20210805 - Green Ridgewood/Green Team Meeting Minutes

Green Ridgewood-Green Team Meeting Minutes 20210805

Held in-person at the Stable


Green Ridgewood: Bob Upton, Christine Amundsen, Saurabh Dani (School Board Rep), Mary Mogerley (Parks & Recreation Rep), Pam Perron (Village Council Liaison).

Green Team: Justin Manger, Bob Upton, Anthea Zito, Mike Sedon (Village Council Liaison).

Additional: Miles Luo (RHS).

1. Welcome/Introductions:

As anticipated, many of our members are away; apologies for absence had been received from most of those absent. Therefore, as planned and lacking a quorum, we adopted an informal format for most of the meeting.

2. Approve July Meeting Minutes:

The July draft minutes were distributed to members by e-mail on July 10th. The vote to approve them was postponed until the next meeting due to lack of quorum.

3. Membership/Recruitment:

It was noted that a number of committee memberships will expire at the end of the year and yet there is no active effort on the Village website to make residents aware of committee opportunities except for Planning, Zoning and CBD. It was suggested perhaps add Volunteer Opportunities to the Employment Opportunities button on the home page. Pam and Mike took note of this suggestion. We need always to be inviting participation from residents who may be interested in joining the committees.

Bob encouraged all members to give thought to the future leadership of both committees. Green Team is currently without a Chair and Bob is exploring relocation outside the Village.

4. Green Team/Sustainable Jersey:

(a) Silver Recertification: Mike & Justin reported on the response from SJ to our application for recertification. They say we are in good shape with the one required action approved, three priority actions approved and nine categories out of eight needed for silver certification. We have 145 approved points and need 205 more for silver certification with 100 more than that in our application. Mike will forward the details of the required revisions to the person responsible for each Action.

A question was asked if the RHS Water Bottle project can be included in any action. Too late for this year.

(b) Green Business Subcommittee: Members are reminded that George requested suggestions for questions and issues to include in qualifying non-restaurant businesses.  For guidance Pam e-mailed the restaurant questionnaire to members on July 22nd.

5. Sustainable Bergen Hub:

(a) Glen Rock hosted a Zoom Hub meeting on July 26th attended by Mike F and Bob. It included a presentation “Accelerating the Transition to Sustainable Landscaping in New Jersey” by Lois Kraus of ATL-NJ (Advocates for Transforming Landscaping), a review of the recent efforts of the Styrofoam Sub-Committee to get support from BCUA and County leaders, and brief reports from other sub-committees and green teams. EV Sub-Committee still hope to hold an event at the Ridgewood Farmers Market, date tbd, and participate in the Ridgewood Auto Show.

Next Hub meeting dates would be 8/23 if someone volunteers, 9/27 and Wyckoff will host 10/25 when Tracy Zur, Bergen County Commissioner is scheduled to attend.

(b) Single Use Plastics Sub-Committee has not met.

(c) The Styrofoam Sub-Committee: See (a) above.

(d) Creative Bergen: The 2022 Arts Amble is scheduled for June 9th – 11th. Board to meet soon.

(e) EV Sub-Committee: See (a) above.

(f) Solar Sub-Committee: Hasn’t met but hope to schedule live info session at a solar-powered private home.

6. Open Discussion

E.A.G.E.R. (Encouraging Alternative Green Energy for Ridgewood): Pam distributed a Summary (info) sheet and FAQ document prepared by the RGEA sub-committee using this new name for the proposal. These will be distributed at a table at Sunday’s (8/8) Farmers Market. They will ask for names and e-mails of supporters.

Tree Protection Ordinance: Pam reported she, George, Mike & Carolyn Jacoby (Shade Tree Comm) are working on proposed ordinance. Appropriate penalties were discussed. The document will go to the Village Engineer then Attorney for comment and then to this group for review.

Planning Board/Master Plan: Pam advised their September 21st meeting will include Heyer Gruel Associates, consultants, and a discussion of the Resiliency component of the Master plan.

Village Council: Pam reported the Village will purchase a street sweeper machine which will help keep storm drains clear and has started the process to create a park at the Town Garage site on Franklin Ave. The Council also is considering whether to support Food and Water Watch in opposition to a proposed Gas-Fired Power Plant for Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission. Pam will pass on info to us.

Tree Issues: Unfortunately $80K from the $100K budgeted for tree planting has had to be reallocated to the removal of diseased ash trees. A suggestion has been made to create an internship program for college or high school age students to maintain tree wells during the summer months. Miles will explore this idea.

Bob apologized that he forgot to forward a notification from Ellie about a webinar by AGZA, the American Green Zone Alliance, about battery powered landscaping equipment, organic lawn care and other topics. He will check to see if a recording is offered and advise.

We extended an invitation to Sean Hamlin to attend a future meeting to discuss Styrofoam collection (October?), Clean Communities program, Food Waste program and diverting curbside items to organizations seeking donations. Our meeting dates don’t work well for Sean so a meeting with a few members will be suggested. Christine, Pam, Justin, Bob & Miles expressed interest in participating if available.

It was noted that Beth and George plan to explore her suggestion of an Earth Day project with Ridgewood’s schools. Several people offered to assist and await next steps.

In some previous years we have taken the opportunity after summer absences to consider our goals and priorities. We noted that there are a number of topics which might be brought to the Council so we need to review and prioritize. Examples are:

E.A.G.E.R. – all agreed this project is in motion so it has a priority position.

Tree Protection Ordinance – also in process, see above.

Leaf Blowers noise and pollution.

Restrictions on Multiple Balloon Releases.

Restrictions on Lawn Chemicals.

17. Next Joint Meeting will be Thursday September 2nd at 7:00 pm at The Stable.

Minutes submitted by: Bob Upton, August 9, 2021.