Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Engaged Roosevelt Island Hosting Eco-Ambassador Meet Up Wednesday February 5, You're Invited To Learn About RI Environmental Sustainability Efforts - Watch Video Of Earlier RI Community Sustainability Conversation

Engaged Roosevelt Island was formed last year:
... to promote environmental understanding and boost sustainable practices on Roosevelt Island. Throughout the year there will be engagement events to foster collaboration with residents, community groups, schools, building managers, island businesses, RIOC, RIRA and elected officials toward a cleaner and healthier neighborhood.
Engaged Roosevelt Island is hosting its third event Wednesday evening, February 5, from 6:30 - 7:30 PM at Good Shepherd Chapel (543 Main Street):
  • with an Eco-Ambassadors Meet Up for sustainable planning, 
  • review of survey results (take the survey here) and 
  • to hear smart sorting tips from Sanitation Expert Sam Sepulveda. 
You're invited to attend.

The following week, Wednesday February 12, Engaged Roosevelt Island will host a:
... conversation to promote environmental understanding. Join us to acknowledge and learn about nature and green spaces on Roosevelt Island.

Let’s design the neighborhood we want, one that’s healthy for us and for the earth. Share your ideas for next step solutions to issues important to you....

Engaged Roosevelt Island adds:
Cornell Tech has received an Engaged Opportunity Grant from Cornell University's Office of Engagement Initiatives to collaborate with Roosevelt Island residents, community groups, schools, building managers, Roosevelt Island businesses, RIOC, RIRA, CUCE-NYC, and elected officials toward a cleaner and healthier neighborhood. The goal of this grant is to promote environmental understanding and boost sustainable practices on Roosevelt Island. The grant covers a year of community planning, in addition to furthering support for these organizations’ existing programming to directly engage with more Roosevelt Island residents.

The second event supported by this grant was a free community gathering, ​Hot Chocolate & Conversations,​ to listen to neighbors’ ideas and share resources. In an effort to bridge and connect both the north and south ends of the island, the event was held at The Sanctuary at 851 Main Street, thanks to Frank ”Turtle” Raffaele and Tom Chernaik.

The ​Hot Chocolate & Conversations​ event aimed to be a creative catalyst for the community, featuring diverse speakers such as: Beacon program 6t​ h​ grade students, an OPEN DOORS poet from Coler Hospital, RIRA, RIOC, Cornell Tech, NYPL, GrowNYC, the Manhattan Borough President’s Office (MBPO), RIGC, GRIN, Girl Scouts, and local residents---all of whom shared important stories, concerns, commitments and the latest news.

Participants mingled and visited participatory areas to record solution-based ideas for Roosevelt Island. The event had tables for both local and global information about the Engaged RI grant, the RI Green Map, Roosevelt Island Nature, Composting, Library resources, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s), and Project Drawdown. Throughout the evening, attendees received free giveaways including Drawdown books, reusable coffee tumblers, iDig2Learn upcycled fabric totes created by RI seniors, stylish kitchen compost pails, and small indoor plants. Attendees also enjoyed hot chocolate or tea in mugs they brought from home to support low waste.

Tying into the Six Transformations of the Sustainable Development Goals, Chris Gassman of RIRA shared the importance of organizing around the Engaged RI planning, guided by principles including “Leave No One Behind”. Nearly every hand went up each time the audience was polled on the importance of example topics: health, climate action, and decent work, illustrating, like the inaugural event did, that Engaged RI is focused on fostering relevant conversations and practices.

In addition to the ongoing Coat Drive offered by RIOC at Public Safety this month, local library employee Sasha Jones shared news of an unused holiday card collection drive to benefit the New York Public Library program on Rikers Island where incarcerated patrons can use the cards to write home during the holidays. Ysabel Abreu of the MBPO gave out reusable bags and shared news of a NYC diaper collection in Manhattan while Lisa Fernandez of the Carter Burden Network Senior Center offered to host a collection bin on Roosevelt Island to boost participation.

To share your ideas with this initiative, please fill out ​our online survey​ or reach out to Jane Swanson at ​Jane.Swanson@cornell.edu​ ​ or (646) 632-4907.

Work funded by the Opportunity Grant began this fall and will continue through Summer 2020.
The first Engaged Roosevelt Island event was a November 14, 2019 Zero Waste Workshop (Watch video of workshop here) followed by the December 11 Hot Chocolate & Sustainability Conversation at The Sanctuary event space/restaurant.

Here's video from the Engaged Roosevelt Island Hot Chocolate & Sustainability Conversation.

Cornell Tech's Jane Swanson, RIRA's Chris Gassman, Roosevelt Island Garden Club's Julia Ferguson and Roosevelt Island Girl Scout Troop Leader Aiesha Eleusizov explain the importance of sustainable practices.

Roosevelt Island PS/IS 217 Beacon Youth Center kids describe their sustainability efforts.

Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) describe their sustainability initiatives.

Grow NYC Food Scrap Composting at Roosevelt Island's Farmers Market every Saturday.

Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) and Child Center of NY Beacon representatives discuss Sustainability efforts.

Learn more about sustainability at New York Public Library Roosevelt Island branch.

If you have not done so already, please take the Engaged Roosevelt Island Survey.