President’s Message

What a spring, 2020 has been! First, and seemingly never ending, the pandemic, which besides all the suffering it’s caused, has dried up local and state funding, the lifeblood of CAC’s. Then the weather, that never really became springish, with cold wet days (at least here in the southern portion of the state) that never turned to the renewal part of our annual cycle.  And now, as I write this, protests across America, once again (oh no, not once again!) showing how we as a nation still haven’t learned to respect and show dignity to every American. The year started so promising, with members of CACs and other environmental organizations from Westchester County meeting in January and February to start planning for the Fall NYSACC “Conference on the Environment”, to then have to make the incredibly painful decision in March to cancel the conference this year, due to uncertainty where the state will be in the Fall. We are working with the NYS DEC to duplicate the successful DEC Update that we sponsored last year sometime this fall. More on that in our summer newsletter. So, what message can I write about? My original idea was to dedicate this newsletter

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Announcements

2020 Conference on the Environment After a very strong start by the Westchester County 2020 Conference on the Environment planning committee, it was unhappily decided that they could not predict conditions this fall due to the virus, and have decided to cancel this year’s conference. The planners of the conference have requested to sponsor the conference next year in Westchester, and will meet this fall to decide whether or not to hold the conference in the spring or fall of 2021. NYSACC’s Board of Directors has contacted the NYSDEC about holding a remote meeting this fall, similar to the very successful one held in October, 2019. DEC is reviewing this option very seriously, and we’ll have more information in our next newsletter. There is a strong desire on NYSACC’s part to have a statewide meeting this year, especially under the severe impact to CAC’s from the pandemic, as well as the increasing effects of climate change on our environment.   NYSACC is Looking for Contributors to NYSACC News We would like to get articles about what your CAC’s/CB’s are doing, opinion pieces, environmental cartoons (especially related to CAC/CB activities), links to organizations that would be of interest to our members,

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ASK NYSACC

Question: Our CAC is going to be talking to our village board about leaf blower restrictions. We are putting together slides to show the health and ecological issues. Does anyone have slides or material they could share with us?   NYSACC Response: Check out these contacts: “Leave Leaves Alone” http://www.leaveleavesalone.org/  Leave Leaves Alone! was developed by a group of Bedford, NY, residents in 2011, most of whom were Cornell Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners, concerned about the environmental pollution and destruction of soil properties caused by the practice of leaf blowing. Our message goes far further than our small town and our mission is to educate landscapers and homeowners on the value of leaves and leaf mulch; to remind them that nature is there to do most of the work for us, and that fall leaves are a great natural resource that should be valued and not regarded as trash. “Huntington C.A.L.M” https://huntingtoncalm.org/ Huntington CALM (Clean Alternative Landscaping Methods) provides education and outreach on the health and environmental impacts associated with highly polluting, noisy landscape equipment in their Long Island town. Our mission is to move the commercial landscape industry to zero emission, quiet, sustainable practices, starting with the elimination of the

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Meet Your Board of Directors

Greetings fellow environmentalists! My name is Kathryn Vellone, and this past October I was elected as the new Secretary for NYSACC. I reside in Elbridge, NY, where I’m an active member of the town’s Environmental Commission. I am a 2017 graduate of Paul Smith’s College (Natural Resources/Sustainability and Geographic Information Systems), and work in Cayuga County as a GIS Specialist. In my spare time, I enjoy lots of outdoor adventures, horseback riding, playing musical instruments, and cooking. My involvement with the Town of Elbridge Environmental Commission started nearly ten years ago, when a member began recruiting local students to assist with water quality sampling at nearby streams. After participating in several of these outings and exemplifying my interest in conservation and the outdoors, I was invited to join the Elbridge Environmental Commission as a Student Member. During this time, I realized the importance of local government in decision-making, and was able to form important relationships with neighbors working toward the common goal of protecting local resources. After I graduated from college, I returned home and continued my involvement with the Environmental Commission, willing to apply my education and experience toward making my hometown a more sustainable place to live and

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Local Food Sourcing

Even before the coronavirus pandemic, many CAC’s were most likely already interested in promoting local food sourcing, which includes local farming, community gardens, and home gardening.  This interest was based on your concern that the food supply chain will be changed drastically by the climate crisis.  This pandemic, a fractional event compared to the increasing changes to our climate, is already straining that supply chain, and will be tested surely in the coming weeks and months.  It is clear to us, that food must be sourced locally by not only nearby farmers, but by residents becoming self-sufficient.  The goal for CAC’s is to mesh town resources with our residents needs for nutritious food.  And in the time of Covid, we need to do this with the understanding that our financial resources will be limited. In the following articles, we will discuss community gardens, both on private and public lands, groups that can be consulted on growing nutritious foods ourselves or as a community, and expanding our vision of what a vegetable garden actually provides. And we have a summer reading list too! First, let’s talk about community gardens. Community Gardens On private property. CAC’s role here would be to facilitate

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