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Live Green

May 18 Sustainable Belmont meeting minutes

Those in attendance:  Jennifer Page, Judy Otto, Roger Colton, John & Dorothy Herzog, Jennifer Kundrot, Darrel King, Jeri Weiss, John Kolterman and John McAlpin

We started off with a quick presentation by Roger Colton about an initiative being floated which would add the equivalent of 1.2MW of solar photovoltaics to the rooftops of our public schools and municipal buildings.  Pretty cool in itself, but here's where it gets really interesting.  Through the use of creative financing, available tax credits and a power purchase agreement, this initiative would cost the town $0.00.  That's right, and further the town would carry no operational and maintenance risk for these systems.  Stop and ponder that for a bit.  In spite of all this, it's not going to be a slam dunk.  There are some technical and legal issues that needs to be worked out by the BMLD before we can proceed.  Further, some of the tax credits that make this scenario possible are due to expire by year end, so that's a real time constraint.

Next we viewed a movie entitled "in Transistion 1.0" which was a collection of interviews from a variety of communities in the UK, Germany, Australia and New Zealand that have embraced the "Transition Movement."  The Transition Movement is based on the idea of permaculture and focuses on raising awareness of sustainable living and building local economic / ecologic resilience in the near future.  The movement began in the UK in 2005 and is now embraced by many communities world wide.  

Many of the ideas of this movement are already being practiced by our own residents.  To learn more about this movement:  http://www.transitionus.org/

Our June meeting will be held June 1st 7-9pm in the Flett room of the Belmont Public Library.
* Please note that there will be NO meetings in July and August.


The theme of the June's meeting will be organic lawncare. 

Healthy Lawns through Organic Lawn Care
Presenter: Bruce Wenning
 
Come learn about the proper lawn care techniques for a beautiful and environmentally sound lawn. There's no need for toxic pesticides and fertilizers that contribute to ground and surface water contamination. Bruce will also cover the importance of soil testing for proper turf grass growth, soil improvement practices, seeding vs. sodding, the best time for lawn renovation, non-toxic white grub control using lawn nematodes, beneficial insects and microbes that contribute to sustainable soil fertility.  Learn the top five lawn problems and their solutions.


Bruce Wenning has been the Horticulturist at The Country Club, Brookline, for the past two years and was the grounds manager at Habitat for 15 years. He also serves on the Board of directors for the Ecological Landscaping Association. www.ecolandscaping.org

Agenda:
7:00-  7:05     Welcome and Introductions

7:05 – 7:30    Announcements & Update on efforts to Save the Uplands

7:30 – 8:30    Bruce Wenning on Organic Lawn Care

8:30 – 9:00    Q&A and follow-up discussion from Bruce's talk

Other noteworhy items
1. David Freudberg, an area resident and frequent contributor of programming for public radio has just completed a 4-part series about public transportation.  This can be accessed at: http://www.humanmedia.org/passengers/

2
. Judy Otto is in the process of arranging for the delivery of rain barrels for purchase at a discount.  Stay tuned for details

3.On May 28th at 2pm at Rock Meadow Garden - a Free Summer Outing.  Bring your lawn chairs, pack a picnic and learn about sustainable gardening practices such as: composting, water conservation, organic and vertical gardening.

Respectfully submitted,
John Kolterman  co-chair
John McAlpin      co-chair