Last April, the BHNA sponsored a variety of events to reflect on living on our increasing threatened and fragile Earth . . . and to celebrate new Earth-friendly ways of living. The City of Tallahassee had encouraged neighborhoods to do these events rather than it conducting a city-wide event. Neighborhoods reported their activities to the City’s Parks, Recreation, and Neighborhoods Affairs Department. There would be a prize for the most impactful neighborhood effort. We won!
Our Earth Week activities took a broad spectrum approach to sustainability:
Nature: Donna Legare, a BHNA board member, led an effort by neighbors to remove invasive shrubs and young trees in the wooded area east of McCord Pond. The intent is to restore native groundcover, shrubs, and trees so native insects, birds, small mammals, etc. have more available and healthy food sources. Plus, the native trees have wonderful flowers and fall foliage for us humans.
Local Food: Eliza Hawkins, our community garden leader, conducted a tour of the community garden. The garden, located near Trescott Dr. and Cline St. contains about 15 garden plots tended by Betton Hills residents. Growing our own food generally requires less resources – water, fertilizers, and transportation while being fresher, tastier, and more nutritious than shipped in food. Plus, the gardeners have the joy of tending the Earth, the marvel of growing food, and the comfort of working and sharing with fellow gardeners.
Solar Energy. Mark and Terri Repasky, Betton Hills residents, shared their experiences with building and operating his rooftop solar array. Mark and Terri were joined by Bob Seaton, City Utilities – Electric, who discussed solar energy rebates, installation ideas, and the City’s new solar energy farm. As we look for alternatives to fossil fuels, including natural gas, it’s hard to imagine a safer or more plentiful source than the sun. That’s Mark on the left!
Alternative Transportation. Mary Kay Falconer, BHNA board member, guided a bike ride from McCord Park to Harriman Circle Park on a pleasant Saturday morning. At Harriman, the Great Bicycle Shop had set up a variety of bikes for participants to try. The E-bike (electrical-assist) were a hit. These bikes allow the rider to easily switch on some assist from an electric motor or to let the bike run totally by that motor. It was fun, easy, quiet, and made me, for one, feel much more inclined to commute by bike.
Thank you to all that participated in our Earth Week events! We very much appreciate the leaders . . . and the neighbors that participated. We look forward to an even more significant Earth Week next year. In the meantime, do what you can to take care of our home, our Earth.