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A series of environmental initiatives undertaken by Councilwoman Christine Scalera, including the Flanders Community Garden, East Quogue Green Zone, Gotcha Rides, the Great East End Clean-Up, and Adopt a Beach kicked off the Spring season.
Councilwoman Scalera, who spearheaded the community garden project in 2014 at the David Crohan Center in Flanders, held a garden planting day on May 14th with members of the Towns Citizen Advisory Group, Civic Organizations, the Flanders Fire Department, the Towns Youth Bureau and Senior Services. Kicking off the 3rd season, the groups look to continue donating produce to a local food pantry and Senior Services as it has done in the past two years, growing and donating over 300 lbs.
“Along with promoting healthy eating choices, one of my goals with this project was to integrate the community gardens into the town's parks, youth, and senior services programs, with an eye toward promoting intergenerational interaction, with the garden as a focal point,” said Scalera.
Councilwoman Scalera and the Towns Parks Department are also working with Quiet Communities a non-profit based in Massachusetts, to establish a Green Zone at the East Quogue Village Green on Montauk Highway in East Quogue. In an effort to reduce the use of gas-powered maintenance equipment, such as leaf blowers, a Green Zone at this location will prohibit the use of certain gas-powered equipment and opt for electric-powered machines instead, the first of its kind in the Town. “Establishing a Green Zone at the East Quogue Village Green is a starting point to test innovative equipment and techniques that would improve the quality of life for residents in terms of noise and air quality, which is consistent with the goals of the Towns Sustainability Plan,” stated Scalera.
In March, the Councilwoman brought the company Gotcha Rides to the Town Board to discuss a partnership with the Town of Southampton and the American Legion Post in Hampton Bays to bring a shuttle service to the hamlet. Gotcha Rides operates 100% electric, zero-emission, low-speed vehicles that provide free rides to the community. “I’m thrilled to be working with Gotcha Rides to bring this free, energy efficient shuttle service to our community,” said Scalera, “this shuttle in Hampton Bays would not only benefit our Veterans but also our residents and visitors alike.”
The proposed loop for the company would have them based at the American Legion Hall on Ponquogue Avenue with a stop at the Ponquogue beach pavilion then back through Hampton Bays with a third stop at the Hampton Bays Chamber of Commerce. The goal is to help to reduce traffic, carbon emissions and provide access for people to many of the destinations points that Hampton Bays has to offer, or people can simply take the free ride around the loop and do a little sightseeing.
The Great East End Clean-Up also took place throughout Southampton Town during April 30th and May 1st. Around 600 volunteers removed 30 tons of garbage, 10.11 tons of construction and debris, and 10.11 tons of metal were removed from public areas throughout the Town. “We’re very fortunate to have so many people in our community who are not only willing, but enthusiastic about devoting their time to care for the health and beauty of our surroundings,” said Scalera.
Rounding out the spring green events, Councilwoman Scalera and the Parks Department are looking to bring an Adopt a Beach program to residents. Once the program is up and running it will be handled through the Parks Department and residents will be able to sign up and adopt a beach to clean and maintain all year long.
“This program was initiated by residents who wanted to do their part to help keep our beaches clean and I look forward to working with them and the Parks Department on this,” stated Scalera.
For more information on any of these events please contact Councilwoman Scalera at 631-287-5745 or visit the Towns website and www.southamptontownny.gov