Hotspots Guestblogger Danielle Williams: Climate Change Community Action Plans

 

Finally, a selection of Community Action Plans from National Geographic’s
Danielle Williams and the rest of the HSBC/Earthwatch Climate Change Team, as
promised.
Read more about Danielle’s work with the “Sustainable
Forest Management in a Changing Climate” project here,
here,
and here.

Danielle W.’s Community Action Plan:

Tuesday_Danielle

My husband and I moved to our condominium community in February of 2008. It’s
located in Falls Church, right across the street from a Metrorail station, so it’s aptly placed to
potentially be a model of sustainable behavior and investment to the rest of
our community. I have had several months to observe the behaviors of my
neighbors and I believe I can make a difference in creating better awareness of
the benefits of recycling, amongst other more sustainable actions. So my plan
is that by early 2009, I will become more involved in communicating with the
condo board to help “green” my condo community and create better awareness of
how our actions as a community contribute to climate change, thus how our
actions can also help mitigate its effects.

I will first speak with a member of the condo board separately to determine
what measures have been taken or proposed in the past to increase our energy
efficiency as a community, reduce runoff, consider space for bike racks (we
live within walking distance of a walk/bike trail) and community compost bins,
install rain barrels, develop a more robust recycling plan and consider a
long-term transition to solar power, amongst other things. I want to create a
year-long, step-by-step plan that brings one action item to the table for
consideration at each monthly condo board meeting – with realistic and
achievable results. I will argue that developing and implementing additional,
more sustainable projects into our community management plan is a solid
investment for the future.

As part of my efforts, I would like to present a modified version of the
PowerPoint presentations we were given at the HSBC/Earthwatch Climate
Partnership so that the board gains insight, like I did, as to how important –
and fun – taking action on climate change really is. I will propose that the
board support me in organizing a weekend recycling day/event for the community,
with hands-on activities for kids and their families and attended by recycling
representatives from Falls Church to help provide information about recycling
and other related programs in our area.

By December of 2009, my goal is to increase our community’s rate of recycling
by 50%. In addition, I hope that another half of my list of community action
items (i.e. rain barrels, compost bins, bike racks, etc.) are at least under
consideration and continuing to be discussed by the board.

Danielle W. works in the Research, Conservation & Exploration Division
of The National Geographic Society and serves on the Employee Practices
subcommittee of their Green Initiative.

Sandra’s Community Action Plan:

My short-term individual goal is to work with my church, Woods Memorial
Presbyterian Church, to improve their environmental impact to the community. I
am doing this first through the task group I am involved with through the
Baltimore Presbytery and second through an Environmental Committee I am
developing within our congregation. We had our first meeting last Sunday,
November 9th, and discussed how we can begin this effort.

Our first goal is to develop a plan to surround our new paved parking lot with
rain gardens and/or plant buffers. This parking lot will be a large impervious
surface that will have significant storm water runoff and we would like to
mitigate that runoff through effective landscaping. We are also researching
what the church is currently doing to lower our environmental impact and what
new measures can be instituted. Another committee member and I will meet with
the Executive Director of Church Administration to discuss this.

My long-term individual community project is to develop a program to introduce
underprivileged children from the Brooklyn Park community in Northern Anne Arundel County to the outdoors.I
envision hiking at Maryland State Parks and organizing visits to Nature Centers
such as the Irvine Nature Center and Jug Bay Nature Center. I plan to work on this through
my contacts with Arundel Habitat for Humanity.

Finally, my individual community goal for my company, SALULE, is to donate 1%
of gross sales of environmentally friendly promotional/marketing products to
local environmental advocacy groups such as the Severn River Association and
the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. SALULE is an advertising specialties dealership,
which focuses on providing branded products to identify your company or
organization as sustainably responsible. SALULE’s mission is based on
environmental sustainably, integrity and fair and transparent business ethics.

Sandra has lived in Anne Arundel County, MD for most
of her life and has been in the printing/promotional product/apparel industry
for 17 years. She is also an avid organic gardener and dog fancier.

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