With this past year jam packed with events and activities, hopefully you were able to participate at one of our many hosted venues.
We think the list is impressive and cover our 4 main areas of focus of Water, Watts, Waste and WoW:
• “Pedal Power” exhibit at the Los Altos History Museum
• Creek Cleanups
• Bike valet parking
• GreenTalks community discussions
• Cyclecide Bike Carnival
• The styrofoam ban
• reCycle Bike Drives
• Energy Day at the Farmers’ Market
• The Glass Pumpkin Patch
• The Farm to Table dinner.
Where did the year go? I am impressed with the dedication and commitment people have in making Los Altos and Los Altos Hills a better place for today and future generations. Of course, we could not have done all these things without support from our community, both donors and volunteers. Thank you for being part of GreenTown Los Altos.
During 2014, there are a few things to highlight and people to recognize.
If you enjoyed the history museum exhibit “Pedal Power, From Wacky to Workhorse”, then give a special thanks to Gary Hedden and his team of GreenTown Los Altos volunteers who organized, planned and executed the delightful display of 25 local bikes from around the Bay Area. The museum reports that the exhibit attendance was impressive when compared with past exhibits. No wonder the number of bicyclists increased at valet parking during our community events , along with WoW (Walk or Wheel) students who averaged 43% in elementary, 67% in middle schools, and both high schools reported record number of students biking to school. Biking and walking is becoming the preferred method of travel around town for many families.
The big story in California, and on everyone’s mind, this year is the drought. Thanks to Kit Gordon and her water team, we had a number of community talks on water wise gardens, grey water systems, rain water catching, and drought tolerant plants at the Los Altos Library community room. Besides the incredible speakers, GreenTown Los Altos volunteers picked up over 200 lbs of unwanted material from Permanente Creek. I heard a few volunteers remark how much debris was in the creek in September during coastal cleanup day given they participated in May’s creek cleanup. Now that single use plastic bags are banned in California, and styrofoam in Los Altos and Los Altos Hills, we are hoping cigarette butts and plastic straw covers on juice drinks join the banned list as we continue to find these two things more than anything else in the creek.
Of course, a major part of our successful events are the volunteers, people like you and your neighbors, who sign up at our events or donate to support them. Besides our program leaders, there are three people in particular that create a wonderful experience for volunteers. I am referring to Maddy McBirney, Margene Filson, and Jana Schlansker. Each one of them has a special role to identify and organize volunteers for our events. Also, a special thank you to Maddy and John McBirney for supporting GreenTown in so many ways. It was Maddy’s vision to organize the first, of what will be annual, Glass Pumpkin Patch in September in addition to the Cyclecide bike carnival. The pumpkin patch is a great way to showcase glass art in our community. Please visit next year to see the remarkable glass sculptures.
As you can tell, GreenTown Los Altos is a special group of folks. We are in the planning stages for our 2015 events calendar. There is even talk of us being part of the holiday of lights parade next year. I look forward to meeting you at one of our many 2015 events.
Executive Director, GreenTown Los Altos