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Sustainability Meeting 8-18-11

Hello West Hillers and Friends!

Thursday night was our annual meeting, and this year the topic was sustainability.  The idea behind the meeting was to start addressing — from the community level — the issue of limited resources and energy descent.  As I mentioned at the meeting, we are fortunate in Ithaca in that we have many organizations who have thought deeply about these issues and have made real changes in Ithaca.  The agenda for the night was as follows:

    1. Karen Jewett and Tom Shelly, Sustainable Tompkins, Finger Lakes Energy Challenge, Finger Lakes Climate Fund  www.sustainabletompkins.org
    2. Diane Cohen, Finger Lakes ReUse, www.fingerlakesreuse.org
    3. Sam Bosco, Cornell Extension, Compost www.ccetompkins.org
    4. Simone Lackey, Finger Lakes Permaculutre , www.fingerlakespermaculture.org
    5. Josh Dolan, Gardens 4 Humanity, www.ccetompkins.org
    6. Ray Weaver, Way-To-Go, www.zimride.com
    7. Bethany Schroeder, TCLocal www.tclocal.org  and Ithaca Health Alliance, www.ithacahealth.org
    8. Anne Rhodes,  CCE-Tompkins Energy Team,  ccetompkins.org/energypath
    9. Elan Shapiro, EcoVillage  www.ecovillageithaca.org
    10. Tom Shelly, Sustainable Chicken Project
    11. Peter McWain, New Roots School, www.newrootsschool.org
    12. Karim Beers, Ithaca Neighborhood Greenways, www.tompkins-co.org/itctc

It’s unusual, I think, to attend a talk with a dozen speakers and walk away with many  worthwhile ideas on strengthening community.

I asked each group to send me an e-mail that describes their organization, so here are the ones I’ve received, and I’ll post the others as I get them.



Way2Go is a transportation education program through Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County. Way2Go’s mission is to promote access to sustainable and equitable transportation options to residents of Tompkins County through a combination of community outreach, marketing strategies and our website, Way2GoInfo.org. Way2Go provides assistance to employers, senior drivers and service providers via specialized trainings and workshops. Way2Go works to promote new and existing services such as TCAT, Ithaca Carshare, CityVan, Zimride Tompkins and vanpooling. For more information, contact Way2Go through our website, e-mail at ray@way2goinfo.org, or call (607) 272-2292.

Contributors to TCLocal are people living in and around Tompkins County who are committed to helping prepare for a future with less available energy, i.e. fewer fossil fuels. Specifically, each Contributor commits to researching and writing at least one article on a subject relating to our local response to energy descent. (We are pointedly interested in Tompkins County, rather than a generic U.S. or regional approach.) The pieces produced are published monthly on the tclocal.org website in a format that enables members of the community to comment on the article and contribute to its revision. TCLocal articles typically receive 1800 hits or more on the web.

Topic areas include transportation, health care, education, water, land use, urban design, building community, local agriculture and local food supply, hunting, aquaculture, local manufacturing, repair, retail trade, energy production, waste disposal, household preparation, social and psychological adjustment, and information infrastructure. Additional topics are welcome.

Contact Jon Bosak, TCLocal Editor, at bosak@pinax.com for more information.



2 comments to Sustainability Meeting 8-18-11

  • Please note that the website for EcoVillage is: http://www.ecovillageithaca.org. The ‘r’ is missing as published. [Fixed. ed.] For those interested in connecting with EcoVillage a free tour is conducted on the last Saturday of each month at 3pm and starts at the common house of the first neighborhood. Park in the visitors parking area that is on the left at the fork once you are in the village — see sign. The common house is the one visible from the parking area with the tall tower. Thanks.

  • EcoVillage at Ithaca is modeled both on Co-housing principles and Conservation/Sustainability principles. The approach to developing a neighborhood is to bring together people who want to take advantage of cohousing and live sustainably in community. Cohousing is a community development model that originated in Denmark and has taken root in the US now as well. The 175 acres that are managed by EVI, Inc., a non-profit organization along with educational outreach, was originally intended for 154 single family homes with a huge footprint of roads, utility infrastructure, and very little conserved land. The founding principles of EcoVillage called for leaving natural or agricultural 90% of the land and building on 10%. In this way the town of Ithaca will have with the completion of the third neighborhood 100 households on about 15 acres of land and more than 150 acres conserved and not built upon in the traditional subdivision model that consumes several magnitude greater amounts of town resources related to roads, sewer, water, protection. Cohousing like development that incorporates sustainability principles can be a powerful model for developing housing in context of community.

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