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Time to Register For the School Bus for 2019/2020 School Year

How many times have you been “stuck” in school traffic? Students enrolled in, and/or entering, the Wellesley Public Schools, St. John’s or Tenacre Schools have the opportunity to register NOW for transportation services for the upcoming 2019 – 2020 school year. In accordance with State regulations and School Committee policy, free transportation will be provided for students in Kindergarten through Grade 6 residing more than 2 miles from your school. If you have any questions regarding your eligibility based on your address, please go to the Wellesley Public Schools website at www.wellesleyps.org and click on the “Students & Families” tab at the top of the page. A drop down menu will appear on the right hand column under “Information & Services.” Scroll down to and click on “Transportation.” You will see “Bus Eligibility by Street.” Click on that selection and an alphabetical list by street will appear. Fee-based transportation services are available to all other students for only $2.89 a day (roundtrip). That translates to $521 per student, with a family cap of $1,142. In other words, when there are more than two children in a family participating in the fee-based transportation program, the fee for the third child is $100 and any additional child thereafter is free. For Wellesley High School families, know that there are TWO MORNING BUS OPTIONS. In order to participate in the program, parents must complete the registration process through the online fee payment system and agree to the Bus Conduct Rules for Transportation. The deadline for online registration with payment in full is April 5, 2019.  Requests after the April 5, 2019 deadline will result in your child being placed on a waiting list and processed on a space available basis in the order in which they are received. Bus routes will be sent to all registered students on or about May 15, 2019. Once paid in full, the seat is committed and assigned to your student/s. If you change your plans for use of the transportation service, fees are not refundable. A waiver process has been established for those families who are eligible by income level or are currently receiving state assistance. If you have any questions about the waiver process, please go to the Wellesley Public Schools website at www.wellesleyps.org and click on the “Students & Families” tab at the top of the page. A drop down menu will appear. Under “Information & Services,” scroll down to “Financial Assistance Information.” Families requesting a waiver should apply on or before the April 5, 2019deadline. A seat will not be assigned until all forms are completed, reviewed and approved. To register and pay online please go to www.wellesleyps.org; under the “Students & Families” tab, under “Online Payment & Registration” click on “Lessons & Transportation.” You will be brought to the login screen. Enter your Username and Password, press Login and then click on the photo of the yellow school bus. If you don’t remember your login information, click “Need Login Help?” and we will send it to you. If you don’t have an existing account, please click on “Create an Account” and proceed to enter your family information. You will be notified with a username and password. Riding the bus is a safe, cost and time effective means of transportation.  Turn the old saying “you are not in traffic, you are traffic,” around by registering today.

Spots For The Dinner & Documentary Series Are Going Quick. Reserve Yours TODAY

It’s back! Sustainable Wellesley’s popular dinner & documentary evenings at the Wellesley Free Library are returning on April 9th, 2019 and May 21st 2019. Join Sustainable Wellesley for Dinner and a Movie! Movie nights will take place in the Wakelin Room at the Wellesley Free Library and are free and open to the public, with dinner served! Registration Required. Doors open at 6:15 p.m. and screenings start at 6:45 p.m. Following each film will be a 5-10 minute presentation of resources related to the documentary topic. Tuesday, April 9th, Before The Flood a film about possible solutions to the dangers of climate change. RSVP for April 9th. Tuesday, May 21st, Stink! a film about carcinogenic chemicals in everyday products and how to make better choices.  RSVP for May 21st. This event is gratefully co-sponsored by the Wellesley Natural Resources Commission.

Get ready Wellesley for the International City Nature Challenge

Access your inner citizen scientist and be part of the international City Nature Challenge. The first City Nature Challenge was an eight-day competition between Los Angeles and San Francisco, engaging residents and visitors in documenting nature to better understand urban biodiversity. Over 20,000 observations were made by more than 1000 people in a one-week period, cataloging approximately 1600 species in each location, including new records for both areas. Wellesley is now competing in the 2019 City Nature Challenge to see who can make the most observations of nature, find the most species, and engage the most people. Learn more on April 23rd at 6 pm in the Wakelin room of Wellesley Free Library. Come learn how to use I naturalist  and how to take photos for the project. Interested residents will then sign up to pick a day/location for collecting data from April 26 – 29th.  After data is collected, there will be an identification meeting on May 2nd at 6pm in the Arnold room of the Wellesley Free Library. This event is co-sponsored by Wellesley’s Natural Resources Commission and the Wellesley Conservation Council. Results will be announced on Monday, May 6th. Will Wellesley win? Email  nrc@wellesleyma.gov for more information.

Make Time To Vote on Tuesday!

**Make sure you have time on your calendar on Tuesday, March 5th to vote!** Want to learn more about the candidates running and their thoughts on responsible, sustainable issues? Click here to see what they had to say at Sustainable Wellesley’s Conversations With The Candidates before election day on Tuesday. In addition, click on the Board name below to read the thoughtful responses (and more detailed than the video above) that most candidates offered to Sustainable Wellesley’s questions. Since many of the races are contested, knowing what the candidates value will help you when you go to vote. After reading them, share your thoughts with family, friends and neighbors. Moderator Selectmen – contested Assessors Board of Health – contested Housing Authority Library Trustees  Natural Resources Commission – contested Planning Board –contested Dept. of Public Works Recreation Department – contested School Committee  

Revolution in Wellesley?!?

Is there a transportation revolution in Wellesley?  Last year Plug-in car sales increased by 58% bringing the total number to more than 200 cars.  Plug-in cars include Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV) and Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV). Did you know: Transportation is responsible for ~43% of Wellesley’s greenhouse gas emission Each Plug-in car is capable of reducing emissions comparable to a residential solar installation There are already 24 different model plug-in cars owned by Wellesley residents Did you ever wonder: How do Electric vehicle costs compare to gasoline vehicles How long will the battery last Is an electric vehicle practical as a family car Do 200 cars qualify as a revolution?  Time will tell… Today’s questions is, will your next car be powered by electricity?  With 5 years and more than 60k miles of electric vehicle experience Scott Bender would like to help you find the answer.  Ask questions, share your story or enjoy a test ride of a Chevy Volt or Tesla Model 3. Contact Scott

Facebook Users Check This Out!

For those of you on Facebook looking for an easy way to interact with the Wellesley community, consider joining the Sustainable Living Wellesley Facebook group. Folks are talking about leaf blowers, gardening ideas, toilet paper, potential electric vehicle purchases, gifting items they don’t use anymore, and much more! You can ask questions, share ideas and have more of an exchange of ideas then simply reading the newsletter. The idea of the virtual group is this…We are all looking for ways to be healthy, save money and resources, and generally be a bit kinder to our planet and each other. This FB group allows Wellesley residents and professionals — no matter what their level of environmental understanding — to share events, ideas, data, concerns, and links; ask questions; enhance education; encourage constructive discussion; and inspire a resilient, positive, and eco-friendly stewardship of Wellesley and beyond. Our community has lots of creative, smart resources that have already made Wellesley a leader in sustainability. This space is likewise ideal for helping us all to make informed choices and simple acts for a positive, healthy, impactful environment — today and tomorrow.

Department of Education Awards “Green Ribbon Schools” to Wellesley Public Schools

Dept. of Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Jeff Riley announced that Wellesley Public Schools was selected as a 2019 Green Ribbon School along with The Boston Green Academy Horace Mann Charter School in Boston, and the Ipswich Middle-High School in Ipswich. Wellesley was chosen for excellence in reducing environmental impact, delivering environmental education programming, and improving the health and wellness of all members of the WPS community. These honorees will now be sent to the U.S. Dept. of Education for consideration as National Green Ribbon Schools. Launched by the U.S. Department of Education in 2011, the Green Ribbon Schools recognition program honors schools and districts that are exemplary in reducing environmental impact and costs, improving the health and wellness of students and staff, and delivering effective environmental and sustainability education that incorporates Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM), civic skills, and green career pathways. Each year, Massachusetts selects one or more schools or districts to honor at the state level; those honorees are then elevated to the U.S. Department of Education where they will have the opportunity to be honored as a national Green Ribbon School/District. Congratulations to the entire WPS community!

WHAT?? Imagine Filling Fenway Park With Trash 30 Times In A Year! That’s the projected exported #s for MA by 2025! 

“We have a ‘waste’ problem,” said Jeff Azano-Brown, RDF Superintendent at a recent presentation in Wellesley. If you missed it, watch it here thanks to Wellesley Media. The good new is that the current crisis in recycling gives us the opportunity to take a look at how we handle waste. The United States generates 30% of the world’s waste and only comprises 4% of the world’s population. Massachusetts is projected to export 40% of our trash out of state by 2025.  That’s enough trash to fill Fenway Park 30 times per year. We need to clean up our recycling and reduce our waste. Wellesley has several programs to assist in this effort and the RDF is one of them. The food waste program at the RDF is a new initiative to increase recycling and is now open to all residents.  To learn more about the program click here or call 781-235-7600 extension 3345. Thanks to Wellesley’s League of Women Voters, the UU Church in Wellesley for sponsoring this event.

Be Proud of Your Toxic Free Lawn

Be proud that your lawn isn’t treated with chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Wellesley’s Natural Resources Commission is offering, as part of it continued Grow Green Wellesley Campaign, these free lawn signs to highlight your healthy lawn this spring. They will even come install it for you. Email them for more information. Want an organic lawn and looking for assistance? Try giving some of these organic landscapers a call.

Local Environmental Action Conference

Mass Climate Action Network’s annual Local Environmental Action conference this year will be on Saturday, April 27th in Worcester, MA. Registration is open! Register today to reserve your spot. For the past 32 years, they have brought hundreds of community leaders and activists together for a day of learning and skill sharing. This is the biggest gathering of environmental and public health activists in our region, and you don’t want to miss it. What: Local Environmental Action 2019 When: Saturday, April 27 Where: Worcester State University, 486 Chandler Street, Worcester, MA RSVP: http://www.localenvironmentalaction.org/ We need to make change to win a healthy, sustainable future, and that requires a powerful movement. Join in on April 27th to get trained in organizing skills, connected with other activists, and get ready and inspired to make climate solutions happen in our community. Make time for the Local Environmental Action Event to get trained and ready to fight for the future you want to see. Register today. The Toxics Action Center is also a proud sponsor hosting this full day of inspiring speakers, powerful workshops, and networking with other activists.

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