Our past projects have included:

  • Needham 2011 Summit on Energy and the Environment – Over 150 residents, elected and appointed officials and municipal staff participated a community-wide conversation on our future. Featured speakers
    • Mark Sylvia, Commissioner, MA Dept. of Energy Resources,
    • Anthony Brooks, host of WBUR’s Radio Boston and
    • Michael Greis, Green Needham Chair

    discussed the Massachusetts Clean Energy and Climate 2020 plan and the roles of the state and communities in achieving it. Break-out sessions prepared and guided by local college and high school students generated and discuss ideas on what Needham could be in 2020 and how we might get there.

  • Promoting Home Energy Assessments – Having a home energy assessment and following up on the recommendations is one of the ways we can all save energy, money and create a more sustainable community. Green Needham was selected by NStar to participate in a community pilot program to significantly increase the number of households getting energy assessments and taking follow-up action. The Home Energy Savings (HES) team was formed during this project to continue the work on an ongoing basis.
  • 10% Energy Challenge – This Green Needham flagship project supported Needham residents in reducing their energy use and carbon footprint by 10%. Over 900 families participated, identifying and committing to steps that they could take to save energy and money. Multiple Needham businesses made investments to reduce their energy use. In October, 2012, Green Needham will present a plaque to the Town commemorating the contributions of these organizations and businesses to making Needham a more sustainable community.
  • Wind Power Feasibility Study – This project was planned to install a meteorological tower at the RTS to gather wind data over a one year period. The data was to be analyzed to generate a business case for the installation of a wind turbine that would generate power for the Newman School. The project was not completed because of objections from a nearby business.
  • Home Energy Efficiency Improvements – This 2008-2010 project worked to make it much easier for Needham residents to identify and implement high-value home energy efficiency improvements. It targeted the key barriers preventing people from taking advantage of opportunities that would reduce their energy use, save money and increase their comfort and the value of their homes. The approach used in this
    project paved the way for Green Needham’s participation in the NStar Community Challenge.
  • Green Community – Enabling Needham to qualify as a Massachusetts Green Community. Qualifying as a Green Community would mean energy and dollar savings for the Town, would qualify the Town to receive grants funds from the Green Communities Program, and could be used to attract residents and businesses to locate in Needham.
  • LWV Fall Forum – Green Needham has been a regular co-sponsor of the Needham League of Women Voters fall forum, a community event that has focused on sustainability by hosting prominent, thought-provoking speakers paired with workshops and related local organizations.
    • 2009 Fall Forum – Paul Lukez, author of Suburban Transformations
    • 2008 Fall Forum – Frances Moore Lappe, international food activist
    • 2007 Fall Forum – Global Warming: How you can make a difference
  • Needham Community Solar Challenge – This successful project earned Needham a 2kW solar array that was installed
    at the new High Rock School and accumulated, through donations to the New England Wind Fund, over $21,000 in community matching funds toward alternative energy and education projects. The Big Belly solar trash compactors around town were purchased with these funds.
  • Needham Public Schools initiatives
    • Eco-Explorers – Needham Public Schools, with the support of community partners including Green Needham, received an EPA Eco-Explorers grant for 2010 -2012 to help teachers incorporate outdoor environmental education practices and to encourage Needham students to become environmental stewards.
    • Schools-based groups:
      • Green Kids (Elementary PTCs)
      • PEAT – Pollard Environmental Action Team
      • High School Environmental Club
    • Walk to School / Safe Routes to School – Encouraging and supporting Needham students and families to walk to school
    • NEF/Green Needham/NPS Collaborative Initiative – Green Needham was an early advocate for developing project-based interdisciplinary offerings at Needham High School. The resulting collaboration between the Needham Education Foundation and the Needham Public Schools has led to a planned interdisciplinary course pilot in the 2013-14 school year.
    • Needham RTS & Needham Public Schools – Expanded Recycling Program
  • Outreach and education
  • Transportation – Collaborations to build a more sustainable transportation infrastructure in and around Needham, including
  • Needham Community Farm – A center for environmental education for the Needham community, with a focus on farm-based learning as a tool to reconnect with the source of our food, and promote sustainable living practices.
  • Municipal projects and collaborations
    • EPA Community Energy Challenge
    • Town of Needham’s Xeriscape Landscaping
    • Needham RTS & Needham Public Schools – Expanded Recycling Program
    • Needham RTS Pilot Food Waste Composting Program