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With transportation as Wellesley’s #1 source of greenhouse gas emissions, the featured topic at the next Green Collaborative meeting will be: Beneficial Electrification Through Electric Vehicles.

All are encouraged to join the Green Collaborative Meeting on Thursday, October 24th, from 9 to 11 am in the Wakelin Room of Wellesley Free Library.

Guest speakers include Anna Vanderspek and Benjamin Hartford.

Anna Vanderspek is the Electric Vehicle Program Director of the Green Energy Consumer Alliance. She will be discussing the non-profit’s “Drive Green” program. Learn more about an electric vehicle discount program and ways to educate consumers interested in vehicle electrification.

Benjamin Hartford is the National Accounts Sales Representative of XL Fleet. XL Fleet is a local company that provides electrification solutions for Class 2-6 commercial and municipal vehicles. XL equipment improves vehicle fuel efficiency by 20% to 50%.  Thousands of vehicles with XL technology have driven nearly 100 million cumulative miles.  These vehicles have saved over 1 million gallons of fuel and eliminated over 13,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions.

Phyllis Theermann

Concerned About Your Family’s Health? Want to Make A Difference In Your Community and Meet New People?

Wellesley residents are encouraged to come to the next Sustainable Wellesley action meeting on Sunday, September 15th from 2:00-3:30pm. The meeting will be held in a new location — with handicap accessibility — the parlor at the Wellesley Congregational (“Village”) Church (2 Central St.). 

There are many ways Wellesley residents of all ages can make a difference and feel like they are “doing something.” Learn about the many campaigns, projects, and opportunities there are for you to participate in, or bring your own ideas for  making a difference, both here in our community and as we work for environmental justice throughout the Commonwealth. No experience necessary; just come with you variety of talents, enthusiasm and knowledge. 

Some of the items on the agenda include:

  • Gas update: dangerous and costly gas main “blow-offs” and gas leaks 
  • Sept. 20th Climate Strike 
  • Solar and other renewable energy opportunities 
  • Environmental justice
  • Environmental Voters initiative
  • Food recovery, composting & waste reduction
  • Sustainable Fashion! 

For more information, contact info@SustainableWellesley.com. To learn more about the not-for-profit organization, go to www.SustainableWellesley.com. Website update is in the works! Let us know if you want to help out on that too.

Thank you to Wellesley Townsman editor, Cathy Brauner, for the handicap accessible meeting room suggestion.


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Wellesley Family Grows Milkweed for MonarchsWellesley Family Grows Beautiful Milkweed For Monarchs

Beautiful Monarch butterflies that were once regular visitors to our yards are now in a world-wide decline. This is largely due to the wide use of pesticides and herbicides that poison the butterflies and their caterpillars, and to the reduction in milkweed plant numbers. Milkweed is the *only* plant that Monarch caterpillars can eat, so it’s presence is essential. Unfortunately, the clearing of roadside verges and more intensive development has greatly reduced this critical, native plant.

Over the past five years Sustainable Wellesley has provided more than 800 milkweed plants to Wellesley residents so they can encourage Monarch butterflies in their own yards. Many have sent in photos of butterflies and caterpillars in their gardens. 

Now Wellesley resident Jaden Crawford has taken it to the next level!

Jaden wrote to Sustainable Wellesley lately letting us know that he has been germinating, propagating and growing milkweed and has some seeds to share if folks are interested in them.

“They are prolific!,” he said. “Part of the trick to propagating from collected seed is collecting the seed pods once they turn brown and start splitting, but before the seeds go airborne. Remove them from the pods and store in a clean, dry container. Then make sure they spend some time in freezing temps and store them in a cool, dry place,” Jaden wrote.  He continued that, “Even though they are prolific, they are much easier to manage than other prolific plants like goldenrod (which we also grow-carefully) because they don’t have the same type of fast-running roots. So they are quite easy to pull at any stage of growth if they do turn up in beds where they aren’t wanted.”

According to Jaden germination took a long time this year and the germination ratio was about 70%. WIth the thousands of seeds produced per plant this is a lot, but he still aims to beat it next season by letting the seeds freeze a bit – just as they do in nature.

Beginning in late February, he uses a greenhouse (one that he built out of an old deck that he pulled up, glass primarily from the RDF, and a polycarbonate roof) and heat mats on timers when ambient temps are relatively low at night. He also keeps moisture fairly constant until they germinate. For folks without greenhouses, simple cold frames would work just as well.

Jaden is happy to walk others through his process in person. Email info@sustainablewellesley.com to get connected to him. If you want to be a monarch watcher, or learn more about them, reach out to them here.

Next month we will learn more about his family’s food, ornamental, and wildlife gardens.