The Civic Committee keeps the membership informed concerning civic issues with emphasis on local concerns and encourages active involvement when desirable.
Committee Chair 2017-18: Sharon Kinney
Annual Report of the Civic Committee (June 2017)
In September, the Civic committee, Urling Searle, Mary Shaw Marks and Meline Dickson led our club’s involvement in the Tri-club effort in the town’s annual Crocus bulb planting on Monument Hill, jointly with Green Fingers and Hortulus members. In October, many of our members committed 2-hour shifts to accomplish planting 3000 bulbs, working closely with Darren Wigglesworth, from the Parks & Recreation committee, 5 Town gardeners and Tree warden, Bruce Spaman. It was a wonderful way to “cross pollinate,” with other garden clubs to carry on the tradition of beautifying Greenwich, at the high profile and historic intersection of North Maple Avenue and the Post Road.
In November, we encouraged our members participation in the Free Lightbulb Swap hosted by the Greenwich Legislative Delegation, in which citizens were encouraged to bring 5 old light bulbs from home and receive 5 Energy Star LED bulbs in exchange. Special offers for home energy audits were available which several of our members pursued to determine how to improve overall energy efficiency in the home. Also in November, several of our members attended the excellent presentation at the Garden Education Center by author, Andrea Wulf on her book, “The Invention of Nature — Alexander Von Humboldt’s New World,” which had been highly recommended by Lindy Wells at the October meeting. January 2017.
With Polly Hanson and Kim Gregory’s conservation encouragement, several of our members attended the Audubon Greenwich showing of “Bag It,” the informative and disturbing documentary about single use plastic bags, plastic and its toxic effect on our waterways, in particular Long Island Sound, bird and marine life and ultimately, human health. It was a call to Civic action, which has motivated our committee to raise awareness of the damage plastic bags cause in our environment and to pursue an ordinance in town to ban most plastic bags at retail checkout.
In early March, Mary Shaw Marks arranged for us to attend the Greenwich Recycling Advisory Board meeting, lead by its president, Sally Davies to discuss how best to pursue such an ordinance in our town. On March 30th, we met with Denise Savageau, town Conservation Director on best way to approach our Conservation Commission, Chamber of Commerce, Law Department, Peter Tesei and the RTMs to build support for such a ban ordinance, which to-date has only been accomplished by Westport, in 2009.
In April, thanks to guidance from Denise Savageau, Julie Pryor and Susan Sleeper manned a table on Earth Day at Arch Street with signage promoting our cause — i.e. “Small changes, Big Impact,” and to gather signatures from Greenwich citizens for a petition to ban plastic bags at checkout. Over 190 signatures have been gathered to-date. Denise Savageau considers any petition with more than 25 names worthy of town government’s attention and action. Our task force includes Green Fingers member, Karen DeWahl and Hortulus member, Nanny Cannon, Claire O’Brien and Carolyn Dewing-Homes. In May, Urling Searle, Meline Dickson and Claire O’Brien met with 2 members of the Westport RTM who were integral to creating and promoting the ordinance, which ultimately became law in 2009. We hope to continue our effort, which is gaining momentum, to meet with our various town agencies and the RTMs to gather support to raise awareness and to change the habits of Greenwich shoppers for this important ordinance to become law. In the meantime, please: “BRING YOUR OWN BAG — BYOB — SAVE YOUR OWN PLANET” (Latest Bag Ladies campaign-in-progress working tagline!)