Green eNews April 2016: Walk/Ride Days, Summer Planning, and More
Published on Apr 26, 2016 14:30

  April 2016

Hello Teachers, Staff, and Community!  

Thank you so much for your high participation rate in this spring’s Go Green Challenge at each school! We will be announcing the top 3 winners of the school district’s annual sustainability competition (Go Green Challenge) in under one week!  

Trophies will be presented, along with a press release, for the winners!  

Meryl Brott, DPW Recycling Program Manager, and myself are thrilled with this year’s results, and we thank you teachers and staff for making environmentally-friendly choices every day in your schools, and for encouraging your students to do the same. Your hard work and commitment to positive action is commendable.  

Thank you so much for all you do!  

Happy Spring!

Kristen Middleton
[email protected]

fresh pond

Call for Volunteers for Fresh Pond Day:
May 11, 11AM-3PM
Fresh Pond Reservation is truly Cambridge's green gem - an urban wild that protects Fresh Pond, Cambridge's in-city drinking water reservoir. Fresh Pond Day is the Cambridge Water Department's annual tribute to this unique Reservation that is a vital natural resource, an invaluable sanctuary for wildlife, and a beloved recreational escape in the City. So...let's give Fresh Pond the celebration, jubilation and love it deserves; join in the festivities! Live wildlife presentations, a wildlife and bike parade, live music, face painting, truck climb-aboards, tours, and more will abound. Free and open to all, the festivities will take place in and around the Water Treatment Facility located at 250 Fresh Pond Parkway, Cambridge. Please note: rain or other inclement weather cancels this event. We’ll need a hand with running a face painting table, photography, helping to coordinate wildlife & bike parades, assisting tablers, set-up/take-down, & directing parking and traffic. As a thank-you for your help, you’ll receive a Fresh Pond t-shirt, water bottle, and refreshments! 2-hour or 4-hour shifts. Please email [email protected] or call (617) 349-6489 if you’re interested in volunteering.


Walk/Ride Day Kick-Off:
April 29, 7:30-10AM

The City of Cambridge is happy to invite you to our Walk/Ride Day Corporate Challenge Kick-off Event, this year taking place in front of Cambridge Rindge and Latin School (Joan Lorentz Park) on Friday, April 29th from 7:30-10AM. This is an outdoor transportation fair that will take place rain or shine. We are looking for this to be a big one! With almost 2,000 students and 200 staff going into CRLS between 7:30-8:30am, another 100 staff at the Cambridge Public Library, and many City departments nearby, you can be prepared to share your message of getting around town sustainably with lots of people!

sunny cambridge

Sunny Cambridge Year of Solar Campaign Launches!
The City of Cambridge has launched Sunny Cambridge, an exciting new program to help residents of Cambridge learn about solar and receive online quotes from local installers through an easy-to-use online platform. Sunny Cambridge is focused on helping residents that have any kind of property, including single-family homes, condominiums, rental properties, and commercial properties. The program website is and is offered in partnership with local solar marketplace provider, EnergySage.

For those curious about the benefits of solar, there are a number of great reasons to go solar in Cambridge today, including:
–Reduce or eliminate your electricity bill
–Increase the value of your property
–Reduce your carbon footprint
–Help create local green jobs
–Earn solar renewable energy certificates (SRECs) from producing solar energy and generate income from your panels!
–Help Cambridge to achieve its zero energy goals and to win the Georgetown competition to win $5 million for Cambridge!

Some residents may think that solar is confusing and that the whole process will take a lot of time. The Sunny Cambridge program was designed to help simplify this experience; to make it easy by using an online marketplace from EnergySage. The City worked with EnergySage to line up specific solar installers who specialize in serving Cambridge homes and businesses. Building owners can get multiple online solar quotes from solar installers that have been vetted and hand-selected to give consumers confidence in their options, with support every step of the way.

In order to participate, simply sign-up at by entering your address and some basic information about your electricity usage. You don’t even have to share your phone number and, while your email address is used for communications and to access your account, it will not be shared directly with solar installers. This process puts you in charge of shopping for solar! In no time, you’ll have a few online solar quotes! You can compare them easily using helpful comparison tables and informational resources. You can also speak with Solar Advisors to help you make a confident decision. Check the Facebook and Twitter pages for more information, as Sunny Cambridge will be a year-long initiative for our city. Go solar today!


Cambridge Awarded Prestigious
5-STAR Community Rating!

The City of Cambridge has won national recognition by achieving a 5-STAR Rating from STAR Communities (STAR), a Washington D.C.-based nonprofit. Learn more >>


Student Summer Program Application

Is your Cambridge middle school student ready to dig in deeper with CitySprouts? We are accepting applications to our popular summer program. If you and your child are interested, be sure to get your application in by May 6. CitySprouts summer middle school internship program is open to youth ages 11 to 14. The program is free, but we do not have capacity to accept all applicants. The summer program is an opportunity for children to: grow and cook food, conduct science experiments, build teamwork and leadership skills, give back to the community and spend lots of time outdoors. Interns who successfully complete the program receive a $100 stipend for their hard work. Don't forget: the application deadline is May 6th. Click here for a copy of the Cambridge. The application includes a section for your child to tell us why he/she is an amazing candidate for our program. Applicants will be notified of their selection by May 27. Learn more >>

Spotted at Our Schools...

Great job composting and taking care of the environment, Morse School D-6 Kindergarten!

Super job being green, Tobin Montessori School! 

Spring Showers Bring Limited Time Offer on Rain Barrels
Capture the rainwater from your roof and store it in a rain barrel for later use in your garden. Purchase a 60-gallon rainwater collection system for $79.00. This offer is valid until May 12th. To provide the lowest cost, the company is arranging for a general delivery of the rain barrels on Thursday, May 19th, from 4-7 p.m., at Cambridge DPW yard, 147 Hampshire Street. If rainwater is not captured and allowed to soak back into the ground, rivers and streams do not have the chance to sustain or "recharge" themselves. By capturing rainwater, you are reducing stormwater runoff, conserving water and recharging the groundwater. A local non-profit agency, Green Cambridge, is offering to install rain barrels for Cambridge residents free of charge. If you prefer to install them yourself, the rain barrel arrives with simple instructions for fast and easy installation. For more information, to order online and to check out the design and variety of color options log onto the Great American Rain Barrel Company website, click on “Shop Local Programs” and select “Cambridge”. You can also order by phone (800) 251-2352 toll free when specifying the City of Cambridge promotion.

garden girl

Do you have a classroom project or student work related to environment sustainability or climate change? If so, send us your photos or blurbs to be featured in the May sustainability newsletter that goes out to the school district. Thanks! 

The Bring Your Own Bag Ordinance prohibits the distribution of single-use plastic bags at checkout and aims to reduce the total number of single-use disposable bags consumed. Remember to bring your bag to avoid the mandatory 10¢ minimum charge on each checkout bag. Together we can protect the environment, advance solid waste reduction, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and protect waterways. More info >>

Green Schools is a MA-based, leading national non-profit organization, organized for innovative Environmental Education, E-STEM Education, Leadership and Action! Green Schools provides a number of environmental programs and resources to best develop the next generation of GREEN students and schools. Our National Green Schools Society for grades K-12, honors and develops bright, civic-minded, environmentally literate citizens in schools and communities.
Learn more >>

Students are encouraged to walk or bike to school next Wednesday, May 6th. You can form walking or biking groups with your friends and neighbors, walk or bike as a family, or have your child walk or bike or on their own if they are old enough.

It’s that time of year again where we get free bicycle safety tune-ups! You all asked for pre-scheduled tune-ups, so we’ve made it happen. We have three days of tune-ups. Please use this form to type your name, department, and extension. If you have a coworker who is not on email but wants to sign up, please have them call 617.349.4671 OR you can fill in their time for them. This is a Google Spreadsheet – anyone with the link can access it.


Thursday mornings from 10AM to 12PM
Meet at the volunteer trailer in the front parking lot of Fresh Pond. The group helps keep invasive plants at bay for the benefit of wildlife, water and humans alike. No experience or long-term commitment necessary. All tools are provided; sturdy shoes, pants, long-sleeves and a water bottle are strongly recommended. Please contact Martine at (617) 349-6489 or [email protected] for any RSVPs or questions!

The City of Cambridge is launching our new Transportation Benefits Workshop for City employees! 
Learn more >>


Do you have clothes, shoes, books, DVDs, CDs, and other accessories to donate? Drop them off at Baldwin’s collection box located right out front! It’s an environmentally sustainable way to get rid of your junk. Don’t throw it in the trash – donate it!

When: April 30th
Where: Harvard's Peabody Museum Geological Lecture Hall
Learn more >> 

Spend your summer outdoors, learning valuable green job skills! FAR Summer Ecology Camp, through the Mayor's Youth Summer Employment Program (MYSEP), will immerse you in a natural wild area. Campers will learn green job skills such as water quality testing, landscaping, and macro invertebrate identification –all while helping to restore Alewife Reservation’s natural habitat. FAR Summer Ecology Camp runs July 6th– August 12th every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, from 9AM to 3PM. Applications due May 6th. More information:
[email protected]
Learn about MYSEP >>

April 27, 6 to 7:30PM
Meet at front door of Water Purification Facility, 250 Fresh Pond Parkway. Curious about the seemingly innocuous plants you’ve observed volunteers removing from the Reservation during the summertime? Or are you suspicious of some strange new visitors popping up in your garden or climbing up your fences? Join Ted Elliman, botanist extraordinaire formerly of the New England Wildflower Society, for an evening walk around the Reservation, in which he will teach how to identify common invasive plants, why these invasive species pose such a danger to native plant and animal communities, and how to manage them for the health of our local ecosystems. Please RSVP to [email protected] or (617) 349-6489.

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Kristen Middleton
Sustainability Manager
Email Kristen

Cambridge Green Schools Initiative
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