Announcements

Personal Investment for Climate Solutions:

Your Money as a Tool for Change

Tuesday, May 2, 2017, 7:00-8:30 p.m.

Piedmont Middle School Multipurpose Room*

740 Magnolia Ave., Piedmont

Sponsored by Piedmont Connect, Piedmont Middle School Green Team, Nia Global Solutions


Would you like to align your financial investments (large or small) with your commitment to combatting climate change? Piedmont Connect, the Piedmont Middle School Green Team and others have invited a panel of experts in impact investing  to address how to maintain Return on Investment while divesting from fossil fuels and investing in the future we would all like to see.


Open to all and suitable for students from middle school on up who are interested in learning about how our money has both social and environmental impacts


SPEAKERS: Nancy Pfund, Founder &  Managing Partner of DBL Partners; Dana Lanza, CEO & Co-founder of Confluence Philanthropy; Don Shaffer, President & CEO of RSF Social Finance

MODERATOR: Kristin Hull, Founder, CEO of Nia Global Solutions


Event is free, but small donation accepted. Refreshments will be served.



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The Green Garden Ramble
Tour 8 Delightful Sustainable Gardens
Sunday May 22, 2016
10 am to 2 pm

online registration is now closed

 to attend - drop-in the day of the tour at
Ramble Headquarters - 121 Fairview Avenue

With drought becoming the new normal in California, wise water use has never been more important.  Join us while we visit beautiful, sustainable gardens that showcase both eye-catching and practical gardening methods.  These stunning and ‘green’ gardens will delight you with their creative palates, structures and whimsy.  

The Ramble will highlight a variety of approaches to creating gardens that are sensitive to our water and wildlife, with a focus on California natives and other Mediterranean-climate plants that attract beneficial insects and pollinators. Get inspired by local gardeners who have created dynamic hardscapes using traditional and repurposed ornaments. Expand your garden horizons by seeing what other Piedmonters have done to create enticing kitchen gardens and incorporated even chickens and bees.


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Paris to Piedmont:

Moving ahead on Piedmont’s Climate Action Plan

With leaders and policy experts from Piedmont and Oakland


March 28th, 2016

7-8:30 pm 

PIedmont Community Hall - in Piedmont Park

 

The Paris Climate Conference in December 2015 marked a significant advancement in achieving global climate goals by turning the focus onto actions of local and regional communities.  Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf and Senior Staff Daniel Hamilton were at the Paris Conference to promote these goals, and the role for individuals and local governments in addressing Climate Change issues is becoming clearer.  Join us for a collaborative evening of path-breaking and path-taking, featuring Piedmont Mayor Margaret Fujioka, Oakland Sustainability Program Manager Daniel Hamilton, and Piedmont’s own Dan Reicher, internationally recognized Energy Policy expert.


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Home Energy & Water

Conservation Quick Start

Tuesday, October 6, 2016  7-9 p.m.
Piedmont Middle School (starts in Room 201) 

Do you want to reduce your household’s carbon footprint or lower your water usage (saving money)? This event will provide you with information, customized to Piedmont, about how to start your conservation-related home improvement projects and how to use other people’s money to finance much of it.


Piedmont Water Conservation Showcase
Wednesday, April 22 (Earth Day) 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. (Open House) 
Piedmont Community Hall,  711 Highland Avenue

Come find out how Piedmont households can save more water, do a better job of recycling our green waste, and make the most of new home solar and electric car options!  The Piedmont Middle School Green Team and ASB (student leadership) classes are teaming up with Piedmont Connect and the Piedmont League of Women Voters to present a fun, lively and informative evening for the whole family.  Moving at your own pace through a series of stations, take part in a hands-on exploration of how to use less water in your home and garden, recycle more of your household waste, and save energy

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CONNECT Receives Grant For Pollinator Support Work

Piedmont Connect has been working with the Insect Science Museum of California and the Pollinator Posse project in Oakland to develop programs to support the dwindling population of pollinators in our area. Clif Bar recently lent their support to the collaboration with a grant to fund public education and the development of a Pollinator Pathway to bolster habitat. Connect’s portion of the grant will support the ‘fostering’ of caterpillars in classrooms to protect the creatures during a vulnerable life stage and also provide students with the opportunity to work as citizen scientists as they observe, collect and record data about the creatures’ life cycles. Closely observing the transformation of a butterfly through the life stages of egg, pupae and adult is a magical experience not soon forgotten and it is hoped will lead to a commitment toward ongoing stewardship of the natural world. Havens has been acting as the pilot site for this program, which, thanks to Clif Bar, will soon be rolled out to other schools. If you know of any teachers who would be interested in participating, please have them contact Terry Smith at terrysmith@pobox.com.

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Moving Beyond Awareness: Science and Advocacy in Breast Cancer Prevention

Connie Engel, Ph.D., Science and Education Manager, and

Nancy BuermeyerSenior Policy StrategistBreast Cancer Fund

Monday, October 28, 2013 7:15 p.m., Piedmont Center for the Arts, 801 Magnolia Ave.

We have all been touched by breast cancer, either personally or through a family member or friend. Despite all the advances in detection and treatment, we have not been able to stem the tide of women (and men) diagnosed with this devastating disease. In fact, we are losing ground. In the past 40 years, a woman’s risk of contracting breast cancer has increased by 40 percent. But we are not powerless against this surge. Researchers have long known that genetic and environmental factors individually contribute and interact with each other to increase breast cancer risk. The good news is that environmental factors, including chemical and radiation exposures, are more readily modified than genetic factors. This gives us a tremendous opportunity to lower the risk of and prevent breast cancer, if we have the wisdom and political courage to reduce our exposures.

Join us to learn about the latest developments in the scientific study of the causes of breast cancer and hear how you can support policy changes needed to limit exposure to known cancer-causing chemicals and radiation

Co-sponsored with the League of Women Voters Piedmont

Nancy Buermeyer

As senior policy strategist at the Breast Cancer Fund, Nancy has spurred real change on federal chemicals policy reform, and is a leading expert on this issue. Nancy draws on 25 years of experience as a policy strategist and lobbyist, and has played a key role in shifting the landscape on crucial public health and civil rights issues including chemicals policy reform, gay rights and women in the military. As a leading figure in the movement to strengthen laws governing synthetic chemicals, Nancy lobbied for one of the Breast Cancer Fund's biggest victories: a federal ban on phthalates in children's toys in 2008. She has also successfully advocated for increased federal funding of biomonitoring and health tracking programs. As a member of the Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families Steering Committee, she works with stakeholders in the environmental, health and business communities to shape comprehensive chemicals policy that protects public health and the environment. Nancy graduated magna cum laude from the University of Pittsburgh with a B.S. and received a M.S. in biological oceanography from the University of Connecticut.

Connie Engel, PhD

Connie Engel, PhD, Program Coordinator at the Breast Cancer Fund, is an expert on the conjunction of science and advocacy in the environmental breast cancer movement. Her extensive study of social movements, social change, and health psychology provide a cross-disciplinary lens to the Breast Cancer Fund's science-based advocacy efforts. Her work focuses on efforts to translate the science into public education and market- and policy-based change

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Bike to Work Day 2013 
Thursday May 9th 
  

Connect’s Green Transportation group will be hosting an “Energizer Station” in the Ace Hardware parking lot (1221 Grand Ave., Piedmont) from 6-9 a.m. If you are biking or walking to work or school that day, stop by for some refreshments, a goody bag, and moral support! Last year this was a huge success and lots of fun! If you would like to help staff the Station or to procure food and other donations, contact Scott at scott@rsdonahue.us

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Make Your Own Safe & Simple Cleaning Products  

Saturday May 4th, 2013 -- 3-5 p.m.
Havens Science Room - Enter Vista side doors of Havens and follow signs upstairs

As a follow-up to  the  talk on chemicals in everyday products, we’re offering a hands-on opportunity to start lowering your family’s exposure to potentially harmful chemicals in cleaning products.  Drop in for 30-40 minutes and walk away with 3-4 products and recipes to use at home.  A small supply fee will be collected the day of the event to cover the cost of ingredients.   Location: Havens School Science Room.   To let us know you're coming so we have enough supplies - please sign up at HERE.

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Chemicals in Everyday Products:  
What are they?  And what can you do to reduce your health risks?
cosponsored with the League of Women Voters of Piedmont

Wednesday April 24, 2013 -- 7-8:30 p.m.
Beach School Auditorium, 100 Lake Ave, Piedmont

Tracey Woodruff, PhD, MPH
Director, Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment, University of California San Francisco

Many of the products we use on a daily basis expose us to chemicals and metals that have the potential to harm our health.  From the personal care products in our bathroom, to the couch in our living room, to the plastics in our kitchen – many of these products can contain ingredients such as lead, flame retardants and plasticizers that can increase risk of harm to our families.  
 
What are the most effective approaches to prevention? How does public policy impact environmental exposures? 
 
Dr. Woodruff is a national expert on how exposure to environmental chemicals affects early development.  As Director of the UCSF’s Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment, she researches how the exposure of pregnant women to environmental contaminants affects the health of their babies, and translates these findings to healthcare providers, policy makers and community groups in order to improve clinical care and promote policies that prevent prenatal exposures to harmful chemicals.
 
For more information about the Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment go to http://prhe.ucsf.edu/prhe/toxicmatters.html

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Piedmont Spring Fixster
Saturday April 28, 2012 - 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. 
co-sponsored with Piedmont Middle School’s Green Team  

This event features expert volunteers who will show you how to sharpen your gardening tools, maintain your bike, and fix almost any household appliance or other item.  You bring your dull or broken things , and we’ll have the specialty tools and know-how to help you repair them yourself.  For example, if you need to fix your bike before Bike to Work Day (see below), this is your opportunity to have experts guide you in doing so!  You’ll also be able to purchase creative reuse desk planters and vegetable starts grown by students of the Piedmont Middle School Green Team.  This is a free, family-friendly event, featuring the Fixit Clinic, which holds workshops throughout the Bay Area (for  more info go to www.facebook.com/FixitClinic ).   Maintain a greener household by fixing broken items instead of throwing them out!  Reskill!  Repair! Rejoice!

 Location: Buzz Redford Gymnasium and Piedmont Middle School Campus, 740 Magnolia Ave, Piedmont.

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Bike to Work Day 2012
Thursday May 10, 2012
co-sponsored with East Bay Bicycle Coalition

Mayor Chiang has proclaimed May 10th Bike to Work Day in Piedmont.  Join him, other Piedmont City Council members, and elected officials from throughout the East Bay in biking (or walking, carpooling, or taking public transit) to work that day!  On your way, be sure to stop at Piedmont’s first-ever  Bike to Work Day energizer station, hosted by Connect from 6-9 a.m. in the parking lot of Grand Lake Ace Hardware (1221 Grand  Avenue,  Piedmont).   Not only will this give us a chance to count how many Piedmonters are biking to work, we will also have refreshments, free canvas tote bags filled with bike-related swag, as well as words of encouragement for all.  You can also enter a raffle for a free bike!  After you stop at our Energizer Station, you may want to join the “pedal pool” which will be leaving from the Grand Lake Theater at 7:55 a.m., arriving at Frank Ogawa Plaza in downtown Oakland in time for a pancake breakfast open to all bikers.  This is a regional (and national) event, so there will be other energizer stations at various locations throughout the East Bay.  If you are interested in forming or joining a team for the Team Bike Challenge, go to http://www.ebbc.org/tbc.   For more info about the Piedmont Energizer Station, contact Scott Donahue of Connect’s Bicycling and Alternative Transportation Group at scott@rsdonahue.us.  For general info about Bike to Work in the East Bay, go to http://www.ebbc.org/?q=btwd .  We hope you'll join in the fun!

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GENERAL MEETING OF PIEDMONT CONNECT

Wednesday May 16, 2012 -- 8:30 p.m. 
Havens Science Room (see directions, below)

After brief reports from working groups (including Green Streets, Energy, Bicycling & Alternative Transportation, and Waste Reduction), we’ll break into groups to continue planning these groups’ projects and to start planning for any new projects that emerge.  This is a great opportunity to become involved with Connect!  For more information send us an e-mail at piedmontconnect@gmail.org

Location:  323 Highland Ave, Piedmont, CA 94611 (Science Room - 344. 2nd floor overlooking Mulberry's parking lot. Enter through the Vista Ave. doors across from City Hall)

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Rethinking Plastics

Thursday March 22, 2012  - 7 p.m. 

(co-sponsored with the Piedmont League of Women Voters)

Join Stuart Moody for a thought-provoking presentation on the role and perils of plastics in our everyday lives.  Stuart initiated the Rethinking Plastics Campaign in Marin County, which has been a major force in raising civic awareness of the plague of plastic pollution.  If you missed his presentation to Piedmont Connect last Fall, this is a chance to see it!  He will also show a short slide presentation titled “Bring Your Own Bag.”  Members of Connect’s Waste Reduction Group will be on hand to share their experiences too.  

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An Evening with John Muir
Sunday March 4, 2012 5-6:30 p.m.

 (co-sponsored with Piedmont Community Church’s Forum Series)

Long-time National Park Ranger and retired middle school teacher Frank Helling will tell stories and share the spirit and philosophy of John Muir, bringing to life this environmental icon in an engaging presentation based on Muir’s own writings.  Perhaps you know of John Muir as the founder of the National Parks and the Sierra Club, but come experience and understand the passions and interests that animated him.  Children ages 10-12 and up will enjoy this too!

Location:  Chapel, Piedmont Community Church, 400 Highland Avenue (look for signs)

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Waste Land (home showing of movie)
Sunday February 12, 2012 -- 6-7:30 pm

From the Chronicle review: “Waste Land is a film about recycling, but it’s far more intriguing than the average eco-documentary. The subject is Brazilian garbage-pickers and how Brazilian-born artist Vik Muniz created striking photo portraits of a half-dozen of them and transformed their lives. There are amazing shots of pickers at work on the world’s largest landfill, near Rio, and we learn heartbreaking details of the lives of those who became Muniz’s subjects. Directed by Lucy Walker

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Piedmont Connect General Meeting January 19th, 2012 -7 pm– all invited!

Over the past year and a half, Piedmont Connect has helped bring Piedmonters together to take a number of initiatives towards greater environmental sustainability at the local level – from our green garden rambles, where residents have learned from each other about native and drought tolerant plants and organic gardening methods, to hands-on events and projects which demonstrate how we can save energy in our homes, to educating Piedmonters about the issue of plastic pollution and investigating what actually happens with the plastics we put in our recycling.

What’s next for Piedmont Connect? We hope you’ll attend our next general meeting to help create an answer. If you’ve been thinking you’d like to join with others in taking action to create a more environmentally sustainable future, or if you have ideas about activities you’d like to initiate or be involved in during the coming year, please come to the meeting! What the future holds is in all of our hands.

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Vanquishing the Electricity Vampires in Your Home:

Simple Steps for Saving $ and Reducing Your Carbon Footprint

Wednesday, November 16, 2011 -- 7 – 8:30pm

Havens Elementary School - Science Room - 344

2nd floor overlooking the Mulberry's parking lot.

Enter through the Vista Ave. doors across from City Hall


As we move into the darker and colder days of winter, it’s a good time to learn more about the ways we waste electricity in our homes without even realizing it. The good news is that there are some relatively easy steps you can take to reduce your electric bills month over month. Piedmont Connect has invited Chris Hunt, founder of the residential electricity auditing firm PowerDown, to share a few case studies of homes that have substantially cut down on their electrical usage, as well as show us some hands-on examples of specific products that are proven to help. We hope you will join us.


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Piedmont Patch covered the City Council members who joined the Piedmont CONNECT Energy Monitoring Project pilot.


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CONNECT Member in the News: Read about Hingman Chan's green remodel in the Piedmonter  1-28-11

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SMART GARDENING:

Seven Sustainable Practices for Today and Beyond

An Evening with Local Master Gardeners

 

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011,  7 – 8:30pm

Havens Elementary School - Science Room - 344

2nd floor overlooking the Mulberry's parking lot.

Enter through the Vista Ave. doors across from City Hall.

 

In our world of personal and environmental challenges, it’s beneficial to pause and think about how our garden practices affect our lives and the health of the planet. There are seven basic practices that can save money and time while improving the environment. Whether you are a new or experienced gardener, this presentation will provide an opportunity to consider your current practices and offer encouragement and guidance to move in a more sustainable direction.  Please bring your questions and concerns.  There will be ample opportunity to ask the Master Gardeners. 

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Gray Water and Rain Water:

Ways to Make Your Home More Water Efficient

 

Join other interested Piedmonters to learn about rainwater and gray water capture and recycling ideas for your home and garden. 

Tuesday, November 16th, 2011, 7 – 8:30pm 

Havens Elementary School - Science Room 344

2nd floor overlooking the Mulberry's parking lot.

Enter through the Vista Ave.doors across from City Hall.

 

Our guest speaker will be John Russell of Oakland-based WaterSprout Landscape Design and Construction who will talk with us about ideas and opportunities to better conserve and reuse a precious resource – water – both in our homes and in our gardens.  WaterSprout has designed and installed several interesting and groundbreaking projects, including the first permitted gray water system in Berkeley and the first permitted rainwater system to supply toilets and laundry in the San Francisco Bay Area.  Although John is in business to build water systems, he has promised to include some simpler do-it-yourself options in his presentation as well.

 
Mark your calendars to join us and learn about ways you can make your own home and garden more water efficient.  
 
Since space is limited in the room, please RSVP and let us know you are coming
 
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Piedmont CONNECT Co-chairs speak at Park Commission meeting  - reported in Piedmonter  10/6/10
 
Piedmont Bee Keepers Make the News - SF Chronicle 8/1/
 
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 Energy Forum set for September 15th, 2010 - Mark your Calendars

Exciting news: We’ve just confirmed that Daniel Kammen will be coming to speak in Piedmont on Wednesday September 16, 2010 at 7:30 pm.  Dr. Kammen is a UC Berkeley professor, and an expert on national energy policy issues.  We’ve asked Dan to start the evening by describing the big picture of our nation and world’s energy future, and then to focus in on how the actions of individual homeowners/residents can make a difference.  We will then have a Q&A discussion with representatives from local organizations that can help residents navigate the different options and resources for reducing their energy use through energy efficiency, weatherization, and green building/remodeling practices, as well for installing solar (the main viable renewable energy source in Piedmont).  (Alameda StopWaste has confirmed their participation, and will be prepared to answer questions about the upcoming Energy Upgrade California program.  We are also hoping to have representatives from PG&E and the City of Piedmont).  The event is being co-sponsored by Piedmont CONNECT and the Piedmont League of Women Voters.  It will be held in the newly-renovated Ellen Driscoll Playhouse, at 325 Highland Avenue.  

 
East Bay Express article about the Green Garden Ramble July 14, 2010
 
Posted 6/14/10
 

Piedmont Gardeners Cultivate a New Variety of Green

 Piedmont’s Green Garden Ramble Promotes Edible and Low-Water Gardening, Bees, and Chickens

Take a stroll through leafy Piedmont on a weekend morning, when the legions of mow-and-blow engines have gone. From one backyard comes a comical chorus of cluck-clucking chickens, down the block a boy’s honey-making business has created quite a buzz, and neighbors everywhere are getting glimpses of towering tomato plants and pole beans behind the town’s clipped hedges..

 

As nearly 70 locals discovered on the first Piedmont Green Garden Ramble, held Saturday, June 12, this town known for its high-water, English-style gardens is turning over a new leaf and embracing a different kind of green gardening.

 

One front yard filled with artfully positioned raised vegetable beds bordered by paths made with used brick stood in stark contrast to the regimented rows of lawns on either side of the street. Another was devoted entirely to a tapestry of California native plants. Deep-green coffeeberry shrubs made handsome foundation plantings, while California fuchsia spilled over the sidewalk in a silvery cascade.

 

Enticed by the offbeat event hosted by the community’s recently formed environmental consortium, Piedmont CONNECT, the neighbors spent the morning visiting five down-to-earth gardens. Participants learned about everything from growing and curing olives and the patience required to get asparagus established to the thrills of harvesting honey and the ups and downs of living with chickens.

 

More garden-related events are in the works for this summer and fall. Among them will be a garden party/brainstorming session, a gardeners’ harvest exchange, and another Green Garden Ramble focusing on winter edibles and planting California natives.

 

 

Posted: 5/27/10
 
At CONNECT's first open meeting in April, we promised a survey to help determine the direction of our grass roots organization.  Well, it took a little longer than expected, but here it is.  Please take a few minutes to let us know your areas of interest and vision for CONNECT.
 
Click Here to take survey.
 
Posted: 5/25/10

 

Piedmont Green Garden Ramble

 

When: Saturday, June 12, 2010 -- 9:00 am—11:30 am

 

Where: lower Piedmont

 

Why: A chance for neighbors to ramble among five down-to-earth gardens in their own town. They will learn about diverse approaches to growing fruits and vegetables; how to select appropriate native plants; what kinds of plants attract pollinators; how composting can be incorporated into daily living; options for conserving water; and even how average folks are taking on the adventurous endeavors of hosting beehives and raising chickens (chickens in Piedmont??).  In addition to being a forum for brainstorming about green gardening ideas, it will be a pleasant way to get a little exercise and get to know neighbors

 

Posted 5/19/10

Please mark your calendars for the first No Judgment Progressive Garden Tour, Saturday, June 12, 9:00 am until (approx.) 11:30 am.  Spend a fun-filled morning strolling from garden to garden-real in-process, dirt-under-your-fingernails gardens-as we brainstorm about growing edibles, attracting beneficial insects, composting and conserving water, as well as more adventurous endeavors such as hosting beehives and raising chickens.   It may also be an opportunity to share the fruits (and vegetables) of our labors, trade seeds and seedlings, and get to know some like minded neighbors.  If you've been thinking about making some changes in your garden, this may be just the gentle encouragement you need.

Watch for more details soon.

 

 

Another great article in the Piedmonter 5/14/10

 

5/1/10

Piedmont Citizens CONNECT Around Environmental Sustainability

 

More than 60 Piedmont residents gathered in the Guild Hall of the Community Church this week to explore ways to move toward making Piedmont a more environmentally sustainable community.  This was the inaugural meeting of a new community organization called CONNECT.  The evening began with introductions, which quickly showcased the expertise and interest of the citizens present in the room.  John White, Piedmont Middle School Green Team teacher, followed up with a slide show explaining the purpose and goals of CONNECT which are to provide a forum for discussion and a structure for coordinating further action.  Participants quickly broke into groups to discuss current practices in the city, and brainstorm priorities and projects.  Energy built as conversations centered around waste reduction, water conservation, food, health, bay friendly landscaping, edible gardening, energy conservation, and transportation.  After spirited discussion, each group reported back, and some exciting projects began to emerge.  Information from this meeting will be collated and distributed to all interested parties in the next 2 weeks and posted on the CONNECT website.  A follow up survey will also be sent out to determine interest in topics and projects in preparation for the next meeting to be held the week of May 24th. 

 
 
Read about CONNECT in the Piedmonter
 
 
A New Community Group Supporting Local Efforts Towards Environmental Sustainability

All Piedmonters, young and old, are invited to the first meeting of Piedmont CONNECT, a new community group dedicated to building a more environmentally sustainable future right here in Piedmont.  Recognizing that there are already many great environmental efforts afoot in our community, the objective of CONNECT is to provide a forum where people can share ideas and find ways to collaborate.  While national, state and city policies are going to be important in shaping how our society takes on the twin challenges of climate change and peak oil (declining oil reserves), the initiatives citizens take on the local level, in our day-to-day lives, are immeasurably important.  The goal of CONNECT is to celebrate and encourage these efforts.  Depending on who chooses to participate in this process, groups may coalesce around topics related to food, transportation, energy, waste reduction, health, and other issues – for example, some people may be interested in starting an organic gardeners’ exchange, others in forming a pool of volunteers to monitor waste sorting at major City events, others in sharing information about energy efficiency with other homeowners … there are many possibilities for how citizens can connect with each other and take positive action towards a creating a greener, more resilient community.  Feel free to bring information about projects you or your group are already working on or are interested in.  Everyone with an interest in or curiosity about promoting environmental sustainability on the local level is encouraged to attend.

Date:  Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Time: 7:00 p.m.

Location:  Guild Hall, Piedmont Community Church, 400 Highland Avenue

For more information, contact: Heather Clapp clappheather@gmail.com, Margaret Ovenden movenden@sbcglobal.net, Terry Smith terrysmith@pobox.com, Stella Kennedy stellakennedy@hotmail.com, or John White babado@comcast.net