“Shaping a Local Green Economy” in Worcester

posted by Mike on November 19th, 2009

Last night there was a forum on “Shaping a Local Green Economy” at Clark University in Worcester.

People experimenting with Worcester green initiatives, along with institutional players, spoke briefly about their work. The keynote speaker was Omar Freilla of the Bronx-based Green Worker Cooperatives.

My video of the event was only so-so, so I’m posting the audio of the Worcester speakers here for anyone curious about the range of local green things happening.

mp3 link, more formats

The Worcester speakers were:

  • Joel Fontaine, Worcester’s Director of Planning and Regulatory Services. Worcester has “adopted the state’s first climate action plan.”
  • Stephen O’Neil of the Worcester Regional Transit Authority. The bus system is seeking ISO 14001 certification of their Environmental Management System.
  • Patricia Feraud, Toxic Soil Busters Co-op. TSB, part of the Worcester Roots Project, is a youth-led project that tests lawns for lead contamination and deals with the problem when they find it.
  • Julius Jones of the Regional Environmental Council. Julius works on projects that manage community gardens and teach young people how to grow and sell food in their neighborhoods. The “overall vision is to have community gardens within walking distance of anybody that wants one.”
  • Jill Dagilis of the Worcester Community Action Council. WCAC would like to “reduce and eliminate the reliance on fuel assistance” by increased weatherization.
  • Clark Provost David Angel. Clark is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 20% below 1995 levels by 2010, and to be “climate-neutral by 2030.”
  • Mary Knittle of Quinsigamond Community College. QCC will have a regional training center for clean energy jobs.
  • Stacie Brimmage and Ashey Trull of the Worcester Energy Barnraisers. At their events, people learn weatherizing by joining dozens of others in weatherizing a local building. (I made a short video of their last event.)
  • Stephen Healy of the Worcester Green Jobs Coalition.
  • Sarah Assefa of the EMPOWER Energy Cooperative. EMPOWER is a business that plans to make biodiesel out of local waste vegetable oil.

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