20210204 - Green Ridgewood-Green Team Virtual Meeting Minutes

Attendance:

Green Ridgewood: Bob Upton, George Wolfson, Ellie Gruber, Beth Creller, Saurabh Dani (School Board Rep), Mary Mogerley (Parks & Recreation Rep), Pam Perron (Village Council Liaison)

Green Team: Justin Manger, George Wolfson, Ellie Gruber, Bob Upton, Anthea Zito, Diala Pharaon, Tony Mauriello, Michael Sedon (Village Council Liaison)

Additional: Miles Luo (RHS), Abby Clothier, Dianne Kidwell, Joanna Hanrahan, David Refkin, Carolyn Jacoby (Shade Tree Commission).

1. Welcome/Introductions:

We were pleased to welcome several past and new guests. Apologies had been received from Christine Amundsen and Yvone Nava for being unable to attend.

Again, we extend thanks to Dylan Hansen for hosting us on Zoom.

2. Approve January meeting minutes:

Pam proposed and Ellie seconded approval of the draft minutes from the January meeting which had been e-mailed to members on 1/13. Motion passed with no objections.

3. Membership/Recruitment:

Pam has asked the Village Manager to recommend a new Staff representative for Green Ridgewood.

The Village Council has completed interviews for the open Green Team resident member position. That appointment will be made soon. The Council also decided to create a Student Member position on the Green Team with the expectation that Abby Clothier will be appointed.

4. Communications: Website, Social Media, Sustainable Ridgewood, etc:

The Green Ridgewood/Green Team page on the Village website has been updated so visitors will see current information about meetings as well as the current e-mail address and a link to our own website.

5. Green Team/Sustainable Jersey

Silver Recertification: Justin summarized the status of our Sustainable Jersey re-submission which is due by June 6th. Our previous Silver Certification was achieved with 370 points, 350 being the minimum requirement. Currently we show 370 potential points. The spreadsheet listing Actions and the owner for each was reviewed. Owners will report on the specific status of each Action.

Wildlife Action Plan: Mike confirmed the resolution is on the Council agenda for the next public meeting, February 10th.

6. Sustainable Bergen Hub:

(i) Glen Rock hosted a Hub meeting on Zoom on January 26th. Topics included a recap of Glen Rock’s RGEA experience and the start of an inventory of EV charging points in the County. Next meetings will be hosted by Ramsey in February and Allendale in March with specific dates to be determined.

(ii) Creative Bergen – Anthea reported plans are in development for art exhibits and activities in Ridgewood as part of the Arts Amble in June. As plans firm up she will seek cooperation from the Parks Dept.

(iii) The Single Use Plastics sub-committee will meet via Zoom on February 8th with a guest speaker from the recycling industry.

(iv) The Hub Styrofoam Sub-Committee met on January 27th and explored ideas for recycling EPS as a County program including lobbying the County Board of Commissioners. The proposed Ridgewood Styrofoam collection was discussed, see below.

7. Green Ridgewood Styrofoam Sub-Committee:

The planned Ridgewood/Bergen Hub Styrofoam collection is proposed for Saturday April 17th, rain date April 24th. Parks Dept has approved the use of Graydon parking lot subject to satisfying the Village’s insurance requirements. Yvone has said she will follow-up.

8. RGEA (Renewable Government Energy Aggregation) sub-committee:

Following the proposal made at the January 6th Council Work session the Council discussed this issue and has requested more information, particularly concerning PSE&G electricity rate fluctuations. Pam & Christine are working with Gabel Assocs. to provide it.

9. Earth Day

The Village Earth Day committee, including George & Bob, met and agreed that the current Covid issues preclude holding the traditional Earth Day Fair this year. Options to plan a virtual event or postpone to the fall were rejected and the decision made to cancel for 2021. The cancellation has since been announced by the Village management. It was therefore suggested that Green Ridgewood observe Earth Day in some alternative fashion. Suggestions included creating a video which could be posted and promoted, a plant sale or promoting outdoor activities, perhaps walking tours or clean-up events. Members are asked to bring forward more specific ideas.

10. Grants:

Sustainable Jersey has announced that their annual grant cycle will be announced February 22nd. In order to apply for grants suitable projects must be identified. Bob will send out a reminder to review their “Thinking About Applying for Grants?” page on their website.

11. ANJEC Training:

ANJEC has announced they will be conducting virtual training sessions in place of their usual “2021 Fundamentals for Effective Environmental Commissions” in-person training. Although Green Ridgewood is not a commission we are a member of ANJEC and members can participate at no charge. Those who have attended this training encourage committee members who have not to attend. Bob will send out the information.

12. Planning Board:

The Planning Board met on January 19th and cancelled its February 2nd meeting. A project concerning a parking area and pedestrian shelter on Maple Ave was to be discussed, now to be addressed at a future meeting.

13. New Business:

Pam suggested Green Ridgewood become more active in the operation of storm drains and will distribute information about Westfield’s Adopt-a-Drain program.

Mike and George provided a brief update on the development of a student-led sustainability effort, currently identified as the Environmental Youth Council, which has received a large number of responses indicating interest.

We have been informed that the NJDEP has approved the proposed Wild Duck Pond improvements in the County Park.

14. Next Joint Meeting will be Thursday March 4th at 7:00 PM, venue to be advised.

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