NEWS OF THE MONTH FROM THE TARRYTOWN ENVIRONMENTAL ADVISORY COUNCIL

JUNE 2022
WHAT WE’RE TALKING ABOUT
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Welcome, June! Do you know what the Tarrytown Environmental Advisory Committee does? If not, check out the (long!) list of our activities in the month of May. Check your walls for insulation, and save energy. Oh, and join our online meeting Thursday evening, June 2 at 7:00! Details are below.

LOVE YOUR VILLAGE
PARTICIPATING IN TEAC IS EASY… JUST COME TO A MEETING!The Tarrytown Environmental Advisory Council (TEAC) relies on volunteers to keep things moving. We’re a fun and engaging group of like-minded citizens working to make Tarrytown’s air, land, lakes and river healthier and cleaner.Our next meeting will be held via Zoom, Thursday, June 2, at 7pm.

If any of our committee topics interest you, or you just want to learn more about what we do, please feel free to join us!

Zoom Link: Click Here!

PLANTS!
TARRYTOWN PLANTS FOR POLLINATORS
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By Mai Mai Margules

May was a banner month for new pollinator plantings in Tarrytown!

On May 15, TEAC volunteers and the Tarrytown Parks Department installed a beautiful 360 square foot native plant garden along the front walkway of Sarah Michaels Park. This garden will create life sustaining habitat for our bees, butterflies and birds while providing visual beauty to park visitors and passers by. Sarah Michaels, a park that previously did not have a single flower, will now have many. Our Village took the lead role in bringing this project to life. The Recreation Committee and Board of Trustees enthusiastically endorsed our garden proposal and provided full funding of the project. The Parks Department thoroughly prepared the new garden site with organic compost prior to planting and will water the garden this summer with their water truck. We offer a heartfelt thank you to everyone who has made this garden come to life with their vision, hard work and diligence. Take a look at the transformation!

As the new plantings mature and bloom, pollinators will arrive to feed on the nectar and pollen of such plants as rose milkweed, purple coneflowers, anise hyssop, poppy mallow, bee balm, rudbeckias, phlox and others. Others will lay their eggs on host plants such as milkweed, asters and goldenrod which will feed caterpillars and enable a new generation of butterflies to flourish. Natives grassses, such as little bluestem and pink muhly grass, provide shelter and nesting materials for native bees, birds and butterflies as well as add structure to the garden.

Pollinator plantings are proliferating beyond our parks this spring. As you walk along Broadway and lower Main Street you will see over 17 new public planters beautifying our streets with native American wildflowers. These are in addition to planters installed last year bringing the grand total to 20. We thank our Village Administrator Richard Slingerland, Deputy Clerk Alissa Fasman, DPW’s Lou Martirano and Bill McGuire for taking the lead role on this project, along with the DPW staff who will be watering these planters throughout the season and our committed TEAC volunteers who will weed and monitor the plantings.

In May TEAC volunteers gathered at the DPW garage to plant the new barrels with native perennials such as gaura, gaillardia, coneflowers, coreopsis and sunflowers, to provide sequential blooming that will delight pollinators and pedestrians alike this season. Planters are a great option for areas lacking garden space. Pollinator pop ups in our downtown area showcase the concept that even small contained plantings can bring beauty and biodiversity to highly developed areas.

Our local business community has joined in to lead the way on sustainable landscaping. Last week Key Bank sponsored a native plant giveaway to local businesses, donating numerous plants to encourage business owners to plant for pollinators on their properties. Hair on the Hudson and Transom Bookshop installed pollinator friendly plantings on their Main St. premises. Stiloski’s Automotive donated several flats of pollinator friendly annuals to enhance planting areas in the Village. We look forward to other local businesses embracing sustainable landscaping practices that both beautify the Village and benefit our fragile pollinators! Interested businesses can reach out to us at https://tarrytownenviro.org/glc for complimentary site visits and consultations through TEAC’s Green Landscape Champion program.

We welcome volunteers to help us maintain our public plantings over the growing season. Any time that you have to contribute would be a tremendous help. Please contact us at https://tarrytownenviro.org to sign up for garden maintenance with any of our new or existing gardens.

THANKS!
THIS MONTH in TEAC: HIGHLIGHTS
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By Rachel Tieger, TEAC Co-Chair

Thanks to all of our dedicated volunteers, TEAC achieved much this past month.
In May, we:

  • Staffed an outreach table at a rainy TaSH Farmers Market, where we made pinecone bird feeders https://youtu.be/vcquk8dhhtwhosted a “recycling game” and shared environmental tips
  • Participated in a meeting of six Rivertowns environmental councils to exchange ideas and build cooperation
  • Participated in the Tarrytown/Sleepy Hollow Community Coalition to exchange info about local projects
  • Showed the movie “Seed: The Untold Story at Warner Library
  • Planted a new public Pollinator Garden at Sarah Michaels Park, following a Community Forum of local residents to gather their ideas (see top article)
  • Held a well-attended, though rainy, Riverkeeper Sweep event to clean up along the riverfront around Losee Park
  • Participated in Riverkeeper’s water sampling project to monitor biological contamination along the Pocantico River
  • Participated with Irvington and Sleepy Hollow in Sustainable Westchester’s EnergySmart Homes – Rivertowns project to enable local residents to electrify their heating and reduce their home’s energy usage
  • Participated in Scenic Hudson’s Solar Mapping webinars, learning about tools to help municipalities build out community solar projects
  • Built a tool-storage bench from discarded pallets at the Paulding Community Garden
  • Hosted a meeting of the Federated Conservationists of Westchester County (FCWC) at the Senior Center
  • Submitted Tarrytown’s adoption of the Unified Solar Permit to NYSERDA for credit towards Climate-Smart Community certification
  • Met with Village Trustees regarding plans for Community Solar projects in the Village
  • Participated in a webinar by Mothers Out Front on “GeoGrids” – community-aggregated ground-source heating systems
  • Planted whiskey barrel planters with native pollinator-friendly plants for placement along Broadway and Main Street. (see top article)

In addition to individual projects like these, TEAC has a number of ongoing activities in cooperation with the Village of Tarrytown, such as:

  • Attending Village Planning Board and Trustees’ meetings and commenting where needed
  • Reviewing Environmental Assessment Forms (EAFs) for proposed construction projects in the Village
  • Helping the Village to document and get recognition for its progress in carbon reduction and environmental resilience

More to come…!

  • June will mark the end of our Environmental Film Series in collaboration with Warner Library. Join us for “I Am Greta” https://www.iamgreta.film/videos/ on June 9th at 7pm on 3rd floor of Warner Library!
  • Watch for a new pollinator garden at the Hamilton Place entrance to Neperan Park.

SAVE GAS THIS SUMMER!
Take a BUS!

 

 

ENERGY TIP:

Insulation WORKS!

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by Dean Gallea

I recently started a kitchen remodeling project, and one of my first steps was to assess the exterior walls. The kitchen is on the south (sunny) side of the house, and had always been pretty warm in the summertime, requiring me to run the house A/C to keep it comfortable on days when it was 90 degrees or more outside. Looking behind the 80-year-old addition’s thin gypsum-board walls I was somewhat surprised to find only an inch or so of paper-faced fiberglass insulation, stapled to the inside of the exterior wood sheathing. Everywhere I looked, there were 3 to 4 inches of empty space in the walls! This immediately suggested to me to have the same thing done to these walls that I had done two years ago to the top floor of my house: Blow in dense-pack cellulose, the current best practice for existing, insulation-poor walls.

I called in the same local contractor who scheduled a day of insulating 30+ feet of walls. We had a bit of a glitch at the start: The wall spaces were actually open above the ceiling, so insulation was blowing into the false ceiling space! A crew member donned a haz-mat suit and climbed into the narrow crawl space above to stuff blocking material in each open stud pocket, allowing the job to proceed.

I have yet to cover the old walls with a new layer of 5/8″ drywall, but today it’s a sunny 96 degrees outside and my kitchen is staying a cool 76 degrees without the need to run the A/C! I consider that proof that good insulation can work as well as active cooling. Low-emissivity (“Low-E”) glass in windows and doors helps as well. If you’re in doubt about your own home’s walls, have an inspection done. You might just save a bundle over the long run.

REBATES AND INCENTIVES:
ENERGYSMART HOMES RIVERTOWNS
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The Villages of Irvington, Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow, along with the Irvington Green Policy Task Force, Tarrytown Environmental Advisory Council and Sleepy Hollow Environmental Advisory Committee have partnered with Sustainable Westchester to bring EnergySmart Homes Rivertowns to our community. With rebates and incentives available from NYSERDA and your utility, you have the opportunity to significantly reduce your home energy consumption, lower your energy bills, cut greenhouse gas emissions, and increase the year-round comfort and value of your home.https://sustainablewestchester.org/rivertowns
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SIGN UP FOR GRID REWARDS!

Tarrytown is committed to sustainable and efficient practices for our residents. In partnership with Sustainable Westchester, we are happy to promote the GridRewards app.

GridRewards is open to most anyone with a Con Ed utility bill. Homeowners, renters, apartment dwellers, condo-owners, and small businesses can use GridRewards to reduce electricity and earn cash back. Plus, use your referral code to give $10 and get $10 with each friend that signs up and participates. Download the app and link it to your ConEd account today!

There will be a few times during the seasons when you can earn cash back by taking simple actions like raising your AC set points for a couple of hours. We will notify you when these “GridRewards” events occur.

How to get started: Learn more at https://sustainablewestchester.org/gridrewards/ and download GridRewards at https://getgridrewards.com and begin your carbon reduction journey!

Questions? Contact Lauren at 914-302-7300 x112 or email EnergySmartHomes@SustainableWestchester.org 

HELPING WILDLIFE:
IT’S TURTLE SEASON. HELP THEM CROSS!
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By Suzy Allman, TEAC member

If you’re driving around the lakes in Tarrytown this time of year, you’re likely to see a turtle crossing the road.

During the early summer, many female turtles cross roads bearing eggs, moving toward familiar nesting areas.  Neperan Road — the road that encircles the two Tarrytown Lakes — can be especially hazardous to box and snapping turtles making the hair-raising crossing.

If you help a turtle cross a road, you’re making a valuable contribution to the preservation of North America’s turtles.

Here are tips from MATTS, the Mid Atlantic Turtle and Tortoise Society, to help you help turtles navigate the nesting season in Tarrytown:

What’s the right way to help a turtle cross a road?

  • Don’t put yourself or others in danger. Simply pulling off the road and turning on your hazard lights may alert other drivers to slow down. Be aware of your surroundings and traffic.
  • Maintain the Turtle’s Direction of Travel. Always move a turtle in the same direction it was traveling when you saw it. Place the turtle at least 30 feet off the road (not on the roadside), so if startled by the experience, the turtle does not get disoriented and accidentally run back into the roadway, or freeze and get run over. Turtles should always be moved across roadways in as direct a line as possible. You might be tempted to “help” the turtle by moving it to a wooded area or water body, but the correct solution is to quickly move the turtle the shortest distance possible.
  • Avoid Excessive Handling. While wanting to examine turtles closely is hard to resist, excessive handling can disrupt their normal behavior. 

  • Allow Unassisted Road Crossings. If there’s no oncoming traffic, let the turtle cross the road without help. Observe from a distance and avoid sudden movements that may startle it, otherwise the turtle may change direction, stop, or seek shelter within its shell.

  • Handle Turtles Gently. If you must pick up a turtle, gently grasp the shell edge near the mid-point of the body with two hands (see Handling Turtles). Some turtles empty their bladder when lifted off the ground, so be careful not to drop it if it suddenly does. Never pick up a snapping turtle by the tail — it’s connected to his spine, and can break it. (See video link below!)

Snapping turtles can present a special challenge. Watch this video on how to help them cross.


By the Way: If you’ve traveled along the Empire State Trail in Pawling, New York, you may have noticed this creative solution to helping turtles cross train tracks. Stone “turtle bridges”, repeated at 75-feet intervals, are an inexpensive solution that helps turtles find their way over steep railroad rails.

GIVE/TAKE:
COME TO THE SWAP!
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A recent swap event in Tarrytown

Bring your clean, good-condition, quality items to swap for something new!

Sunday, June 12, 2022
Donation drop off: 9am-2pm
“Shopping”: 10am – 4pm

Located outdoors at The Hastings Flea!
131 Southside Ave, Hastings-on-Hudson, NY 10706

Please be sure that your swap items are in good shape! We are looking for CLEAN items in good condition. Please only bring items that someone else would really love! For Clothing, nothing too faded, no rips, tears, holes, or stains. No underwear or lingerie please. For housewares, bring only CLEAN working items in good condition. Nothing in need of repair please.
***We are doing a textile recycling collection so feel free to bring those “unswappable” clothing, shoes, and linen items in a SEPARATE bag for quick sorting at the event!

Reserve your “Ticket” to SWAP here:
www.eventbrite.com/e/331982236807

Sign up to volunteer at the event here:
www.signupgenius.com/go/9040C45A9AC2FABFF2-volunteer5

**Lunch and snacks will be provided for volunteers! If you plan on participating in the SWAP and volunteering, please sign up for both.

Did you know: Switching from plastic bags to reusable bags is only 1 percent as effective as giving up meat for one year. (source: Journal of Environmental Resource Letters)

“I’d put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don’t have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that.

– Thomas Edison, in conversation with Henry Ford and Harvy Firestone, 1931

Copyright © 2022 Tarrytown Environmental Advisory Council, All rights reserved.

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