A Momentous Occasion for the Planners of Boston GreenFest

August 17, 2009 at 10:11 pm

The organizers of second annual Boston GreenFest 2009  have many ideals regarding their festival, what it represents,  and view it as an ethic to live by.   They have worked tirelessly to promote many aspects of green thinking, living and architecture – including green roofs, of course – but their scope is quite global and much more encompassing.   Karen L. Weber, Coordinator of Boston GreenFest and Executive Director of Foundation for a Green Future, Inc., told me that last Thursday, August 13, 2009 was indeed  “a momentous occasion for the planners of Boston GreenFest.”

Massachusetts State House's Grand Staircase; Photo taken by Halef Gunawan; Source: Boston GreenFest

Massachusetts State House's Grand Staircase; Photo taken by Halef Gunawan; Source: Boston GreenFest

Karen elaborates, “We held our first Green Town Meeting at the Massachusetts State House in front of the Grand Staircase with over 50 people in attendance.   Rep. Frank Smizik, Chair of the Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change, opened the session.   He reminded everyone about the importance of energy efficiency and working to make the changes we need to go forward.   He also suggested that although Massachusetts has an excellent record about advocating for policy that addresses climate change, we must do more.   Senator Marc Pacheco of Taunton, recommended that everyone continue to lobby and push hard for their legislators to strive for higher goals in regards to climate change and efficiency.   Ben Wright of Environment Massachusetts, a group that works hard to advocate the weatherizing of everyone’s home and ways to reduce the cost on homeowners, acknowledged the remarks of Smizik and Pacheco.”

Karen read the draft of the GreenFest Manifest to set the stage for  their brainstorming session, and continues, “Scotland Willis, a member of the GreenFest planning committee and candidate for City Councilor at Large, reaffirmed the work we had to do and the unique opportunity GreenFest provides to the community to bring everyone together.   Raking Williams spoke about the fact that we have entered a time for change, for all life to be revered.   Tito Jackson, another City Council candidate, praised us for doing the work we are doing.   Craig Altemose, law student at Harvard, local coordinator of Massachusetts Power Shift and Green Town Meeting Coordinator for GreenFest, set the parameters of our work today.   We were to break in three discussion groups, with reports back before lunch.   After lunch, we were to constitute new groups and refine our ideas from the ones proposed at report back.   Final summary at 1:45 – 2 pm.
 
“The GreenFest Manifest is a document that combines ideas and a plan for action.   We decided to create a way to bring everyone on board to making changes in ways that could impact energy conservation and efficiency, global warming, and respect for life in a way that could establish clear actions for our city and commonwealth.   We intend to read the Manifest publicly at Boston GreenFest and hope to have everyone at GreenFest sign it.   It will then by sent to President Obama and our world leaders at Copenhagen to show them what we are ready to begin doing, and to inspire them to do that much more on a global level.   We hope we can inspire every state around the country and groups across the globe to come up with their own Manifest and put it into action.”
 
Here is the preamble to the GreenFest   Manifest,   and when the final form is complete, Karen will share  it with us:
 
Whereas Boston GreenFest invites all of our communities to come together regardless of race, color, background, and diverse beliefs to learn, connect and celebrate, today we reaffirm our commitment to protect and nurture life in all of its forms; to explore a balanced relationship with our complete self and our world; and to use sincerity, justice, discipline, kindness, wisdom, and principled determination to achieve a better union and universal peace.

We pledge to eradicate hunger and war so that peace will reign in our world; to educate each other so that we can create a world in which we live in harmony with nature and our surroundings; a world in which our children will not have to worry about carbon counts or rising tides; a world in which a stable climate will continue to provide us with the blessings of all our natural systems as well as the blessings of agriculture; a world in which the ties of family and community are placed above material possessions.

We commit to the principle that in all our decisions, we will consider their impact on all future generations.

Participants and Volunteers from Boston GreenFest 2008; SOurce: Bostone GreenFest

How inspirational, and momentous, indeed!

~ Linda V.

Boston GreenFest 2009

August 17, 2009 at 12:48 am

Boston GreenFest 2009Coming up this Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, August  20-22 is the second annual Boston GreenFest 2009  held on the steps of City Hall in lovely Boston, Massachusetts.

Even in its infancy,  the inaugural Boston GreenFest 2008  was very well attended and created a lot of excitement among locals, visitors,  and politicians alike with a fun combination of exhibits, presentations, food, dance, film and environmental awareness.

The organizer is a friend and colleague, Dr. Karen L. Weber, LEED AP, Coordinator of  Boston GreenFest and Executive Director of Foundation for a Green Future, Inc.   She is an extremely energetic person with a lot of flair, enthusiasm and commitment to greening our built environment, and has devoted countless hours to this wonderful festival celebrating many aspects of green thinking and green living.   Karen is also a greenroof designer and her Foundation for a Green Future provides “opportunities to build an environmentally-friendly world from the rooftop down and the ground-up”  focusing on  greenroof technology and greening our urban spaces through education programs, community outreach, green jobs training, research and development, promotion of green businesses, and greenroof subsidies.

Boston GreenFest 2009 will bring together community groups, corporations, small businesses, nonprofits, government agencies and citizens to share new technologies and ideas that can immediately change our daily lives and help bring about a more sustainable future.

Boston GreenFest 2009, the Foundation for a Green Future, Inc., and local volunteers will seek to connect with a broad audience from across all Boston neighborhoods to bring an inspiring message of action and change.   Together  they will work toward sustainability through art, music, fashion, discussions and interactive exhibits.   By engaging participants, young and old,  they will search for new ideas to reduce our impact on our planet.

Festival-goers will learn what it means to eat and grow local organic food, improve nutrition and health care, make better decisions about what we wear and the products we use for our personal care, green our city, build healthy communities, take action politically and personally, create green jobs and engage in a sustainable, green economy.

GreenFest 2008 Crew
“Boston GreenFest 2009 is a celebration of our environmental progress and a call to action for communities, citizens and corporations committed to an even brighter future,” says Karen Weber, Coordinator of Boston GreenFest 2009.   “We can no longer wait for someone to tell us what to do to improve our world.   We need to find the solutions ourselves.   The answers are within reach and we applaud the many groups in and around Boston already making positive change worthy of celebration and recognition.”

Jim Hunt, Chief Advisor to the Mayor on Environment and Energy, writes:   “Mayor Menino and the City of Boston are excited to welcome GreenFest back to City Hall Plaza.   This year’s program looks to encourage and support local community development, promote health and wellness strategies, educate the public on energy conservation and alternative transportation, and update the public on sustainability initiatives that are being pursued city, state, and nationwide.   The festival looks to combine educational programming with art projects and interactive components for area residents.    It offers something for everyone interested in sustainability issues.  

“The city is proud to serve as host for this event and we hope residents will take advantage of the myriad workshops, exhibits and demonstrations to learn what steps they can take to “go green.”   Please join the Mayor and me at Boston GreenFest 2009.    It will be a great festival and we look forward to your participation.”

For more info, please contact:

Dr. Karen L. Weber, LEED AP
Coordinator, Boston GreenFest 2009
www.bostongreenfest.org
Executive Director, Foundation for a Green Future, Inc.   (Green our roofs, green our planet!)
4 Archdale Road, Boston, MA   02131
Tel 617-477-4840/Fax 617-522-5447
www.foundationforagreenfuture.org

A lot of fun to be had at the Boston GreenFest 2009 with all the bands and more.If you live in the Boston area, don’t miss out on a lot of (wicked) fun and entertainment,  especially some wonderful music with three stages  including over 40 live acts, and the GreenFilmFest: A series of films about going green, including The Greening of Southie, Fresh, Out Of Balance: ExxonMobil’s Impact on Climate Change and “Flow: the Film.”  

The Kick-off Concert is on Thursday, August 20, 2009 from 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm and the Festival runs from August 21- 22 from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm.   I hope you attend, and make sure to go and say hello to Karen and crew!

~ Linda V.

Before You Party, Vote for Green Roofs!

December 31, 2008 at 4:35 pm

 Looking to do one more important thing in 2008 to make it memorable?   I know it’s a little 11th Hour, but… Our colleague Karen Weber, Executive Director, Foundation for a Green Future, Inc. and Coordinator, Boston GreenFest 2009 (August 21-21, 2009), is urging us to vote for greenroofs to be on the Obama Administration’s agenda, but it has to be done by midnight, tonight, December 31, 2008!

There’s a movement of citizens inspired by the presidential campaign who have submitted ideas for how they think the Obama Administration should change America, called “Ideas for Change in America.”   And  Karen’s is called:

Green Roofs (Vegetated Roofs) ASAP

To vote for this idea, click above now and please ask your friends and family to do the same!   The top 10 ideas are going to be presented to the Obama Administration on Inauguration Day and will be supported by a national lobbying campaign run by Change.org, MySpace, and more than a dozen leading nonprofits after the Inauguration.   So each idea has a real chance at becoming policy.

We know that the President-Elect has his sights set on many programs to bring our country into balance, in political, economic and environmental terms.   And if you’re reading this, you don’t have to be convinced of the many advantages of living roofs, and I’m sure you realize that green architecture crosses political and geographical boundaries, benefiting the entire community that is our Earth.

So if you are an American citizen, whether or not you voted for Obama, he’s our next leader and you have to admit it’s an exciting time in the U.S.   Help us continue to promote greenroofs here in the United States of America as one part of a healthy, prosperous and ecologically sound New Year and beyond.
 
Karen writes, “Let’s make it a truly green new year!”   Speaking of which, after you do Vote for Greenroofs, we also want you to have a safe and enjoyable New Year’s Eve, and many good wishes for a 2009 full of health, happiness and love, in a world full of green.
 

~ Happy Greening, everyone!

Linda S. Velazquez