Ithaca Farmer’s Market Open Despite COVID-19

Despite the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, Ithaca Farmer’s Market opened this weekend to the public, with some added precautions to keep vendors and customers more safe. According to the Ithaca Voice, “The market is scheduled to return for its spring market on Saturdays in April at the Steamboat Landing pavilion, with shortened hours of 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The pavilion has 88 booths, but this month the vendor capacity will be capped at 40 –– with vendors spaced out in every other booth. The shorter hours and the empty booths will allow more room for customers to navigate the shopping area with the suggested 6 feet distance between patrons.” In addition, the market has been equipped with hand sanitizer stations and has outlined some guidelines for customers to follow, to make for the safest experience for all parties involved. To learn more about what this means for you, read this article by the Ithaca Voice and see guidelines on the Ithaca Farmer’s Market website.

Solar-Powered Complex Proposed in Lansing

A “net zero energy residential housing development” may be coming to the Village of Lansing in the near future if approved by the Planning Board. The housing complex would consist of 43 homes powered by solar energy and heat pumps, a project of The Solar Home Factory, a company based in Geneva. The houses would be clustered to preserve green space and minimize encroachment onto wetlands, and would be compliant with CLCPA [New York State Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act]. Read more about this exciting plan here!

Ithaca Protesters Stand in Solidarity with the Indigenous Wet’suwet’en People

Protesters took the streets in Ithaca to oppose the Coastal GasLink pipeline construction through Indigenous unceded land in “British Columbia”. Police blockades on both Green Street and Cayuga Street last Wednesday morning caused major delays for travelers, some of which were exiting their vehicles to confront the protestors. To read more about the protest, see Anna Lamb’s Ithaca Voice report. Want to get in on the action? Visit the Wet’suwet’en solidarity coordinating facebook page. For updates from the frontline, see the Unist’ot’en Camp Facebook page and the Wet’suwet’en Access Point on Gidimt’en Territory Facebook page. To donate, and for all the info you could ever need, visit their websites.

Senators Push to Address Chemicals in Seneca Lake

30 U.S. senators, including local NY Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer, have signed a letter to EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler asking them to implement the 2019 PFAS mitigation plan, made over a year ago. High PFAS are thought to be, at least in part, attributed to firefighting foam used by the town of Romulus for nearly 60 years, which ran off into the water. PFAS have been linked to birth defects, cancer, and other health risks, which raises concern for communities around Seneca Lake. Read more in the Finger Lake Times. Photo credits: Finger Lake Times.

“Energy Navigator” Training Starting Soon!

A new round of training will be starting up in the Spring of 2020–the fifth year! Energy Navigators help Tompkins County residents learn about ways to reduce (and eliminate) their fossil fuel use, and transition to renewable forms of heating and powering their homes and transportation. Navigators go through a ten-session training, and volunteer through public outreach and by sharing information with friends, family, neighbors and others in their networks.

City of Ithaca Seeking Sustainability Director!

The City of Ithaca is seeking a Director of Sustainability to launch the City in an organizational transformation initiative to meet the goals of the City’s Green New Deal. The successful individual will have experience with issues surrounding climate change, be a strong visionary with deep commitment to environmental justice and advancing social equity through environmental stewardship, public health, and sustainable urban development.
Applications are due February 10.

Find Your Renewable Electricity Supplier

Gerri Wiley of Owego, NY has done everyone in the NYSEG service territory the wonderful service of investigating and evaluating the companies who are offering solar, wind, hydro, or biogas generated electricity for sale. You can sign up every year with a supplier, and Gerri updates her database every month to let you know what is on offer through the ESCOs (electricity suppliers) or which regional community solar farm you can sign up with for your electricity account. Check it out here!

Winners of Environmental Innovation Awards Announced

The Seneca Park Zoo’s Environmental Innovation Awards celebrate leadership in environmental stewardship, raising the profile of innovative companies and people working to solve complex environmental problems in the Rochester and Finger Lakes Region. Awards were given in five categories: Youth, Individual, Civic & Nonprofit, Small Business, and Large Business. Check out these local innovators here! 🤩🌍✨ Congrats winners!

Penn Yan Public Library Installs Sustainable Transportation Resources

Two new low-carbon transport investments in Penn Yan this week: a horse shelter and a car charging station at the public library! Mennonite community members are frequent library users, and the new horse shelter will afford them additional convenience while accessing library resources. The new additions will join the existing bike rack and bike repair station, providing a diverse array of transportation assistance options for community members. Read more here.

Taitem Engineering and STREAM win NYSERDA Building Competition

Perdita Flats, a multifamily project in Ithaca, NY, has won $70,560 in NYSERDA’s Building’s of Excellence competition! A project of Taitem Engineering and STREAM Collaborative architecture + landscape architecture, the building design will demonstrate the viability of a ZERO ENERGY building for a multi-family development, AND will provide data on the building’s construction and operation to NYSERDA for sharing as part of its efforts to promote high-performing buildings in NYS. Congrats to them! Read more here.

Galvanizing Plant Poses Threat to Seneca Lake

A proposed galvanizing mill at the Seneca Lake Depot property (abandoned US military depot) presents another threat to Seneca Lake because of both potential leakage of zinc from the facility, and concerns with future Phase 2 and 3 of the project, a milling and welding facility. Seneca County IDA and the town of Romulus are being urged to address the areas of concern prior to making any approvals of the proposed plant. To learn more, read the Finger Lakes Times article.

Groundswell is Hiring a Farm Program Manager!

Summary Job Description: This position will work closely with Groundswell’s Executive Director and staff, and a Project Advisory Team to develop, coordinate and teach many of Groundswell Center’s farmer training programs including a 6-month Farmer Training Practicum, technical workshops and an annual farm business course. Integrating input from multiracial stakeholders in program development and designing these programs with and for marginalized and aspiring growers who often experience barriers to these opportunities is an essential component to this position.