January 13, 2010

Our first bi-monthly meeting of the new decade

Wednesday, January 13
8-11 am

at the Co-op Power Offices
324 Wells Street, Greenfield


  • 8-8:30 Breakfast and informal networking
  • 8:30-9 Formal Networking and more breakfast
  • 9-10 Update from UMASS on deliverables–indicators of sustainability and our green building decision support tool
  • 10-11 Update from Members on membership drive, and efforts to make the Network sustainable, via identity building and brandingPioneer

Valley Sustainability Network
January 13, 2010 Meeting Minutes #15
Co-op Power Offices, Greenfield Franklin

Present: Catherine Ratté-PVPC, Rich Roth-Earththrives, Keith Sulzberg-Regenerative Design Group, Patrick Dufour, Jono Neiger-Conway School, Regenerative Design and W. MA Permaculture Guild, Eric Weiss-Hilltown Resource Management Collaborative, Rose Zdybel-UMASS, Sue Bridge- Conway Board of Health, Rick Taupier-UMASS, Tom Benjamin-ECS Consulting/GCC RE/EE program, Jim Barry-DOER, Jane Wegscheider-Artist ‘Table set for Forever’, Kris Canavan-grad student UMASS LARP, Karen Ribeiro-Co-op Power, Sarah Bankert-Cooley Dickinson

Informal Networking 8-9am:
Following the informal networking between members, network chair Eric called the meeting to order. The meeting began with each member sharing a brief overview of their organization and their work on sustainability

Member Updates:

Catherine Ratté-PVPC continues to work to advance sustainability work regionally-and is looking at coordinating a regional application for the federal HUD (and DOT and EPA) Sustainable communities initiative–http://portal.hud.gov/portal/page/portal/HUD/program_offices/sustainable_housing_communities/grant_program

Keith Sulzberg-Regenerative Design Group-working on a new effort-outreach to farmers and landowners about productive conservation-use economic interest to enhance sustainability

Jono Neiger-Regenerative Design Group and Conway School-students are doing a food security project in Northampton and for the region also helping Northampton with plans for use of prime farmland. ALso working on Transition Town project.

Sue Bridge-green affordable home, helping Conway distribute funds to homeowners for EE and also on BOH

Patrick Dufour-psychologist in the Valley committed to collaborative work

Jim Barry-DOER staff for western MA, promoting green communities and other ‘green’ actions for municipalities

Jane Wegscheider-artist, winner of Art of Sustainability contest-has created the Art Garden

Tom Benjamin-ecologically based landscape architect, consulting with ECS in Agawam and faculty at GCC EE/RE program

Eric Weiss-Chair of Network-works at Hill Town Resource Management Collaborative (HRMC), 10 towns in Hampshire and Franklin counties collaborating on solid waste and recycling and now branching out to include all sustainability issues. New Hingham school looking at siting a wind turbine at the school

Rick Taupier-UMASS, coordinates international research for UMASS, exploring relationship between culture and sustainability in Mongolia

Kris Canavan-grad student at UMASS LARP formerly in architecture-interested in re-purposing buildings-and communities, has a web-show www.kriscan.com that raises awareness about peak oil-features people implementing their own solutions.

Karen Ribeiro-new President and CEO of Co-op Power, launching EE on neighbor to neighbor basis, also working with Partners for Greener Building-another project of Co-op Power in Westfield, and Co-op Power recently launched Energia-an energy services cooperative in collaboration with Nuestras Raices and also has Roots Up-green jobs training for at risk youth in the greater Springfield area. Also in Turners has green jobs training for youth, and is launching a membership drive: $500 low income. $750-farmer, $975-standard

Rose Zdybel-PhD student in Industrial Engineering with a focus on operations research with Professor Erin Baker, working to finish green building decision support tool.

Sarah Bankert-Cooley Dickinson hospital and W. MA Center for Health Communities-doing a community health assessment and looking for ways to connect with our indicator work. Will be developing and collecting indicators for access to healthy food and recreation-focus on Hampshire county-Easthampton, Northampton and Amherst.

EPA Deliverables:

o Rick Taupier (UMASS) Indicator update

Rick presented proposed final (???) data (see powerpoint on web-site)

Ideal v. Reality, what we would like v. what we could get. Some information not yet available.

Group 1–11 indicators fall in this group-some pretty good data available

Group 2-3 indicators fall in this group-data available but needs to be processed.

Member comments:
what happened to walkability?

Members volunteered to ‘adopt an indicator’:

Bio-diversity: Jono and Sue

Local business-Rich Roth

Local Food-Rick Taupier, Patrick Dufour

Water Quality-Tom Benjamin, Patrick Dufour-PVPC also has a lot of this data

Recycling/waste-Eric Weiss

Energy Use-Karen and possibly Jim Barry

PVPC will see if it can take on: Local parks, graduation rates, air quality, homelessness, affordable housing and VMT

o Catherine (PVPC) update on Skills Bank and Art of Sustainability

Art of Sustainability: in Shelburne Falls now-who wants to host it?.

Network Work:

Eric would like to pursue creation of a logo for the Network-members approved idea and a sub-group volunteered: Eric, Catherine, Jane, and Jono. We will contact the person Bill Baue from Sea Change radio recommended.

Members also agreed that we need more public presence and Eric agreed to do the first in a member series of letters to the editor about the Network and why you are involved. Sue will help

As soon as PVPC gets staff issues worked out, they will resurrect skills bank and work on bi-monthly newsletter and up-to-date calendar

Tom, Jono, Kris, Sue and Patrick volunteered to work on the membership drive.

Next Meeting 03/17/10 at PVPC offices in Springfield, 60 Congress Street, Hampden Co

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