Energy and Climate Change Get-Together in Williston Woods

Want to get involved in energy issues around climate change; work on creating a Williston Energy Committee; want to discuss an energy project or just want to meet some of your neighbors?

Come to a 1:00 informal meeting at 114 Williston Woods Road this Sunday, May 22nd.

Walter Gustafson from VIPIRG will lead a discussion on energy issues and a proposed Carbon Tax.

Tree Planting May 5th on Allen Brook

An announcement from Melinda, our town Conservation Planner

young trees

Trees planted on the Allen Brook behind the fire station

Join the Friends of the Winooski River, Williston Central School students and other volunteers to plant trees and shrubs to protect water quality and habitat.

Thursday May 5th 10:30 AM to 4:00 PM along Allen Brook in the Brennan Woods neighborhood Visit www.winooskiriver.org/events for more details, including a map to the site.

If you can sign up in advance, it is greatly appreciated. Contact us at 882-8276 or info@winooskiriver.org. However, all are welcome!!

Please bring a shovel and bucket if you have them. Wear long pants and sturdy shoes or boots. Bring water, sunscreen & insect repellent.

Green-Up Day is Saturday, May 7th

Here’s an announcement from Melinda Scott, our town Conservation Planner:

Williston Green-Up Day

This year marks the 46th anniversary of Green Up Day, which began in April 1970 and continues today as a unique Vermont tradition. Green Up Day brings out thousands of volunteers throughout the state to remove litter and trash from our roadways, waterways and public places. This year Green Up Day will occur on Saturday, May 7th. This unique tradition helps us all practice stewardship on a local level.

In 2015, approximately 200 Williston residents picked up over 1.5 tons of trash and 25 discarded tires! We’re hoping for just as many volunteers and a warm, sunny day for this year’s annual event. Before heading out, please review this safety list. For more information or to pick a stretch of roadside in Williston to “Green Up” stop by the Williston Planning Office or call Melinda at 878-6704, Ext 4.

Photo by the Williston Observer

April Stools Day coming April 16th – Help Keep Williston Waterways Clean

APRIL STOOLS’ DAY

Saturday, April 16, 2016
9AM – 11AM
at Williston Community Park & area trails

Meet for “doo-ty” at the Picnic shelter near the skate park on the east side of the Williston Central School.

April Stools 2015

Help Scoop the Poop
Pet poop that’s not picked up sends unwanted nutrients and bacteria into our waterways. Join a community effort to clean up parks, sidewalks and trails and protect our waters.

Gloves, bags, pails, and hand sanitizer will be provided. Participants will receive a package of lake note cards (while supplies last) and be entered into a drawing for cash prizes.

Contact Lori Fisher 802 658 1414 or lorif@lakechamplaincommittee.org for more information

hosted_by

Sustainable Williston Meets Wed, April 6th

Sustainable Williston will meet Wednesday evening, April 6th, at 7:15pm at the Dorothy Alling Memorial Library. Anyone who lives or works in Williston and is interested in sustainability is invited.

Topics will likely include continued work on the Town Plan, the fate of the Birth Tree Project this year, our article series in the Williston Observer, and the upcoming April Stools Day to clean up recreational areas and keep waterways clean.

Williston’s Carbon Footprint: Why So Big?

There’s an informative Web site offered by the University of California at Berkeley that offers, among other things, a map of the United States showing how many greenhouse gases the average household puts out in every zipcode. Here’s our area:

Williston's Carbon Footprint

You’ll notice that South Burlington and especially Burlington are greener (literally and figuratively) than we are in terms of carbon footprint, but that’s a little misleading: it turns out that cities tends to have lower carbon footprints, but they result in widespread suburbs with larger carbon footprints. Burlington depends on its suburbs, so unfortunately it’s a linked effect.

The good news here is that those of us in the suburbs have an enormous opportunity to reduce carbon footprint, and that anything we learn to do can spread to other suburbs around the world, where we see this same pattern.

It’s hard to make out from the picture above, but look at the blue and purple columns in the graph. Those represent transportation (blue) and heating (purple). Reducing car trips, reducing use of airplanes, carpooling, using mass transit, and electric cars all can combine to drive that blue bar way down. For the purple bar, we have similarly big possibilities, including insulation, weatherization, and air source heat pumps (or if you don’t have a home suitable for one of those, the next best thing would be wood or wood pellets).

As a matter of pride, let’s not be just an average suburban town: there’s a lot more to Williston than that. Let’s show people how a small town like ours on the fringe of a small city can make a big difference.

Vermont and All-Electric Buses

By now you’ve probably heard of electric cars, but have you heard about electric buses? They have all of the advantages of good electric cars in a larger size. For example, they’re very quiet, don’t put out any exhaust, have a low carbon footprint, and require much less maintenance than an ICE (internal combustion engine) vehicle.

Drive Electric Vermont today shared a photo of an electric bus visiting UVM. Take a look:

Proterra electric bus

We regularly buy school buses for the Chittenden South School District and CVU. While electric buses currently cost more than ICE buses, they pay for their extra costs with fuel, maintenance, and repair savings, and once they’ve done that they start saving money for taxpayers. Proterra buses are one option; another is Nova Bus in nearby Quebec. Maybe we here in Williston should get ahead of the curve and start thinking about what environmental and budget savings are in our reach if we opt for this quieter, cleaner type of transportation for our kids.