While I was doing national posts, I over looked some local things. I have been very bad and apologize. On November 4rth there was a very important meeting of all the environmentalists in Springfield and led to the next blog.
Meeting yields ways to locally battle climate change
By AMANDA REAVY
on Natemeyer attended a town hall meeting devoted to climate issues Sunday afternoon, ready to learn ways he and other citizens can make an immediate impact.
But as some participants asked for more direction, Natemeyer decided to pitch his own idea of planting Illinois native species along blighted alleyways.
It started when Natemeyer began cleaning the alley behind his house. Soon, he saw one of his neighbors was planting native species behind his garage.
Natemeyer liked the idea and thought it could lead to a sponsorship program in which seed heads are collected and then planted in alleys that have been cleared of litter and other debris.
“It’d be simple, easy, and doesn’t cost anything except time,” Natemeyer told the crowd.
A representative of the Illinois Native Plant Society expressed interest in the project.
“I will talk to them next and see if they want to help. Maybe we can pick one alley or something and experiment,” Natemeyer said after the meeting.
Such networking is what “Cool Town Meeting: Facing Global Climate Change Locally,” was all about, said Diane Lopez Hughes, the event’s chief organizer.
“We want to hear from people and get great ideas from people who live in the community,” Hughes said.
About 150 people attended the gathering in Fellowship Hall at First Presbyterian Church, 321 S. Seventh St.
The meeting featured a discussion as well as presentations by University of Illinois at Springfield professor Jim Bonacum, an evolutionary geneticist, and State Journal-Register Outdoors Editor Chris Young.
Representatives from 10 community environmental organizations were also on hand to ex- plain their initiatives. Those represented were: Community Energy Systems, Cool Cities Springfield, Illinois Stewardship Alliance, Jubilee Farm, Sangamon Valley Group of the Sierra Club, the St. Joseph Parish Environmental Justice Committee, Sustainable Springfield Inc., UIS Students Allied for a Greener Earth, Justice and Peace Office of the Franciscan Sisters and Pax Christi.
Ideas presented during the discussion included adjusting tax rates to discourage city residents from using too much electricity and water, providing course credits for homeless people and troubled youths who participate in clean-up projects and creating a database or Web site where the environmentally conscious can find information on resources in Springfield.
Lindsay Record, local food coordinator for the Illinois Stewardship Alliance, said she was particularly inspired by Natemeyer’s suggestion.
“It’s a simple idea, but I liked it so much when someone stood up and said, ‘Why don’t we do something here…. I’m willing to do something, here’s an idea, who wants to do it?'” Record said. “I think it’s all these little things that add up to making our community the way we want it to be.”
Amanda Reavy can be ro—’-