Lexington Green Network – January 2022

January 2022 Newsletter

The start of a New Year is often associated with feelings of anticipation and hope. Due to the pandemic, this is both truer and, paradoxically, harder to muster.

Engaging in the exploration and support of our environment and climate, our health and our community can bolster those feelings of hope and empower us to find ways to make a difference.

This issue is stuffed with programs to learn from experts, find local food, and advocate for change at the state and local level.  There are organizations to join, events to enjoy, legislation to advocate for, and even a call to get involved in local government. 

All of these things can help lead to a hopeful, healthy and productive New Year.  We look forward to what 2022 will bring.

Mothers Out Front/Lexington

Climate Coffee Break with Mothers Out Front:
Why We Need to Update the Massachusetts Bottle Bill

Thursday, January 13, 2022, 12:00-12:30PM
Virtual Event: Please REGISTER HERE

When Massachusetts first passed its bottle bill in 1983, the five cent refundable deposit resulted in a massive shift toward redemption and recycling. Today, most bottles in our state are once again being put in the trash. Learn how a proposed update of the MA bottle bill could get us back on track. Join Kirstie Pecci of the Conservation Law Foundation’s Zero Waste Project for a brief presentation and the chance to take action on this important issue. 

Lexington Climate Action Network and Cary Library

LexCAN and Cary Library invite you to…

Climate Change and the Ocean: Action and Insight

Tuesday, January 18, 2022, 7:00-8:30PM
Virtual Event: Please REGISTER HERE

The Lexington Climate Action Network and the Cary Library will host a lively conversation between evolutionary ecologist and coral reef expert, Les Kaufman, and award-winning author and ocean advocate, Liz Cunningham, moderated by Lisbeth Bornhofft, former Senior Educator at the New England Aquarium. Witness an inspiring exchange about the crucial links between our ocean and climate, what we can do to regenerate ocean ecosystems and how we can build hope for our future—for our communities and the life of the seas.

The featured speakers are:

Les Kaufman is an evolutionary ecologist specializing in the biology and conservation of aquatic ecosystems. He has special expertise in coral reef biology, the evolution and ecology of tropical great lakes fishes, and ecosystem-based management of marine resources, both with particular respect to anthropogenic climate change.  As Professor of Biology in the Boston University Marine Program, and Faculty Fellow in the Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future, he leads BU’s interdisciplinary work on Coupled Human and Natural Systems.  His research team is currently working on ecosystem-based management and renewable energy on the US continental shelf, regenerative processes on coral reefs, and balancing biodiversity conservation with food security in Lake Victoria, East Africa.  Kaufman is active in public education and outreach, occasionally involved in the production of popular articles, television, and radio for venues such as National Geographic, Ranger Rick, and the National Public Broadcasting system. In his free time he is an avid naturalist above and below water and enjoys outdoor activities and music.

Liz Cunningham is the author of award-winning Ocean Country: One Woman’s Voyage from Peril to Hope in her Quest to Save the Seas, with a foreword by Carl Safina. Her mission is to be a voice for the life of the seas and the people who are working to save it, to inspire and empower others to join these efforts and forge a sustainable future. She writes about ocean conservation and the traits we need to be effective stewards of our seas and our planet, among them courage, an engaged hope, and our capacity to work together to implement solutions. She is currently at work on two new books, Our Breathing Earth: The Ocean, Our Breath, and What Makes Life Thrive and Compassion Unleased: The Heart of Hope.  Learn more about her work at: www.lizcunningham.net

Lisbeth Bornhofft is a naturalist, artist, and climate activist with a particular passion for the bluest part of the planet. For 25 years, she served as a Senior Educator at the New England Aquarium, focusing on the interpretation of complex topics, including overfishing, biodiversity and climate change. She helped to develop a national network (NNOCCI), encouraging positive solutions regarding climate change and the marine environment. As a founding member of the Lexington Climate Action Network, she has continued to be deeply involved in communicating climate change issues to increase awareness and action.

This program is made possible by Cary Library in partnership with the Lexington Climate Action Network, (LexCAN).

Register: http://carylibrary.assabetinteractive.com/calendar/oceans-and-climate-change/

Lexington Climate Action Network

Bringing the Green New Deal Home

Wednesday, January 5, 2022, 7:00PM
Virtual Event: Zoom link

Featured speaker: Alan Field, member of 350 Mass‘ MetroNorth group. 

The 350 MA grassroots network organizes local and state-level campaigns to end the dominance of the fossil fuel industry, transition to a clean energy world and combat climate change. 350 MetroNorth, which was originally based in Winchester and includes activists from Lexington and other area towns, helps choose 350 MA’s campaign priorities, set strategy, organize direct action events, educate communities, and lobby lawmakers around urgent climate action issues. The MetroNorth node has been especially active in confronting banks that invest in the fossil fuel economy, opposing dirty power-generating facilities, and educating state legislators. 

Learn about 350 MA’s 2021-2022 campaign, Bringing the Green New Deal Home, which partners with groups like LexCAN to press for rapidly reducing greenhouse gas emissions from Massachusetts’ buildings and transportation and greening the grid, while prioritizing social, racial, and economic justice. 

 

LexCAN Advocacy Committee: Help Get State Climate Bills Out of Committee by February 2nd!

January is a crucial month for state legislation. There are many important climate bills at the State House that need to be moved out of committee by Feb. 2 or they will “die” and we will have to wait two years before similar legislation will have a chance to be passed. 

WHAT CAN YOU DO?  You can CONTACT KEY LEGISLATORS as suggested below between December 27 and January 15. The greatest impact we can have is through our collective voices! Pick one, two as many as you like – whatever you do is immensely important and appreciated. 

Here are key bills that need legislative action in the next 30 days:

  • How will we reach our recently set Massachusetts climate goals and pay for the steps needed to achieve them? The Green Futures Act (H.3292) provides solutions. Contact key legislators to move this bill. Details on who and how are here.
  • Is 100% green energy for electricity, heating, and transportation in our future in MA? The 100% Clean Act (H.3288, S.2136) lays out clear steps and a just transition. Contact key legislators to move this bill. Details on who and how are here.
  • Tired of seeing plastic bottles littering the landscape? Each bottle represents wasted, climate-changing energy. For many reasons the Expanded Bottle Bill (H.3289/S.2149) makes sense.  Contact key legislators to move this bill. Details on who and how are here.
  • “If you have to light it on fire, it isn’t renewable.” Do you agree? The  Biomass Burning Bill (H.3333/S.2197)  prohibits labelling woody biomass as a renewable resource. Contact key legislators to move this bill.  Details on who and how are here.
  • Can we assist landscapers in transitioning to electric leaf blowers? Representative Ciccolo has filed legislation that will. Find out more here.
  • Ask the legislature to authorize Lexington’s Home Rule petition to limit fossil fuel heating in new residential construction. Find out more here.

Thanks so much for your advocacy.  Please forward to interested friends.  And let us know that you acted!  Together we DO make a difference!

– Fran Ludwig (fludwig12@yahoo.comand Jeanne Krieger (kriegerjk44@gmail.com), Co-chairs LexCAN Advocacy Committee

Lexington Living Landscapes 

Lexington Living Landscapes and Cary Library invite you to…

The Language of Flowers: An Introduction to Pollination Ecology

with Rebecca McMackin, Director of Horticulture for Brooklyn Bridge Park

Wednesday, January 26, 2022, 7:00PM
Virtual Event: Register here.

The vast majority of plants rely on pollinators to reproduce. From bees, to butterflies, to birds and bats, these pollinator partners shaped the evolution of flowers, giving us so much of the beauty we appreciate today. However, these exciting dynamics, in which a flower’s pollen is carried to a stigma, are fraught with trickery, bribery, thievery, and of course, salacious plant sex.

This lecture will cover the basics of pollination ecology. Why do plants have flowers? How did they evolve? And specifically, what are flowers doing? Why are they so pretty and smell so good to us, non-pollinating primates? By the end of the presentation, you will be able to “read” flowers and come to know the true desires of the organisms you cultivate.

Rebecca McMackin is an ecologically obsessed horticulturist and garden designer. By day, she is the Director of Horticulture for Brooklyn Bridge Park, where she manages 85 acres of diverse parkland organically and with an eye towards habitat creation for birds, butterflies, and soil microorganisms. In her imaginary free time, Rebecca writes about landscape management and pollination ecology, as well as designs the occasional garden. Her writing has been published by the New York Times, the Ecological Landscape Alliance, and the Landscape Institute.

Join us for a fascinating evening. Rebecca is a gifted speaker and we are delighted to be able to host her presentation. Co-sponsored by the Lexington Conservation Division.

Town of Lexington

Want to Make a Difference? Become a Town Meeting Member!

Being a Town Meeting member gives you a role in how the Town makes decisions on how it operates. It has a time commitment of about 2 evenings per week, for about 3 weeks, during the Annual Town Meeting in the Spring, usually March and into April and sometimes (most years) there is a Special Town Meeting in the Fall, usually in November. Town Meetings needs voices that care about the environment as Town Meeting can impact our path to the future.

Steps to running for Town Meeting:

  1. Pick up nomination papers by going to Candidate nomination are available by contacting the Town Clerk’s Office at 781-698-4558, or email clerk@lexingtonma.gov
  2. Gather 10 valid signatures of registered voters on petition papers. It is recommended that you get 15-20 signatures in case the Town Clerk does not validate some signatures.
  3. Submit the petition papers once the signatures are gathered to the Town Clerk/Board of Registrars for certification. 
  4. The candidate will appear on the ballot If the required number of signatures is certified.
  5. Election: March 7, 2022

Details on running for any office in the Town of Lexington, go to this link.

Key Dates and Deadlines for New Candidates:

  • Thursday, January 13, 2022: Candidates must obtain nomination papers from the Town Clerk, no later than 5:00 p.m.,
  • Saturday, January 15, 2022, 5:00 pm: Submit signed nomination papers to Board of Registrars/Town Clerk for certification
  • Wednesday, February 2, 2022: 5:00 pm: Last Day/Time for candidates to withdraw.
  • March 7, 2022: Town-wide election.

What is it like to be a Town Meeting Member?

If you would like to talk to a Town Meeting member, reach out to your precinct Town Meeting members, find a friend by searching the list of Current Members, or feel free to reach out to Ricki Pappo at Ricki.Pappo@lexingtontmma.org.

More info can be found at the Town Meeting Member website.

Quiet Clean Lexington

Article 10 Update – Regulation of Lawncare Activities and Eventual Gas Leafblower Ban

While Article 10 was adopted by Town Meeting with an overwhelming 84% yes vote, opponents have successfully petitioned the Town to invoke a referendum for its repeal. The referendum question will appear on the March 7 Town election ballot.

Supporters of Article 10 have formed Quiet Clean Lexington, a registered campaign committee committed to retaining this important environmental law.

It will take about 5,000 committed YES voters to save Article 10, and we need your support to make this happen.

Please visit the Support page of the Quiet Clean Lexington website to add your name to our list of supporters and to let us know how you’d like to help.

The Winter Market Is Back!

After a year’s hiatus, the Small Yet Mighty Winter Market will be opening its 6th season on Saturday, January 8, back home at the Waldorf School in Lexington! The new season comes with so much good news, including an exciting line-up of vendors featuring your favorites from the regular season. Masks will be required for all those attending the market including vendors and market staff, and capacity limits will be maintained, with a covered spot outdoors for those waiting for entrance. 

The LFM will be open biweekly every other Saturday from 11 – 2 pm (January 8 & 22, February 5 & 19, March 5 & 19, April 2 & 16), and is located at the Waldorf School, 739 Massachusetts Avenue in Lexington with free parking available. 

The LFM is a producer-only market, ensuring that what you find is fresh and local, sustainably raised and carefully crafted by the farmers and vendors of the LFM. Each week, there will be up to ten farmers and vendors participating, with occasional guest vendors. The LFM accepts SNAP and HIP; the LFM’s SNAP program matches up to $15 weekly and HIP can be used at Farmer Dave’s for fruit and vegetable purchases. 

In addition to free parking onsite, the Waldorf School is accessible on MBTA Bus Route 62 and 76. Visit www.lexingtonfarmersmarket.org to read more about the Small Yet Mighty Winter Market. For the most up-to-date information, “like” us on Facebook (The Lexington Farmers’ Market) and for fun, follow us on Instagram (@lexingtonfarmersmarket). For questions, email lexingtonfarmersmkt@gmail.com

Check out our website for who will be at the market this season.

Town of Lexington Transportation Services

Susan Barrett, Transportation Manager

Winter Cycling Workshop (January 18th – sign up now)

Think you can’t bike in winter? Think again! Cyclists of all ages, experience, and abilities are encouraged to attend this workshop. Join local expert Jim Cadenhead and learn about winter weather cycling options and accessories to keep you riding year-round!

Jim is a Lexington resident and owner of Battle Road Bikes in East Lexington. He is also on the Lexington Bicycle Advisory Committee and coaches the local youth mountain biking team, Afterschool Suspension.

He has over 20 years experience in the bike industry and has been teaching and hosting bicycle clinics and workshops since 2005, and is a Certified League Cycling Instructor through the League of American Bicyclists.  

From clothing to tires to everything in between, come learn from Jim, and feel free to ask any questions or even share your advice with others in this communal setting. 

This workshop is open to people of all ages & abilities. Bike lights, reflective items, educational and information resources, plus hot cocoa included!

Sign up here: https://lexrecma.myrec.com/info/activities/program_details.aspx?ProgramID=30260

Lexington Community Farm (LexFarm)

CSA Sales Start This Month

LexFarm 2022 summer, fall and flower CSA sales will start in January.  

Sign up for our newsletter for notification: https://lexfarm.org/get-involved/newsletter/

Friends of Lexington Bikeways

Help FoLB Keep Lexington’s Bikeways Plowed This Winter

Winter is coming! 

Minuteman Bikeway users have come to count on the bikeway being plowed right after each snowstorm! Walkers, joggers and bike riders use the bike path throughout the winter, and in Lexington the plowed path is made possible by tax-deductible donations from users and others who love the bikeway.

For information on how you can help, see details at the Friends of Lexington Bikeways website:  https://www.bike-lexington.org.  

Would you like to submit an environmental event or activity?
Email us at newsletter@lexingtongreennetwork.org

Please forward to your network!