Happy Volunteer Week and Earth Month, UESiders!

And are there ever ways for us all to celebrate each and even together now and in days come!

i.e.:

If you’re not familiar with the wonderful New York Cares…  

Then there’s restoring marsh islands out in Jamaica Bay

And/or clearing the winter-litter-strewn banks of our beautiful Hudson River

Not to mention the orgy weeding/planting/scraping/painting that’ll be happening on the Esplanade on It’s My Park Day – Spring Edition (Part I)! (details below)

Yes, folks, prepare your green selves!

nemastylis-geminiflora

nemastylis-geminiflora

And now for the 7 days ahead:

Friday, April 11th:  “Growing Cities” Screening

Center for Remembering and Sharing, 123 Fourth Avenue between 12th & 13th Streets, 2nd floor, 7pm

Two men set off on a cross-country journey to learn who’s growing what and where in American cities and with what results…  Can’t be anything but interesting! Especially when the film’s followed by Q&A with Bradley Fleming of the Brooklyn Grange.  $10.  For more

Saturday, April 12th:  Carl Schurz Park Easter Egg Hunt

Schurz Park, East End Avenue at between 87th & 88th Streets,  11am

Easter egg bag decorating, Easter egg hunting, a family concert… The usual, wonderful annual event!  Free, of course.  For more and the complete schedule of events

Saturday, April 12th:  82nd Street Greenmarket

82nd Street between First and York, 9am –2pm

Compost & Clothes Collection – 9am – 1pm 

Who cares if there’s a little rain (we’ve endured much worse)…  American Seafood, Bread Alone, Ballard Honey, Samascott, Gajeski, Rising Sun Beef, Rabbits’ Run Farms and Garden of Spices Farms will be at their tables!

Last week’s recycling totals:  58 lbs batteries;  21 lbs filters, cords, CDs/DVDs, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 4 pair of eye glasses; 8 1/2 bins of compost; 19 bags of clothes.

Could barely lift the battery bag!  

(Do keep in mind:  April is Wearable Collection’s – the folks who collect clothes at 82nd Street – Earth Month Shoe Drive!)

Sunday, April 13th:  Electronic Recycling Event

Amsterdam Avenue between West 74th and West 75th, 10am-4pm

Working & non-working computers, monitors, printers, scanners, keyboards, mice, cables, TV’s, VCR’s, DVD players, phones, audio/visual equipment, cell phones, and video gaming equipment.  NO household appliances!   (They can go the plastic/metal/glass bins in your building.)   (And do keep in mind, all of the above electronics can be recycled free of charge at any Best Buy!)   For more event details… 

Soon upon us:

Tuesday, April 22nd:  Green Travel Green Exhibition

Union Square, 11am-7pm

Green travel destinations…  Green products to travel with…  Green travel groups…  Greenest ways to get to that green destination…! 

Wednesday, April 23rd & Thursday, April 24th: Earth Day(s) Celebration 

Grand Central Station & Vanderbilt Avenueat at 43rd Street, 11am-7pm

Always an impressive assortment of green businesses, city and state organizations and non-profits…  From astronomers (your chance to get to know NYSkies) to waste reduction!  

Sunday, April 27th:  It’s My Park Day – Part I 

East River Esplanade at 96th Street, 10am-3pm

Those daffodils, crocuses, tulips and scores of other bulbs in the planter are now 3-4 inches tall with daffs showing tight yellow buds!  Miraculously, the near 100 f00t ribbon of daffodils planted pre-Sandy along the Esplanade/FDR wall are pushing up, too!  Going to be one lovely day of gardening, scraping, painting and more! Refreshments, a river view and the thanks of a grateful UES will be your reward! 

Monday, April 28th:  Friends of the East River Esplanade Benefit Bash

Bar Felice, 1591 First Avenue between 82nd & 83rd Street, 6:30-8:30pm

Heard from a lot of you…  Wanting to hear from more!  Let’s eat, drink and give ourselves and our neighbors the Esplanade we deserve!  For your invitation

Next month:

Saturday, May 10th:  Brooklyn Sewage Bike Tour

Meet at L Train stop at New Lots Avenue, 710-800 Van Sinderen Avenue, Brooklyn, 11am-2pm

Join sewage enthusiasts (love that that’s how they describe themselves) Matt Malina and Adam Schwartz on a tour of the sewage plants of Southern Brooklyn. They’re talking  3 sewage plants, 1 storm water retention facility and 1 combined sewer overflow point!  $25.  For more and to sign up

Saturday, May 10th:  2014 Hudson River Sweep

All Along the Hudson and All 5 of Our Boroughs 

If you’ve seen what and how much washes up on shorelines over a winter…  Well, nothing’s every made you want to clean up more!  For details and to find a convenient site

Thursday, May 29th & Friday, May 30th: 4th Annual Urban Agricultural Conferance

Various Venues

Co-sponsored by the Horticultural Society & W. Atlee Burpee Company of seed fame, this year’s theme:  Unique urban farming solutions from around the world. Pre-registration commences on April 15th.  Ticket prices, TBA. For further details…   

primula-florindae

primula-florindae

Miscellany…  As usual, winges first:

Please, will USDA Wildlife stop killing swans?  (If you think they should, too...)

And will SeaWorld end including sedatives/drugs in captive orcas’ diet?!

Say what?!  While Senators and Congressmen/women from coal mining states adamantly defend the industry, Health and Human Services is cutting back on black lung disease clinics!

On the subject of lungs:  Of course, there’re any number of NYC building owners dragging their feet – making the usual onerous expense claims – converting to cleaner heating oil.

Hard to imagine what the thinking was behind the decision that there’d be no additional PreK seats in the baby-stroller-land that is the Upper East Side

Think the Landmarks Preservation Commission ought to be entertaining a change in their middle name…  Adding to their all but endless list of sins (like refusing landmark protection to the beautiful Rizzoli Bookstore), they’ve just voted to allow a 9-story hotel to be built right next to the all-but perfectly preserved but easily destabilized 1832 Old Merchant’s House! (No petition to sign yet…)

Many an intriguing flood-taming idea arose from the Rebuild by Design Contest…  Not that – per usual – any addressed challenges faced by our stretch of the East River.  Still, well worth a look and possibly adaptable!

But do we need to re-invent the wheel when the Dutch have so much experience/expertise to draw on and are offering it to us

Meanwhile, here’s how one British coastal town’s dealt with the problem...

We UESiders have been largely unscathed, but – and yet another statement on out-dated, rickety U.S. infrastructure! –  U.S. power outages have doubled since 2003! (Scroll down..)

Yikes and carbon emissions have nearly equaled that sorry record…  2000-2010 compared to the previous 3 decades!

How about some mandatory GMO labeling for baby food

Moving to the middle ground:

Yes, it’s good Walmart’s poised to sell organic food products at lower prices…  But then, not to be too paranoid, it is Walmart…

Was the smell of burning wood in the air this past Monday evening weird or what?  (Let’s not think about the particulate matter…)

Happy we are that Tribeca’s Pier 25 will be hosting historic ship Sherman Zwicker – combo museum/restaurant – for the summer…  While we press to derail a garbage dump on our waterfront! 

Then feeling totally good:

What with Bridge-gate, were we told Governor Christie’s rejection of the Greenhouse Gas Initiative was reversed by New Jersey’s Appellate Court

The Green Roof of the Week is in the Bronx!

Interesting that IKEA’s just bought a wind farm in Illinois…  Its first!

Very much liked this interview with an architect who’s even more a curator of trees

Departing the reservation:

The Library’s added another 30,000 vintage NYC photos to its online collection!

Wonder what it’s like to shop here:

Bing Deli Grocery 
1415 Gravesend Neck Road                                                                             Sheepshead Bay

And we quote from The Times:  “Two weeks ago, The Times asked readers to write a haiku about New York CIty.  Nearly 3,000 came pouring in.  On Saturday, submissions were closed. the reader favorite, so far:

Old man in the park
Teaching Chess to young players
Game reduced to life

(Gets our vote!)

As does this take on classic album covers

ipomoea-pileata

ipomoea-pileata

And now for some animals, pretty much packed with glad tidings:

Yes, friends, the “Kitten Bowl” – Hallmark Channel’s successful Super Bowl counter-programming event – has now inspired a spin-off, “The Kitten Paw-Star Game” aimed at getting ratings and, the network says, “celebrating pets and raising awareness of the plight of shelter animals.”

With all that isn’t getting done down in D.C., somehow the Senate managed to strengthen and ratify an international treaty reining in illegal fishing.

And our Federal government has decided not to oppose state-level shark-fin bans!  (On what possible basis would they defend sharks being de-finned?!) 

What’s more the adorable but badly threatened Mazama gopher is now a (protected) endangered species (all 8 inches of each of them).

Mazama pocket gopher

Then there are these dogs in cars in pictures

Awwww…  A baby harbor seal having fun in our... Harbor! 

Double awwww for baby meerkats

We bid you adieu with two gems from the Hudson River Almanac:

4/2 – Staten Island, New York City: Saint Clare School’s Environmental Team collected 93 glass eels today and one well-developed elver! After weeks of dealing with cold and catching only some killifish, this was a euphoric moment for us! May many more little wigglers find their way to our nets! –  Mary Lee

[An elver is the next life stage of the American eel, following that of the glass eel. These are, for the most part, last year’s glass eels that have matured to the point where they look like miniature adult eels, in both physical characteristics and darker pigmentation. As glass eels are a year old, elvers are at least two-year old, but could well be three to five-year olds, their lengths ranging from four to eight inches. –  Tom Lake]

3/28 – Ulster and Dutchess Counties: An evening of steady rain, fog and temperatures above 40 degrees and Hudson River Estuary Program’s Amphibian Migrations & Road Crossings volunteers (yes, it’s a mouthful) agreed:  2014 amphibian migration activity was near at hand. Amphibian migration??  Indeed, every year forest-dwelling  toads, newts, salamanders, wood frogs and spring peepers set off in search of pools in which they’ll breed, often crossing.roads and getting squished in the process.  That night our volunteers assisted 633 amphibians of nine different species to make safe crossings at 13 sites! – Laura Heady

Spotted Salamander

(For info about the project and/or volunteer…)

Ever green,

UGS

 

 

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