March 17, 2010

Present: Catherine Ratté-PVPC, Rick Kellart-Amherst freelance sustainability planner, Sue Bridge- Conway Board of Health and Conway Conserves Energy Committee, Patrick Dufour-South Hadley-collaborator,  Kris B-UMASS LARP student and , , Forrest Bradford- America’s refrigerator list to save our children, Nancy Hazard- Greening Greenfield Campaign, Paul Lipke- Health Care Without Harm, Steve Rice- Alpaca Farmer, Michael DeChiara- Engage Consulting, Brian Markey-PVPC, Jeff Rosen- Resource economist with Solidago Foundation, Rich Roth- Hidden Tech and Earth Thrives, Rick Taupier-UMASS, Erick Weiss-Hilltown Resource Management Cooperative (HRMC),  Andrew Glace-Long Island Energy Partners

Informal Networking 8-9am: Following the informal networking between members, we transitioned to formal networking during which each member present shares information.

Member Updates:

Catherine Ratté, pvpc – 1. EPA announced $150 million in Sustainable Community Planning Funding

Focus for projects connecting housing, transportation, and environmental protection. PVPC plans to apply, possibly in collaboration with the Capitol Regional Council of Governments in Hartford and with the Franklin Regional Council of Governments in Greenfield.

2. PVPC is waiting to hear if the regional application it submitted on behalf of the Pioneer Valley Clean Energy Collaborative was awarded $5 million of Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant funds.

Rick Kellart- Planning professional from Providence RI, now in Amherst, focuses on social equity and climate change.

Sue Bridge- Lives in private and ongoing Permaculture experiment in Conway. Conway Conserves Energy Committee developing ideas for conservation in town.

Patrick Dufour-Psychologist, South Hadley and committed community collaborator

Kris B- Grad student at UMASS LARP. Her site interviews local and national activist and experts in peak oil and energy sustainability issues. New show coming in April on ACTV to feature women entrepreneurs in The Valley.

Forrest Bradford, Agawam- Starting a grassroots political movement called America’s Refrigerator List to Save Our Children” that will focus on changing the “environment of me” and developing media relations to local progressive organizations.

Nancy Hazard- Green Greenfield Campaign announced a workshop for property owners that will explain, promote and encourage rain garden construction. April 6, 6:30pm at Greenfield Public Library.

Paul Lipke- Health Care Without Harm is working statewide to health care institutions into energy efficiency conversations, and develop plans for how hospitals can report environmental health activities.

Steve Rice- Alpaca Farmer from Shutesbury. The Shutesbury Recycling and Solid Waste Committee is active. Spoke about the mission of Pachamama Alliance,

Michael DeChiara- Has worked in Amherst for 12 years involving Healthcare policy. Now wants to get back to his environmental roots. Currently runs Engage Consulting which helps clients tap online engagement.

Brian Markey- PVPC. Called for submissions of PVSN member profiles, new events for PVSN calendar, and articles for PVSN newsletter issue coming out in two weeks.

Eric Weiss- Hilltown Resource Management Collaborative–Chesterfield/Goshen School District received funding from Mass Clean Energy Center for feasibility study of windmill on school property.

Jeff Rosen- Solidago Foundation focuses on helping local food production and agriculture, has just announced a call for Business Plans.

Rich Roth- Earththrives-PVPC Sustainability Indicators Project now online.

Budget Update:

The Pioneer Valley Sustainability Network currently has $1,245 (income from dinner and memberships) minus $1,260 (expenses for dinner) = -$15

We hope that PVPC and UMASS and the HRMC will pay their organizational dues of $1,100, which will get us to a positive balance of $1,085

We currently have 25 individual dues paying members

And 6 organizational dues paying members

And the three members who have pledged to pay but not yet paid…

Patrick, Forrest, and Sue volunteered to work, and Catherine agreed to look into how to develop a membership drive.

On-line Collaboration Software Discussion: PVSN needs some way to keep members abreast of events and stay in touch. There are many open source and for purchase solutions available, including but not limited to:

E-democracy-which was used by PVPC to facilitate development of the Pioneer Valley Clean Energy Plan, BaseCamp-which Coop Power uses, First Class, Ning, Google Groups, etc

Catherine was seeking guidance from group on direction, and group re-focused discussion on to purpose of on-line collaboration. Group decided to focus on clarifying how/why members might want to/need to collaborate and to postpone action on acquiring a solution until we know what we are trying to do.

Regardless of software selected, we will need funding for staff time to moderate, facilitate, encourage participation-so we do need staff funding. And we still need to meet face to face no matter what.

REMEMBER-we want the Network to help members deal with challenges they are already facing-members are not here (primarily) to advance new communal projects-rather, they are here to do what they do better (or more sustainably-or more efficiently…)





New collaborations                        v.                           Solving running issues

Or can we/should we do both????

-> PVPC staff will focus on the indicators for now-as they are being “adopted” by members of the Network and they do need to be discussed by sub-groups of members.

->  But will also get going on the Skills Bank-as it is an opportunity for members to connect on what they are already doing and possibly grappling with.

Logo Discussion

Three options developed by Boysen Hodges

Comments: Nancy wants a design focused more on the text and font and less on a logo.

Rich disliked the acronym PVSN because some other group owns website.

Rick Taupier encourages the graphic to be kept small.

Paul wishes for graphic to be embedded in font of the text.

Michael concerned about printing logo in black and white.

Members voted to ask Boysen to incorporate  logo 2 and 3 (Venn Diagram and stylized) into a design that is more focused on the text and font.

Eric and Catherine will ask Boysen and have two new options ready for vote on May 12th.

Mongolia Trip -Rick Taupier: Power Point titled “Sustainability in Traditional Rural Mongolia, Landscape, Climate, Herding, Food, Housing, Fuel, Transportation, Communication, and Energy.” Rick Taupier showed images and explained what he learned during a trip to the High Steeps of Mongolia. In Pre and Post Industrial societies life is less segmented. Multiple aspects of life and life style are linked together.


Jeff gave a PowerPoint presentation describing the research and work he has completed toward defining and communicating Sustainability Indicators.   FANTASTIC! See on website

People who ‘adopted’ an indicator need to operationalize their indicator per Jeff’s presentation, that is, possibly determine if the Pioneer Valley is “Green”, “yellow” or “red” with respect to that indicator-and then we can present all the indicators on one page-or use one of the other ways to present indicators included in the presentation.

It is hoped that if PVSN has indicators defined well it will put organization in better spot to help out and be considered for regional Sustainable Community Planning Funding.

Decision Support tool Update:

Home Energy tool is online. To complete grant we need to have conversation about how to develop a Water and Land Use Decision Support Tool.

Art of Sustainability: Forrest Bradford offered to see if the art installation could move to a public space in Agawam.

-> Next Meeting Wednesday 05/12/10 in Hampshire County. We will ask Chris Mason to reserve the Northampton Senior Center.

9-11:30-new start and endtime!!        Food AFTER, not before

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