20201203 - Green Ridgewood-Green Team Virtual Meeting Minutes

Green Ridgewood-Green Team Virtual Meeting Minutes 20201203


Green Ridgewood: Bob Upton, George Wolfson, Ellie Gruber, Christine Amundsen, Yvone Nava, Beth Creller, 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), Dianne Kidwell

1. Welcome/Introductions:

Once again thanks to Dylan Hansen for hosting us on Zoom.

2. Approve November meeting minutes:

Ellie proposed and Pam seconded approval of the draft minutes from the November meeting which had been e-mailed to members on 11/12. Motion passed with no objections.

3. Membership/Recruitment:

As noted in the October minutes the Green Team now has 9 members but it is believed 10 is a full complement. Mike expects the Council will make another appointment at the next appropriate opportunity.

Committee Chair and Vice-Chair appointments, voted on by the committee members, are for a one year term. We will hold a vote at the January meeting. Bob is prepared to continue as Green Ridgewood Chair but also suggested others may want to bring new leadership. George expressed similar views on his position as Vice Chair.

4. Communications, Social Media, Website, etc:

Justin is maintaining our web site and Yvone is updating our Facebook page. Members should send them posts, articles & events to publicize. Beth and Saurabh have previously offered to assist with social media.

Mike & Pam will follow up on the proposed switch of our website platform to Word Press.

5. Youth Environmental Council 

Mike informed us that he, George and Joanna Hanrahan met with Stacey Antine of HealthBarn about creating an environmental/sustainability program involving kids, possibly in the spring. Plans are in the early stages. Other organizations may be involved and several of our members expressed interest in providing support.

6. Green Team/Sustainable Jersey

As noted for Green Ridgewood above, we will vote on the Chair position of the Green Team next meeting. Due to other commitments, Justin will relinquish the Chair but will continue as a member of the Green Team.

Silver Recertification: Justin reviewed the requirements to submit for recertification, deadline in June. He has sent out a Google spreadsheet of Actions with links to requirements listing those responsible for each action – please review and report to Justin. Still unlikely we will meet the drug collection requirement. Ellie believes census work in the Village may earn points.

Green Business Program: Pam has delivered the certificates and a cover letter to each of the certified restaurants and reported very positive reactions from the businesses.

Wildlife Action Plan: No update.

YMCA Teen Voices: No response from the Y. Both Pam and Mike have expressed interest in contributing. Bob forwarded info to Miles in case his students are interested.

Ridgewood Styrofoam Collection: See item 7(iv) below.

7. Sustainable Bergen Hub:

(i) The next Hub meeting will be on Tuesday December 8th at 7:00 pm, hosted on Zoom by Wyckoff. Agenda and Zoom info to come.

 (ii) Creative Bergen group’s Arts Amble is scheduled for June 11 – 13. They have created a Facebook page (private). They have sent out an appeal for high school student leaders to work on an arts contest for high schoolers. Bob will forward the flyer for publication.

(iii) The Single Use Plastics sub-committee met on Zoom on Nov 11th, mostly focused on a review of the NJ Plastics pollution Reduction Act “bag ban”). This group will not take on the Styrofoam program so the Styrofoam committee will re-form.

(iv) The Styrofoam sub-committee met on Zoom on Nov 19th and two collections have been scheduled, Hillsdale Dec 26th and Fair Lawn Jan 2nd, to be supported financially using grant funds and will be open to all Bergen Co. residents after the first hour. Flyers will be posted on our website and Facebook page. If sufficient funds remain some may be available for a Ridgewood collection proposed for the spring. A proposal was made to authorize the use of our own funds, expected under $200, if Hub money is not available, proposed by Anthea, seconded by Christine, passed with no dissent.  Yvone has offered to lead the planning of this event with support offered by Bob, Justin, Anthea & Christine. There appears to be no objection if we choose to solicit donations at the event.

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

Thanks to Christine and Pam for taking the lead on this topic. They have proposed that it is presented to the Village Council on Jan 6th and Bob Chilton of Gabel Assocs. will assist with the presentation. It was noted this initiative is consistent with the NJ Energy Master Plan’s encouragement of municipalities to promote the use and production of sustainable electricity.

9. Sustainable Families/Households Proposal:

Ellie and Joanna Hanrahan at Sustainable Ridgewood are proposing that this program will describe a number of sustainable actions that households can undertake for recognition by Green Ridgewood. In their concept Green Ridgewood will “own” the program and Sustainable Ridgewood will provide promotional support. Ellie gave examples of such actions and will set out the program “on paper” for review before we seek to present it to the Council.

10. Leaf blowers sub-committee:

There was an animated discussion about this issue, directed more towards noise concerns but also recognizing the difficulty of enforcement. An alternative approach would be to require equipment to comply with a suitable emissions standard if one exists. Ellie will share a presentation made by the Union County Hub and the Maplewood ordinance. Dianne offered some links and Anthea will look into the Larchmont NY regulation. They will share their information and we will review next meeting. Also suggested: quietcommunitiesinc.org, Quiet Communities Act, quietmontclair.org, leafblowernoise.com. Reportedly our Parks Dept. does not use electric power equipment as the Parks Supervisor believes the new technology is not up to the task yet.

11. ERI (Environmental Resource Inventory):

Rob is on leave of absence but advises that on his return he wants to continue working on an ERI.

12. NJCC Organic Waste Management Summit (Virtual) November 19th 2020.

Ellie “attended” the morning sessions of this event and provided a summary to members. It is expected that video recordings will be made available. The movie Kiss the Ground was highly recommended by the principal speaker and now also by Ellie. Thank you Ellie.

13. Ridgewood Library Sustainability Series:

As reported previously, Ridgewood Library has partnered with Sustainable Ridgewood in the development of this series of events. Look for Sustainability Series events on the library calendar.

14. Schools:

Sustainable Ridgewood and the FHSA are applying for a SJFS grant to be divided among all our schools if successful and asked for a letter of support from Green Ridgewood/Green Team. The committees approved the draft letter to go out over Bob’s & Justin’s signatures.

Miles reported on RHS Green Club activities. It was noted that grant money we provided to RHS and BFMS has yet to be spent. This issue to be taken up post-Covid.

15. Grants:

The SJ website suggests the PSEG Grant cycle should be open with a submission deadline of Feb 2021 but no information is given. Bob will contact SJ. They also offer a “funding database” which we will explore.

16. Future events

Typically we would be starting soon after the holidays to plan for our 2021 Earth Day Fair. Members are asked to give thought to how this might be accomplished if an in person event is again not possible.

17. Next Joint Meeting will be Thursday January 7th at 7:00 PM, details to

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