The Wellesley Department of Public Works (DPW) is running a social media contest this month to raise awareness about everyday stormwater concerns. Residents can take pictures of stormwater subjects, post them on Town social media pages with the tag #ThinkBlueWellesley, and win gift cards.
The campaign is designed to help the DPW fulfill Educational and Outreach requirements for the Environmental Protection Agency’s Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permit program.
The contest is coordinated in part with Think Blue Massachusetts, a Statewide educational campaign to help residents and businesses reduce polluted runoff and keep Massachusetts lakes, rivers, and streams clean and healthy.
The contest started on August 3 and runs through Monday, August 24, 2020. To participate, take pictures that contain:
Contest photos should be uploaded to Facebook or Instagram with the hashtag #ThinkBlueWellesley and tagged with the respective Town of Wellesley profile in the photo caption (@TownOfWellesley on Instagram or Facebook). Terms and conditions may apply.
Entries that meet the contest criteria (relevant subject, correct tag and hashtag) will be contacted by the DPW to fill out a form to be entered into a final drawing for a $100 Amazon gift card.
HEET and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health are exploring a safe, innovative way to resume their research on the composition of natural gas.
They are now using outdoor grills that are connected to the gas service line to resume research on the composition of gas, while respecting everyone’s health and safety! Sampling from outdoor gas grills maintains a high level of public health precaution, and limits the exposures between researchers and participants.
Do you have an outdoor natural gas grill? (not propane)
Would you be interested in participating in research on the composition of gas that we use in homes?
If YES, please use this LINK to connect with the researchers.
If you would like to discuss any questions or concerns, you may contact the study lead directly - Drew Michanowicz (TheKitchenStudy@gmail.com).
On Monday, July 27th, the New England Independent System Operator (ISO-NE) was expecting to reach a peak of 25.5 Giga Watts, but it only got to 24.907 Giga Watts. That’s still a lot of power (24,907,000,000 Watts); however, that was almost a 2.4% reduction for all of New England.
In Wellesley, The Wellesley Municipal Light Plant (WMLP) was expecting the coincident system peak to be over 61 MW, but it only got to about 59.67 MW! Thank you to all that participated to help to keep the system and local peaks lower.
Were you wondering why the WMLP chose to have the peak time from 3 to 7 PM? In recent years, the peak time has been around 4 PM, but prior years it was earlier, thus they picked 3 PM as a safe starting time to capture the capacity peak. The transmission peak is the highest peak load hour, each month, reached by the Wellesley system. That hour has been typically between 6 and 7 PM. That is why the Shave the Peak event lasted until 7 PM.
To get a refresher on what this program is all about, or to find out WHEN the next Shave the Peak Event is, please go to Shave-The-Peak or follow them on Twitter @MLPWellesley. This website also offers answers to frequently asked questions, and other helpful resources.
Remember that on peak days, ISO-New England turns on the oldest, most expensive, and dirtiest generating plants to meet the high demand in all of New England and we don't want to be part of that. Let's take even bigger steps to lower our energy usage. Share the news because you will be saving money too!
With everything going on, we want to make sure you are aware that the School Building Committee (SBC) is in the final stages of deliberations before making a September recommendation to the Board of Selectmen (BOS) and School Committee (SC) to build at either Hardy or Upham.
These school construction projects raise a number of significant sustainability issues.
This Thursday, August 6th at 4.30pm, the SBC will discuss sustainability.
Now is the time to weigh in as there are considerable environmental concerns around removal of significant ledge and elimination of a vibrant habitat at the Upham site with several hundred trees. The Hardy site will necessitate the removal of a smaller number of more mature trees.
In addition, Hardy currently has more students who walk to school, with a denser neighborhood, more sidewalks and nearby stores and library. On the other hand, Upham has fared better in the traffic analyses so far.
No matter which site is chosen, the SBC is planning to build a high performance school, using sustainable materials and design, with a possible goal of net zero or net zero ready energy use.
Here is a Wellesley Townsman article laying out these issues.
We hope you will tune in August 6th, and encourage you to speak out to encourage committee members to work (and VOTE!) to protect our natural resources.
You can speak up during public comment by emailing the SBC here- ahead of time- in order to get the Zoom link.
You can watch by going to Wellesley Media here.
You can also write to the following committees to voice your concerns:
School Building Committee
Board of Selectmen
Thank you to Cricket Vlass and Susy Jordan, of Wellesley’s Park and Tree Division, for finding a home for two dozen milkweed plants at the Tolles Parson’s Senior Center. Susy created little nursery beds with fencing to protect the tender plants from the bunnies until they’re large enough to be moved to their forever spots around town. The plants were donated to Sustainable Wellesley by a generous gardener. We’re so pleased they’ve found a good home, and one so close to the Police Station Pollinator Garden. The monarchs and other insects thank you, and so do we!
JUST BECAUSE THE GIVE AND TAKE AT THE RDF IS CURRENTLY CLOSED, DOESN'T MEAN THERE AREN'T ANY OPTIONS
We have never spent more time in our homes than we are now. With this, comes the urge to renovate and get rid of items we have been wanting to dispose of for years. Although the pandemic did close certain donation centers, many have reopened and are ready and willing to take your unwanted items. Whether you’re doing a complete house renovation, or just getting rid of a couple items; here are some places that will find new homes for your items and prevent them from ending up in a landfill.
List of places actively taking donations and what they are accepting is here
The inspiration for this list came to local Wellesley residents after seeing numerous home renovations with overflowing dumpsters disposing of salvageable appliances and furniture. This not only results in trash blowing all over the street, but when disposed of, these items sit and take up space in the landfills. These days it is even more important to offer items in perfectly workable condition to be passed along to a new home.
The responsibility of limiting landfill capacity truly lies in everyone’s hands; even if there is just one project out of ten that donates instead of disposing, that is progress. The creators of this list hope that by turning people on to the places that are actively accepting donations, it will aid in recognizing the value in some of the items we’re throwing away.
Wellesley residents and businesses please plan to reduce your energy use THIS AFTERNOON/EVE - Monday, July 20th - between 3-7pm. By reducing energy use we can avoid pulling power from the New England Independent System Operator (ISO-NE)'s oldest, most expensive, and dirtiest generating plants.
Wellesley Municipal Light Plant is asking its customers to voluntarily help to meet the high demand in all of New England by Shaving the Peak load by planning ahead.
You can do this by:
Last week, three high-profile fossil fuel pipelines were handed major defeats in what many climate activists say is a turning point in their fight for clean energy.
And here in Massachusetts, Attorney General Maura Healey has asked the Administration to assess the future of the gas industry in the Commonwealth, in light of our legally binding statewide mandate of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
In addition to the climate damage caused by fracked gas, there are also substantial health risks associated with it: in the water at the source of fracking, from the leaking pipelines in our communities and from the methane leaking into our homes. There are also the economic costs: According to one Applied Economics Clinic brief, the cost of replacing leaky pipes will be $17 billion. At current payment rates, it would take over 100 years to pay this back. And then there are the explosions...
There is nothing natural about fracked gas. To learn more, we encourage you to attend one of the following webinars:
Please save the date for our next Sustainable Wellesley action meeting on Wednesday, August 26th from 7:30 – 8:45pm.
Some Topics we will discuss:
What would you like to discuss? Email us firstname.lastname@example.org.
Governor Baker lifted the ban on all local bag laws so you can bring your own bags again when shopping in Wellesley and the more than 130 municipalities in Massachusetts!
This is in line with what public health advocates have been saying; that the risk of transmission from reusable bags is negligible compared to the risk of airborne pathogens.
The New York Times and other media reported that the plastic industry took advantage of the coronavirus pandemic to roll back plastic bag legislation so we are glad this has been changed.
Wellesley, lets get back on track to reduce plastic waste!