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Is Sustainable Claremont sustainable?

Please join us to hear Mary Nichols, Chair of the California Air Resources Board, share her “Perspectives on Sustainability” at Sustainable Claremont’s October 4 Annual Meeting.

Sustainable Claremont (SC) is the new kid in town as far as community organizations go, having been established in 2009. Its purpose has always been to engage as many of Claremont’s citizens as possible in activities that promote economic, social, and environmental sustainability. The projects it takes on are the ones that its members find important and are willing to work on. We are your friends and neighbors, working in Action Groups and appointing representatives to the Board: Freeman Allen represents energy retrofit issues; Richard Haskell, water; Susan Schenk, natural habitat; Weston Westenborg, constructed landscape; Bryan Bergstrand, green building; Sharon Hightower, social sustainability; Ron Mittino, schools; Lisa Rojas, special events; Katie Gerecke, outreach; Chris Veirs, finance. Pomona College, the League of Women Voters, and the Interfaith Committee on Sustainability are partners. We would love to have you come to our 2nd Annual Meeting on October 4 at the Padua Hills Theater and learn more about us. Refreshments and mingling will start at 6pm, then a welcome to new Board members and awards ceremony at 7 pm, followed by the talk with Mary Nichols at 7:30.

What have some of the projects been so far? An annual Earth Day Celebration; a series of free public talks on various issues; a Walking Brochure for Claremont; natural habitat talks for elementary schools; a picture guide to native Claremont plants for gardens; partnerships to develop school gardens, and with CUSD to approve a Sustainability Resolution; workshops on water-wise landscaping; letters to legislators in support of CEQA and plastic bag reduction; a sustainable landscape certificate program; forging connections between SC and other organizations; and of course, these articles for the Courier.

What are SC members doing now? Developing a program (CHERP) to reduce home energy usage which is intended to be a model for the Department of Energy; investigating how Claremont can produce and use reclaimed water; working to establish a community garden, a Sustainable Landscape Design Awards program, and provide homeowners with examples of good landscape design; using GIS to identify the natural areas in and around Claremont; working on ways to preserve the health of our trees; investigating pesticide use in the City.

Is your favorite project in the list? If so, please help with it. It isn’t listed? Then please help start a group to work on it. SC is only as good as its members make it, and there are an awful lot more things that need doing than we can currently take on. We are a grass-roots, non-profit, community organization and we need your help. We work with the City but are independent of it and, although the City Sustainability Plan called for a community organization to be created, the ability of Sustainable Claremont to make a difference in our lives is up to us. If you want future generations to have the same benefits you have, or better ones, then please join us. You can work at your own pace on issues that are dear to your heart. Whether or not Sustainable Claremont is sustainable is partly up to you.

For more info about SC, go to Hope to see you at the Annual Meeting, and to work with you in the future!

Freeman Allen and Susan Schenk, co-Chairs