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                                        March, 2006

Sponsored by Daemen College Center for Sustainable Communities and Civic Engagement
                       and the Natural Sciences Department

Newsletter Contents:
 Articles
 Upcoming Activities
 Tips to help the Environment


      Small Business Workshop for Energy Efficiency and Pollution Prevention

A free workshop to help small businesses save money while improving their environmental
practices is scheduled for Wednesday, March 8 from 8:30am-12 at the Center for Tomorrow at
UB. This session is open to all interested parties including business owners, operations and
management personnel, engineers, and architects. This program is sponsored by New York
Energy $mart Communities/New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and
Erie County Pollution Prevention Technical Assistance Program. Registration is requested by
March 3. Call Kevin Burd at 716-858-6147 or email

                           Diesel School Bus Education Initiative

From the Erie County Dept of Environment and Planning website-

The diesel school bus education program is educating school board members, transportation
officials and parent-teacher organizations about the health implications associated with diesel
school bus idling. The program can also advise these community leaders regarding transportation
management strategies and new technologies available for school buses that will reduce children's
exposure to diesel fumes.

By reducing diesel emissions and idling time in school buses, school districts can improve the
health of the local school population as well as reduce tailpipe emissions, smog, ozone depletion,
and respiratory illness. Erie County staff members are available to assist school officials with
making important decisions and changes related to transportation management, inspection and
maintenance programs, fuel type, and driver training.
If you are interested in learning more about protecting children from diesel fumes and would like
to have a presentation given to your school transportation department, school board or another
group in your community, please contact the Erie County Energy staff at (716) 858-6370.

                                    Spring Shoreline Sweep

Do you want to make a difference on your local waterway? Are you looking forward to
springtime... and getting outside for some fresh air and exercise?

Here's your chance! Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper is gearing up for our annual Spring Shoreline
Sweep, April 21-23, 2006. It's a great opportunity to beautify the shoreline and show your
appreciation for the environment and your community. Whether you're interested in volunteering
as a site leader, an individual, or you have a school, church or community group looking for a
volunteer project, please give us a call! We need help at over 30 sites across the region, so there's
sure to be a cleanup site near you. We are also seeking donors of refreshments and materials for
the Event.

To register or for more information please contact:
Robbyn Drake, Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper, 852-7483,

                     "Working With Nature To Create Healthy Lawns"

The Erie County Environmental Management Council proudly announces the availability of the
"Working With Nature To Create Healthy Lawns" flier. The flier describes pesticides and the
risks associated with use on lawns to encourage pesticide reduction. It also offers tips for a
pesticide-free lawn as well as problem solving strategies to manage weeds and insects. To view
a "pdf" version of the flier, go to

                             Brush Up Buffalo-Painters Needed

Brush Up Buffalo, an all-volunteer organization focused on revitalizing City of Buffalo
neighborhoods is seeking 800 volunteer painters to paint 20 houses of low-income homeowners
on June 17. Last year, more than 500 volunteers painted 15 houses in four hours in the
Kensington/Bailey area. Both financial sponsors and volunteers are needed for this event. Go to for information or call 250-3358. Volunteers are encouraged to sign up
by May 26.

                                      Nature Ed-Ventures

Nature Ed-Ventures is an organization dedicated to life-long learning in, for, and about natural
and cultural history. We strive to promote outdoor education by advancing awareness, knowledge
and skills through education so that people may develop an appreciation of nature, its surrounding
environment and cultural history. Additionally, we are committed to excellent service, content-
rich programs, and fair pricing.
Nature Ed-Ventures has a tradition of offering excellent public programs focusing on natural and
cultural history and adventure programs. Additional information on the following programs can
be obtained by visiting our website at

   Camp Allegany Programs: include Family Weekends, A Women‟s Only Weekend in
    September and Art in Nature which focuses on nature for amateurs who want to learn more
    about photography, journaling, painting and more.
   Residential Summer Camp: a six-day residential camp experience for youth ages 8-13.
    Traditional camping experiences are combined with exciting scientific explorations of the
    natural world. Animal tracking, stream investigations, insect studies, fossil hunting, weather
    wonders, our feathered friends, cool experiments, building forest shelters, survival, nature
    painting and fishing are only part of our content-rich sessions.
   Study Tours: this year an adult tour to the Adirondacks will include a visit to the new Natural
    History Museum of the Adirondacks.
   Scout Programs: workshops and hourly presentations at your site or Camp Allegany.
   School & Home-school Programs: designed for students K-8 to support NYS & Pennsylvania
    Standards and use individual student discovery for investigation. Can include classroom
    presentations, evening family events or programs at field sites such as Camp Allegany. The
    History, Science & Technology of Maple Sugaring programs are available on a number of
    dates in March. Call for program descriptions, dates and fees.

                     Guide for Community Planning for Agriculture

American Farmland Trust has produced a new guide to Local Planning for Agriculture in New
York. The guide covers strategies for involving farmers and rural landowners in the planning
process and describes how communities should evaluate their policies to determine whether
farmland will be impacted. Communities must plan to ensure that farms remain part of the
landscape. A free PDF version of the guide can be downloaded at

                                     Boone Park Cleanup

Over 8500 tons of arsenic-contaminated soil was removed from South Buffalo‟s Boone Park at a
cost that exceeded $600,000. The contamination was identified when the EPA investigated the
Hickory Woods housing development. A public comment period ends March 27 after which the
state should issue a Record of Decision indicating that the cleanup is complete.

                           Genetically Modified Seed Legislation

Several bills have been introduced into the New York Legislature to address issues related to the
use of genetically modified crops. Assembly Bill A8344 (sponsored by Rivera) requires labeling
of all seeds that include genetically modified organisms (GMO). Additional legislation aims to
better protect organic farmers who are concerned that their crops may receive pollen from GMO
crops by protecting them from liability if their crops are cross-contaminated (Bill A1468
sponsored by McEneny). Legislation is also proposed that would make manufacturers of GMO
crops liable for damages caused through cross-contamination with other crops or wild plants (Bill
A1969 sponsored by Ortiz). Organic farmers are concerned that pollen from GMO crops will
drift into their fields and contaminate their plants. Although the legislation would not prevent
this, it would ensure that farmers know whether the seeds that they purchase have been
genetically modified. For an article related to this topic, visit:

                               Tow Path Park Improvements

The Erie County Department of Environment and Planning is seeking input on designs for
improvements at Tow Path Park at the base of Hertel Ave. The park is located along the Niagara
River and has been absorbed by the County Parks System. For drawings, maps, and additional
information please go to:

                          EPA SmartWay Transport Partnership

The SmartWay Transport Partnership is a voluntary program developed by the EPA and the
freight industry to reduce emissions and promote more efficient ground freight transportation.
The program began in February 2004 and it is estimated that over 283 million gallons of fuel
have been saved per year. Key Partners are companies that ship products, and the truck and rail
companies that deliver these products. Partners commit to measure and improve the efficiency of
their freight operations, using EPA-developed tools that quantify the benefits of a number of fuel-
saving strategies. The EPA is accepting nominations through June 30, 2006 for the first annual
SmartWay excellence awards, which will recognize SmartWay partners that have made
significant contributions to protecting the environment. For more information on the program, go

                      Corporation Occupies Former Brownfield Site

A new CertainTeed Corporation plant is the first tenant in Buffalo Lakeside Commerce Park, a
brownfield cleanup site known as the Union Ship Canal formerly the home of Hanna Furnace.
This company which manufactures vinyl deck, fence and railing products will soon be joined by
Cobey Inc., which makes compressor packages and piping assemblies for the oil and power
industries. Krog Corporation developed the commerce park and is eligible for brownfields tax
credits, which can offset site cleanup costs. The Buffalo Lakeside Commerce Park development
is a premier brownfield reclamation project in the City of Buffalo, and is expected to return
approximately 250 acres of previously fallow land to commercial and public use. Buffalo has
more than 20 federal Superfund locations and many more sites on the New York State‟s
hazardous waste registry. Tax credits for brownfields redevelopment could entice others to clean
up these sites. For information on Buffalo Lakeside Commerce Park, go to

                Praxair Technology Aims to Reduce Mercury Emissions

Praxair Technology Center is initiating a project to reduce mercury levels in fly ash in the
production of concrete. The Department of Energy (DOE) awarded Praxair a $866,259 grant to
be used with company funds on a $1.24 million project. The technology under development will
help reduce mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants. For additional information on this
and other DOE projects funded to reduce mercury, visit

                  Wetland Plants Help Remove De-Icer Contaminants

The Buffalo Niagara Airport will be the first airport in the US to use subsurface wetland plants as
natural biofilters to treat glycol runoff. Cattail and reed beds will be below ground surface and
their roots will break down the deicing chemicals into water and oxygen to ensure that the
contaminants do not end up downstream. Storm water drains from the airport into creeks that
join the Niagara River. Funds from the state and federal government and the Niagara Frontier
Transit Authority will pay for the project, which is estimated to cost about $8.8 million. For a
technical article that describes the science behind the phytoremediation, go to

       Western NY Outreach Coordinator Needed for Clean Energy Programs

We are looking for a western NY Outreach Coordinator to promote our clean energy programs
with NYSEG and NiMo at the grass roots level. This full-time Western NY Outreach
Coordinator would manage residential outreach, sales and marketing in our programs with NiMo
in Buffalo/Syracuse, NYSEG in Binghamton/Ithaca/Buffalo, and RGE in Rochester. Pay for this
position is hourly+commission+bonus. We expect the full-time Coordinator meeting the realistic
goals of the programs would earn in the $40-50,000 range in the first year. Benefits are available
after 90 days. This position will use a home-based office, will require weekend work, travel
around western NY, and can be located anywhere in NY west of Syracuse.

We are also looking to recruit a p/t team in western NY, usually 10-20 hours per week. Pay is
$10/hr + commission.

Job descriptions available from: Mark Garrett, Outreach Manager, Community Energy

Upcoming Community Activities:
Saturday, March 4
       Snow Shoe Adventure Hike- a fitness walk on the 130 acre WNY Land Conservancy‟s
       „Kenneglenn Nature Preserve‟ from 10:00am- 12:30pm. Appropriate for all ages!!
       Coffee, hot chocolate and cookies served.. Cost is $8 or $20/family. To register, call
       716-655-7622 by Thursday, March 2 or email:

Wednesday, March 8
      Cost Savings For Small Businesses: Energy Efficiency and Pollution Prevention
      Programs- a free program from 8:30am-12 at the Center for Tomorrow at UB. Register
      by March 3 at online registration form. For more information, call Kevin Burd at 716-
      858-6147 or email
        Energy Efficiency, Research, and Clean Energy: New York Energy $martSM Forum
        at the Center for Tomorrow at UB. Two sessions-1:00 to 4:00 pm or 5:00 to 8:00 pm.
        Businesses, Colleges/Universities, Municipalities, K-12 Schools, Building
        Owners/Managers, Homeowners and Renters are all welcome and encouraged to come
        and meet with NYSERDA staff members to find out what technical and financial
        assistance programs are available to meet your energy needs. Registration is encouraged,
        but not mandatory. To register visit or

        “Waterfront Development from an Ecological Point of View”- a talk by Julie Barrett
        O‟Neill. , sponsored by the Preservation Coalition of Erie County. The talk begins at 7
        pm at the Old Editions Book Shop and Café at 74-76 East Huron (corner of East Huron
        and Oak). Cost is $5 for the general public, $2 for members of the Preservation
        Coalition of Erie County and the Landmark Society of the Niagara Frontier. Call the
        Coalition at 849-4222 for more info.

Thursday, March 9
      Wind Action Group March meeting- 5:30 to 7:00 PM at the 2nd floor of 812 Main
      Street (west side of Main Street just South of Goodell and St. Louis Church, and north of
      Virginia Street and the Scientology Center). The door to the 2nd floor is on the right hand
      side of the building. All are welcome !!!

Saturday, March 11
       “The Sweet Taste of Spring”-Maple Sugaring program offered by Nature Ed-Ventures
       at Camp Allegany, Allegany State Park, Salamanca. Explore the history, science and
       technology of maple sugaring. Pancakes with real maple syrup, sausage and hot
       beverages follow the tour. Cost of tour and lunch is $12 per adult; $6.00 per youth ages
       4-10; 3 and under free. Advance registration is required. Group size is limited to 30
       persons per tour. Reservations may be made by calling 479-9190.

Wednesday, March 29 and Thursday, March 30
      “Innovations in Agriculture”-a conference sponsored by New York State Energy
      Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) in the Empire Room at the NY State
      Fairgrounds, Syracuse. The agenda is available at

Wednesday. April 12
      “Backyard Birds”- a seminar presented by Marilyn O‟Connell of Wild Birds Unlimited.
      The talk is at 7 pm and will be held in the auditorium in Gateway Executive Office, Rt. 5,
      Hamburg. Cost is $3/person for non-members of Hamburg Natural History Society. Call
      (716) 627-4560 for more information or visit

Friday, April 21-Sunday, April 23
       Riverkeepers Spring Shoreline Sweep-Join others in Western New York as we remove
       debris from our shorelines. Stay tuned to for more details.

Saturday, May 6-Sunday, May 7
       Spring Wildflower Weekend-Nature Ed-Ventures will lead a weekend session full of
       wildflower lore, fossil hunting, stream explorations and other fun for families at Allegany
       State Park. Registration is limited so call 479-9190 or email for
Saturday, May 13
       Transportation Summit-Join others to learn more about the transportation issues of
       Western New York and how you can play a role to solve many of our local problems.
       Contact Gladys Gifford ( for more information.

Thursday, May 18 and Friday, May 19
      Great Lakes Student Summit-“Recycling, Restoration and Recovery” is the theme for
      this year‟s summit. Students in grades 5-9 and their teachers are invited to participate.
      The summit includes workshops, field trips and other activities. Contact Gary Carrel at
      (716) 858-6236 or email

Saturday, June 3
       "National Middle School Science Bowl”- featuring MODEL FUEL CELL CAR
       COMPETITION in which middle school students design, build and race model fuel cell
       cars. The event will be held at the Buffalo Museum of Science. Visit the website of
       Western New York Sustainable Energy Association for more information,

Sunday, June 25
      WNY Earth Day Committee’s FAMILY EXPO at the Buffalo Zoo. A host of
      environmental groups will have displays and activities for the children. Bags of goodies
      will be given to children participating in the “Environmental Scavenger Hunt.” In
      addition, there will be a raffle for a mountain bike, live music and lots of earth friendly
      food!! This year‟s event will be chaired by Daemen College Center for Sustainable
      Communities and Civic Engagement and assisted by Gary Carrel, Erie Co. Department of
      Environment and Planning, Linda Hardie, Clean Communities of WNY and Erin Cala at
      UB Green. Please join us for this great family event from 10:00am-4:00pm. For more
      information, call or email Sharon Benz at 839-8524/

Saturday, September 30
       Second Annual Environmental Summit at Daemen College-individuals interested in
       environmental and sustainability issues are invited to attend. Speakers, round-table
       discussions and display tables will be featured. Spread the word among friends and have
       them contact to be put on the email list for this event.

Additional Links to area activities:

Beaver Meadow Nature Center

Penn Dixie Natural History Site-Hamburg Natural History Society

Tips for the Environment:
1. For your kitchen:
        Kitchen appliances use a lot of energy. You can save more than $75 in energy costs by
        replacing your ten-year old refrigerator with an energy-efficient one. Look for the
        Energy Star labels. Also leave space between your refrigerator and the wall to allow air
        flow around the condenser coils and vacuum the coils periodically to ensure circulation.
        For additional kitchen tips, go to

2. For your computer and printing:
        Tempted to print your email or electronic receipt so that you can delete it from the folder?
        Why not copy it to a document file (Word, WordPerfect) and save it electronically. You
        can remove the clutter from your email server, but retain a copy for as long as needed.

        When you need to print, limit the number of pages by expanding margins or using the
        “shrink to fit” function. If printing PowerPoint slides, print multiple slides on a page.
        Select “file”, “print”, “print what”, “handouts (select up to 9 per page). When printing
        pages from the Web, you can fit more than one screen per page. Go to “file”, “print” and
        select “properties” and “layout”. At the bottom left, you can indicate the number of
        “pages per sheet”.

        If you have problems reading small text on the computer, use the “zoom” feature to
        enlarge the text size. This will allow you to read short files without printing.

        When your laser printer cartridge is low on toner, try shaking the cartridge slowly from
        side to side and reinserting it. You can often get many more copies from it. Recycle it
        when it is empty.

3. Recycling the odd thing:
       You may recycle your containers and paper, but what about all the other goods in your
       life. The Worldwide Freecycle Network allows individuals to post descriptions of goods
       that are free for the taking. Join the Buffalo group at

4. For the coffee habit:
        Do you brew your own coffee? Why not use a coffee press or purchase a reusable coffee
        filter? You will save paper, cut down on garbage and the use of chlorine to bleach the
        paper filters. Save coffee grounds for the compost.

        Purchase fair trade coffee. Also look for shade-grown organic coffee, which preserves
        land for birds and avoids pesticides. For more info, go to

5. For seafood lovers:
        Is seafood on your menu, but you don‟t want to deplete dwindling resources? Check out
        the downloadable lists available at for
        those items recommended for sustainable harvest.

6. Spring planting time is almost here.
        Plan to compost your yard waste rather than add clippings to the landfill. Also consider
        planting to help cool or heat your house throughout the year. Deciduous shade trees on
        the south side of a house can cool in the summer and allow full sunlight during the winter
        months. Mulching will help reduce watering, so use that compost on your flower beds
        and save on your water bill. If you have downspouts from gutters, consider attaching a
        rain barrel to collect water for use in the yard.
7. For the investor:
         If you have money to invest, consider socially and environmentally responsible funds.
         The following sites have information on funds:

8. Energy bills too high this winter??
        Conduct an online energy audit for your house. Go to

To see our previous newsletters with additional tips for the environment, go to:

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