Sustainable Arlington - Jun 24th, 2020

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I didn't attend the entire meeting, so these are a partial set of notes.

Sarah Dooling (from MCAN) talks about racial justice, climate change, the importance if listening and becoming an ally, and how MCAN is trying to incorporate racial justice into its work.

Planning Department Update. Kelly Lynema informs the group that the Net Zero Plan Survey has been posted to the town's website. Next Tuesday, the town will hold a virtual forum on residential design guidelines. The select Board approved our updated Hazard Mitigation Plan, and that document is available from the town's website.

MCAN anti-oppression training series. Miche from MCAN talks about the training she's been leading. MCAN wanted to diversify its board and staff, and they'd like to incorporate elements of racial justice into their environmental justice work. They'd like to build relationships with front line communities, and do structural anti-racism work.

Len Diggins states that anti-oppression work can be a way of creating opportunities. We need to create opportunities for people that wouldn't ordinarily be able to participate.

Amos Meeks is interested in finding ways to reach people in other groups who are working on related issues. This could be a way to form broader coalitions.

Kelly Lynema says that DPCD is constantly looking for new ways to engage people. They've tried surveys, virtual town forums, and other asynchronous forms of participation.

Scott thinks that Eco-fest could be a way to reach out to other organizations. Ask them to be co-sponsors.

Brucie Moulton thinks this is a huge an ongoing conversation. Arlington is holding a series of public forums on racism, sponsored by the Human Rights Commission. We're fortunate to have that. True story theater is doing similar kinds of work. There needs to be an ongoing conversation if we hope to stop being who we are.

Pollinators. Each yard is a resource, and what we put into it can make a difference. Native plants provide a habitat for native pollinators and birds. Perhaps we could have a pollinator protection event.

Jen Devine thinks the challenge lies in how to spread the word about pollinators. Watertown is trying to become a bee city. She likes the idea, but isn't sure how to execute it. Perhaps we need ambassadors to educate the public.

Louisa Pepper thinks competition could be wonderful in this area. Norwalk is trying to create pollinator pathways. Neighboring communities are trying to extend these pathways up the Hudson river. She'd like to find a way to make yards with native plants more identifiable.

AHS Conservation Commission Application. The AHS application to the conservation commission is on the town website. It includes synthetic turf and stormwater management. For now, we'd like to make people that the material is available on the town website.