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See You Sunday at Sustainable Wellesley Meeting 12-1.30pm

Please join us THIS SUNDAY for the Sustainable Wellesley meeting from 12:00 – 1:30pm at 161 Oakland Street, Wellesley – the studio above the garage. Get ready for good folks and conversations, some snacks and ACTION on issues you care about. Some topics on the agenda include: Transportation Pesticide Reduction Plan Plastic Reduction Progress! Parade Planning Let us know if there are topics you would like to see on the agenda. Feel free to share this invite with others. All are welcome. Please RSVP to info@sustainablewellesley.com.

“It’s Vital Not To Idle,” Says Wellesley Girl Scout Troop 73505

Idling  Is Against the Law Has Costs & is Unhealthy! Town departments across Wellesley, Girl Scout Troop 73505 and Wellesley Green Schools are proud to launch the Earth Day 2019 No Idling Campaign. Commencing on Earth Day, Monday, April 22, Girl Scouts have been out at a variety of schools thanking drivers for NOT IDLING with handmade car fresheners with a no idling message. The Girl Scouts are sharing the message that not only is idling against the law and there are costs associated with idling, but it’s unhealthy, especially for children around school car lines. Thanks to a coordinated campaign with Wellesley’s Board of Selectmen, Health, Police, Public Works, Recreation, and School Departments, as well as Wellesley’s Housing Authority,  Natural Resources Commission, the Municipal Light Plant, Sustainable Energy Committee, Trails Committee, Wellesley Free Library, and Youth Commission, in conjunction with Dana Hall School, Friends of Brookside, Friends of Morses Pond, Sustainable Wellesley, Temple Beth Elohim Green Team,  UU Wellesley, Wellesley Cancer Prevention Project, Wellesley Village Church, Wellesley Conservation Council, Wellesley Council on Aging, Wellesley Green Schools, Wellesley Hills Congregational Church, Wellesley United Soccer Club, Wellesley Weston Chabad House, Wellesley Youth Baseball & Softball, Wellesley Youth Lacrosse Club, and the inspirational Girl Scout Troop 73505, it will be hard to ignore the town-wide no idling messaging.   Look for IT’S VITAL NOT TO IDLE signs at schools as well as at the RDF, at Longfellow Pond and other areas around Wellesley. There are MANY good reasons not to idle. Did you know?   40+ hazardous air pollutants are emitted from engine exhaust 10 seconds of idling wastes more fuel than restarting the engine Driving warms up your car 2 times faster than idling on a cold day 5 minutes is the legal limit before violating Massachusetts State Law Penalties for the first offense is $100 and the second and subsequent are $500 Children have developing respiratory systems, breathe 50% more air per pound of body weight than adults, and are closer to exhaust pipes Outdoor air pollution is one of the 8 leading triggers for asthma attacks 1 gallon of gas produces 17lbs of CO 2 – a contributor to greenhouse gases 2 minutes of idling uses as much fuel as traveling 1 mile Consider turning your engine off the next time you are waiting in the car. It can improve public health, protect the environment and enhance the quality of life.

Congratulations 2019 Sustainability Challenge Winners!

This year’s STEM EXPO Sustainability Challenge was to promoting a local resource, policy or behavior change that makes Wellesley greener. These came in in a variety of formats such as advertisements, essays, videos, artwork and more. Students from elementary through high school thought hard and convinced their audiences that everything from food waste and removing chemicals from their lawns, to composting and hydroponics were ideal ways to help our environment! Congratulations to the 2019 Sustainability Challenge winners! Elementary School Winners: -Elan Usmani: “Making Wellesley Lawns Greener” video -Nalini Fiorillo: “How Green Is Your Community?” infographic on school commuting -Abby Brown and Kayla Bohlin: “Plastic in the Oceans” website and video Middle School Winner: -Kellen Sharpe: “Composting” video High School Winner: -Owen Mix: “Hydroponic Greenhouse” PowerPoint presentation Many thanks to all our participants in the 2019 STEM Expo Sustainability Challenge: Nalini Fiorillo, Chase Gemski, TJ Reohr, Elan Usmani, Emelle Bedair and Layla Bedair, Will Hubbard and Henry Haddon, Nina Wied and Ellery Gerhart, Thomas Zhou, Jacob Gottschaulk and Cooper Gooch, Abby Brown, Kayla Bohlin, Emily Burnham and Audrey Song, Solène Zelenko, Alice Danilenko Varpahovsky, Tessa Danilenko Varpahovsky, Claire Roney, Kathryn Bonnette, Caroline Stewart, Lila Welburn, Aiyden Pires, Hope Schofield, Chace Beauvais, Emma Brostrom, Lilah Wallace, Sean Sullivan, Kenny Song, Olivia Kashian, Costi Papavassiliou, Charlote Haig, Alexander Bertucci, Christian Pooley, Christine McMahon, Nick Lafave, Carter Rich, Ieva MacInnes, Liam Berger, Ryan O’Shea, Daniel Goldberg, Sabrina Gabriel, Leila Eccher, Cameron Poirier, Jayden Song, Graci Doherty, Ben Ackerman, Estelle Maroon, Jacob Recht, Max Wied, Allie Chung, Jake Broggi, Mike Lafave, Blyn Kull-Must, Hally Brown, Lizzy Hudson, Nina Waller, Riley Marth, Lauren Young, Zachary Nolan, Evelyn Harrison, Kaitlyn Willett and Hannah Cronin, Leah Wechsler, Eliza Towle, Kellen Sharpe, Blake and Robert Foster, Alivia Jiang, Owen Mix and Ian Lei.

Its Vital Not To Idle!

Guided Walks Coming Up

Guided Walks to Inventory Bio-Diversity Each time slot offers multiple walks, Starting locations below. Remember to download the iNaturalist app onto your iPhone or Android first! DATES and TIMES Friday, April 26 10a-noon: Longfellow Pond and Town Forest; Guernsey Sanctuary,  Morses Pond; North 40 Vernal Pool 3-5:00p: Centennial Reservation; Morses Pond Saturday, April 27 9a-noon: Charles River 10a-noon: Guernsey Sanctuary; Morses Pond 3-5:00p: Boulder Brook Reservation; Centennial Reservation; Guernsey Sanctuary; North 40 Vernal Pool Sunday, April 28 10a-noon: Boulder Brook Reservation; Guernsey Sanctuary; Morses Pond; North 40 Vernal Pool 3-5:00p: Boulder Brook Reservation; Guernsey Sanctuary Monday, April 29 10a-noon: Morses Pond; North 40 Vernal Pool 3-5:00p: North 40 Vernal Pool, Boulder Brook Reservation STARTING LOCATIONS Boulder Brook Reservation — 68 Elmwood Road Charles River – Behind office building at 1 Washington St Centennial – 135 Oakland Street Guernsey Sanctuary – 163 Winding River Rd Longfellow Pond – Parking lot at 224 Oakland Street Morses Pond – End of Turner Rd North 40 Vernal Pool – Beginning of Turner Rd on left, corner of Weston Road This event is sponsored by the Wellesley Conservation Council, Wellesley’s non-profit land trust, and co-sponsored with the Natural Resources Commission, continues a series of local conservation activities this spring including Wellesley’s own City Nature Challenge April 26-29th. More details here.

Bird Watching

The Wellesley Conservation Council, Wellesley non-profit land trust, offers free spring Sunday-morning bird walks beginning the 1st Sunday in May. Beginners and novices are welcome. They explore areas not only in Wellesley but also in nearby towns. It is not uncommon to observe 30 species in their top breeding finery and vocalization! The leader will direct the group to the most promising birding site of the day. Binoculars, guide books, and waterproof footwear are advisable. Except for the Mother’s Day trip to Mt. Auburn Cemetery, which meets at 7 a.m., all bird walks commence at 8 a.m. Sundays from the parking lot at the corner of Cameron and Washington Streets (next to the main Library). Date               Leader                     Time               Meeting Place May 5        Natalie Starr              8:00 AM          Cameron and Washington St. Parking Lot (next to main Library) May 12      Dan Gee                     7:00 AM         Cameron and Washington St. Parking Lot (Mother’s Day)                                                                                          to car pool to Mount Auburn Cemetery May 19      Natalie Starr              8:00 AM          Cameron and Washington St. Parking Lot  (Wellesley Wonderful Weekend) May 26      Michael Tobin            8:00 AM          Cameron and Washington St. Parking Lot http://www.wellesleyconservationcouncil.org/bird-walks.html https://www.facebook.com/events/522074168196724/ The Wellesley Conservation Council, Wellesley’s 501(c)(3) non-profit land trust, protects 14 sanctuaries across more than 45 acres of natural land in Wellesley and bordering lands in Needham and Weston. More information about our mission, the sanctuaries, and membership can be found: www.wellesleyconservationcouncil.org and info@wellesleyconservationcouncil.org.

Thank you! It Is Possible!

We’re grateful to everyone who joined us for Sustainable Wellesley and the NRC’s screening of Before the Flood. I’m all about what’s possible. We saw that it was possible to fill a room with people who wanted to watch a documentary about the environment while serving a plant-based meal with no single-use plastics and entirely compostable or reusable serving ware. Facing the reality of climate change and thinking about the way it impacts human and animal life on the planet is a heavy topic, but there are ways we can shift our behavior so that we contribute less to the problem. And when others see us making changes and prioritizing the environment when we vote, eat, consume, drive or entertain, public awareness increases and our efforts can compound. Here are some resources: Join the “Power to Choose” Program in Wellesley to get your electricity from renewable sources: https://wellesleyma.gov/261/Voluntary-Renewable-Energy Eat some meatless meals. See our guide with links to recipe blogs, a list of great vegetarian meals at local restaurants and other resources for adding some plant-based meals into your week: http://www.sustainablewellesley.com/food/ Get a Home Energy Assessment: Mass Save has free home energy assessments that can lower your home heating costs and make your home more environmentally friendly by increasing its efficiency. https://www.masssave.com/en/saving/energy-assessments/ Consider an electric / hybrid / carpool / alternate transit option:  Sustainable Wellesley Mobility rEVolution slides. Great list of available Plug-in Electric Vehicles PlugInCars.com Anyone interested in further discussion or a test ride in a Tesla Model 3 should contact Scott Bender at Scott@MyBlueDot.net Anyone interested in further discussion or a test ride in a Tesla Model S or Tesla Model X can contact Kelly Caiazzo at kelly.caiazzo@gmail.com “Drive Green” initiative by Green Energy Consumer’s Alliance has a great feature that allows you to easily compare various EVs, and has pre-arranged discounts on EVs with car dealers. View the resources from the film: Includes information on supporting carbon taxes, maps of coastal flooding projections, and links to specific environmental initiatives. https://www.beforetheflood.com/act/ Visit the Wellesley Natural Resources Commission page: Find information about the Gas Leaks initiatives , the Healthy Yard campaign, and other ways the NRC encourages Sustainability in Wellesley and protects our green spaces and natural resources. Take a quiz on your “footprint” for personalized reduction strategies: Several sites offer this. The Global Footprint Network: https://www.footprintcalculator.org/ The EPA:  https://www3.epa.gov/carbon-footprint-calculator/ Carbonfund.org:  https://carbonfund.org/calculate-your-footprint/ Watercalculator.org (water footprint oriented):  https://www.watercalculator.org/   Vote with the environment in mind.    Share what you’re doing: We need a shift in public opinion and awareness on climate change. Sharing what you’re doing and why, whether it’s telling someone about your home energy assessment or suggesting you carpool to an event together. Have other ideas we missed? Want to continue the discussion? Have personal experience with solar panels or carbon offsets you want to share? You can: Come to the next Sustainable Wellesley meeting on April 28th from 12:00 – 1:30 at 161 Oakland St. in Wellesley – the studio above the garage Join a local Facebook group that discusses sustainable living strategies: https://www.facebook.com/groups/372633353537543/ E-mail us at info@sustainablewellesley Thanks so much for joining us last night, and we hope to see you again in the future! Our next film is Stink! on May 21st and we’re serving burritos. RSVP here Thank you for being part of the solution!

Stretch Code Needs Updating. Attend Hearing & Write A Letter

According to the most recent report of the Sustainable Energy Committee, 53% of Wellesley’s carbon emissions come from buildings, through inefficient design and construction.  But our town’s green building requirements can’t exceed those of the state’s  “stretch code” and, right now, that “stretch code” is in bad need of updating. Advocates of a Net Zero Stretch Code are urged to either write or attend the next meeting of the BBRS on this issue. RSVP to join us at the May 7th BBRS Hearing here: https://www.massclimateaction.org/5_7_bbrs_hearing Sample letter is here. Click here for the Net Zero Stretch Code fact sheet.pdf – For more information, contact Mary at mgard62@gmail.com.

Inspiring Sisters!

Two sisters, Ayesha & Vaani, are hoping to reduce plastic in local communities by elimination, education and prevention. These Wellesley Public School students have learned how plastic is destroying the Earth but are frustrated that not many people are doing anything about it. They want to make a change. They believe the first step to doing so is by picking plastic up from the streets of our own town. Please join them on Saturday, April 27th from 2-3pm to pick up plastic, and other litter from the sidewalk of Route 9 that stretches from Cliff road to Kingsbury street.  Meet at the bottom of Cliff road, at the intersection with Route 16, where they will provide the trash collection bags and gloves. “We would just like people to come with a positive attitude, and be ready to help, and if they cannot join us, we would love for people to go out to their backyards and streets and help remove plastic from their community,” said Ayesha & Vaani. “Thank you so much for all you help!” They were aware of the challenges plastic creates in the world, but did not realize how people were personally being affected by it until they had the opportunity to visit India. There they saw first hand that people were living in areas where their houses were surrounded by plastic waste. They were inspired to bring some change and created The Project Plastic USA  – follow the initiative on Instagram @projectplasticusa. Their goal is to reduce plastic locally by picking it up from the roads, educating people about the harms plastic creates, and lastly preventing large companies to produce single use plastic products. They are starting with the clean up in their neighborhood in hopes of motivating other communities to do the same – perhaps, eventually, reaching places similar to the ones they saw in India.

Dont Miss The Friends of Brookside Annual Clean-Up This Saturday

The Friends of Brookside is hosting its annual Spring Clean-up this Saturday, April 13, at 9 am. Feel free to bring family, friends and neighbors to the meeting spot at Longfellow Pond (off of Oakland St). Friends of Brookside is a community association of Wellesley residents dedicated to protecting and preserving Scenic Brookside Road, Longfellow Pond, Town Forest, Rosemary Brook and Brookside Community Gardens. The Brookside area boasts natural beauty in all seasons.

3 Things You Can Do

Go pesticide free!

Take the pledge not to poison your yard, and put your pin on the map of pesticide-free homes HERE

Get clean electricity!

Wellesley residents can get clean, renewable electricity through our Municipal Light Plant with the same great service. Find out how HERE

Find and fix gas leaks!

There are over 200 ‘natural gas’ leaks all over Wellesley. Find where the nearest leaks to you are and what you can do about them HERE