Posted February 3, 2012 by Transition Mid-atlantic
Categories: Environmental, Food Sustainability


Back to the Garden


  • Permaculture Talk
  • Land Use Cooperatives Discussion
  • Tool Exchange
  • Seed Exchange

When: Friday, March 2, 2012
7:30-9:30 PM

Where: Woodstock Dutch Reformed Church
16 Tinker St, Woodstock, NY
Cost:     Admission by donation


When: March 17-18, 2012

What:  Training for For Transition (T4T)
Transition U.S. is offering the Training for Transition Course developed by the Transition Network and taught around the world. This participatory, 15-hour course is an in-depth experiential introduction to the theories and practices of Transition where we:

  • Explore ways of increasing community resilience
  • Learn to describe the challenges of our times in ways that bring people together and inspire action
  • Receive tools for community outreach, education and creating shared vision
  • Learn ways to work with obstacles that have prevented our communities from responding to the challenges
  • Learn how to facilitate community collaboration — supporting existing leadership and expanding the number and diversity of people involved
  • Meet others in your region who share your concerns and want to transition to greater stability and security
  • Become a part of a rapidly growing positive, inspirational, global movement!

Who should attend: People interested in learning ways to transition their community to greater resilience and sustainability

Where: Marbletown Multi-Arts (MaMA), Stone Ridge, NY

More info and Registration:

Carol Reingold at cflamm@pobox.com or 646-322-0239 and,

David Bruner at dsb@null.net
or 845-309-2162.

OR Register online at: http://www.t4transition.org

More about the Transition Movement:

http://www.TransitionUS.org & http://www.TransitionNetwork.org

Looking forward to a sustainable Woodstock…….AND MID-HUDSON VALLEY


Thursday, Feb 2 is Film Night in Woodstock & Ulster Countywide

Posted January 30, 2012 by Transition Mid-atlantic
Categories: Environmental

Join friends and neighbors this Thursday night at the Colony Arts Cafe, 22 Rock City Road, Woodstock, for a film event that will simultaneously link environmental advocates throughout Ulster County.

Doors open at 6:30 PM, the movie “Fixing the Future” starts at 7:00PM. An engaging community discussion will follow the film.

E-mail WoodstockNYTransition@gmail.com to receive the following:

  • Woodstock Transition Film Showing Press Release
  • Woodstock Transition Film Flyer
  • Ulster countywide Press Release

The Transition environmental movement has gained so much traction in Ulster County over the past year that five Ulster County Transition Initiating Teams will simultaneously show thought-provoking films followed by discussions on Groundhog Day, February 2 in their respective towns.

The synchronized countywide film showing reflects the momentum building in Ulster County environmental collaboration among Kingston, New Paltz, Marbletown, Woodstock and Saugerties. Neighbors have been coming together in response to the Transition Movement’s invitation to build connected, just and sustainable communities.

The Transition Movement is a global, grassroots environmental initiative which provides communities with tools to mobilize their unique local resources and “transition” from fossil fuel dependency to sustainable lifestyles.

Woodstock Transition looks forward to welcoming you at the Colony Arts Cafe this Thursday, February 2 at 6:30PM

Meeting Summary: Managing Woodstock Waste: When We Throw Something Away, WHERE IS AWAY??

Posted January 16, 2012 by Transition Mid-atlantic
Categories: Environmental

Overview of the Transition Movement – Pamela Boyce Simms

The Transition Initiative is a global, grassroots, leaderless, environmental sustainability movement that began in the United Kingdom.

There are currently 382 official initiatives and 458 “muller” (early-stage) initiatives in 34 countries.

Ulster County initiating groups exist in Woodstock, Kingston, Saugerties, New Paltz and Marbletown.

Transition is a local level response to the twin phenomena of climate change and peak oil (Peak Oil – the point at which crude oil extraction can no longer increase and global petroleum production goes into irreversible decline; which occurred in 2006)

There is a recognition that given:

  1. the reality of accelerated climate change, dwindling fossil fuel reserves, and,
  2. how dependent our lifestyles are on easy oil and stable climate…

we’re in for a radical shift in the way we’ve become accustomed to living.

Transition facilitates the shift to simpler, high quality lifestyles with an emphasis on joyful community building and deepening relationships with our neighbors.

The Woodstock Transition Initiating Team is a group of environmental advocates who have come together for a time to offer public awareness sessions on various topics that will need to be addressed locally in order to create a sustainable future.

A large-scale festival will follow the public awareness series, from which will proceed a number of topic-specific working groups. The working groups will take on projects designed to wean Woodstock from fossil fuel dependency and move the town as a whole toward sustainable living.

Opening Exercise – Questions answered in pairs – Polly Howells

  • Can you imagine what the world would be like if we no longer depended on fossil fuels?
  • What are some of the obstacles to creating a world that is free of fossil- fuel dependence?Introduction of Speakers – Kevin Kraft

Panel Presentations
Jonathan Kaplan, Waste Management Services

Opening Question Posed: Are you a stakeholder in solid waste?

Answer: We are all stakeholders in waste management.

Waste Management, a company that employs 55,000 people and has a presence in almost every state as well as internationally, is a landfill revenue generated company.
Company revenue has decreased because there is less waste going into landfills due to the downturn in the economy; especially since 2008.
Waste Management’s CEO speaks of the “Transition” in process which is deeply affecting solid waste companies.

There is a correlated ratio of a society’s prosperity to its waste generation and accumulation.

Waste Management created Strategic Leadership Teams in response to the reduced amount of material being sent to landfills. Company adaptations to recent harsh economic realities have resulted in:

  • the development of innovative ways to find value in discarded material,
  • Waste Management becoming a leader in landfill technology,  creation of the “Eco-plex”: a transfer station hub that acts as an

umbrella for a composting operation, recycling, e-scrap, medical and hazardous waste collection.

Jonathan encouraged the group not to use the word “garbage” which devalues the intrinsic usefulness of discarded material in landfills. An example of the value in discarded material is Waste Management’s collection of landfill gas from decomposing material for conversion it into liquefied, compressed natural gas to fuel company collection vehicles.

Compacting of discarded material is key; in the home, in the collection vehicle, and in the land fill. Landfills are a better bet than burn plants. New York has two modern, responsibly managed “single stream” (mixed recyclables) transfer stations:

  1. High Acres in Rochester and,
  2. Seneca Meadows in Syracuse which is the fourth largest transfer station in the US.

Michelle Bergkamp, Recyling Coordinator, Ulster County Resource Recovery Agency: oversees 15 town transfer stations and a countywide composting pilot program.
The goals of her agency are:

  1. wastereductionand,
  2. the promotion of recycling.

County Waste transfer stations are dual stream facilities. Separation of the recyclables is done at the transfer station. The material is then forwarded for remanufacture into new materials.
Dual stream facilities are more labor intensive operations than single stream plants but produce a higher quality recyclables output. They are receiving less discarded material now because much more is being sent to single stream facilities.

Ulster County transfer stations are hubs of activity where neighbors encounter and spend time with each other.

County Waste accepts hazardous, pharmaceutical, and electronics waste at quarterly events. The next event will take place on April 28.

As of January 1, 2012, electronics are banned from landfills. The Kingston transfer station now therefore accepts electronic material from households and businesses with 50 employees or less Monday through Friday.
The transfer station has an expanded list of acceptable plastic recyclables that includes every type of plastic other than PBC, Styrofoam and black microwavable plastics.

They promote and sell backyard composters.

Mila Funk – a Certified Permaculture Designer from Nurture Nature Designs spoke about what we can do before we get to the point of discarding something.

The average American produces 1,200 lbs of organic material that ends up in the garbage.

This material, including kitchen scraps and yard waste can be used to create rich soil.

People are hesitant to compost because they think the smell will attract animals, namely bears. There isn’t any appreciable smell if composters use the correct ratio of brown matter (such as wood chips, leaves, saw dust), to kitchen waste. The ratio is 30:1, carbon: nitrogen. Carbon produces the energy and nitrogen produces protein.

Worm bins are a composting option. Red worm wigglers, given some moisture and food can produce rich compost in 6-8 weeks.

Sheet mulching creates rich garden soil by layering decomposing matter. the layers consist of : manure, cardboard, [ carbon layer – leaves, hay, wood chips. straw and sawdust], compost/manure and seed-free mulch.

Steve Noble is an Environmental Educator for the city of Kingston who also works with the Kingston Land Trust.

Steve raises awareness among Kingston residents and youth about sustainable lifestyle choices.
In addition to the three “R”s…. Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle, Kingston residents are asked to “Rethink” how the choices they make impact the amount of waste they generate.

Awareness is raised through educational initiatives and activities such as:

  • Measuring Carbon Footprints
  • Climate Action Plans
  • Greenhouse Gas Inventories

Emphasis is placed on habits that citizens can most easily manage, e.g.:

  • creating “litterless lunches”
  • buying products such as laundry detergent in bulk
  • bringing your own shopping containers to stores

Question & Answer Period – Kevin Kraft, Moderator
Comment: Education about how people can change their habits is key. European recycling (detailed separation of brown, green, clear bottles) was offered as an example of how sustainable habits can become ingrained.
Comment: Public water fountains are disappearing Comment: Public water is often undrinkable
Comment: Ulster County schools educate students about the virtue of not using water bottles. They promote student use of “go green bottles”
Comment: Investigate a public awareness campaign about buying bottled water called, “Think Outside of the Bottle.”

Terms clarification:

  • “Mining” a transfer station – pulling valuable materials out of discarded material such as reclaimable metals; which is a labor intensive process
  • MRF – Materials Recycling FacilitDual Stream MFR – facility where fiber is separated from glass and cans
  • Single Stream MRF – facility where recyclables are mixed which does not require consumer separation, does not require consumers to devote so much space to recycling (bins) and therefore increases consumer compliance

Question: Do Waste Management and County Waste make money on recycling?
Answer: Yes

Qualification: County Waste has been at a decided economic
disadvantage to Waste Management since the latter converted to single stream MFRs. County Waste now receives much less discarded material.
Comment: County Waste is a public benefit corporation set up by the NY State legislature with a contract through 2025. The Executive Director of County Waste reports to a Board of five members appointed by the NY state legislature.
Comment: One of County Waste’s roles is to enforce recycling.
Comment: In some NY areas, e.g. Westchester County, recycling reinforcement is so tight that ticketing for violation is a major revenue earner.
Question: Are there enough companies to remanufacture recyclables? Answer: Not in the United States. The material for remanufacture, e.g., cardboard is shipped abroad for remanufacture. The Chinese set the global market price for cardboard.

Session Closing Question – Polly Howells

What in the evening’s discussion inspired group members and/or prompted them to take action?
Some Answers:
…..the fact that discussions like this are happening….. …..community collaboration and learning about what others are doing …..Waste Management’s proactive environmental approach to reinventing itself. …..Catskill Mountainkeeper encourages Woodstock to do community

Announcements – Susan Moran

The next Woodstock Transition Public Awareness Event


What:   Showing of the movie “Fixing the Future” Discussion Session: Woodstock’s Sustainable Future
When:  February 2, Groundhog Day 6:30 PM – Doors Open 7:00 PM – Film Showing
Where:   Colony Arts Café 22 Rock City Road Woodstock
More information:

Managing Woodstock Waste: When We Throw it Away, WHERE IS AWAY???

Posted January 12, 2012 by Transition Mid-atlantic
Categories: Environmental

Tags: , , , ,

 When:   Friday, January 13, 2012   7:30-9:30 PM

Where:  Woodstock Reformed Church, 16 Tinker St, Woodstock, NY


  • Discuss where our garbage and waste goes.
  • Learn how composting and sheet mulching can turn yard waste and kitchen scraps into rich garden soil.
  • Explore how to reduce or eliminate waste and Transition to sustainability.

Who:       A Distinguished Panel:

  • Jonathan Kaplan: Waste Management Services
  • Michelle Bergkamp: Recycling Coordinator, Ulster County Resource Recovery Agency
  • Steve Noble: Environmental Educator for the City of Kingston
    Mila Funk: Permaculture Landscape Designer, Nurture Nature Designs

CONTACT: ktd.development.pbs@gmail.com


Posted December 23, 2011 by Transition Mid-atlantic
Categories: Environmental

Tags: , , , ,


Can we stop hydraulic fracturing (fracking) from coming to New York State? With your actions we can!

Whether you have been following the path leading to the potential fracking of New York State or you are vaguely informed about fracking and its dire consequences to our water and air, the environment, public health and communities, New York State needs your help. To become more informed watch tinyurl.com/84pk29c at 2 1/2 minutes or watch tinyurl.com/7hd9x3v at 18 minutes and/or go to frackaction.com.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has issued a 1500 plus page document called the 2011 revised draft Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement (rdSGEIS) and is accepting comments until January 11, 2012. This document which addresses permit conditions for High Volume Hydraulic Fracturing (HVHF) in the Marcellus Shale is inadequate and flawed.

It’s very important that we flood the DEC with substantive comments submitted (preferably by snail mail.). The DEC is required to review and respond to all comments and issues brought up by the public. As such, in addition to exposing the DEC’s failure to thoroughly, comprehensively, or objectively study fracking, getting in thousands of substantive comments will be of great value and give us time to build up the statewide movement and work toward a ban.

If you have signed a petition or a group letter thank you. But it is not enough. There are many other paths being pursued to stop fracking in New York State including (1) criminalizing fracking and (2) passing ordinances by municipalities that are (a) rights oriented such as a Bill of Rights that we have a right to clean air and water or (b) zoning oriented prohibiting heavy industrial use which is being challenged in court in Dryden and Middlefield. As these are being pursued what we need to do is send as many comments by snail mail to the DEC. The more letters shows the Governor how many of us do not want fracking in New York State.

Learn how to send comments: TinyURL.com/2011SGEISFlaws now.

If you need help with how to submit snail mail comments, e-mail Rosalyn Cherry at: rosalyn@clutterkit.com Type Fracking in the subject line.

Rosalyn Cherry

Woodstock Transition Winter Weatherization Workshop

Posted December 8, 2011 by Transition Mid-atlantic
Categories: Energy Conservation

Tags: , , , ,

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Woodstock Winter Weatherzation – Presented by Woodstock Transition

Posted November 25, 2011 by Transition Mid-atlantic
Categories: Energy Conservation

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Food Sustainability Workshop Photo Gallery

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Woodstock Transition Presents: Energy Conservation – 12.2 11

When: 7:30 Friday, December 2, 2011

Where: Reformed Church of Woodstock, 16 Tinker Street, Woodstock

Who:  Presenters

  • Donathan Dedolph: Sustainable Building Advisor
  • Todd Pacarella: NYSERDA Certified Contractor
  • Michael O’Hara: Independent Energy Consultant

Hosts: Woodstock Transition Initiating Team


  • Panel discussion will provide tools and information to help home owners and tenants reduce energy costs
  • Energy Matters: Understanding peak oil,
  • Awareness of resources: grants, loans, tax incentives, actions to take and people who can help