Chestertown Environmental Committee
In Person and Virtual
July 13, 2023
In Attendance: Jenny Freebery, Secethia Davis, Carole Trippe, Thomas Dietz, Joe Maisano, Brad Hollomon, Mark Carper, Erin Heckles, Alberto Larotonda, Andy Goddard, Wendy Wander, Ford Schumann, Liz Peterson, Zoey Brookbank, Ryan Silbaugh, and Hope Clark.
Treasury, Garden Club, Energy, and Food Systems subcommittees all provided updates. The bulk of the meeting was taken up by a presentation by Ryan from Shore Soils on composting. The presentation focused on the benefits of using Shore Soils for community compliance for upcoming state rules for composting. Wendy Wander presented information on Neighborhood Sun, a solar energy power broker. The possibilities and guidelines surrounding endorsement of renewable energy private enterprises were discussed at length.
- $200 left from last year’s budget. Spending opportunities presented were:
- Tree plantings
- Installing raised beds
- Booth equipment
- Members are encouraged to sign up for the Farmers’ Market CEC booth attendance.
- A separate meeting is needed about Bat boxes, e.g., where to put the free ones.
- Town has settled on a cost to users of $24/month.
- Andy will talk to new town manager about the project, including publicity.
- For the August 10th meeting, Annie Richards of Shore Rivers will be talking about storm water and tree plantings.
Shore Soils Presentation Highlights
- Go to their website for a comprehensive review of their capabilities:
- Main goal: Composting to reduce food waste in landfills.
- Company has programs well suited to communities, municipalities, and neighborhoods
- Numerous details on costs to towns and individual participants,
- The mechanics of collection, storage, and processing were discussed in detail.
- Queen Anne County has signed on.
- Composting mandates fall under general waste management purchasing.
Garden Club Update
- There will be a meeting on July 20th about school composting
- Suggestions were made concerning how to protect new tree saplings at Wilmer Park from curious children.
- Tom Dietz is in discussion with the town council on fixing town hall solar panel system.
- Economics on replacement are quite favorable because of:
- Grants to municipalities
- Tax breaks
- Avoided costs on give back power.
- Tom has prepared a PowerPoint presentation for the next TC meeting.
- There was some discussion about conducting an energy audit of the town’s systems & departments
- Wendy provided information on cost savings to homeowners by signing up with Neighborhood Solar
- The CEC needs to determine the most appropriate method of sharing this information.
Food Systems Update
- Need for an administrator for school composting programs cited
- Need a program to collect/compost food waste at events.
- Education/Farmers Market Event, e.g., A meal preparation demonstration by a local chef
- Involvement with Food Council to create healing gardens/raised beds