation of the GroupSpot app and subsequent discussion it has been concluded that we don’t propose to use it ourselves but can ask the schools and HSA’s to spread information for us through their use of the app.

5. Earth Day Fair and Daffodil Festival

Bob reviewed the importance of this event to the Village and to Green Ridgewood in particular and how it is planned and carried out. All members of both committees are asked to make themselves available for the event, Sunday April 10th, 11am-2pm.

George and Bob will attend the next meeting of the Village planning committee on March 9th and we will have updates with our own committee project leads soon.

Justin continues to develop the way we will use a QR code to communicate with attendees. Krisha received no suggestions for questions for our survey so will distribute a draft to stimulate more ideas.

a. Project 1,000 Acres – Mike F is leading this project and the associated website and will be prepared to present information at the Fair with support from local businesses.

b. EVs & Charging – Beth and Justin have about six or more different EV or hybrid cars offered for this exhibit and will have information available for the event.

c. Schools – Beth met with the FHSA and she and Christine are working with the schools to encourage participation at the Fair with exhibits.

d. Climate Change – Undecided how this topic will be presented and ideas were invited.

e. Other topics will be featured at the Green Ridgewood/Green Team table to include EAGER and Plastic Ban info (see below).

6. EAGER (Encouraging Alternative Green Energy for Ridgewood)

Pam had advised that the ordinance authorizing the establishment of an energy aggregation program was passed unanimously by the Village Council on February 9th and she explained the next step to them at their February 23rd meeting. Our subcommittee came up with a matrix of criteria for energy consultant interviews and Pam will work with Village administration on issuing an RFP.

7. Plastic Bag Ban

We have learned that the Village is relying on Green Ridgewood to publicize this law which bans some single use plastic and paper bags and some polystyrene foam food service products effective May 4th 2022. It already requires plastic drinking straws be provided by request only.

We discussed, for expediency, using the information sheet created by the NJBAC to distribute to Village retail businesses and for our Earth Day display. It was pointed out that it does not explain why the law is needed and an improved document was suggested. (Pam & Bob subsequently concluded that the document will only be distributed by hand providing the opportunity to explain the need for the law and with limited time and resource we will use the NJBAC document). Also need to work with Chamber of Commerce and Guild.

8. Planning Board

a. Bob reviewed the significance of Green Ridgewood being a committee and not a commission and encouraged members to take advantage of ANJEC’s upcoming training for EC’s. While having no direct role in the function of the Planning Board we are able to attend their meetings, which are open to the public, in person. Members are therefore encouraged to review upcoming agendas for topics of potential environmental impact and attending meetings when appropriate.

b. Master Plan Sustainability/Resiliency Content – At our February meeting David presented suggested recommendations related to resiliency to be submitted to the Master Plan committee. Subsequent to the meeting he refined those recommendations which were e-mailed to Green Ridgewood members for approval, received 7 votes of approval and no disapprovals, and were submitted to the Master Plan committee ahead of their public meeting on February 15th. He also spoke at that meeting to provide a summary of the recommendations on behalf of Green Ridgewood for which we thank him. He reported that the presentation of Master plan information was comprehensive but could be more forward thinking. We await the first draft of the Master Plan, expected early April.

9. Green Team Sub-Committee/Sustainable Jersey

No update since last meeting.

10. Sustainable Bergen Hub

Bob reviewed the role & operation of the Hub and noted that it uses Basecamp for communications. Send Bob an e-mail if you want to join.

a. Allendale hosted a Zoom Hub meeting on February 28th attended by 22 Hub members. Recording and minutes available in Basecamp. Guest speakers addressed concerns of harmful emissions from heat densification of EPS and concluding from available information that they are very low, and the program in development by G2revolution to provide a mobile cold densification device.

b. Plastics Sub-Committee met via Zoom on February 22nd, recording in Basecamp. Interest in understanding inconsistency in rigid plastic packaging recycling programs. Next meeting March 22nd.

11. Student Liaison Positions

We are now pleased to have 3 Student Liaison positions between the 2 committees. While we appreciate the students supporting our efforts we should also support them in their educational endeavors. So we invite them to tell us how we can help them to benefit from their participation.

12. Green Acres/Scoping Hearing

Pam had provided for distribution for the information of our members the notice of the subject hearing scheduled to occur during the March 23rd Village Council meeting. It addresses the need to replace a small plot at Graydon needed by Ridgewood Water which was removed from Green Acres property included in the Recreation and Open Space Inventory (ROSI).

13. Tree Protection Ordinance

The Village Council continued to discuss the ordinance at its February 23rd meeting. It is expected to be introduced at their March 9th meeting with public hearing and vote at their April 13th meeting.

14. EPS (Styrofoam) Recycling

We are pleased to hear that the Recycling Departments densifier trial is now underway. Nearby towns are interested to learn from this experience but meanwhile several towns have EPS collections planned, some accepting from all Bergen County residents.

15. Schools

RHS Green Club was congratulated for receiving a $2,000 NJEA grant for ash trees. Krisha will liaise with Mike Sedon re. implementation.

Also there is interest in protecting streams with riparian plantings. Saurabh suggested discuss with Dr Gorman.

16. New Business

David suggested exploring improvements to recycling efficiency. We will invite Sean Hamlin to meet with Green Ridgewood or a delegation as he has done in the past.

17. Next Joint Meeting will be Thursday April 7th 2022 at 7:00 pm, at the Stable (outside with option to move inside if necessary).

Minutes submitted by: Bob Upton, March 9th, 2022.

 

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Green Ridgewood Meeting Minutes 20220203

Held on Zoom

Attendance:

Green Ridgewood: Bob Upton, George Wolfson, Christine Amundsen, Yvone Nava, Beth Creller, Pam Perron (Village Council Liaison).

Green Team: Justin Manger, Krisha Anant (Student Liaison).

Guests: Miles Luo (RHS), David Refkin, Dianne Kidwell, Mark Kossick.

1. Welcome/Introductions/Apologies

Yvone arrived midway through the meeting for which she had apologized in advance.

We welcomed all our guests, in particular David, who we expect to be appointed to Green Ridgewood at the next Village Council meeting, and Mark as guest speaker.

Bob noted that the Green Team held a separate meeting recently this meeting is a Green Ridgewood meeting only, however Green Team members were invited.

2. Approve January Meeting Minutes

The January final draft minutes had been distributed to members by e-mail on January 31st. Pam motioned to approve the January minutes, seconded by Christine and passed unanimously.

3. Membership & Election of Officers

It has been our practice to elect officers each year. Nominations for Chair were invited, Pam nominated Bob, George seconded, approved unanimously. There were no candidates for Vice-Chair. George’s past service as Vice-Chair is appreciated but he suggested it’s time for someone new to take on that role. This position may be revisited when all committee positions are filled. Bob also suggested the committee appoint a Secretary if a member will take it on.

4. Communications:

Justin has made some changes to the website format to accommodate proposed communications of Earth Day Fair information. See below.

Mark Kossick presented an overview of the GroupSpot app and described how a number of organizations use it, including our schools and HSA’s. We need to explore further if it can help us in our internal communications and with the schools.

5. Earth Day Fair

The Village Daffodil Festival & Earth Day Fair committee met on January 18th and will soon issue the promotional flyer and registration form which members are asked to distribute and solicit exhibitors and sponsors. Next meeting February 15th.

Members of our own Earth Day sub-committee continue to plan how their topics will be presented. Justin has created a demo of how a QR code can be used to link to web pages and a questionnaire.

a. Project 1,000 Acres – This program continues in development. The plan to create a sustainable yard with native plants in front of the new Ridgewood Water HQ was presented to the Village Council workshop February 2nd by Elaine Silverstein of the Native Plant Society of NJ – see the video on Swagit on the Village website.

b. EVs & Charging – We believe the Village has approved space for an EV exhibit but this must be verified. George has identified some information sources that could be used to create web content, in particular Sustainable Princeton’s page.

c. Schools – Beth continues to liaise with the schools & HSA’s.

d. Climate Change – Discussion later in the meeting will help develop this topic.

e. Other Earth Day topics – EAGER info, Plastic Ban info, Master Plan info.

6. EAGER (Encouraging Alternative Green Energy for Ridgewood)

At the Village Council workshop on February 2nd, Christine Amundsen spoke in support of the EAGER ordinance, which is required to start the process to create an energy aggregation program by authorizing an RFP to engage a consultant. [Council voted 5/0 to pass the ordinance at the February 9th public meeting.]

7. Planning Board

a. Hopper Ridge NJDEP Permit Approval – Bob had forwarded to members Chris Rutishauser’s e-mail inviting comment or questions about the subject approval.

The principal engineer presenting the application commented in an e-mail to the Shade Tree Commission that “A condition of the PB Approval is that any Tree Removal be approved by the Village Arborist, Shade Tree Commission and Environmental Commission”. The STC, after clarifying plans for tree replacement and landscaping, has already indicated it has no further comment on the permit.

Green Ridgewood is unclear on the requirement to comment on the permit but agreed by consensus that no comment was necessary. For future reference we will attempt to clarify our obligations for similar eventualities.

b. Master Plan Sustainability/Resiliency Content – As the Master Plan development progresses, with an update to be presented on February 15th, David has been leading our effort to ensure that concerns about sustainability and resiliency are addressed as we also endeavor to clarify the requirements of the State in this respect. David led a Zoom conversation with the Village leadership (Village Manager, Office of Emergency Management, Police, Fire & Health Departments), also attended by Pam & Bob, and provided a draft of our recommendations which was distributed to committee members and discussed. David will incorporate our suggestions into a final version to be distributed for approval before presenting it to the Master Plan team. [The recommendation letter was distributed to Green Ridgewood members by e-mail on February 11th and by February 14th 7 responses had been received all approving the letter].

In ANJEC’s January 27th webinar “Local Planning for Climate Change Toolkit” speakers reviewed the NJ Business Action Center’s “Municipal Climate Resilience Plan Guide” (see https://nj.gov/state/planning/assets/pdf/resilience-plan-guide.pdf) which discusses how Municipal Land Use Law requires a “climate change-related hazard vulnerability assessment” be included in any new Master Plan Land Use Element. This requirement will be noted in our recommendations.

We discussed concern about the lack of clarity as to which, if any, authority takes responsibility for addressing flooding problems regionally and the option to encourage the County’s development of a plan.

8. Green Team Sub-Committee/Sustainable Jersey

Mike Sedon has agreed to assume leadership of our Sustainable Jersey recertification effort and in doing so becomes de facto Green Team leader. The Green Team met on January 25th and Mike will be sending out the list of SJ Actions we are pursuing with assignments.

9. Sustainable Bergen Hub

a. Glen Rock hosted a Zoom Hub meeting on January 25th, with guest speaker Tracey Woods of SJ, on the subject of EV charging and funding Clean Fleets. Minutes and video can be accessed via Basecamp. (Also see Tracy’s SJ webinar “Funding for Transitioning Fleets to EVs” on SJ website). Allendale will host next meeting on February 28th. Bob encouraged other GR & GT members to get involved in Hub meetings.

b. Plastics Sub-Committee (Single Use Plastics merged with Styrofoam) met via Zoom on January 11th with a wide-ranging discussion about goals and options to reduce and recycle SU Plastics.

It was noted that Poly Molding (EPS recycler) has increased its charge to drop off EPS to $125 a truckload leading some municipalities to question the monetary value of recycling. This increases interest in Ridgewood’s proposed recycling trial.

10. Tree Ordinance

The proposed tree ordinance was discussed in detail at the February 2nd Village Council workshop and will be continued at a forthcoming workshop.

11. Leaf Blowers, etc

Ellie sent an e-mail to all Village Council members and Village Manager addressing the harm caused by Gas Powered Lawn Equipment ending with a comment that “both the Green Team and League of Women Voters Climate Committee will be sending out more information.”

12. Adopt-A-Drain

During the Zoom discussion with Village leaders (see para. 7b above), the Police Chief remarked on the benefits of Adopt-A-Drain programs. In the past, concern had been expressed about their safety aspects but the Village Manager felt that limiting a program to side streets should be acceptable. Conversations continue about how to get this program going in Ridgewood.

13. Other Business

a. Pam noted that the Village ordinance concerning “Power Tools, Tools, Landscaping, Machinery, and Yard Maintenance Equipment” is proposed to change by reducing hours when operation is allowed.      

b. Green Ridgewood received an e-mail from a Wyckoff Junior Environmental Commissioner who ran a successful Trex Plastic Film Recycling Challenge in her town offering support and training assistance if Ridgewood wants to conduct a similar program. We have discussed Trex programs in the past and there has not been support from our committees. That is not to suggest that we will not continue to promote single use plastic recycling and education on this subject.

14. Next Joint Meeting will be Thursday March 3rd 2022 at 7:00 pm, via Zoom.

We will reconsider the option to revert to in-person meetings (possibly outside) for meetings after March.

Minutes submitted by: Bob Upton, February 14th, 2022.

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