|NEWS OF THE MONTH FROM THE TARRYTOWN ENVIRONMENTAL ADVISORY COUNCIL
|LOVE YOUR VILLAGE
PARTICIPATING IN TEAC IS EASY!
______________________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 monthly meeting will be held in person at the Village Hall. It’s TONIGHT Thursday, March 2, at 7pm. We will also have a Zoom option: Click Here!
If any of our committee topics interest you, or if you just want to learn more about what we do, please feel free to join us!
AWARDS FOR OUR CO-CHAIRS
______________________By Suzy Allman
It’s no secret among TEAC members, volunteers and the Tarrytown community generally that two of the villages hardest-working volunteers are our TEAC co-chairs, Rachel Tieger and Dean Gallea.
For years, Dean and Rachel have made Tarrytown a cleaner, greener, and more interesting place to live, all while encouraging an infectious spirit of sleeve up-rolling, good fun and hard work.
Along with my TEAC colleagues, I am incredibly proud that TEAC’s co-chairs Rachel Tieger and Dean Gallea were selected by Volunteer New York! (a Westchester-based organization promoting volunteerism) for the “Going Green” award, to be recognized at the “Volunteer Spirit Awards” breakfast event on May 5th.
To learn more about this award, see this article in The Hudson Independent. To buy tickets to the awards fundraising event,or to learn more about Volunteer NY, visit their website.
|Save the Date:
EARTH DAY/EARTH MONTH 2023
BY JENNY O’CONNOR, TEAC MEMBER
Weekends in April, Join Tarrytown’s Earth Month Events
Throughout the month of April, we’re planning some great events which include (our first!) Repair Cafe, Clothing and Housewares Swap, village-wide clean up, bird walk and tree identification, hike, historical lakes walk, trail blazing, vine removal, movie night, native seeds giveaway and so much more!
Mom’s Organic Market from Dobbs Ferry will be providing information and fresh organic fruit for volunteers at some of the events! Please check out our website for more information and for event sign ups.
For our celebration to be a success, we need you or your organization to get involved! If you’d like to spearhead an event, be a neighborhood champion for our village wide clean up, or participate in our planning activities, get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org or come to our next general TEAC meeting, this Thursday, March 2 at 7pm (@ Village Hall or see Zoom login info above).
For the Village wide Clean-up, we’re looking for neighborhood champions to lead clean-ups across the village. If you’re interested, please reach out to us at email@example.com.
INVASIVE STRIKE FORCE: THE VINE SQUAD NEEDS YOU!
by Suzy Allman, TEAC member
Branching out: TEAC’s Vine Squad is growing like crazy! Last month, we had our largest turn-out of 21 volunteers from all corners of the county.
The Tarrytown Environmental Advisory Council (TEAC)’s Volunteer Vine Squad is proving equal to the task of protecting native trees and other vegetation from being smothered by invasive vines.
Japanese honeysuckle, porcelain berry, and Oriental bittersweet are a serious threat to native plant species. They grow quickly and aggressively, often choking out other vegetation and disrupting natural ecosystems. They can also damage trees by climbing up their trunks and interfering with their ability to absorb nutrients and water.
To combat this threat, TEAC has rustled up volunteers of all ages who work together to remove invasive vines from trees, shrubs, and other vegetation in the Tarrytown Lakes park and other wooded areas around town. Last month, over two work sessions, volunteer removed strangling vines from trees and shrubs near the Tarrytown Lakes parking lot and along the Red Trail and Lakes Trail.
The project is not only aimed at removing invasive species but also educates the public about the importance of protecting native plants and wildlife. Volunteers are provided with information on how to identify invasive species and are trained on proper removal techniques.
Most of all, though, volunteers have enjoyed warm(ish) weather, good vibes in the woods, credit for volunteer hours and a feeling of accomplishment over a two-hour work session.
Vine removal in lower Westchester will always be a work in progress, and though we may never look around to see the total eradication of invasive vines, TEAC is working toward keeping them at bay and freeing our native trees from their grip.
The Tarrytown Environmental Advisory Council is always looking for volunteers to join the Vine Squad (no long-term commitment needed!). Sturdy boots, long sleeves, and gloves are recommended. If you own garden tools for pruning and trimming, bring them along (although we also supply a range of tools). Training will be provided.
Our next date is March 4th and we will be working at the Tarrytown Lakes, meeting at the Lakes Parking Lot on Neperan Road at 10am. Community Service Hours will be awarded. Sign up Here.
______________________By Dean Gallea, TEAC Co-Chair
The EV Charging Conundrum: Electric vehicles (EVs) need to be charged with kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity, just as traditional cars get “charged” with gallons of gasoline or diesel fuel.
Electric vehicles (EVs) that might get free charging are some early (pre-2018) upscale Tesla models, and some luxury models like Audi and BMW, for which 2 or 3 years of charging were used as a purchase incentive. That perk may even transfer to a second owner of some of those cars.
For the rest of us, charging will cost something, and how much depends on where you charge.
If you have your own charger at home, your cost per kWh is pretty much the same as for any other appliance in your house, though there are ways to get cash back from the utility if you charge at night (see the February TEAC Newsletter.) Public charging costs more, since the price must cover the cost of utility power, the amortized cost of the station to the charging network, AND the leasing fees they usually must pay to the property owner.
For example, Tesla’s Superchargers cost about 25 cents per kWh, but that can be higher in some areas. Last time I charged at a Supercharger on I-91 in Connecticut, I paid 36 cents per kWh, and at a ChargePoint station in Northfield, Massachusetts, I paid over 50 cents per kWh. Some chargers are priced per hour of charging, rather than per kWh, adding some confusion.
Another consideration is speed of charging. How fast a car can charge depends on the rate in kilowatts (kW) a particular station’s chargers can supply. Those called “DC Fast Chargers” (DCFC) are the fastest, able to push out power at 100 kW or more – some as high as 350kW – that can add hundreds of miles per hour of charging on cars that can take it.
Most other charging stations are “Level-2”, providing less than 100 miles per hour of charging.
On a road trip, if you can’t use a DCFC station, expect to spend a few hours at a level-2 station to top up your battery, so it’s best to find one close to an overnight stay.
Fortunately, most charging stations are near shopping centers where you can grab a meal and do some shopping while charging. But beware the dreaded “idle fees”, that kick in when you leave your car parked in a charging-station space after the car has finished charging. One station I used added a $1/hour idle fee, but Tesla’s are probably the worst, at 50 cents per minute, or $1 per minute if the station is fully occupied. You don’t want to leave your car there for long after charging!
Finally, be aware that “public” chargers may have restrictions: The five 7.5kW level-2 chargers at the Tarrytown train station parking, currently on the EVConnect network, are part of commuter lot C, restricted to those with Tarrytown commuter parking permits, those having paid at the lot’s Pay Stations, and, after 2pm, residents with a (free) Recreation Dept permit. Otherwise, you might be ticketed, as one of our residents found out a couple weeks ago.
Inexplicably, the chargers are shown on EVConnect’s charger map without a mention of these restrictions, nor is there a sign at the chargers explaining them; TEAC has advised the Village of this shortcoming. Also, the two 100 kW DCFC chargers at the Mario Cuomo Tappan Zee Bridge Welcome Center are reportedly only for those planning to walk or bicycle on the bridge’s Shared-Use Path. But for those that “qualify”, charging is free.
Other charging stations in Tarrytown include:
4 ChargePoint Level-2 chargers at Tallyrand, 200 White Plains Rd: 35 cents/kWh
12 Tesla DCFC next to the Sheraton Tarrytown hotel, 600 White Plains Rd
2 Tesla Level-2 chargers at the Tarrytown House Estate – for guests only
one DCFC at the Sleepy Hollow Hotel (formerly Doubletree) – shown as “under repair” (see photo by Cari Newton)
The best interactive charging-station map I’ve seen is ChargeFinder.com. It also shows the cost and restrictions. A close second is PlugShare.com.
New Federal EV Chargers on the way!
Any company looking at claiming some of the $5 billion designated as National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) funding funds in the buildout of the $7.5 billion national EV charging network will need to submit to Federally-mandated standards. Even Tesla.
That network will include 500,000 chargers, both along highways and within communities. It stipulates U.S.-made chargers placed 50 miles apart along designated corridors, with DC fast chargers on the CCS format most non-Tesla EVs use. And, so drivers can depend on them, it also requires that each charging port have at least 97 percent annual uptime.
Maps and apps for the chargers will report power dispensed, real-time port status, real-time customer price, and historical uptime. All such stations must be available 24/7 year-round. Payment methods can’t require a membership for use and will comply with data privacy rules.
Tesla plans to open up “a portion” of its Supercharger (and slower “Destination” charger) network to non-Tesla EVs, making 7,500 chargers available to “all EVs” by the end of 2024.
|FROM THE HARBOR MASTER:
SAFETY TIPS FOR EARLY BOATERS
BY KEVIN LUSTIK
As boating season approaches, the Tarrytown Harbor Master has words of wisdom to share.
Water temperatures will remain low for a few months yet, so if you are kayaking, dress warmly and be waterproof. Remember that there are very few other recreational craft on the water at this time of year, which means no one would be there to come to the rescue, should you capsize. Experienced kayakers know not to go it alone in risky conditions such as cold, but I have seen the exceptions, who always defy the odds.
If you go near the mid channel, be aware that a freighter making the turn by Teller’s point in Croton and heading South, will be at buoy 8 by the lighthouse in 20 minutes, if they are traveling at their usual 15 kts. Always allow sufficient time to get clear of the channel. These 650ft freighters plow thousands of tons of water in front of them and you cannot be seen on their radar unless you’re carrying a radar reflector. That alone will not save you, because they must stay in the deep-water channel, and they can make no course diversions.
Even if they could change course, these vessels require almost a mile to stop when coming with the tide. Large boats have a tough time spotting small craft. Tugboats that are pushing a string of empty barges ahead have about an 1800 ft blind spot from the pilot house forward down to the water, as the barge tops are blinding their view and that includes their radar image.
For more information on how to stay safe, a USCG Auxiliary Boating Course will occur in Tarrytown on March 18th, 2023. To register email Robert Delia firstname.lastname@example.org
For further local boating and water safety information email Harbormaster01@Yahoo.com
THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW YOU COULD COMPOST
By Annie Kravet, TEAC Member
Composting food scraps is an important way to cut down on the amount of waste that is sent to the incinerator. Here are some additional items that you may not have known can be composted:
- Cellulose sponges
- Dryer lint
- Pet fur/ hair
- Houseplant scraps
- Coffee filters
- Ashes from a fireplace/ firepit
- Cotton balls
- Wooden popsicle sticks
- Wooden toothpicks
Also, a number of our local businesses here in town have compostable food containers. Make sure to look at the label on to-go cups/ containers before you toss them in the trash. Even better: bring your own reusable mug for coffee and dine in if you can!
If you’re new to composting, check out this link to see what kitchen scraps you can compost and where to drop your compost off in Tarrytown. You may also want to look into Hudson Compost, a local company that offers a compost pick-up service.
ADOPT A TREE!
By Rohit Sareen
I never took trees for granted. Maybe it was growing up in the hot and desert-like climate of New Delhi that made me appreciate trees so much. Or maybe my overall love of anything green that came from my botanist mother.
On my very frequent walks around the Tarrytown lakes with my dogs Lola and Max, I am often overwhelmed looking at the proliferating invasive plants and all those trees that look like ghosts, with vines covering them from head to toe. Our suburban plant ecosystems are severely degraded, and the situation seems so hopeless.
I figured I couldn’t fix every tree and take out every invasive plant everywhere, but I could take care of one tree. Which is what I did. I adopted a native maple tree right next to the path. It is quite majestic and looks healthy. The vines that creep up along the tree have not yet started killing it, unlike many others in the park.
My tree after I cut the vines again this year.
So every year in late winter, before the vines start growing and it becomes tougher to go down from the path into the ditch, I cut the vines shooting up from the ground, and the low hanging branches that are their targets. Hopefully this slows down the vines’ progression, and gives my tree a few more years of life.
Wouldn’t it be great if each of us adopted a tree that is prone to getting invasive vines on it?
It may be on our dog walk route or just near our house… I don’t think a lot of people notice that our trees are under attack from these invasive vines that weaken and ultimately kill them. Once weakened, these trees often fall over in high winds under the extra weight of the vines, which can grow to a thick canopy over the years.
Left: One of the many other unfortunate along the path that needs our help
Porcelain berry and oriental bittersweet are some of the common invasive species in our region. We have all seen the depressing views along the Sawmill, Taconic and other highways. Porcelain berry (Ampelopsis brevipedunculata) is everywhere. When I moved into my house 9 years ago, a clump of tree in my neighbor’s backyard was completely consumed by porcelain berry. Porcelain berry and oriental bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus) will completely shade out a tree or shrub, and kill it over time.
Others, like wisteria (Wisteria sinensis), are circling vines that tightly wrap themselves around tree trunks. These vines end up strangling or girdling a tree as it attempts to grow and expand.
Even the common English ivy (Hedera helix), which can be so popular, is not good for our trees. The vines prevent the trunk from drying off, and that is a way for pathogens to grow.
Bear in mind that some native vines can also spread quite aggressively. Native Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) not only creeps, but also climbs, and can blanket other plants. But it is useful to birds and pollinators and should be kept if possible. It provides a beautiful fall color as well.
Be aware that pulling on the vines can damage trees if they are attached to the trunk. Let them die and they will gradually fall off. For vines that are too large to pull out, cut them near the ground.
And of course, take preventive measures before going out there and cutting any vines: wear appropriate protective clothing and be sure to check for poison ivy.
Finally, please plant native plants in your gardens. We can’t easily fix our urban forests but we do have power over our own homes. Most of the invasive species that are creating havoc today were once planted by unsuspecting homeowners in their own backyards.
Community Garden/Jardin Comunitario de 2023
The Community Garden at John Paulding school returns in 2023!
Please read the GARDEN RULES for this year:
ENGLISH: GARDEN RULES
Lea las REGLAS DEL JARDÍN para este año:
ESPANOL: REGLAS DE JARDIN
Complete the form at this site to apply for a garden spot.
|VEGAN RECIPE OF THE MONTH:
By Rachel Tieger, TEAC Co-Chair
With Earth Month right around the corner, it is a great time to look at your personal lifestyle choices in pursuit of making our Earth a cleaner, better place to live for all beings. An immediate change you can make is to adopt a plant based diet or else reduce your intake of animal products (like participating in meatless Mondays, or just eating meat on special occasions, etc).
One of my crowd pleasing favorites is vegan Spanakopita or spinach phyllo pies. Store bought Phyllo (found in the freezer section) is surprisingly easy to work with, but gives the impression that you labored for hours. Be sure to buy a brand with no butter or animal products. This recipe is based on Mini Vegan Spinach Pies but I made modifications. Feel free to be creative!
1 roll store bought phyllo pastry (each box contains 2 rolls)
2 medium/small organic sweet onions, chopped
1 batch vegan “feta” below (optional)
1 lb chopped organic baby spinach (or remove tough stems from mature spinach)
2-3 tbsp finely minced fresh organic dill
1 tbsp finely minced fresh organic rosemary
Salt, pepper to taste
Tofu Feta (if using)
1 block extra-firm tofu, cubed
¼ cup apple cider vinegar or fresh lemon juice (can do ½ and ½) I added about 2tsp lemon zest for extra zing
½ teaspoon sea salt
2 tsp oregano, tarragon or basil, dried or fresh
Prep tofu feta the night before: Cube or crumble the tofu (removing as much water as possible). Mix all ingredients in a small mixing bowl. Place in fridge with a plate on top overnight.
Preheat the oven to 375°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Heat the 1 tablespoon olive oil in a frying pan on medium low heat. Add the chopped onion and saute for 5 minutes or until translucent. Add the chopped spinach, dill, rosemary, salt and pepper. If you’re using vegan feta, now is the time to add it.
Continue to cook this mixture for a few minutes to allow any residual moisture to evaporate. If the mixture is well cooked but there is still too much liquid, remove from heat and drain the excess liquid so you don’t lose the bright green color. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.
At this point the filling can be set aside or used right away. To make the triangles take three sheets of phyllo and, using a pastry brush or brand new small soft bristle paint brush, coat the top layer lightly with olive oil. Cut the three layered phyllo into 4 strips along the long edge. Working quickly (so it doesn’t dry out) add 2-3 tablespoons of spinach filling to one strip and begin to fold up like a triangle. If you’re having trouble with the folding see the video in the link above.
Continue in this manner until all the filling is used. Once you have around 12 triangles, brush them one more time with a little olive oil and sprinkle with sesame seeds (optional).
Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden and crisp. Serve warm and enjoy!
Work as quickly as possible so the phyllo doesn’t dry out. Keep the sheets that you are not working with covered with a tea towel.
Marinate the tofu “feta” overnight or at least for 4 hours in the fridge for best flavor
Thaw one roll of phyllo in fridge overnight and then bring to room temp on counter for 1-2 hours
HOW DO YOU USE OUR HUDSON RIVER?
Scenic Hudson looking to help communities increase shoreline access. As a result, they have established a river access website with an easy-to-use mapper designed to let you indicate where you are using the Hudson River shoreline, what you like to do there, and where you’d like future river access.
The website is here: Scenic Hudson’s Hudson River Access Plan (HRAP)
Direct links to a brief video and the mapper are here::
|The TaSH Farmers Market is thrilled to be a finalist in TWO categories of Westchester Magazine’s “Best of Westchester” annual readers’ poll: “Best Farmers Market” and “Best Produce” – but voting ends this Friday, March 3! We would love your VOTE!