News and Updates
This note is an update to my April e-mail about care of trees in Brookland that I sent to representatives of Better Brookland, Greater Brookland Garden Club, Leave the Trees, and Brookland Sustainable Transition. Thanks to all for your positive responses.
It seems that the most significant and timely action we can take to help our trees thrive is to water them regularly during the summer months. I contacted some organizations such as Trees for Georgetown and Trees for Capitol Hill to find out about their experiences with same. They told me that commercial watering services such as Care of Trees can cost $25,000 for watering newly-planted trees 6-7 times during the summer. (I’m also awaiting a response about watering fees from a landscaping company.)
I spoke with a representative at Casey Trees, and he says if we were able to present him with a proposal, identifying specific Brookland locations for watering during this summer, his organization would consider it and propose a fee for watering service. Casey Trees’ Google tool enables us to locate trees in any District ward. Using this tool, we can survey and identify what areas/ blocks we want to include in this “beta” project.
At the end of the season we could evaluate the condition of the trees and financial ability, and willingness, to continue or enlarge the watering project in 2010 and beyond.
Casey has two watering methods:
1) their own large-capacity watering truck
2) their summer corps of interns on bikes. Through an arrangement with the DC government, they are able to access hydrants, connect hoses and water neighborhood trees.
Please let me know your thoughts on the above comments and how we should move forward with a timeline. Like all of you, I’m sure, I go to far too many meetings. I welcome ideas on how to minimize frequent and protracted meetings while organizing effective action. I hope that as Brookland organizations we can find ways to share the planning work that needs to be done and contribute financially or in-kind if we move forward on the watering idea (and other related ideas that may arise).
Thank you for your time and interest.
Brookland Sustainable Transition
Greetings! Five of us Brooklanders met on February 8 at Colonel Brooks Tavern to make plans and move forward. We agreed to retain the name “Brookland Sustainable Transition Network,” and remain an autonomous group that cooperates with Brookland civic associations and shares information through the Ecolocity site with the larger sustainability community.
All present liked the idea of having regular meetings and special events that would raise our profile and attract the community. To that end, a member has agreed to host a “Car-Less Drive In Movie” night in his backyard. Mark your calendars for SATURDAY, MARCH 28 for this fun and enlightening event. The movie(s) will have an ecological theme and we’ll have information available about energy-saving options and other sustainable ideas. This will be a FREE, family-friendly event in which everyone can bring chairs and blankets and enjoy refreshments and a movie under the stars. Watch this site for further info as the date approaches.
We also discussed having a table with information about the Network at our local farmer’s market. Apparently, plans for the market are still developing.
We plan to post notices about our meetings in the local media outlets and also introduce ourselves at ANC meetings.
Our next meeting will be SUNDAY, MARCH 8 at 5:00pm, location to be determined. If you have any further questions or ideas in the meantime, feel free to e-mail Gerri W.
On December 10 about 25 Brooklanders (and other interested allies) met at DCTV to discuss how we can work together as neighbors to help each other in the hard times that are coming (and for many of us, already here.) We spent most of our time discussing something called the “Transition Model” (See "Transition Culture" links on the Main Page of this site for more info) in which communities plan to increase their resilience, generate sustainable practices and livelihoods, and support the local economy. One of the main ways to do this is to start to produce food where we live and support local agriculture.
It was clear from comments and feedback from participants that we Brooklanders have ample talent, experience and enthusiasm to put in the service of improving our neighborhood.
For now, we are proceeding as a network – sparking ideas, meeting periodically or regularly, demonstrating our efforts, and cooperating with the good work our other community organizations are doing –but with all of our activities tied to the following questions:
How do we:
-Greatly strengthen our local economy (in response to economic instability)?
-Significantly increase resilience (in response to peak oil);
-Dramatically reduce carbon emissions (in response to climate change)
At the Dec. 10 session we gathered some of the following ideas to help us keep the focus on ACTION. Read through, and add your own. And see photos of the session at the "Photos" tab above.
There are lots more opportunities coming up in January. Watch this space, and also general announcements on the Ecolocity Main Page.
Thanks and cheers,
One thing I Can do:
-Would be interested in exploring strategies for developing a local urban CSA in Brookland
-Will support community garden in Turkey Thicket
-Create a green roof
-Get on Ecolocity.ning.com to share resources, including ideas
-Build on movie nights in the Buckle Down (?) Brookland
-I’ve just volunteered to help with the Brookland Community Garden work – which I heard about because of this meeting tonight. Thank you.
One Thing Brookland Can Do:
-Canvass the neighborhood and host house meeting on these issues
-Start a Peak Oil Task Force, or urge DC to start one (Look up Portland, OR Peak Oil Task Force)
-Involve Brookland community leaders and business owners in this dialogue
-Join with neighbors to buy food items or services in bulk
One Thing the District Government Can Do:
-Consider cycling in every transportation decision – expand bike lanes and trails and make roads without built-in facilities safe for cyclists
-DC government can give tax breaks for people who localize food production & clean/renewable sources
-Subsidize and provide tax cuts for sustainability, specifically the development of solar paneling coops.
-DC can provide land for community gardens and establish an office for promoting community gardens
Another Important Thought or Idea:
-Engage more with local community
-Educate ourselves and others about building resilience
-Brookland needs to acquire more community city owned park space
How can we bring more quality local businesses to Brookland?
-Share square-foot gardening methods vs. old-fashioned row gardening (Less water, less soil, less space for more product)
-Enlist the aid of sympathetic lawyers for community legal protection
-Start a community tool exchange (perhaps through listserve) – a way to borrow garden or other tools so everyone doesn’t need their own
Energy/solar cell neighborhood coops…year-round gardening…solar cooking…coop waste disposal/recycling program…a community kitchen (at BobbyQs or other restaurant site?) that could be a food distribution center – esp. for local produce, teach cooking and nutrition to kids, institution canning, etc.)…container gardening…solar cells on houses…community entertainment w/ local talent…test and remediate toxicity in neighborhood soil