The Medford Green Awards recognize Medford businesses and residents for outstanding effort to conserve energy and protect our environment. The Green Awards are sponsored by the City of Medford, the Medford Energy Committee and the Medford Chamber of Commerce.
More information: http://medfordenergy.org/gogreen/medford-green-awards/.
2015 Green Award Recipients
David Schnerch and Melanie Head: “Residential Green Improvements”
Since purchasing their home in Medford two years ago, they have made numerous energy efficiency improvements. These improvements have resulted in the elimination of fossil fuel usage from the home and substantial costs savings. Energy efficient installations at their home include geothermal heating and cooling system, smart thermostats, heat pump water heater, energy monitoring device in their electric meter, 60% of lighting converted to LEDs and 40% converted to fluorescent bulbs. Other improvements include year-round vermicomposting of food waste and yard waste, conversion of 25% of their lawn to native plants, installation of low flow showerheads, installation of timers with light sensors for exterior lighting and the purchase of an electric-assist bicycle for commuting into Boston 3 to 5 days per week to reduce emissions.
Liz Magee: “Conservation Through Education”
Liz works as the program coordinator for the Three Seas Program, a marine biology study abroad and graduate program educating the next generation of scientists. She is also Northeastern University’s Diving Safety Officer. Through Liz’s efforts, she has taught over 100 divers how to conduct scientific observations and research under water and instructed over 100 new scientists in marine conservation biology. Since the oceans cover over 70% of the earth’s surface, they play an important role in aspects of global warming and climate change. The Three Seas Program involves courses dealing with climate change as well as ocean and coastal sustainability.
In her own conservation efforts, Liz has reduced her carbon footprint by changing all of the light bulbs in her house to energy efficient bulbs, installing insulation to reduce energy waste and planting her own garden to reduce waste.
Brian Duran: “Managing Construction of the Winthrop St. Community Garden”
Brian is the head of the construction committee for the new Winthrop St. community garden. Brian is the driving force behind managing the installation of the raised beds and organizing the volunteers needed to assist in the development of the community garden. Brian managed the installation of 18 garden beds this summer, with about 18 more to be added this fall.
As the construction manager of the Winthrop Street Community Garden, Brian Duran has dedicated countless hours to planning and coordinating every detail of the project throughout the different phases of construction. Through Brian’s dedicated efforts, the Winthrop Street Community Garden is part of an effort to improve our physical environment, beautify our city, provide residents with healthier food and help them to connect with their community. The garden will be organically cultivated and provide compost areas where appropriate.
Randi Rotjan and Jeff Chabot: “Green Living”
Randi Rotjan and Jeff Chabot live on property that is a certified wildlife habitat and a monarch waystation. They live along the “Over the Mystic” walking route and have hung signs on their property to inform walkers along the route of how much can be done on a small plot of land and to encourage them to consider similar projects. As part of the wildlife certification, they’ve planted numerous native plants and flowers (including milkweed, which is essential for monarch reproduction). Almost everything on-property is now native, edible, or annual and provides shelter, water, and food for insects and birds.
Additional energy conservation and efficiency projects include the installation of rain barrels, the installation of a vegetable garden and being a member of Community Supported Agriculture for 22 weeks of the year. In addition, they have purchased a honeybee hive to encourage pollinators, installed a roof deck using all sustainable materials and purchased a Prius-V vehicle. Randi and Jeff have also completed an energy audit at their home, resulting in the updating of all of their thermostats and lighting. They have also committed to all-organic lawn care, eliminating the use of harmful pesticides and using a push-reel lawn mower.
Rosie Gill: “Leading ‘Produce in a Snap’ Cooking and Subsidized Produce Programs Featuring Local Sustainable Food”
Rosie leads the Medford Farmer’s Market “Produce in a Snap” program which is dedicated to making healthy, fresh, seasonal and local produce available to low-income Medford residents year-round. Rosie has volunteered many hours of her time to the program, but especially noteworthy is her time spent on the weekly subsidized farm-share programs for seniors and low-income families. Providing healthy food that is locally sourced to Medford residents is a unique and important element to the program. The source of the fruits and vegetables for the program is the New Entry Sustainable Farming Projects farm located in Lowell, MA. The Subsidized Farm Share for Seniors program serves 60 residents of Medford each week for the whole growing season (July – Oct). The Subsidized Farm Share for Low-Income Medford residents serves 10 families for 8 weeks (Aug – Sept).
Plough & Stars CSA (Erik Jacobs & Dina Rudnik): Community-Supported Agriculture
The Plough & Stars Farm is an acre and a half in size, located in Lincoln, MA. Erik Jacobs and Dina Rudnik build and maintain their soils by rotating the crops annually, using compost, cover crops, and reducing tillage. They avoid the use of synthetic insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, and fertilizers. The farming practices of the Plough and Stars has benefitted the environment through the creation of habitat for wildlife and the encouragement of biodiversity.
All farm shares are sold within ¼ mile of their home, reducing greenhouse gas and other pollutant emissions by selling produce locally and regionally. They avoid the use of GMOs, chemically treated seeds, synthetic toxic materials, irradiation, ‘and sewage sludge in their farming. Erik and Dina treat livestock humanely by providing pasture, access to the outdoors and fresh air for all livestock, banning cruel alterations, and using no hormones, GMOs or antibiotics in feed. They support agricultural markets and infrastructures that enable small farms to thrive. Plough & Stars practices minimal processing for all food products by not using irradiation, ultra-pasteurization, synthetic preservatives or GMO processing agents or additives to preserve the natural nutritional value of food. They have reduced the ecological footprint of their farm and home by limiting energy use and converting to renewable sources of energy.
Friends of Medford Community Gardens (Amanda Bowen): “Building New Community Gardens”
The Friends of Medford Community Gardens was formed 2 years ago by a group of Medford residents interested in promoting community gardens in Medford and to expand access to garden space for residents. They negotiated with the State Office of Cultural Resources (OCR) for permission to build a 36-bed garden on parkland on parkland located next to the Mystic River. One extraordinary example of their efforts, mentioned already today, is the Winthrop Street Community Garden. The Friends of Medford Community Gardens have raised funds for materials, participated in outreach and worked with officials to ensure that gardens are part of all future park renovations.
Medford Bicycle Advisory Commission (Bruce Kulik): “Bicycle Safety Education and Infrastructure”
The Medford Bicycle Advisory Commission has been working with the City of Medford to encourage bicycling as an alternative means of transportation for commuting. Through their efforts, they have accomplished the following.
– They produced a preliminary recommendation report outlining actions the city can take to improve the safety of bicyclists and to make it easier for cyclists to travel in the city.
– They recommended the use of signage on key streets and the increase the number of bicycle racks and bicycle parking posts.
– They educated city officials on the types of bicycle infrastructure and their relative efficacy.
– They developed a master plan to provide medium and long term recommendations for bicycle infrastructure.
– They provided specific lane recommendations for key streets and intersections.
– They received commitments from the city to install initial bicycle infrastructure.
– They arranged for bike lanes to be established on Winthrop Street.
– They planned for “sharrows” (shared lane bicycle markings) on Playstead Road, Boston Avenue, and Medford Street.
– They arranged for the installation of bicycle parking posts in the West Medford Square commercial district.
– Developed education curriculum for distribution and discussion at community events.
– Worked with Medford Kiwanis to revive the youth bicycle rodeo.
Retired or Retiring Committee Members
As an enterprise transformation consultant in Slalom’s Finance & Performance Solutions practice, Brett helps CEOs and CFOs remodel their operating structures to address performance challenges, lower costs, and drive new levels of growth through the development and execution of innovative strategies, organizational redesign, and process improvement.
We appreciate Brett’s contributions to the Medford Energy Committee during his time with us, and we hope to see him continue to be engaged in future Medford energy conservation efforts.
We can’t say enough about the mayor’s contributions to our committee and to this energy festival, because the Medford Energy Committee exists only because he created and nurtured it. The predecessor to the current committee was the “Wind Energy Committee,” formed in 2004, which led to the design, construction, and current operation of our “Windy” 100 km wind turbine starting in 2009. That committee was transformed under the mayor’s leadership into a more general approach to address energy conservation and management of climate change causes and effects with the current Medford Energy Committee. The mayor has continued to support our efforts and has helped the committee to tackle a variety of projects and programs over the last 5 years. We wish the mayor a relaxing and energy-efficient lifestyle after he leaves office, and we expect to see him at future Harvest Your Energy Festivals!