A Green September to Remember

It’s going to busy month in town this September for those who wish to join in with the EGT to green their lifestyles just a bit.   Three events are running which will help you to do so, the 3rd Annual Through the Garden Gate Tour, the Ewing Fall Spin (being run in collaboration with the Township’s Community Fest celebration), and a new offering from our Environmental Insights Series, our educational series that discuss the critical environmental issues of our time, “Principles of Ecology: What Every Environmentalist Needs to Know.”

Through the Garden Gate Tour

The Ewing Green Team looks forward to welcoming you to our Through the Garden Gate Tour of great gardens in Ewing and its environs.  This year’s tour, will be held the weekend of September 16th and 17th and will give the gardeners a chance to show off their gardens in late summer – a completely different look and one that can be a bit more challenging!  The Tour is a self-guided ticketed event and runs from 10am – 2pm.  Some gardens will be open on Saturday only, while others will be open both days. Buy your ticket ($10) at the Ewing Historic Preservation Society, 27 Federal City Road, which features their kitchen garden.

Come early and celebrate with us as the winners of our first Annual Garden Contest are announced.  Winners will be announced and receive their prizes beginning at 9:30am before the tour begins.

This third garden tour of Ewing is being run in partnership with the West Trenton Garden Club and Ewing Girl Scout Troop 70138 to promote our mutual causes of beautification, sustainability, and youth development. It is our belief that showcasing some of Ewing’s noteworthy gardens is a great way to help us engage more people in beautifying our town. A beautiful town elicits pride among its residents and helps to build community. We believe that it can all begin with one garden at a time.

Date: Sat and Sun, Sept 16th and 17th
Time: 10am – 2pm
Start Up: Ewing Township Historic Preservation Society, 27 Federal City Road
Cost: $10

Ewing Fall Spin

The Ewing Fall Spin, Ewing’s third Bike Tour organized to promote a more bikeable Ewing, will start and end at Campus Town at the College of New Jersey at 8am on Saturday September 23rd. Participants will ride out promptly at 8:30 to complete either an eight mile route for the casual rider or an 18 mile journey for the more experienced rider. Riders will have a police escort.   The Ride registration fee is $20 until September 16th and $25 thereafter. All persons registering by September 16th will receive a T-shirt. Day-of-event registration will begin at 8:00am.  Registration is limited to individuals or teams ages 18 or older.

The theme for this year’s ride is, “Bike Riding for a Healthier You.” September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, and all proceeds from the event will be donated to the American Cancer Society’s Run for Dad event in support of prostate cancer awareness and research.

Date: Saturday, September 23rd
Time: 8:30am – 11am
Location: Campus Town at TCNJ
Cost: $20 by Sept 16th $25 thereafter

Environmental Insights

Everyone thinks that they have a feel for what ecology is but few actually exactly know.  Our newest Environmental Insights presentation, Principles of Ecology: What Every Environmentalist Needs to Know, on Wed., September 27th will give the non-scientists among us a basic, easy to digest explanation of the biology of ecology, what it is and what it is not. We will explore the fundamentals of ecosystems and the relationships of the organism that live in those ecosystems and the importance to mankind.

This is essential to a better understanding of the ecological damage that has been done to nature over the centuries and the continuing acceleration of this process.  We will further explore this issue at our October Green Team meeting and learn how dedicated and heroic efforts are being made to reverse the damage and hopefully eventually learn to live in harmony with nature or suffer the consequences.

This series is being presented by Joseph-Mark Mirabella, retired Central Regional Supervisor for the NJDEP Hazardous Waste Enforcement program.  He is a former Environmental Science Teacher and has taught and lectured on environmental issues at NJ Colleges for the last 35 years.  He is currently Chair of the Ewing Environmental Commission.

Date: Wednesday, September 25th
Time: 6:30pm
Location: ESCC, Community Room, 999 Lower Ferry Road
Cost: Free and open to the public

We finish with a reminder not to forget that our 4th Annual Scarecrow Contest is once again scheduled for this October.   This is your opportunity to demonstrate your recycling smarts and creativity and will ca$h while doing so. The judging and awarding of cash prizes of $100, $50 and $25 will be during Ewing’s Trunk or Treat Festival on Saturday, October 28th.  For more information and to register, go to https://ewinggreenteam.org/scarecrow-contest/.

Date: Saturday, October 28th
Time:  judging at 4 p.m.
Location: Ewing Senior and Community Center [ESCC]
Cost: free and open to all Ewing individuals, school groups, families, youth groups, service clubs and business groups

So join us at one or all events – at our Garden Tour to marvel at the efforts of your fellow citizens to beautify our town, for a healthy outing on our Bike Tour while raising money to support prostate cancer awareness and research, and our Environmental Insights program on ecology for a primer on the science of ecology to obtain a better understanding of the ecological damage that has been done to nature over the centuries and why and what we must do to reverse the damage.

Sustainably yours,

The Ewing Green Team

Environmental Insights Program on Our Open Space Dilemma on Oct 26th

Land Preservation in a Built Out Community

Thanks to the foresight and vision of leaders like Teddy Roosevelt, John Muir and many others, 2016 marked the National Park Service’s 100th birthday.  It’s a perfect time to reflect upon and appreciate the many parks throughout the country that we are able to enjoy. It is also a great time to learn what we can do to preserve and expand upon the parks and open spaces in our town.  Join us for a presentation entitled Our Open Space Dilemma: Land Preservation Challenges in a Built-Out Community.   John S. Watson, Jr., Vice President of the D&R Greenway Land Trust, will speak to us about the work that the D&R Greenway does and lead a discussion about identifying and preserving the best of what is left in Ewing for recreation / conservation purposes and how the Greenway Land Trust might support this preservation work.

As the most developed state in the nation, New Jersey faces difficult land preservation challenges. Ewing Township is almost completely built out, having lost most of its agricultural heritage after WWII, and embodies some of the difficult choices that many suburban NJ communities face regarding open space. It is predominantly covered by residential, commercial, and institutional development.  The nonresidential properties serve to decrease the population density as a whole, but they are unavailable to the public as preserved and accessible open space.  The open space that is available consists of about 361 acres of wooded stream corridors, parks, and golf courses interspaced among those developments.  Approximately half of our open space is regional and half local.  We also have a tree canopy of 27.4%, below the state goal of 40%.

During our community visioning process conducted in 2014, citizens identified the preservation and conservation of our open spaces as an important component of community sustainability. Through its annual bike rides the EGT has been actively promoting our parks and open spaces to increase interest in expanding and protecting them.

We Americans have come to prize our national parks and to regard their preservation as a sacred trust. Preserving the natural areas in our town not only adds to the beauty of our community, but also serves as a legacy to future generation.  Please join us.

Date: Wednesday, Oct 26th
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Location: Ewing Senior and Community Center, 999 Lower Ferry Road, in the Community Room

About Mr. Watson

jaywatson“Jay” is the Vice President of D&R Greenway Land Trust, a Princeton, NJ nonprofit land conservancy working to preserve and restore New Jersey’s landscape. Prior to coming to the D&R Greenway Land Trust, Jay spent nearly 30 years in various roles in the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP).   He has extensive experience protecting our natural resources from working in the Green Acres Program, working on waterfront reclamation and redevelopment, working on the Delaware River Basin Commission, chairing the Invasive Species Council, serving on the Lawrence Hopewell Trail Corporation and much more.

Building Healthier Communities with Let’s Move and Million Hearts: New Environmental Insights Series Offering

As the summer heat begins to fade autumn is  a great time to resolve to live that healthier life we have long promised ourselves we would.   Join us at our monthly meeting on Wednesday, September 28th when Kedesch Altidor-Dorcély, Public Health Advisor for the US Department of Health and Human Services speaks about how we can build a healthier community using two of the nation’s stellar health programs, Let’s Move and Million Hearts. 

Let’s Move! is a comprehensive initiative, launched by the First Lady, dedicated to solving the problem of obesity within a generation, so that children born today will grow up healthier and able to pursue their dreams.  Combining comprehensive strategies with common sense, Let’s Move! is about putting children on the path to a healthy future during their earliest months and years; giving parents helpful information and fostering environments that support healthy choices; providing healthier foods in our schools; ensuring that every family has access to healthy, affordable food; and, helping children become more physically active.  Everyone has a role to play in reducing childhood obesity, including parents and caregivers, elected officials from all levels of government, schools, health care professionals, faith-based and community-based organizations, and private sector companies.  Everyone’s involvement is key to ensuring a healthy future for our children.

Million Hearts® is a national initiative with an ambitious goal to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes by 2017.  Heart disease and stroke are the first and fifth leading causes of death in the United States. Every 43 seconds, someone in the United States has a heart attack, many of them fatal.  On average, one American dies from stroke every 4 minutes.  Launched by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in September 2011, Million Hearts® aligns existing efforts, as well as creates new programs, to improve health across communities and help Americans live longer, more productive lives.  Million Hearts® aims to prevent heart attacks and strokes by: empowering Americans to make healthy choices and improving care for people who need treatment.

Kedesch E. Altidor-Dorcély is employed with the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Region II in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health as a Public Health Advisor. She leads the Let’s Move! initiative addressing childhood obesity, Million Hearts initiative addressing heart attacks and strokes, chronic diseases efforts, and the Environmental Health program.  Before coming to HHS, she worked at the US Environmental Protection Agency as an Environmental Scientist working on Environmental Justice issues.  She attended the University of Florida and University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill where she received her degree in Environmental Science.

This program is the latest entry in our Environmental Insights Series, environmental presentations designed to engage Ewing residents in a public conversation about critical environmental issues and to spark new ideas concerning sustainability.

Date: Wednesday, September 28, 2016
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Location: Ewing Senior and Community Center (ESCC), Community Room
Cost: Free and Open to the Public

Save the Date for February Environmental Insights Program

What It Means To Be an Environmentalist (or Everything You Wanted to Know About Sustainability But Were Afraid to Ask)

The Ewing Green Team announces the latest entry in its Environmental Insights Series, environmental presentations designed to engage area residents in a public conversation about critical environmental issues and to spark new ideas concerning sustainability.   Join us on Wednesday, February 24th at 6:30 pm for our program, What it means to be an Environmentalist (or Everything You Wanted to Know about Sustainability but Were Afraid to Ask) with a presentation and discussion led by Joseph-Mark Mirabella, Ewing Green Team and Ewing Environmental Commission member, former Environmental Science teacher and NJDEP enforcement supervisor.

Have you ever wondered what environmental protection and sustainability really means? Is there a difference between the two? Come explore and discuss these fascinating issues starting with a history of environmental activism going back to Teddy Roosevelt, the first Earth Day, to the present, and where we are going tomorrow.

So what does it mean to be an environmentalist? The Merriam Webster online dictionary defines an environmentalist as a person who works to protect the natural world from pollution and other threats.  If you recycle religiously, are you an environmentalist?  If you compost regularly, are you an environmentalist?  What if you have installed solar panels on your home but put your grass clippings out at the curb, are you an environmentalist? Do you consider yourself to be an environmentalist?  Come tell us what you think it means and what is important to you. We want to know.

About Mr. Mirabella

joemirabellaJoseph-Mark Mirabella is currently the Central Regional Supervisor for the NJDEP Hazardous Waste Enforcement program. He is a former Environmental Science Teacher and has taught and lectured on environmental issues at NJ Colleges and Universities for the last 35 years. Currently, he is a Commissioner on the Ewing Township Redevelopment Agency and is a member of Ewing’s Environmental Commission & Sustainable Green Team.

Date: Wednesday, February 24
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Location: Ewing Senior and Community Center, 999 Lower Ferry Road, Ewing
Cost: Free and Open to the Public

Next Up – Understanding the Science of Climate Change

Environmental Insights Series

Save the date for the next entry in our Environmental Insights Series and join us on Wednesday night, November 18 at 7 pm when Professor Dan Steinberg of Princeton University will speak about Understanding the Science of Climate Change.

Learn about the causes of climate change, the science behind it, and some of predicted effects of global warming/climate change. Dr. Steinberg will also cover the social implications of communicating climate change and suggest some resources for learning more.  Work done by researchers at Princeton University will be highlighted as well as their efforts in developing technologies that will help reduce carbon in the atmosphere.  The talk will also include a local focus on the effects of climate change in the state of New Jersey.

A former Operations Astronomer for the Hubble Space Telescope, Dan Steinberg holds a PhD in Geophysics from Binghamton University and has conducted research at the Goddard Space Flight Center. He was recently named a 2015 Fellow by the American Physical Society for his work at the Princeton University Materials Research Science and Engineering Center, where he has held the position of Education Outreach Director since 2000. Steinberg is the creator and leader of dozens of educational initiatives that bring science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) to a broad public each year, including K-12 teachers and students, undergraduates and local families in the Princeton and Trenton regions.

The EGT’s Environmental Insights Series is designed to engage area residents in a public conversation about critical environmental issues and to spark new ideas concerning sustainability. Please join us.

Date: Wednesday, November 18
Time: 7 p.m.: Ewing Senior and Community Center, 999 Lower Ferry Rd., Ewing
Cost: Free and Open to the Public