tonight was the first meeting of the new "green fort greene and clinton hill" initiative. it's being spearheaded by jed marcus, a local attorney, longtime fort greene resident, and board member of the fort greene association, which, along with the socity for clinton hill, is lending its support. so what exactly is this initiative, you say? basically, it's aim is to make our neighborhood—our homes, our streets, our local businesses—as environmentally friendly and forward-thinking as possible. which will be good for us, of course, and also serve as a model to other neighborhoods/towns.

the initial goals are:

"1) encouraging the purchase of electricity from renewable sources that do not contribute to global warming; 2) adding many trees and other greenery to our streets; 3) flooding our neighborhood with energy efficient light bulbs; 4) increasing recycling and reducing refuse; and 5) assembling a green map, showing the area's environmental strengths and challenges, for publication this fall in the hill" (which, if you haven't seen it around, is our free local quarterly, available at many local businesses).

the meeting tonigh was attended by about thirty people, including representatives from marp and st. joseph's. a general introduction to the project and it's goals was given and a few committees were put together.

one group will begin work on the tree project—the first step will be walking the local streets, locating spots on the sidewalks where more trees could be planted. this survey will then be submitted to the city, and hopefully they will begin planting next spring. the tree progam is going to be carried out in partnership with the local elementary schools, so that part of the planning—coordinating efforts with the teachers, providing materials to the schools—was also discussed.

another group is going to be talking to con ed about helping to get the word out in the neighborhood about switching to green power, and making it easy for people to do so, possibly by hosting a sign-up event in the neighborhood. they'll also be pushing con ed to offer incentives (e.g. a discount on your bill) if a large enough percentage of people and/or businesses in the neighborhood change over to the green power.

if you're interested in taking part or hearing more, you can email jed marcus, at the next meeting will take place sometime in july.

p.s. a call was specifically put out for some volunteers from wallabout, as there wasn't anybody from that part of the hood at the meeting....