Stephen Ritz, South Bronx Educator/Administrator at TEDxManhattan “Changing the Way We Eat” Tomorrow!

January 20, 2012 at 3:10 pm

As I told you about last week when I introduced the “Greenroofs & Walls for Educational & Social Equity in the Bronx” video from our inaugural  Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit featuring New York State Senator Gustavo Rivera, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., Robert Bieder, Jon Beuttler, Jess Dannhauser, Javier Lopez and Steve Ritz, Steve has the honor of speaking tomorrow at TEDxManhattan “Changing the Way We Eat”  at the Times Center in New York City.

I’m sure you’re all aware of the awesome speakers highlighted at the inspirational organization, TED!

“TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. Started as a four-day conference in California 25 years ago, TED has grown to support those world-changing ideas with multiple initiatives. The annual TED Conference invites the world’s leading thinkers and doers to speak for 18 minutes. Their talks are then made available, free, at TED.com. TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Al Gore, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Nandan Nilekani, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Isabel Allende and UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown.” ~ TED

TEDx is an independently organized event and licensed by TED.  The TED Conference provides general guidance for  the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized:

“In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x=independently organized TED event.” ~ TEDx

In February of 2011, over 14,000 computers tuned in from locations all over the globe to watch the live simulcast of the first TEDxManhattan “Changing the Way We Eat.” Tomorrow, Saturday, January 21, 2012, the second TEDxManhattan “Changing the Way We Eat” will explore the issues, the impacts and the innovations happening as we shift to a more sustainable way of eating and farming and help to create connections and unite different areas of the food movement.

The cool thing about this is that although it is a live, local event held in Manhattan, anyone with access to a computer can watch the webcast live at www.livestream.com/tedx from 10:30am – 5:15pm EST tomorrow, Saturday January 21st.

There’s a world-class line-up of speakers that is sure to inspire you (for a complete list, see here),  including:

“¢ Laurie David (Host), Environmental Activist, Producer, Author
“¢ Fred Kirschenmann, Farmer, Distinguished Fellow at the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University, and President of the Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture in NY
“¢ Mitchell Davis, Executive Vice President, the James Beard Foundation, cookbook author and food journalist
“¢ Wenonah Hauter, Executive Director of Food & Water Watch
“¢ Gary Oppenheimer, Founder/Executive Director of AmpleHarvest.org, CNN Hero, Master Gardener,  Huffington Post 2011 Game Changer, winner of the 2011 Glynwood Wave of the Future Harvest Award
“¢ Dr. Robert S. Lawrence, Center for a Livable Future/Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
“¢ Wayne Pacelle, President and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States
“¢ Dr. David Wallinga, Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy
“¢ Urvashi Rangan, Consumer Reports
“¢ and our extremely hardworking and passionate friend, Stephen Ritz, Educator/Administrator in the South Bronx.

 

Bronx teacher and administrator Stephen Ritz will be presenting the 245 slide BRONX based presentation entitled:  “Green Bronx Machine:  Growing Our Way Into A New Economy will focus on NYC DOE school children and THE GLORY AND BOUNTY OF BRONX COUNTY!!!”

This award winning program was recently cited in the December 2011 Issue of Principal Leadership: National Association of Secondary School Principals as one of five national exemplars of service learning, and continues to move the most disenfranchised and marginalized students from the poorest Congressional District in America into living wage career opportunities while harvesting minds and cultivating hope across the Bronx and NYC.

Once again, read about some of Steve’s outstanding work in our Sky Gardens blog post of January, 2011 by Caroline Menetre.

This sounds like a great opportunity for people around the world to connect online with each other (sounds like the mission of our  Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit!) about the sustainable food movement, which we know of course includes the amazing applications for growing food on rooftops and walls!  While the talks revolve around the speakers in NYC,  I’m sure we’ll all take away a great deal of information that we can apply to our own communities.

Happy greening in NYC and around the world!

~ Linda V.

Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011 Episode 5: Greenroofs & Walls for Educational & Social Equity in the Bronx

January 11, 2012 at 1:49 pm

Today we have the pleasure to air our first of seven panel sessions from our  Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit on  greenroofs.tv and our  GreenroofsTV channel on YouTube:  “Greenroofs & Walls for Educational & Social Equity in the Bronx” featuring New York State Senator Gustavo Rivera, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., Robert Bieder, Jon Beuttler, Jess Dannhauser, Javier Lopez and Steve Ritz.

We feel extremely honored to have had seven luminaries join us from New York City who are all passionate about where they all work, The Bronx.  This is a very important roundtable discussion to hear for those people interested in learning about the passion and commitment of the civic, education, and business leaders of The Bronx and her constituents – and it’s also a great venue to see their real life challenges and triumphs of promoting and implementing greening policies as well:

Fueled by a passionate and committed Bronx Borough President, Ruben Diaz Jr., it is common knowledge that the Bronx is leading NYC in embracing green technologies and the green economy. To wit, the policies and educational initiatives underway in and of the Bronx are making dramatic strides in the quality of life and opportunities for all residents with concentric benefits and ripples felt citywide, statewide and nationally.

This panel featuring: a State Senator, noted business leader, NYC project manager, health care manager, social service providers and a dedicated educator speaks to triple bottom line benefits, impacts and the uses of green roofs, green walls, and urban agriculture as highly replicable, critical components to creating and leveraging social equity and economic and educational opportunities in challenging times.

“Greenroofs & Walls for Educational & Social Equity in the Bronx” Panel
Robert BiederBronx, NY, USA. Robert Bieder is a third generation Bronx businessman who, with his family, owns and operates Westchester Square Plumbing Supply where this past December they had installed solar panels and reduced their electric costs by 60%. In addition, they are a leading distributor of water and fuel saving devices. Bob is also a member of the Bronx Coalition for Parks & Greenspaces, Chairman of the Bronx Merchants Coalition, and a member of Bronx Community Board 10.

Bob is the Moderator for “Greenroofs & Walls for Educational & Social Equity in the Bronx.”

Jon BeuttlerNew York, NY, USA. Jonathan Beuttler is a Project Manager in the Division of New Construction of the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), the largest municipal developer of affordable housing in the nation. Prior to joining HPD, Jonathan wrote successful grant proposals for urban farming start-ups and policy proposals supporting growth in the urban farming industry. Jonathan has worked at the Department of Citywide Administrative Services, the Fashion Center Business Improvement District and is a return Peace Corps volunteer.
Jess DannhauserNew York, NY, USA. Jess Dannhauser is Graham Windham‘s Senior Vice President for Program Performance and Planning. Jess came to Graham Windham from the Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) where he had been serving as the Associate Commissioner for Performance Measurement, Monitoring and Improvement. As Associate Commissioner, he was in charge of ACS’s performance measurement and consultation system which aims to drive performance improvements in all of New York City’s non-profit child welfare agencies. He has extensive experience in New York City agencies as the former Chief of Staff for Commissioner John Mattingly and the Special Assistant to now Deputy Mayor Linda Gibbs when she was Commissioner at the Department of Homeless Services. Jess received his Master’s of Social Work from the University of California, Berkeley and his BA in Psychology from Duke University.
Ruben Diaz, Jr.Bronx, NY, USA. Elected Bronx Borough President in the Special Election on April 21st, 2009, Ruben Diaz Jr., previously served in the New York State Assembly since 1997, representing the 85th Assembly District. He demonstrated passion for constituent service, social advocacy and community empowerment balanced with support for sensible, green economic development and job creation programs. He sponsored and secured passage of important and innovative laws to address the consequences of the intolerable levels of asthma in the South Bronx, healthcare insurance fraud, and quality of life concerns. Throughout his seven terms in the State Legislature, Ruben Diaz Jr. was a champion for working families in the Bronx. A staunch defender of the environment, he is a leading voice against environmental racism and injustice. He graduated from Lehman College, City University of New York, with a Bachelors degree in political theory.

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. was interviewed after the panel session for Greenroofs.com at the Bronx County Courthouse.

Javier LopezNew York, NY, USA. Javier Lopez is the Director of the New York City Strategic Alliance for Health (SAfH). SAfH is a consortium of advocates, community activists, organizations and professionals with an interest in lessening the impact of obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease in Northern Manhattan, North and Central Brooklyn, and the South Bronx. The goal of the consortium is to develop local obesity prevention policy, system, environmental changes that can be adopted citywide. Javier has a BA from the State University of New York at Albany and a Master’s of Public Administration from Baruch College where he was also named a member of the National Urban Fellow program. In 2007 he was named a member of Cornell University’s “Strength through Diversity” Young Professionals Leadership Program.
Gustavo RiveraBronx, NY, USA. New York State Senator Gustavo Rivera was born in Santurce, Puerto Rico and graduated from the University of Puerto Rico. In 1998, Rivera came to New York to begin a doctoral program in political science at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. He has lived in the Bronx for ten years. Gustavo Rivera was elected State Senator for New York Senate District 33 in November of 2010. The 33rd Senate District consists of the Northwest Bronx including Kingsbridge Heights, East Tremont, Crotona Park, Fordham, Bedford Park and parts of Riverdale. As a State Senator, Gustavo Rivera has been working to change the way business is done in the legislature and to ensure that the families of the 33rd Senate District have a voice in Albany. In addition to serving as a State Senator, Gustavo Rivera continues to serve as an adjunct professor at Pace University, where he teaches courses in political science. For the last ten years, Rivera has also served as a faculty member and mentor for “Somos el Futuro,” the annual Model State Senate program sponsored by CUNY, SUNY, the NY State Assembly, and the Puerto Rican Hispanic Task.
Steve RitzBronx, NY, USA. Stephen Ritz is an acclaimed NYC DOE educator/administrator whose work in the Bronx continues to attract national attention and support. To date, he has grown more than 20,000 pounds of Bronx vegetables with his extended Bronx Family – the youngest certified workforce in America – who operate a profitable, in school, student Farmers Market and routinely install green walls and green roofs across NYC/NYS. Steve continually champions living wage opportunities along with stellar academic results for his students and his work has been recognized and celebrated by CNN, NBC, ABC, NY Academy of Medicine, US EPA, USS Intrepid, United Nations amongst others. Learn more about him and support his newest vision on Facebook and YouTube.

The “Greenroofs & Walls for Educational & Social Equity in the Bronx” video was filmed at the Bronx office of State Senator Gustavo Rivera in September, 2011. Enjoy!  Visit greenroofs.tv to see “Greenroofs & Walls for Educational & Social Equity in the Bronx” or click below:

Next week on January 21st, 2012, Bronx educator Steve Ritz will be presenting at the sold-out  TEDxManhattan on this very subject.  See him at right, standing next to one of the GLT Mobile Edible Wall Units – full of fresh herbs and veggies -which he uses in his classrooms.  (See Caroline Menetre‘s related “GLT in NYC: A Weekend of Training, Education, & Fun”  Sky Gardens Blog post of January 21, 2011.)

Congratulations, Steve!

Watch earlier videos on our exclusive Virtual Summit greenroofs.tv playlist, or see the following Virtual Summit videos now available on our GreenroofsTV channel on YouTube:

If you’re looking for an overview, make sure to see our  2011 Virtual Summit Highlights video (6:18) and our  2011 Virtual Summit Trailer (2:59).

Check back next week on GreenroofsTV for our 6th installment from the Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011!

~ Linda V.

Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011: Don’t Miss 7 Expert Panels!

September 8, 2011 at 1:32 am

Last week I told you about our Keynote Speakers for the Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011 –  Andrew Grant, Charlie Miller, Ed Snodgrass and Ralph Velasquez –  awesome thinkers, designers, trend setters, eco-luminaries all of them!  And among others, we have French botanist and modern green wall pioneer  Patrick Blanc, whom I’m interviewing this afternoon in Chicago…

See the GGW Virtual Summit  Speakers page and  Agenda to learn all about each presenter and their presentations or the panel sessions.

Speaking of our panel sessions, we have seven very distinct, innovative, and important collaborations that you are sure to enjoy and learn from personal experiences of movers and shakers in their respective fields from international non-profit, private and university level to U.S state, city, and borough level to professional association, private enterprise, and corporate experiences.

Click on the photos or titles to learn more about each  scheduled  time slot on the Agenda and each individual  – they all have live Question & Answer sessions afterwards, so don’t miss them to pick their brains on how they are  succeeding  in greening our roofs and walls:

Biodiversity and Greenroofs” above  left to right:  Christine Thuring (Moderator),  Nathalie Baumann, Dusty Gedge,  and  Gary Grant discuss original research and unique experiences, from field work upwards to bigger picture perspectives, as well as corresponding experiences with legislation on urban nature conservation.

Christine is moderating the panel on “Biodiversity and Green Roofs” where she also speaks about her research on plant community development and ecological processes on extensive green roofs with time.  Nathalie speaks about “Green Roofs / Natural Roofs = Biodiverse Habitats and Ecological Compensation in Urban Space: 15 Years of Experience in Switzerland.”  Dusty speaks about “Designing and Working for Biodiversity on Green Roofs for Over 10 Years.”  And Gary speaks about “My First Biodiverse Green Roof in 1992, Considerations for Planning and Design and Some Thoughts on the Future.”

 

Greenroofs & Walls for Educational & Social Equity in the Bronx” above left to right:  Robert Bieder (Moderator), Jon Beuttler, Jess Dannhauser, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., Javier Lopez, New York State Senator Gustavo Rivera, and Steve Ritz.  Fueled by a passionate and committed Bronx Borough President, Ruben Diaz Jr., it is common knowledge that the Bronx is leading NYC in embracing green technologies and the green economy. To wit, the policies and educational initiatives underway in and of the Bronx are making dramatic strides in the quality of life and opportunities for all residents with concentric benefits and ripples felt citywide, statewide and nationally.

This panel featuring: a State Senator, noted business leader, NYC project manager, health care manager, social service providers and a dedicated educator speaks to triple bottom line benefits, impacts and the uses of green roofs, green walls, and urban agriculture as highly replicable, critical components to creating and leveraging social equity and economic and educational opportunities in challenging times.

 

The Portland Ecoroof Program: A Cross-section of the Green Roof Movement in Portland, Oregon” above left to right:  Tom Liptan, Matt Burlin, Amy Chomowicz, Casey Cunningham, and Alice Meyers.  The Portland Ecoroof Program started in 1996 when a city employee constructed an experimental ecoroof on his garage.  From this small start, the program has grown and as of July 2011 there are over 420 green roofs of varying sizes, on all types of buildings, from multi-story apartment complexes and commercial buildings to humble sheds, kiosks, and garages.  These green roofs cover nearly 30 acres of Portland rooftops (extensive and intensive roofs).

The Portland Ecoroof Program consists of technical support, incentives, education, policies, and research.  The program is incentive-based rather than regulatory, and the city’s policies reflect this approach.  This presentation provides an overview of how these program elements work with the private sector and general public to sustain the green roof movement in Portland.

 

Vertical Agriculture: A Global Movement Starts Locally, from Walls & Roofs to Table” above  left to right:  George Irwin (Moderator), U.S. Congressman Tom Reed, and Tom Ferraro.  Urban agriculture is on the rise globally – up the walls and on rooftops.  Fresh, local crops benefit the entire community for many reasons.

U.S. Congressman Tom Reed from the 29th district of New York, Tom Ferraro, CEO of Foodlink – a national network of 200 food banks – and George Irwin, CEO of Green Living Technologies International (GLTi), provide interactive conversation and commentary concerning the impact of education, economics and opportunity around local food production with green walls and roofs.  Rochester-based GLTi started in New York City and has since grown nationally and internationally through education and collaborative hands-on projects with local youth, the underprivileged and disadvantaged in New York and Los Angeles and with business partnerships in Santiago, Dubai, and beyond to include their Food Factory and more.

 

Wind. Water. Heat. Grow. Greenroofs.” above left to right:  Dr. Bill Retzlaff, David Aponte, Kevin Songer, and Joe Webb.  Greenroofs are impacted by wind, water and heat on an unrelenting basis.  Through wind trials and real hurricane survival stories in Houston, TX, Jacksonville, FL, Edwardsville, IL, and Puerto Rico, we have met those challenges and will discuss various projects’ responses and successes to Hurricanes Ike and (any others?).  Drought, hot winds, and unseasonable 100 ° days can also quickly desiccate or kill greenroof plants.

Dr. Bill Retzlaff moderates discussing wind studies and plant trials for greenroofs at SIUE. Joe Webb talks about his project which endured 110 to 120 mph winds and 11″ of rain in 24 hours and shares water mapping and Living Building Challenge Water requirements.  Kevin Songer talks about the Outdoor Turbine Hurricane Simulator at the University of Florida, water conservation through ‘nature-based irrigation design,’ and the importance of biodiversity.  David Aponte speaks to his experience of engineering and designing greenroofs with the correct growing media and plants in hurricane-prone, sub-tropical Puerto Rico.

 

Greenroofs: Wind & Fire” Panel above  left to right:  Kelly Luckett, Mike Ennis, and Jim Kirby.  No longer can the green roof be deleted from a project due to failure to comply with the fire code.  After three years in the making from members of Single Ply Roofing Industry in cooperation with Green Roofs for Healthy Cities (GRHC), we now have a green roof design guide for minimizing the risk of fire on green roofs.  The securing of a place in mainstream construction through the International Code Council (ICC) has resulted in a milestone for the North American green roof movement. Fire concerns are only half of the code story as the wind design guide is still progressing through the ANSI process – we must overcome both the wind and the fire obstacle.

Kelly Luckett, President of Green Roof Blocks, moderates and shares his experiences representing GRHC with the consensus based ANSI/SPRI VF-1 and RP-14 standards.  Jim Kirby, NRCA’s AED, Technical Communications, provides NRCA commentary about building codes, vegetative roofs and RP-14.  Mike Ennis, Technical Director for SPRI, speaks to SPRI’s leadership leadership in the development of fire and wind standards and experience in the building code arena.

 

And, because the panel sessions weren’t stirring enough, we’ve ended with the “Green Roofs Without the Hype” Panel above left to right:  Patrick Carey, Dr. Robert Berghage, Charlie Miller, and Ed Snodgrass.  Here are four people with the knowledge to speak frankly about the current state of affairs in green roofing.  This panel focuses on the designation and evaluation of expertise, appropriate background and training, roadblocks to research and education, design origination and control, chain of custody issues, installation, and the residential market.

We hope you join us for this very interactive virtual experience – think film festival meets 2-day  webinar  and online expo extravaganza!

Pre-register or learn more by visiting:    virtual.greenroofs.com.  Don’t forget to pre-register by this Friday, September 9  for the discounted Early Bird rate of  only $49 ($25 for students/faculty and government professionals).

Brought to you by  Greenroofs.com, we’d like to thank to our Virtual Summit Sponsors TREMCO (Rare Earth) and  American Hydrotech (Emerald) and our Exhibitors and Media Partners – make sure to visit them at the  Expo Pavilions.

See you online on September 27 & 28, 2011!

~ Linda V.