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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
With so many proposed plans, it is hard to differentiate the pros and cons. Dr. Brian Coyne, a federal health care lobbyist, will compare the various national health care proposals (ACA, Medicare for All, Medicare by Choice, Public Option, etc). A representative from New York Health Care Plan will present that version of a State based health care system.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Federal, State, and utility incentives have never been as good as they are right now to make heat pumps affordable. There are additional incentives to help low and moderate income families. Please come for a presentation and discussion on home insulation and heat pump options for heating and cooling.
The Next Storm is a dark and humorous look at the impact that the climate crisis has had on our community. Set in the not-so-distant-future, the story follows an ensemble of characters as they face the struggle between apathy, anger, and action. Who gets to decide the course forward and what are we willing to sacrifice? What happens when students and bureaucrats, parents and developers, idealists and realist come head to head over the best course toward climate resiliency?
Tim and Katherine Clymer, owners of Threefold Farm in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, will lead this workshop. Threefold Farm is a transitional organic orchard specializing in unusual fruits. The concept behind a climate battery greenhouse is to use the earth beneath as a sort of “thermal battery” for storing excess heat generated by the structure.
Thursday, Oct 3rd 5:30pm-7:30pm
Groundswell Center Incubator Farm
101 Rachel Carson Way
Join Groundswell for their last farm tour and volunteer night of the season at the Incubator Farm. After a 30 min tour of the farm, they will lend a hand at Surik’s orchard, preparing it for the winter season!
On Thursday, October 17, Wells College’s Wells Center for Sustainability and the Environment will be hosting a free, public talk by Dr. Katharine Wilkinson, Project Drawdown’s VP for Communications and Engagement, who was one of the principal authors of the book of the same name.
Schuyler County officials assure that test results received for Seneca Lake water are not necessarily reliable, and that the county will conduct their own tests in the near future. Mary Anne Kowalski, SLG’s research director, likened the tests to do-it-yourself home radon kits, and she acknowledged that the results are neither state-certified nor legally binding.
Public drinking water in Watkins Glen, Montour Falls and Seneca County contains elevated levels of the cancer-linked PFAS class of chemicals found in dozens of stain-repellent household products like Teflon and Scotchguard, recent tests show.
Victory for Finger Lakes protection activists! A coal plant, owned by Heorot Power, on the shores of Cayuga Lake in North Lansing has ceased power generation this past week after 64 years of coal-burning. Plans for the existing building are still being deliberated, as ideas to convert the facility to burn natural gas or a data center were shot down. Heorot’s VP, Jerry Goodenough, said the company will monitor the leftover coal ash landfill for 30 years and has set aside a $7-million bond for remediation. To learn more, click here.
This October 28th, a professional business event will be held to provide engineers, contractors, developers, architects, energy consultants, bankers and others involved in the building trade an opportunity to learn about the latest advances in non-fossil fuel energy solutions and how they can be integrated into new and existing building projects. The show will also feature a full day of seminars with nationally-recognized expert speakers who will present on various types of non-fossil fuel sustainable energy systems, advanced construction techniques and financing options. Breakfast and lunch are included with your registration and a MacBook Air will be given to a lucky attendee! For more info, go here.
Clean, renewable heating and cooling systems are smart, healthy alternatives that will:
*Keep your space comfortable year round
*Lower your energy usage
*Reduce your carbon footprint
Get PUMPED, y’all! In just a week (September 7th, from 10am – 12pm) Solar Tompkins and HeatSmart Tompkins is holding another home tour, where you can learn about how switching to an energy efficient and cost effective heat pump has been a total game-changer for a family in Groton, NY. Can’t make it? There will be a presentation the next day (Sept. 8th from 2-4pm) at the Ithaca Waldorf School! Swing through! For more info on the home tour, click here and here for more info on the presentation!
Congratulations to Tilden Chao and Abigail Glickman of Keep it Cool Tompkins! for their well attended summit on green refrigeration May 23 in Ithaca. Their panel of speakers did a great job covering from the basics of refrigerants in heat pumps and other compressors to the alarming predictions if we don’t get it together to cool our food and our buildings and our cars without further exacerbating climate change and ozone depletion. Tilden and Abigail won the first Youth Climate Challenge grant from Sustainable Tompkins for their project.
US Green Building Council Upstate NY Chapter and Corning Inc. to host ‘Save the Rain’ on June 3 in Ithaca. Syracuse NY implemented this successful comprehensive stormwater management plan that reduced pollution in Onondaga Lake over the past decade. With harmful algae blooms (HABs) threatening all of our Finger Lakes, every municipality needs to consider green infrastructure for slowing and cleaning stormwater runoff into our streams and lakes. Register here. US Green Building Council Upstate NY Chapter and Corning Inc. to host ‘Save the Rain’ on June 3 in Ithaca. Syracuse NY implemented this successful comprehensive stormwater management plan that reduced pollution in Onondaga Lake over the past decade. With harmful algae blooms (HABs) threatening all of our Finger Lakes, every municipality needs to consider green infrastructure for slowing and cleaning stormwater runoff into our streams and lakes.