Green Ridgewood-Green Team Virtual Meeting Minutes 20200721
Green Ridgewood: Bob Upton, George Wolfson, Ellie Gruber, Christine Amundsen, Saurabh Dani (School Board Rep), Mary Mogerley (Parks & Recreation Rep), Pam Perron (Village Council Liaison).
Green Team: George Wolfson, Ellie Gruber, Bob Upton, Anthea Zito, Michael Sedon (Village Council Liaison).
Additional: Miles Luo (RHS), Alice Diamond.
Thanks again to Dylan Hansen for hosting our meeting via Zoom. We welcomed Miles once more and Alice, a new attendee, who has raised concerns about gasoline powered leaf blowers.
2. Approve June meeting minutes:
Pam & Mary proposed and seconded approval of the June minutes, which were approved unanimously.
Pam has followed up with Village management on our request to clarify current membership of our committees, to publicize on the Village web site the need for new members and the process for residents to apply. We will use our own resources, like Facebook and our web site, to invite new members but we would like to include reference to the Village procedure.
4. Meeting Schedule Change:
An e-mail poll of members determined a preference to move our meeting date to the first Thursday each month at 7.00 pm and this proposal was agreed unanimously. Beth Spinato has confirmed the availability of the Garden Room for us on those days for when in-person meetings can resume.
5. Planning Board
Now that our meeting dates do not conflict members are encouraged to observe Planning Board meetings to gain familiarity with the process. Next meeting Aug 4th at 7:30 pm.
6. Communications, Social Media, Website, etc: See item 3. above.
7. ERI (Environmental Resource Inventory):
Rob has indicated he plans to hold a subcommittee meeting soon. It was noted that the Tree Inventory has been completed and the report finalized, which will be presented to the Council, probably in September. Also an Open Space Inventory exists. Both could contribute to the ERI.
8. Future Events:
Justin is contacting GeoPro with whom we previously spoke about scheduling a seminar about geothermal, now exploring a virtual seminar.
9. Sustainable Jersey – Silver Recertification: No update.
10. Sustainable Jersey – Bergen Hub:
Bob participated in a Zoom Hub meeting July 14th hosted by Oradell. (Note: Minutes now posted on Basecamp). Creative Bergen is planning a launch event July 29th via Zoom. The use of some Styrofoam grant money for more collections was discussed but without decision. Note: SJ has yet to rule on the use of the grant money. The Food Waste/Composting Workshop of June 10th is now available on You Tube and the SJ website (webinars). Next Hub virtual meeting will be August 11th.
11. Sustainable Jersey/YMCA cooperation:
Bob has initiated a conversation with Ridgewood YMCA about possible cooperation between their new Teen Voices program about social injustice and SJ’s Environmental Justice Action.
12. Sustainable Families/Households Proposal: To be discussed at our next meeting.
13. Schools: Middle School Grant Program
Middle school administrators responded to Bob’s e-mail but have not talked yet.
14. E-mails to Green Ridgewood/Green Team (Leaf Blowers & Pesticides):
Alice Diamond, who had e-mailed us suggesting banning gas powered leaf blowers, participated in our discussion. The Village attorney advised he was not aware of this issue being addressed by the Village in the past. Ellie will coordinate a group including Pam, Miles and Alice to look into this, seek input from Chris Rutishauser, and report.
We have responded to the e-mail concerning the use of pesticides at a specific location indicating we do not propose specific action at this time but asking if any of the other recipients of the e-mail have responded.
15. Wild Duck Pond Improvement:
Still no response to our requests for information.
16. RGEAs (Renewable Government Energy Aggregates):
No progress reported on Bergen County’s interest. Glen Rock’s current contract ends in December so they are renegotiating and interested in partnering. Also possibility of joining Essex alliance. Pam & Christine are the subcommittee looking into this and Alice may join them. SJ has a webinar on this topic on July 29th. (Note: Recording will be posted on https://www.sustainablejersey.com/).
17. Green Business Update:
Twelve businesses have been qualified and George has offered suggestions for a certificate design. Deciding when best to present them.
18. Green Ridgewood/Green Team Bylaws:
Pam is reviewing the most recent draft. Bob & Justin to help wrap this up.
19. Grants/Grant Writer:
We are not aware of any current grant opportunities. Bob still to research and create a calendar. Village Council representatives were asked if a grant writer compensated on a contingency basis could be an option.
20. NJ Environmental Justice Bill (A2212 & S232):
ANJEC and other organizations have been seeking support for this legislation and a resolution was discussed. Ellie had more current information advising the bill is moving through the legislative process and it was decided that, subject to confirmation of the timing, committee members are encouraged to take individual action. (Note: Ellie’s subsequent e-mail providing information and legislator contact info was forwarded to all committee members and supporters).
21. New Business: NJ Transit Meadowlands Power Plant:
On July 19th Bob forwarded to committee members an e-mail from a group opposing this proposed new gas fueled power plant with links to a large amount of information. Ellie noted that other groups including LWV and Food & Water Watch are opposing the project. It was agreed that members should review the available information and to discuss possible action at our next meeting.
22. Next Joint Meeting will be Thursday September 3rd at 7:00 PM, details to be advised.
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