MEET THE 2021
Chimney swift towers
Reilly works for the Yellow Springs News and is a member of the Environmental Commission. He will be working on researching best practices to provide alternative habitat for displaced chimney swifts. Unfortunately, their village habitats are slated for removal as part of demolition and renovation projects. The hope is to involve a variety of local stakeholders — including ornithologists, local business owners, conservation organizations, local artists and the Yellow Springs schools — to make plans and secure funding to erect chimney swift towers in time for their return in the summer of 2022. These little cigar-shaped birds are a symbol of resilience, adapting to nest in chimneys when their original nesting locations — hollow trees in old-growth forests — became scarce due to human development. Humans are also going to have to adapt to changing con
Sponsoring Elise Bongorno and Violet Matteson, composting at YSSD
As fourth graders, Yellow Springs school district students Elise Bongorno and Violet Matteson — now in sixth grade — spearheaded an initiative to compost food scraps from their classroom at Mills Lawn Elementary School. Partnering with Agraria, these students recovered many pounds of food scraps, turning them into nutrient dense composting material. These two passionate students will work with Alexandra Klug, the land manager at Agraria, to restart the previous composting program and expand it in order to teach more students the importance and process of composting. The goal is to recover and compost all food waste from the school district, process it at the Agraria campus and redistribute it to local gardens.
Community seed library
Florentina is about to start an Ed.D. program in environmental and sustainability education at Antioch University with a dissertation project centered around developing a seed library. She is passionate about regenerative agriculture — especially seed sovereignty — as a way to preserve Indigenous knowledge, build community resilience and strengthen regional food systems. As Florentina wrote in her application: “Seed libraries empower communities to protect and grow food supplies, exchange knowledge, preserve culture, improve health and build resilience.” Florentina will be working to start a community seed library. This project will be supported by Beth Bridgeman from Antioch College and Dana Knot, head librarian at Antioch University
On behalf of the Habitat Team, rain gardens
Zach is new to the community, joining Yellow Springs as the land manager for the Glen Helen Association in May of 2021. He has served as a conservation specialist for multiple organizations working on wetland delineations, floristic surveys, adult and youth environmental education, storm water permitting, and water quality monitoring. Zach will work as a Sustainability Champion on behalf of the habitat team to bring together stakeholders to develop plans for creating rain gardens as a strategy for stormwater mitigation, erosion control, and to increase wildlife and pollinator habitat in the village.
Local food planning
Nancy is an active YS community member who serves on the Environmental Commission. As a Sustainability Champion, she’ll be surveying businesses and residents to understand what percentage of food consumed in the village is locally grown, the capacity of local farms and gardens to feed our population, and strategies to increase capacity to grow local food to meet projected needs. As Nancy wrote in her application: “It is important for YS to minimize or eliminate reliance on outside sources for food,” as building our local food economy is one of the most important ways we can improve our community’s resilience in preparation for changing weather patterns and resultant food shortages predicted as a result of global climate change.
Vickie is a longtime villager and champion of sustainability, having served as president of the Green Environmental Coalition. Vickie’s Sustainability Champion project will be a continuation of the work she started with the Zero Waste Committee of the Yellow Springs Resiliency Network in 2015. She will be working with local business owners to research to-go ware usage in the village. The goal is to gain an understanding of what single-use products are being used, how many, and by whom, so policy can be crafted to reduce these waste streams based on a thorough understanding of the current usage
SUSTAINABILITY CHAMPIONS APPLICATION
Friday 8/27 - Applications Open
Friday 9/10 @ 5 pm – Applications Close
Saturday 9/11-Monday 9/20 – Follow-up interviews with finalists (as needed), selection by the Environmental Commission
Monday 9/20 – Sustainability Champions notified
Thursday 9/30 – Sustainability Champions announced in the Down to Earth column of the YS News.
Questions? View FAQ'S
This opportunity is available to all who live, work, worship, go to school, or volunteer within the Village of Yellow Springs. Applicants of any age are welcome to apply, but any applicant under the age of 18 must co-apply with an adult sponsor. Groups and individuals are welcome to apply, and applicants are welcome to submit multiple projects.
We’re looking for passionate individuals who have a great idea for a sustainability project that would have a positive impact in the community. Preference will be given to projects that have the highest potential for making a positive impact and that can achieve results within 2021, or that would lay significant groundwork towards achieving a larger goal in the future. Projects will be prioritized based on how much inclusion as a Sustainability Champion would benefit the potential for success.
Sustainability Champions will get the opportunity to spearhead a community project, working alongside community leaders and experts to bring their project to life, under the umbrella of the Climate Action & Sustainability Plan. Sustainability Champions will be guided and supported in their project by the CASP Coordinator, and other community leaders or organizations based on the needs of each individual project.
The application to become a Sustainability Champion consists of 9 questions, with responses to each limited to 100 words.
If you feel that additional words or attachments are needed to submit with your application, or for specific questions surrounding the application format, language, etc… please email all relevant information or requests to SustainableYellowSprings@gmail.com with the subject “Sustainability Champions Application”.
I have more than one project idea, can I submit them both?
I missed the application window, but I have a really good idea! How do I get help with this?
Since the Climate Action & Sustainability Plan is currently only funded through the end of this year, right now we’re only able to accept projects during this window to give them enough time to achieve results by the end of the calendar year. But the hope is that we can expand upon this pilot project in the future. If you missed the window or weren’t selected, you can still get involved by joining a subcommittee related to the goals of your project, and maybe even meet like-minded people who want to help make it happen! Click here to join a subcommittee.
What happens after 2021? Will you be having Sustainability Champions again?
The hope is that these Sustainability Champions projects are just the start, and that this pilot program can be expanded in 2022 if the CASP is funded beyond its current pilot period. Help us make sure that happens by getting involved in the CASP process by joining a subcommittee and helping us write the CASP.
I want to use this opportunity to fulfill a volunteer/internship/class project requirement, can this count?
We can absolutely work with you to try and make this fit with any outside requirements, just make sure to detail what those requirements are in your application.
What happens if I don’t get picked? I still want to do my project…
We totally understand, and thank you for your passion and perseverance! All project submissions will be documented, and included in suggested projects to consider when writing the Climate Action & Sustainability Plan. So we may still want to do them eventually, just not yet. And of course you don’t need to be chosen as a Sustainability Champion to try and see your project through. But we have limited capacity, and thus can only spend our time helping so many people bring their projects to life during this time period.