Monthly Archives: June 2009

Garden City

There’s much going on in Europe centering on living life without crude oil while reducing electric use and waste generation. In Germany, Great Britain, and other countries there, solar polar and clean energy are top priorities, and sustainability is not just a buzzword, but an employed strategy.

On the food front, there was a recent conference in England that focused on planning for urban farming. Speakers discussed the challenges of transforming London into a food-producing urban city. Check out this column for the full report.

For London, the hurdles are huge. After all, it’s a big city. But I wonder if such concept would work in a small place, like Kingston. In some respects, we’ve already taken the first few steps. Rebecca Martin and the garden committee of the Kingston Land Trust promote community, city and school gardens as well as Victory Gardens for homeowners. Their vision is simple: let’s have a food garden at every home and in our schools and parks.

Of course this is a long-term project that takes time, volunteers and support from local municipalities. But the seeds are already planted and the work has begun, which is why volunteering for this effort is a worthwhile endeavor — we need your help for it to grow.

In the meantime, can you imagine Kingston growing enough food to feed all its residents? I can.

– Arthur Zaczkiewicz

Green on Top

Here’s an interesting read in today’s The New York Times about the trend of rooftop gardens and how some cities give tax breaks to owners for planting them. We have at least one in Kingston, at 721 Media Center. Read about it here.

What’s the benefit? As the Times articles notes, rooftop gardens cut down on storm water runoff while also improving a building’s insulation.

Blue in June?

AwostingWhat’s the best thing to do after a heavy rain storm? In my humble opinion, that’s the best time to visit Awosting Falls, pictured here, in nearby New Paltz at Minnewaska State Park Preserve. The falls were raging, and misting cool air all through the woods.

Afterward, I biked around Mohonk Preserve (a permit is required) and was surprised to see blueberries. I don’t remember ever seeing ripe blueberries and blooming moutain laurel occuring at the same time. Do you? Any insights would be greatly appreciated.

Blue in June!

Look Familar?

guess whereHow well do you know Kingston? Can you guess what and where this structure is in the City of Kingston?

Looking Back

Jenny Schwartz, of the county planning office, gave a terrific tour of midtown Kingston during the “Make a Difference Day” celebration on Saturday. She described how the design of the high school was inspired by the East Wing of the Louvre and that City Hall took its design from the city hall of Florence, Italy.

Schwartz walked down Henry Street, and explained how midtown grew after the uptown section and Rondout merged into one city over a century ago.

Schwartz said midtown was a vibrant place where small business owners and others lived — folks who prospered by Kingston’s growth as a key manufacturing and transportation hub.

The Friends of Historic Kingston has a great website for anyone looking for more information about the city’s history. Check it out here.

Recyled Cement Blocks in Kingston

Here’s a cool thing that’s happening in Kingston on the business front: Kingston Block & Masonry Supply LLC is making recycled cement blocks. Check out the story here.

Energy Smart Program at Kingston Library This Saturday

Mid Hudson Energy Smart Communities is holding a workshop at the Kingston Public Library this Saturday, June 13 at 1 p.m. to help homeowners learn about the benefits of a home energy audit, which can reduce home heating bills by up to 40 percent. “Grants for eligible families and loans are available to improve insulation levels, install efficient windows, ENERGY STARĀ® appliances, and heating and cooling systems,” organizers of the event said in a statement. For more information, see the library’s website here.

While you’re at the website, check out other events and programs planned for the summer, including the summer reading program.


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