Are you tired of paying huge oil, gas or electricity heating bills? Want to stay warmer this winter AND save money?
Hundreds of Boston residents have already lowered their utility bills through the ABCD, Renew Boston and MassSAVE programs that save you money and keep you warmer at little to no-cost. Click here for a quick summary of program guidelines, or call Max at Dorchester Bay: 617-825-4200 x 251.
And remember that when we save money through energy efficiency, we also help the environment, and the economy.
Join DEHC, BostonCAN, Carl Spector, Executive Director of Boston’s Air Pollution Control Commission, and representatives from East Boston, South Boston, Roxbury, and West Roxbury neighborhood sustainability groups for a roundtable dialogue about community climate action in Boston. This is a rare opportunity to hear about what’s happening in different neighborhoods and join the dialogue about how the city, community groups, and residents can form a more cohesive movement to take Boston to a new frontier in energy and cost savings and citizen participation to fight the effects of climate change. 6-7:30PM at Suffolk University, 73 Tremont Street, 12th floor Trustees’ Conference Room. Snacks provided.
As winter’s cold approaches we are particularly interested in reducing our energy bill, so check back in a few days when DEHC will share some specifics for Dorchester residents who want to stay warmer and save money.
And it is gratifying to know that when we work to save money through energy efficiency, our work will also help the environment, and the economy, as today’s Boston Globe Op-Ed Green is Good Economics points out.
The Globe piece mentions the work of the Boston Climate Action Leadership Committee and Community Advisory Committee – their report Sparking Boston’s Climate Revolution, released in April 2010, states that ”over the next 10 years, climate mitigation can reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent and produce net savings on energy bills of over $2 billion for Boston residents and businesses.”
We are proud to note that the Dorchester community was well-represented on the Boston Climate Action Leadership Committee and Community Advisory Committee, including resident Charles Tuttle, who is on our Steering Committee. Also kudos to David Queeley, who recently consulted with us on our 2010 air quality research project
The Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) is expanding its Green Triple Decker project from two to five structures and is now accepting applications. In partnership with the federal Energy Star program, local utilities NSTAR and National Grid, and Historic Boston Inc., the BRA has developed a strategy to improve the energy efficiency of Boston’s triple-deckers which will result in lower energy costs for occupants, Continue Reading »
DEHC has been giving out gardening tips from the Boston Natural Areas Network at the Codman Square and Ashmont/Peabody farmers’ markets. While discussing the benefits of community gardening and talking about the TNT-Elmhurst Park Patrol’s work this summer, some Dorchester residents expressed interest in planting their own trees.
If you’d like to plant your own tree, here are two sites that give out (almost) free trees by mail:
- The Arbor Day Foundation will mail you 10 free trees of your choice, suitable for your area with a $10 membership. The membership also includes The Tree Book, a gardening and tree planting guide.
- Free Trees and Plants will send you two trees of your choice for $7.95, including shipping and handling. Free Trees employs workers with disabilities to save high-quality surplus plants that otherwise would have been destroyed. Read reviews of Free Trees here.
When planting your new trees, keep in mind that the City of Boston has collaborated with Boston’s Urban Forest Coalition to start Grow Boston Greener, an initiative that aims to plant 100,000 new trees in Boston by 2020. Join the effort by reporting a tree that you’ve planted here. You can also recommend a spot in Dorchester you think could use a tree on their online form.
If you’d like in-person instruction on planting your new trees, the Elmhurst Park Patrol teens will host a tree planting workshop early this fall. Check back for the date.
The city of Boston is updating its climate action plan goals for the years 2020 and 2050. What will it be like to live in Boston then? No one knows for sure, but anyone high school age now will be an adult by then and will be living with the results of decisions made today.
Young people have important ideas on climate change that need to be heard!
The city’s series of five Climate Action Workshops in February and March will be both educational and interactive with opportunities for attendees to provide ideas for the city’s climate action plan and energy efficiency program.
The citywide Climate Action Youth Workshop is happening this Saturday, Feb. 27, from 11AM-2PM at Old South Church 645 Boylston Street, Copley Square. Registration will begin at 10AM. Free brunch will be served at 11AM.
If you are a young person consider attending to help develop recommendations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, develop a green economy, be part of the solution to climate change. Please pass the information on to your friends/co-workers. Adults please share this opportunity with the youth in your programs.
This and all the other workshops are free, but pre-registration is required via email or call 617-635-3425.
December is bike cage month in DotBike land, as DEHC’s Pete Stidman and DotBike’s Vivian Girard have been gathering support for a bike cage at the JFK/UMass station near Columbia Point. The MBTA is building six to 10 bike cages within their transit and commuter rail system as part of a $4.8 million chunk of stimulus money specifically targeted to improving bike parking.
DEHC used the Freedom of Information Act to acquire a list of all the stations the T is considering for the new cages, as well as 50 bike shelters they intend to build. What we discovered is a strange bias toward suburban stations, and the likelihood that there would not be a bike cage in Dorchester, where bike theft is the number one deterrent to cycling!
As it turned out, the proximity of other stations worked against Dorchester and other urban neighborhoods in the T’s assessment of need for bike cages. They didn’t prioritize the positive effect on bike-ability neighborhood density has, nor the fact that cyclists might avoid other nearby stations due to theft risk. And most surprising-they didn’t compare or even look at rates of bike theft for any station! Continue Reading »
It is now certain, the $140 million proposal to install a faster bus line on Blue Hill Avenue is dead, and that TIGER grant will not be obtained from the federal government. The good news though is that there is now much wider support for bike lanes on the street.
State legislators along the corridor have proposed a longer, more community-based process, to take advantage of the hundreds of thousands the state has already invested in the project. There is a roll plan of the street now, complete with bus boardings, turning movements, and tons of other data. And after the lengthy 28x controversy, we feel it’s time to really determine what the neighborhood would like to see on Blue Hill. But this longer process is not ensured. It would require funding for the process itself.
It is also unclear which government agency would carry on this process. If there is no large transit element, it would not be a state, but rather a city project. And of course money is tight everywhere.
If you’re interested in seeing the process continue, contact Mayor Thomas Menino’s office, contact your City Councillors about it, and also let your state legislators, Governor Patrick and Secretary of Transportation Jeffrey Mullan know that you support a continued public process on Blue Hill Avenue.
And, while you’re at it, suggest expanding the Public Advisory Group to include representation for cyclists!
It’s difficult to imagine, but it is only in the last decade or so that the academic community has really begun to dial in on how air pollutants affect health of people living next door to major highways. But stacks of new research papers have been published in recent years, in part inspiring a new $2.5 million study that promises to be one of the most convincing to date. It’s based at Tufts University in Chinatown and may even send investigators out to Dorchester’s Columbia neighborhood.
Continue Reading »
DEHC and St. Marks Area Main Streets met with Nicole Freedman and Nick Jackson of Toole Design (the city’s contractor for bike lane design) earlier this week, and the news is a 25 percent design is expected sometime in December. We’ll be letting you know how it looks shortly after the Boston Transportation Department reviews.
With your support, DEHC influenced the city to install a bike lane on Talbot from Peabody Square to Blue Hill Avenue when we learned the section near Franklin Field was scheduled to be repaved as part of the stimulus funding to the city. We are on the lookout for more opportunities, and your continued vocal support of bike facilities in the neighborhood is absolutely necessary for our continued success! Thank you!