December 2010 updates from some of the Green Needham partner organizations…

Needham Community Farm

The NCF recently submitted an NEF Large Grant application for $15,000 to fund farm-based curriculum development at the Nike site (assuming the NCF is awarded the license to use the Nike site).  The proposed programming would be focused on grades 6-12 but would also include some elementary curriculum that would build on the elementary school garden curriculum that is currently being developed by the Needham Science Center.

If awarded the Nike site license, the NCF will kick-off a fundraising campaign in the Spring of 2011 to help pay for the start-up costs and operational needs of the farm (Farmer, Educator, water line, soil amendments, etc.)  The NCF is looking for volunteers to help with marketing and fundraising.

Green Kids

The Green Kids Committees at each of the public elementary schools, and St. Joes, have been busy planning and implementing fun programs that promote environmental awareness. This year’s Green Kids theme is “Endangered Habitats.”  Earth Day events will be focused on this theme as will many of the Green Kids programs planned for the year.

Ongoing and new programs that Green Kids parent volunteers and elementary school students are working on include:  No Idling Campaigns, Nike Reuse-a-Shoe Collection, Walking School Bus, Junk Mail Reduction Campaign, and School Recycling.  

Needham Farmers Market Initiative

In responding to a recent web-based survey, over 300 residents of Needham (99% of those responding) said that they want a farmers’ market. Residents said in the survey that in addition to fresh, locally grown produce, they would be drawn by crafts, music and kids’ activities. With advice from the Mass. Dept. of Agricultural Resources, the Federation of Mass. Farmers Markets, and the director of the Newton farmers’ markets, a group has begun the planning process. This involves finding a site, contracting with farmers, and countless other details. A steering committee will meet on January 10th to discuss these details and how other towns began their markets. While selling fresh, locally grown produce is a top priority, a broader goal is to build community here. Experience with existing farmers markets in Massachusetts demonstrates that local businesses, as well as local farmers and supermarkets, would benefit from a Needham Farmers Market.

Needham Bikes

Needham Bikes received a grant from Charles River Wheelmen to add signage to South Street to make car and bike traffic safer.

Contact: Tad Staley

Bay Colony Rail Trail

In January, the Boston Metropolitan Planning Organization will begin its feasibility study of Bay Colony Rail Trail between Needham and Medfield. This is the critical step in the process of getting the three towns engaged and supportive of the rail trail project. With a positive report, we expect to be able to move forward, working together with each town along the trail.

Contact: Tad Staley

Dec 2010 meeting – partner project updates

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