Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Harvest Time

It’s finally the time to reap the benefits of all our hard work and effort. It is harvest time. But the anticipation has been worth the wait! The beautiful towering sunflowers welcome us and invite us to come inside. The height and strength of those golden beauties is always an amazement considering the seeds from which they came. They have provided dazzle and inspiration. Along with the sunflowers, the gardens have come alive with rich, luscious vegetables that tempt our appetites. We need only to take a leisurely walk down the garden paths and no matter which way we turn, our eyes can feast on various colors of the rainbow, from the oh so subtle pale of a yellow pepper to the deep purple of a perfect eggplant. What a delicious sight to see. Smiles are abundant too from the gardeners who tilled the soil, planted the seeds with a gentle hand and watered faithfully, all done with quiet anticipation of this time. Soon the late fall crops will begin a show of their own , but for now let us enjoy the many colors and mouth watering delights that await our picking. Ah, the sweet satisfaction of a job well done.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Semi Annual Review of the BVGT

This month’s Bay Village Green Team meeting was the semi annual review of GT activities to Mayor Sutherland. Beginning with the Waste Management Update, Brenda O’Reilly gave a report on Recycling in Public Places and the 24 recycling bins the team received, in the form of a grant from the Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District. Acknowledgment and thanks was given to the City’s Service Center since each bin needed to be lettered with recycling instructions along with being placed in strategic locations around town and for special events. The Service Center also provided paper recycling bins in all city buildings, significantly reducing waste. Also covered was a follow-up to the SWD Compost Seminar held in July. Forty-five attended with 17 compost bins being sold resulting in more people composting and less waste going to our landfills—more organic waste being repurposed; way-to-go fellow composters!

With regard to further recycling discussion, Bay currently recycles 50% of its waste—this is due primarily to a very successful leaf and brush pick up program. The leaf and brush is picked up by the city and is delivered to the Westlake compost facility, made into mulch and humus. Excluding the leaf and brush, Bay recycles around 13%. There is an opportunity to increase recycling with Automated Trash Pick up, combined with education and public awareness. Automated Trash Pickup is currently under review with the city. Talks of holding a Town Hall meeting on this topic may begin in the Fall. Many communities are now converting to automated trash pick up—statistics show that it at least doubles recycling due to increased curbside pickup. In Bay, the curbside pick up could be expanded to include compostable yard waste, mixed paper, and cardboard.

Bob Shield’s gave an update on the Bay Community Garden beginning with the community’s interest and participation being way beyond all expectation for its first year. There are 82 plots, with 73 rented. The others are to churches and scouts for use in growing food to donate and for education. There is also a pumpkin patch for kids, sun flower garden along the north end of the fence, and butterfly garden at the corner of Wolf & Forestview. Currently the Community Garden Sub Committee is focused on maintaining the garden—watering the vegetable gardens and newly planted flowers, weeding, harvesting, cutting grass, filling barrels. We expect increased enrollment next year based on the interest that is being expressed.

Other discussion items that rounded out the meeting included: The Mayor being asked to consider a Zero Waste BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) for the city. Across Northeast Ohio, companies and organizations have signed up with a Zero Waste goal. Bay Village could be the first municipality to declare a zero waste goal and how cool would that be!!! Other topics discussed were: A budget to plan more trees; E4S Sustainability Implementation Training; Solar & Wind power; and Emerald Ash Bore infecting a number of trees in our city.

Remember, anyone is welcome to join us at our monthly meetings. Make a difference, get involved and come to our next BVGT September 14th meeting, 6:30 at City Hall.

If anyone is interested in receiving the official meeting minutes send an email request to bayvillagegreenteam@gmail.com with 8/10/10 Minutes copy request in subject line.