NEWS OF THE MONTH FROM THE TARRYTOWN ENVIRONMENTAL ADVISORY COUNCIL

MAY 2022
WHAT WE’RE TALKING ABOUT
_____________________
Welcome, May! If you can’t get enough of cleaning up our Planet Earth, join your neighbors for the great River Sweep, coming to Losee Park on Saturday, May 7, or roll up your sleeves at one of four pollinator planting events this month. Meet a cardinal of a different color, clean out your closet and swap for something you need, and catch our film series feature this month — “Seed” — at Warner Library.  Oh, and join our online meeting Thursday evening, May 5 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, May 5, 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!

THANKS!
EARTH DAY / EARTH MONTH HIGHLIGHTS
______________________
By Rachel Tieger, TEAC Co-Chair

Thanks to all of our dedicated volunteers, Tarrytown was buzzing with Earth month activities throughout April 2022! Of the many earth friendly events held around town, there were multiple cleanups, a vines removal project, clothing and houseware swap, film screening, bird walk, gratitude circle, art projects, and more.

Always a favorite Earth Day activity, the bird walk at the Tarrytown Lakes on April 23rd was led by naturalist Eric Stone, founder of Rewilding School. Twelve participants attended this early morning event, kicking off this day of action and fun. We spotted a bald eagle, one of the mute swans, a pair of wood ducks, Canada geese, some robins, grackles and more. We also observed and discussed many of the invasive plants around the lakes and in the woods.

A huge shout out to the Tarrytown Parks, DPW and Police Departments for their participation and hard work.

If you would like to participate in more environmental activities, please join us for the Riverkeeper Sweep on May 7th (rain or shine).

Register Here, using this link or the QR code, below.

#tarrytownearthday http://www.tarrytownenvironmental.org

POLLINATOR PATHWAYS:
VOLUNTEER FOR OUR PLANTING PROJECTS
 

TEAC will be planting two new pollinator gardens this spring, along with 14 pollinator planters plus tree well spaces along Broadway and Main Streets.

This is a big step forward in expanding Tarrytown’s pollinator pathway and we’re thrilled to have our Village solidly on board.

We are looking for volunteers to help with install and ongoing maintenance of these new plantings. Please let us know (email: mimiroomredo@gmail.com or gloriaecepin@gmail.com) if you would like to volunteer for any of the following projects and please spread the word to one and all. You’ll need to bring gloves, a trowel and or shovel and a water bottle.


Planting the Warner Library pollinator garden, one of 2021’s planting events in Tarrytown

The planting events:

Sarah Michaels Pollinator Garden: Located at Sarah Michaels Park (Park located between Walgreens Plaza and Village Hall)  Install will be on Sunday, May 15 at 9am -11 am. This will be a large pollinator garden 60’x6’ along the Park’s frontage on Railroad Avenue.

Hamilton Street garden at Neperan Park: This small shade garden will be installed directly outside the Park entrance on Hamilton Street. Install date is Sunday, May 22 from 9am -11am.

Container Plantings for Broadway and Main St.: We will be planting 10 barrels on Thursday, May 12 at 4 pm at the DPW garage at 4 Division St. in Tarrytown. The other 4 barrels are in front of CVS on Broadway and we will plant these on site on Friday.

Broadway weeding of tree wells:  We will need to weed the Broadway tree wells before we add new plugs in early June. We can do this in small groups anytime. Please email mimiroomredo@gmailcom or gloriaecepin@gmail.com if you are available to help and we’ll set some dates. New plugs will be arriving at the end of May and we can set an install date once they are here.

PITCHING IN FOR A CLEANER HUDSON:
11TH ANNUAL RIVERKEEPER SWEEP
______________________

On May 7th, you’re invited to join more than 2,000 volunteers who will come together across hundreds of miles of shoreline in New York City and the Hudson Valley for the 11th Annual Riverkeeper Sweep, a day of service for the Hudson River. Volunteers will clean up tons of trash, plant healthy vegetation, and remove invasive plant species at more than 120 locations.

Ready to help keep the Hudson River clean? Click the button below to see where you can help out. In Tarrytown, we’ll be cleaning the area around Losee Park, west of the train station and tracks.

SIGN UP FOR THE RIVERKEEPER SWEEP HERE!

ENERGY NOTE$
IT’S ELECTRIFYING – FOR OUR COMMON GOOD
______________________

By Dean Gallea, Co-chair, TEAC

The Clearway Community Solar Farm in Minisink, New York. 

Back in the 1950s and ‘60s, utility companies promoted the “All-Electric Home” at World Fairs and public displays.

The “home of the future” would have electric baseboard heat, window air conditioners, electric stoves with red-hot coils to cook food, and scores of incandescent lights. Those were the days when we were told electricity produced by nuclear plants would be “too cheap to meter”.

This was all pure profit-motivated fantasy: The cost of producing electricity would keep going up and up, it would be generated mostly by burning fossil fuels, and those inefficient electric heating and cooking systems would not supplant less-expensive oil and gas heat. Nuclear power would also prove too expensive to grow, once all their lifecycle costs were accounted for.

There is now a distant echo of the 1950’s in a renewed call – from our technologists and lawmakers this time – to move towards an “all-electric” life. It makes sense this time.

It’s born of the climate crisis, a very different scenario, calling for all of us to take part, quickly as we can. And the opportunities are right here, right now:

  • We are growing our ability to produce electricity from renewable sources, especially wind and solar. New long-distance transmission lines will carry non-carbon-generated power from upstate NY wind farms, community solar projects, and (somewhat controversially) hydroelectric dams in Canada, to the NY Metro area. Turnkey solar-mapping toolkits assist municipalities in locating the best places for local solar farms and rooftop generation, along with streamlining the planning and permitting processes for developing these important resources. Community Choice Aggregation programs, such as we and many other Westchester municipalities have adopted, let us save money while using power from renewable sources.

  • The efficiency of new electric heating, cooling and lighting systems eclipses anything even envisioned in the mid-20th century. Heat pumps can produce 4 or more times the heat of old baseboard or space heaters per unit of energy. Super-insulated walls and windows keep heat inside, or block it out in summer. Induction cooktops stay cool while food cooks faster than even a gas flame can manage. Convection ovens (air-fryers, actually) bake faster and are better-insulated than older ovens. LED lamps have given lighting designers more style options than ever before, while producing little wasted energy.

  • Electric vehicles, including the personal automobile, have become not just a novelty, but a better choice all around. Fast-charging stations are growing in number both on highways and in our Villages and homes. Tesla has started to allow charging of other makes at a growing number of its Superchargers. Tax credits, rebates and the high resale value of electric cars make them a smarter economic choice. Our School systems are now buying electric buses, with some help from State grants; it’s an ideal situation, with short range and long idle time for charging making electric school buses very practical.

  • Incentives for energy-saving upgrades come from our State and County governments, and from utilities like Con Edison. In Tarrytown and our two neighboring Villages, we have an EnergySmart Homes program, providing homeowners pre-selected, vetted contractors and reduced permit fees for switching to heat pumps and other upgrades. Also, the GridRewards program pays you back for reducing your home energy demands at peak-usage times. If you don’t yet – or can’t – have solar panels installed, you can subscribe to one of the Community Solar projects sprouting up around our region. They pay you back 10% of your electric supply dollar, at no cost to you. If you are actually able to completely electrify, and no longer need to be connected to Con Edison for natural gas, they provide a bonus payment for doing so. You can find out more about these programs at sustainablewestchester.org, and at Con Edison.

Electrification is thus an important – and achievable – step in our combined efforts to meet the lofty goals of the NY State CLCPA (Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act):

  • 85% Reduction in GHG Emissions by 2050

  • 100% Zero-emission Electricity by 2040

  • 70% Renewable Energy by 2030

  • 9,000 MW of Offshore Wind by 2035

  • 3,000 MW of Energy Storage by 2030

  • 6,000 MW of Solar by 2025

  • 22 Million Tons of Carbon Reduction through Energy Efficiency and Electrification

TEAC urges all residents to keep these goals at heart and take personal actions for themselves and for our climate.

GREENER TARRYTOWN:
THE HOSTS WITH THE MOST 

By Mai Mai Margules, TEAC Landscaping Committee 
                                       

A beautiful spring has arrived and with it the urge to fill our gardens with flowers, grasses and shrubs.

In choosing plants many of us hope to attract butterflies and moths to our gardens along with native bees and birds. To truly support butterflies and specialist native bees we must support them through all phases of their lives. This means we must plant “host” plants that nourish caterpillars. Host plants are the plants that butterflies lay their eggs on so that we have more butterflies.

Our indigenous plants and insects have specialized relationships that have evolved over thousands of years. Many insects depend on only one plant to nourish their young. A prime example is monarch butterflies and milkweed. Monarch caterpillars eat only milkweed, without milkweed monarch caterpillars will starve, even in a lush garden. This is why we need to include native host plants in our gardens. Native plants feed the insects that feed the birds that feed other animals which feed the web of life……biodiversity.

Additionally, baby birds can only eat caterpillars and insects. Unlike their parents they cannot eat seeds . For this reason we must choose trees, shrubs and plants that host lots of caterpillars that become baby bird food in the spring.

We cannot have butterflies and birds without caterpillars. In a healthy garden or yard you want to have beneficial caterpillars on your trees and plants and celebrate a few holes in the leaves as a sign of a healthy working ecosystem.

Please refrain from using pesticides and herbicides in your garden and lawn as these are extremely hazardous to pollinators and birds. If you have a problem with unwanted insects or plants there are many effective organic controls available. Visit  healthyards.org for guidance.

Here is a comprehensive list of host plants and the animals that they support. https://monarchwatch.org/garden/plant-list-monarchwatch.pdf

Below are some favorite butterflies and the plants that support them. You probably have a few in your yard now. Clover, common violets and fleabane are all good  host plants for butterflies, so let’s stop calling them lawn weeds! Herbs such as fennel, rue, dill and carrots also host swallowtail butterflies.

 


Fritillary caterpillar on violet


Monarch on milkweed


Spicebush swallowtail caterpillar on spicebush leaf (photo: ThisBugsLife.com)

  

Painted lady on pussytoes


Black swallowtail caterpillar on fennel (photo: GardenBetty.com)

OUR FRIENDS:
THE CARDINAL COUPLE

By Catherine Ruhland, TEAC Member

A female cardinal with leucism, a genetic condition that causes some feathers to lose pigementation. Photo: Catherine Ruhland

I always thought of my home and yard as the sole property of myself, my husband and my children. Now that my children have mostly left, I think of it as “my” castle and “my” quarter acre estate.

But that is really such a lonely concept. And it isn’t true.

It was the frequent sighting of an unusual cardinal pair that finally made me realize that my quarter acre was also the home of many other creatures, creatures that we can sometimes begin to recognize as friends, as community.

Two days ago, perched on a waving forsythia branch sat my friend, the beautiful, bright red cardinal. He was gently bouncing in the wind. I realized that my “estate” was also his estate. That he lives here, year round. That he sings for himself, but also for me. He sees me every day, probably.

And he has probably already realized that we are connected by this little plot of land. In fact, we have been connected for several years now.

For a long time I had no connection with the lovely red cardinal stopping by to visit our bird feeders, hang in our bushes, perch in our trees. I assumed it was always a different cardinal, though I know cardinals are territorial. In fact, at times I observed several male cardinals at one time in our bushes.

One day several years ago, however, I observed a female cardinal who caught my eye, because of her unusual plumage. She had several white feathers mixed into her brown feathers, something none of the other female cardinals around here have.

This is actually a phenomenon called leucism and is relatively rare. In fact this was the first time in my life that I had observed this.

Once I recognized the white feathered female cardinal, I began to see her several times a week, sometimes every day for a while. And near her would always be her lovely red feathered mate.

At last it clicked with me that the two live here and that these exact two birds have lived here consistently for several years now. They also remain here in the winter, when one can really watch them against the white snow at the bird feeders.

Today as I was pruning my ilex bushes, I heard “cheer”, “cheer” coming from a Crabapple Tree on our property line. I interrupted my work and walked over.

It was none other than my friend, the female cardinal with the white feathers. I greeted her and thanked her for her joyful song. Then I went back to pruning, but I had a smile on my face and my heart was joyful because I was not alone at my work.

It is a wonderful thing to realize that you have wild creatures that are part of your little community and which you miss when you don’t see them for one or two days. Should my cardinal couple disappear in the future someday, I would be sad, but I would have this beautiful memory of the faithful cardinal pair.

Eat Your Weeds 
By Angeline Montoya PowellI remember when I was a little girl, I loved picking up dandelion seeds and blowing them in the wind. To me the dandelion flower was beautiful. Then one day, someone said to me that it wasn’t a flower. It was a WEED! Weeds have a bad connotation. Understandably so, they can be invasive, hard to remove, and in some cases be a danger to native plants. We’ve associated weeds to be bad and have come up with a multitude of ways of banishing them from our gardens and yards. Unfortunately, many of these methods can also negatively affect our natural wildlife. Before we battle the weeds this spring, let’s take a closer look at these pervasive and persistent little suckers.Weeds are often guilty of being a menace to the plants you are trying to grow in your garden, but these weeds are filled with wonderful vitamins and minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, Vitamins A, B and C. Most of these weeds are classified as bitters. A taste that is not generally the most appetizing to our North American palates, but they are essential for digestion, absorption, and elimination. They stimulate digestive enzymes and fluids. Adding these ‘wild foods’ to our daily diet can increase our nutrient intake. In addition to using these plants as food, these weeds are some of the most important and useful botanical medicines, especially for local, common and acute complaints. They can be used to aid digestion, soothe skin irritations, and heal wounds.Chickweed and Dandelion are two of my favorites. Historically, chickweed (Stellaria media) was used to treat internal and external inflammations. It is a calming and cooling plant, which makes it a great topical ointment or poultice for rashes, eczema and bug bites. Its best used fresh as a juice but can also be made into an oil or salve. The ever popular dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) has many medicinal qualities from its root to its leaves and flowers. Historically, the root was used to make an herb beer, and the flowers were used to make wine. Dandelion leaves can be added to soups, made into pesto, or cooked in a stir-fry. The dandelion leaf has gained back popularity and is commonly found in restaurants, food blogs, and markets.

When harvesting these weeds, please remember to properly identify these plants before eating them or using them as medicines. You can reference an easy guide such as Thomas Elpel’s Botany in a Day, consult with the USDA website www.plants.usda.gov or ask your local botanist, herbalist or gardener. Also, please use plants you know aren’t sprayed with pesticides or in areas where nitrate fertilizers are used. This year, my sons will help me pull them from our yard as we prepare a meal and make flower crowns. To me, the dandelion will always be a beautiful flower!

Angeline is a community herbalist, yoga instructor and ceremonialist.

GIVE/TAKE:
COME TO THE SWAP!
______________________


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.

WATCH AND TALK ABOUT IT ON MAY 12:
TEAC’S FILM AND DISCUSSION SERIES: “SEED: THE UNTOLD STORY”
______________________

Tarrytown Environmental Advisory Council resumes its film series on Thursday, May 12, with a showing of “Seed: The Untold Story”. This engaging film depicts the seed keepers protecting our 12,00 year-old food legacy.

The Warner Library is once again hosting the event on the third floor. Afterwards, join TEAC for a lively discussion about the film.

Hollywood Reporter reviewed Seed:

“An eco-doc centered on the glories of diversity in the world’s population of edible plants, Seed: The Untold Story contains just enough gourmet touches to draw foodies into the audience alongside the usual environmentalist crowd.”

You can sign up on Eventbrite at https://www.tarrytownenvironmental.org, or just come to the library!

Other films in the series will be shown at the Warner Library monthly, into June. All film events run from 7-9pm.

VEGAN RECIPE OF THE MONTH
THAI NOODLE SALAD WITH THE BEST-EVER PEANUT SAUCE 

______________________

By Cari Newton 

This month’s vegan recipe is a perfect make ahead meal and is great for our warmer spring weather. It’s a lovely dish for a picnic, lunch, dinner, or as a side dish.

The best part is how versatile the recipe is so you can use whatever veggies you have on hand. I made it with a mix of green and purple cabbage, mixed greens, cilantro, local seasonal radishes and carrots from www.deeprootsfarmny.com that I got at the www.tashfarmersmarket.org.

Sometimes, I add cooked chickpeas or the recommended sesame ginger tofu. I always top with a spoonful of spicy crispy chili oil or sriracha.  I also totally agree with the suggestion in the recipe to make a double batch of the peanut dressing!

Ingredients

6 ounces dry noodles (brown rice noodles, pad Thai style rice noodlessoba noodles, linguini)
4 cups mix of red cabbage, carrots and radish, shredded or grated
1 red bell pepper, finely sliced
3 scallions, sliced
½ bunch cilantro, chopped (or sub basil and mint)
1 tablespoon (or less, or more) jalapeño, finely chopped
¼–½ cup roasted, crushed peanuts (optional garnish)

Thai Peanut Sauce
3 thin slices ginger- cut across the grain, about the size of a quarter.
1 fat clove garlic
¼ cup peanut butter (or sub almond butter!)
¼ cup fresh orange juice (roughly ½ an orange)
3 tablespoon fresh lime juice (1 lime)
2 tablespoons soy sauce or GF Braggs Liquid Amino Acids (Note: Tamari will turn this unpleasantly dark)
3 tablespoons honey, agave, or maple syrup
3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
½ –1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or a squirt of sriracha sauce)
½ teaspoon salt

  1. Cook Noodles: Cook pasta according to directions on package. ( See notes for rice noodles) Drain and chill under cold running water.
  2. Blend the Peanut Sauce: while noodles are cooking, blend the peanut sauce ingredients together using  a blender until smooth.
  3. Toss: Place shredded veggies, bell pepper, scallions, cilantro and jalapeño into a serving bowl. Toss. Add the cold noodles to the serving bowl and toss again. Pour the peanut sauce over top and toss well to combine.
  4. Taste: Adjust the salt (to your liking), add chili flakes if you want, and serve, garnishing with roasted peanuts and cilantro and a lime wedge.

MAMA MIA:
TaSH MOTHERS DAY MARKET
______________________

The TaSH Mothers Day Market will be held in Patriots Park, Saturday May 7th from 9:30-1:30pm. Enjoy healthy snacks, great music and good vibes as you “shop local” and select the perfect gifts for your favorite moms. Visit The TaSH!

REBATES AND INCENTIVES:
ENERGYSMART HOMES RIVERTOWNS
______________________

Tarrytown is committed to sustainable and efficient practices for our residents. In partnership with Sustainable Westchester, we are excited 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 are 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 

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.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp