Spring has sprung and we're all abuzz! We interview Seed Librarian Betsy Goldberg, Spring Glen Garden Club's President Theresa McCabe, Solid Waste & Recycling Coordinator Joe DeRisi, and the chair of the Energy Use & Climate Change Commission Larry Rosenthal. Your humble host Michael Pierry recommends two books on ancient life, and Mike Wheatley once again graces us with his film recommendations.
Michael Pierry 0:07
Hello and welcome to another episode of The Hamden Library Podcast. I'm your host, Michael Pierry, and this month we are celebrating spring. April is here and things are growing again. Today's episode features interviews with the coordinator of Hamden Public Library's seed library, Betsy Goldberg, and the president of the Spring Glen Garden Club, Teresa McCabe. And since April 22 is Earth Day we will also hear from Joe DeRisi, Solid Waste and Recycling Coordinator, about Hamden's upcoming Earth Day celebration, as well as Larry Rosenthal, chair of the Energy Use and Climate Change Commission. All of that, plus our usual book and movie recommendations. But first, here's what's coming up at the library.
On Monday, April 4, Miller Library has a grab and go bag activity for ages three and up. Learn all about pollinators and make a flying butterfly craft. Grab and go bags are available on a first come first served basis.
On Wednesday, the sixth, the libraries will be closed for staff development. Our digital branch is of course always open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and you can still return books as usual in our book drops.
There will be outdoor storytimes for ages one to four at 10:30am on April 7, 14th, and the 28th at the grassy area behind Josh's Playground. Please feel free to bring your own blanket or something to sit on.
Local Hamden author Zakiya Dalila Harris will be at the Miller Library on Thursday, April 7 at 7pm. She will read from and discuss her best selling novel "The Other Black Girl" in the Thorton Wilder auditorium. She will also be signing books. You do have to register for this event and masks are required.
At Brundage Community Library beginning Monday, April 11, and while supplies last, children can pick up a grab and go craft bag with a clay pot, dirt, and seeds to grow your own flower. Recommended for ages four to 10.
Miller library will also have a grab and go craft available on April 11, Rainy Day Umbrella Craft comes with a craft bag and a rainy story. This is for ages three to five only at 10:30am
On Wednesday, April 13, as well as April 27, get ready to sing, dance and shimmy with Miss Lynn. Join us at the grassy area next to the community garden, weather permitting. This program is appropriate for children ages one through five. We will be sitting on the grass. Bring a blanket or something to sit on.
On April 15, the library will be closed for Good Friday, so that will be a good day to check out our always-open digital branch.
Monday, April 18 will feature yet another grab and go craft at Miller Library, "Paint a 3D Wooden Puzzle", ages three and up.
Tuesday April 19 at 6:30pm, in cooperation with Yale Peabody museum speaker's bureau, the library will host a virtual program on Zoom, "Supporting Giants: Grasslands, Savannas, and Shrublands in the Future Under a Changing Climate", presented by Scott Carpenter, a PhD candidate at the Yale School of the Environment.
Wednesday the 20th at 2pm, join us at the Miller Library to make your own sprout house. This activity is for ages six and up. Meet in the children's department. Weather permitting, the activity will be held outdoors.
Also on Wednesday the 20th, at 6pm Brundage Community Library's LEGO club returns. Come build with the library's LEGOs, ages four through 12.
On Thursday the 21st celebrate National Poetry Month with Connecticut poet Jennifer Y. Montgomery, on a journey through the history of Haiku, and other forms of Japanese micro poetry. Please think about your favorite season and come prepared to write your own haiku. This is a virtual program taking place via Zoom.
Also on Zoom on Monday the 25th at 6:30pm another edition of In the Kitchen with Mrs. Paula, she will lead kids through the steps to make some of their favorite snacks
On the same date and time, Pam Ross leads this month's book discussion on the novel "Transcendent Kingdom" by Yaa Gyasi. This month the discussion will be a hybrid program. You can choose to attend in person or via Zoom. Space is limited for in person attendance, so if you're excited about that, register as soon as you can.
And a general note: apart from grab and go crafts, almost all of our programs do require you to register to attend. You can do that on our website Hamdenlibrary.org, or call 203-287-2680 during hours that the library is open. Registration for all of our programs is free. And that's what's going on at the library.
So since this episode relates to spring and Earth Day, which I think of as not just a day to think about conservation, which which it is, but also a celebration of all life on Earth, I wanted to talk about what gets me excited about this topic. I've always loved nature, even though nature hasn't always loved me back -- I have a lot of allergies -- so sometimes I've had to love it from afar via things like nature documentaries, and books, of course. But I don't think I developed a full appreciation for the deep and profound mystery of life and of existence until I started to read about and contemplate the history of life and evolution. This was a journey that I started on back in my 20s and continues to this day, but for this episode, I wanted to highlight a couple of books that opened my eyes up to a much wider vista of life. Now, both of these books just coincidentally came out in 2003. So almost 20 years ago now.
The first one is called "Life on a Young Planet" by Andrew H. Knoll, who was at that time and is still Fisher Professor of Natural History at Harvard University. It is an utterly captivating and arresting book. One of the more unusual books in that regard, considering it's mostly about rocks and fossils. It's about not just the early history of life on Earth, but also that record, that fossil record of life and how scientists read it. In other words, how they know what they know. This wasn't the first book I read that considered the sheer breadth and depth of life, but it did make me think a lot more about the relative place of not just humans, but of all multicellular life in the course of life's history. The book is subtitled "The first 3 billion years of evolution on Earth".
That's a long time.
That's because life has existed on our planet for at least 4 billion years, and for much of that time -- about two and a half billion years, in fact -- there were no plants, no animals, and no multicellular creatures of any kind. Life consisted entirely of single celled life forms. Basically, what we know today as the bacteria and archaea. These life forms lived in a world that would be unrecognizable to us today. If we were to hop in a time machine, if that were possible, and travel back to that world 3 billion years ago, the first thing you'd probably notice is that you couldn't breathe, because there was no oxygen in the atmosphere. So unless you brought your own, you asphyxiate and die quite quickly. So yeah, Earth was a lot different back in the day.
One thing this book celebrates is the sheer diversity of single celled life forms. To give you an idea of this, think about how most living things we normally think about go about staying alive. They're either like us in that they'll take in food and water and breathe oxygenated air, like all animals do. Even underwater animals, if they're taking it in through the water, or if they're seagoing mammals, they'll take it in through the air. Or they photosynthesize, like plants do using sunlight and water. So when we normally think of the diversity of life, we're thinking within those parameters, and you know, you have a huge variety of life within that. But bacteria are different. They run rings around us in terms of the number of different ways they've evolved to survive. Some of them will respire using oxygen just like we do, but others can use nitrates, sulfate ions, or even metallic oxides of iron and manganese.
Other bacteria photosynthesize, to create energy like plants, but they evolved to do it independently and in five different ways. Only one of which generates oxygen as a byproduct, like what we think of as normal plant photosynthesis. And then still others use chemosynthesis where they generate energy using a plethora of different chemical reactions. So it's kind of insane really.
Another way of thinking about this is via the genetic tree of life, which is a somewhat objective means of measuring the evolutionary distance in terms of genetic difference between different species and on the tree of life, the bacteria kingdom has 30 distinct groups, and each of them is as different and distant from one another, evolutionarily speaking, as the animal and plant kingdoms are from each other. So if that doesn't boggle your mind a little bit, I don't know what will.
Now the dark side to evolutionary development and speciation and specialization, of course, is extinction. The most famous mass extinction is that one that occurred 66 million years ago, which wiped out all the non-avian dinosaurs along with a good portion of all species on Earth. And scientists have amassed a great deal of evidence including the famous Chicxulub crater underneath the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, that that mass extinction was caused by the impact of a large asteroid about six miles in diameter. But that event actually pales in comparison to to the largest extinction event in history, which is the Permian-Triassic extinction. This is also called the Great Dying, and this occurred around 250 million years ago, and resulted in the loss of about 90% of all species then living. That brings me to the other book I wanted to talk about, which is aptly titled "When Life Nearly Died", and it is mainly about this great dying, its causes and its effects.
Author Michael J. Benton also provides a great deal of context for the discovery of this extinction and how scientists went about solving the mystery of how, when and why it happened. The full answers to these questions, take an entire book to lay out, but the short answer is one that may sound all too familiar to us today: elevated temperatures, widespread depletion of dissolved oxygen in the oceans as well as ocean acidification, all due to large amounts of carbon dioxide put into the atmosphere, in this case by the eruption of the Siberian Traps, which is an enormous area in Russia that today spans about 3 million square miles in area.
Now, the scale of these eruptions was almost unprecedented in Earth's history, but still, there are lessons and knowledge gleaned from the study of this ancient event that we can apply to our understanding of what's happening today, and Benton discusses this in the book's final chapter. We know that historically, putting lots of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere as we are currently doing via the burning of fossil fuels has led to runaway effects. Scientific models currently predict warming of at least one and a half degrees Celsius by 2050, and that's not even taking into account all of the unknowns. For example, the extinction of keystone species, some of which we may not even know exist, could lead to the disruption of carbon and other chemical cycles, and throwing them into disequilibrium could have catastrophic effects, which are also hard to predict.
My point in recommending these books, however, is not to alarm anyone. For me, there are few things more satisfying and more soothing to my soul than reading about the long journey of life's evolution. The almost incomprehensibly vast stretches of time spanning between the origin of life some 4 billion years ago until today. Doing so fills me with enough all that no matter what happens to us, I consider it a privilege to be a small part of this great adventure.
Mike Wheatley 14:10
On the beautiful clear night of August 12 1960, in New Haven, I was 13 years old, and standing with all my neighbors as we stared into the clear, star studded sky, waiting for a single bright blip to cross. It was Echo, the first communication satellite. Signals were transmitted from one location on Earth and bounced off the surface of the satellite to another Earth location. The sci-fi author Arthur C. Clarke had predicted it in 1945.
On July 20 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin planted the first human footprints on the lunar surface as I sat in a living room with my friends and a NASA obsessed father listening to Armstrong say, "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind", as he walked down the ladder of the lander and onto the moon. The astronauts took a picture of the earth from the moon that became known as "Earthrise", Earth as a big blue marble. Sometimes it takes getting away from your home to actually see it.
First celebrated in 1970 Earth Day is now celebrated in 193 countries. Here's a couple of films available at your local library, and Best Video, our local nonprofit video store, to remind us of Earth as our home.
The multi award winning 2019 film "Apollo 11" is a documentary of the moon landing that took seldom seen high definition footage from multiple sources, and created a new narrative of events that makes the viewer feel as though they're watching for the first time. To quote CNN, "the producers of the film, director and editor Todd Douglas Miller, was researching the 1969 mission when he and his team uncovered film reels that had been stowed away in government vaults for nearly half a century. They didn't really know what they had until they took some of the reels to New York, where they could use a special scanner to reveal the visuals and all their glory."
The reels contained pristine large format footage shot at the time of the moon launch. It's amazing to me that they were able to make something so interesting and suspenseful from material over 50 years ago.
Available now through the library is the 18 Minute "Earth Day 40: Connecticut's Environment, Past, Present and Future" is a 2010 celebration of the 40th anniversary of Earth Day in Connecticut, and a reminder of where we were, and how far we have yet to come. Great and short, it shows the terrible pollution of our rivers and shorelines that existed in the 1960s and celebrates the creation of the means to begin a cleanup. Great to look back and appreciate what we've done, and how much more needs to be done.
The Qatsi trilogy, "Koyaanisqatsi" (1982), "Powaqqatsi" (1988), "Naqoyqatsi" (2002) were haunting visual poetry created by Godfrey Reggio, music by Philip Glass and Cinematography by Ron Fricke. "Koyaanisqatsi means "life out of balance". It is a Hopi word.
To quote the director, "What I tried to show is that the main event today is not seen by those who live in we see the surface of the newspapers, and the obviousness of conflict, social injustice, the market, the welling up of culture. But for me, the greatest and most important event of perhaps our entire history has fundamentally gone unnoticed. That the transiting from old nature, or the natural environment, as our host of life for human habitation into a technological menu into mass technology, as the environment of life."
Finally, I'd like to recommend a great rewatch for Earth Day. I'm sure most of my listeners have seen it. It's the great animated feature "WALL-E".
Waste Allocation Load Lifter, Earth Class, or WALL-E, is the last robot left by BNL -- By And Large Corporation -- to clean up and abandoned by human means wasteland of Earth, where nothing seems to live. There he does his daily duties, and grows over the years the spirit that creates a singular life. Into this life enters another robot, sent as a probe to determine if mankind can return. WALL-E finds a green plant and love. "WALL-E" is a great story and a warning parable of our possible future
Ariana Davis 20:01
Perhaps you have found it after following the path of garden decaled signage delicately placed on the floor, or maybe you have stumbled upon it while browsing our mystery collection on Miller's lower level. Tucked in the left alcove is Hamden public libraries very own seed library. I have the privilege of interviewing Miss Betsy Goldberg today.
Betsy Goldberg is a certified Connecticut Master Gardener and along with Jim Search, she coordinates the seed library and is an avid proponent of gardening. Her own garden is an eclectic mix of traditional plantings, lawn, perennial edibles, natives, woodland and veggies. Jim Sirch is the education coordinator at the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History. Jim was past president and is currently on the board of the Hamden Land Conservation Trust, and the Connecticut Native Plant Working Group. A certified Connecticut Master Gardener, Jim gives talks throughout the state on gardening for pollinators, and growing native plants from seed, and is dedicated to helping improve backyard biodiversity. Jim was featured in the "Members Making a Difference" section of the summer 2016 issue of the American Horticultural Society's "American Gardener Magazine". Jim also authors a weekly nature blog called "Beyond your Back Door" at www.beyondyourbackdoor.net.
Thank you so much, Miss Betsy, for joining us today.
Betsy Goldberg 21:40
It's my pleasure. And thank you for having me.
Ariana Davis 21:43
My first question for you is what inspired you to create this new library experience?
Betsy Goldberg 21:51
Okay, well, the COVID year, I started a new path for myself, which is to enroll in a Master Gardener training class. And in that class, one of the things that I really tried to observe was people's gardening habits. When I went to the Wallingford Public Library, I saw that they had a seed library, and I felt that that was a great way to get people interested, or on the path to get their gardening experience. So I had in the back of my mind that I'd like to offer that to the Hamden Public Library, once I finished my Master Gardener training. And it so happened that Jim Sirch -- who is very well known in the Hamden community for his work in environmental capacity -- was my mentor that year, and when we discussed a seed library for Hamden, he had told me about his idea of creating a seed library, but specifically for pollinator and native plants. And so the two ideas came together in that fashion. And we joined up to offer this for the library. And you might see from our from when we're talking that the seed library does have two specific paths, one for gardeners who are doing vegetables and ornamentals and herbs, and one for gardeners who are specifically interested in creating a pollinator garden.
Ariana Davis 23:25
Thank you for explaining the those two distinct collections. Do you mind explaining more to our listeners exactly how the seed library works?
Betsy Goldberg 23:35
Sure. The seed library is now housed in a physical location at Miller Library. For the first year, all of our distribution of seeds were done remotely, or contactless I should say, but now we have a an area of the library where we can display seeds and have people come in and select the kinds of seeds that they want. We're trying to not limit, but because of the amount of seeds that we have and the number of people who are interested, we've decided to limit each person's request. People can take up to five types of seeds per day that they need, and they don't have to take a whole packet of seeds. We have equipment there and seed packets where they can divide the commercial packets up into whatever they need, so then just pack them up and go. We do request that people write down what they've taken. And that helps us when we're trying to get new seeds for next year, and to see what people are actually interested in when we're developing programs for the seed library.
Ariana Davis 24:48
Thank you, and that's a perfect segue into my next question. What programs have been offered in collaboration with the seed library in are there programs that you look forward to offering in the future?
Betsy Goldberg 25:01
Sure, well, certainly. Our first program, which was in the fall of 2020, was a winter sowing program. A lot of the native seeds that you have in your garden require a period of cold -- what's called stratification -- a period of cold where they just sit in the garden over winter. This is if they're reproducing naturally. And so, winter sowing is a way of enhancing that process for the home gardener, where you take seeds of natives, and put them out in the winter for them to kind of create their own kind of micro environment, and in the spring, they have a headstart on developing.
We did that program twice now, and not only did we do the program, but we also distributed seeds of native plants to people who came to the program, and for people who heard about the program afterwards and just wanted the seeds. So we've done that twice.
We've also -- in the summer, we've had a program on saving vegetable seeds, which is a great way to get seed for the next year and save money by doing so. It also gives you a head start on next year's feeds, because the successful plants that you've grown this year are likely to produce successful plants next year, and you don't have to start scratch from plants that may not be quite adapted to your environment. So those are the two major programs. And we've had other ones on seed starting itself, where we took people from the basics on how to determine what kind of soil to use, to the kind of equipment you need, and hopefully that got people started last year on developing their own garden. We're hoping to have the two basic seed saving programs each year. And the seeds starting programs each year, because I think every year there are new gardeners who come on board and figure out what they can do with the garden.
Ariana Davis 27:18
Are there particular resources that you would recommend to those who are new to gardening, or to those who are interested in enhancing their gardening skills?
Betsy Goldberg 27:29
Well, the library itself is a great resource because on the third floor of Miller Library and at the two branches, there are lots of print materials and even a couple of DVDs tucked away, which help gardeners at any level decide how to use their gardening space. The general Dewey number for these books is 635. We have a few on display in the seed library itself, but we encourage people also to go up to the third floor and browse around.
Everybody's at a different level and wants a different, a slightly different look to their garden. There are a couple of web sources that I really like is people are really getting into seed saving. There's a website called seedsavers.org. It has a rich collection of resources for seed saving, seed starting, recipes for using your crops, and garden planning, soil and just general plant care. Seedsavers.org supplied us this year with several packets of seeds for distribution, so we're very much indebted to them for that. The other really great source for Connecticut gardeners is UCONN's Home and Garden Education Center. The URL for that is ladybug.uconn.edu. It has factsheets on a wide variety of garden issues, home garden issues specifically. It has links for obtaining soil tests, and also links if you're interested to the master composter and Master Gardener programs. Those are the two that I recommend and they have a great deal of information. There are wonderful garden resources on the internet, as you may already have found out.
Ariana Davis 29:24
Thank you so much for providing those links. Are there any people, groups, or organizations that you would like to thank for their support of the seed library?
Betsy Goldberg 29:35
But of course, yes, we really didn't do this on our own. And we we would specifically like to thank the hand inland Conservation Trust for their support of the seed library in the past, and currently they've been really great especially as it comes to the pollinator plants, part of the seed library. We have a dedicated volunteer now who's going to be helping us expand our reach by developing a brochure, and we have seeds from local sources, like the Cheshire nursery, as well as commercial seed companies which I don't have to list here. And Jim has been great with the seed library, developing suggestions, and of course, providing his own unique abilities when it comes to producing programs. So, yeah, there's lots of people to thank, and in the future, we're hoping to thank individuals and members of the community who when they learn about seed saving, choose perhaps to increase our seed collection themselves.
Ariana Davis 30:51
My last question for you is, how can people stay connected and up to date on the seed library?
Betsy Goldberg 30:58
First of all, I'd love to encourage people to actually visit the seed library to see what kinds of seeds we have on hand and to get ideas on either starting a garden or expanding their garden. Second, you're certainly welcome to send an email to our dedicated email address, which is HPLseedlibrary@gmail.com. And if you have any questions about your gardening experience, we're happy to advise or connect you to a resource. And if you'd like to be on the mailing list, you're certainly welcome to request that as well.
Ariana Davis 31:38
Great. Well, thank you so much, Miss Betsy for not only answering our questions about Hamden public library's seed library, but for all the work that you do in strengthening and beautifying the green spaces in our community. Thank you so much,
Betsy Goldberg 31:54
You're welcome Ariana. And I just really want to express my appreciation for Melissa -- Melissa Canham-Clyne -- as the library director for allowing us to use the space in the library and for encouraging us to do the seed library. And thank you to you and Michael as well.
Ryan Keeler 32:14
Today we have Hamden's Recycling Coordinator, Joe DeRisi. Joe is going to tell us a little about Earth Day 2022.
Joe DeRisi 32:22
Okay, thanks, Ryan. So this year Hamden is having their annual Earth Day. We had the last two years, they were a bit smaller because of the pandemic but this year, we will have a full scale Earth Day at the Hamden Middle School. Earth Day is a time for us to be reminded that we have environmental issues that we need to focus on, and it's also a good time for the community to come out and have a good time and also learn. This year, we have our usual exhibitors from nonprofits to Hamden Town Commissions, and we also have a lot of interesting events, including this year, we're going to have some speakers. For example, from the Ag Experiment Station, and we're going to have the Hamden composter and rain barrel sale that we had last year where homeowners can pick up their home composter at a reduced rate, and order it ahead of time and then and then pick them up on Earth Day. We're also going to have lots of other things going on. I'll just go through some events quick.
Our contractor, All-American Waste, is going to have a demonstration of how they handle trash and recycling. We have a bird walk at eight in the morning. We have a presentation by Dr. Mehra on climate change and tree health. We have a presentation on composting by Dr. Bugbee, also from Ag Experiment Station, I believe. We have Environmental Magic by Cyril the Magician and the Middle School Art Show will be going on at the same time. And then of course, we have the home composter sale as I said.
We're going to have a number of speakers including from the New Haven climate movement. We're going to have vendors that-- or actually, a nonprofit that is going to be collecting packing materials for recycling. We're going to have a demonstration on how to use and put together rain barrels. And particularly interesting to me this year, is that we're going to manage the waste and the recycling at Earth Day, including our food waste, as a demonstration of where we're heading as a town with our waste management. So all the attendees will first be encouraged to reduce what they bring and use.
And then we're also going to have -- which we hadn't had in the past --containers for food waste, as well as the regular recycling of cans and bottles. We'll have people that are volunteers that are trained to help with deciding what what should go where recycling and food waste. I think we're up to about 35 or 40 exhibitors from watershed organizations, to solar companies and, as I said, our Hamden Town Commissions are represented as well. So that's sort of the day in a nutshell. It's going to be April 23, which is a Saturday from 10 to 3. And we are still looking for exhibitors and sponsors up until the end of the month [March 2022]. So if you have or if you need any other information, just call me at 203-287-7021.
Ryan Keeler 36:30
We also have with us today Larry Rosenthal. Larry is the chairperson of the Energy Use and Climate Change Commission, and is here to talk about their role in Hamden.
Larry Rosenthal 36:40
Thank you. I'm chairman of the Energy Use and Climate Change Commission. It's a long phrase, but it's got a very important role in town politics. We are principally involved in monitoring and managing energy consumption from natural gas to electricity, and its application throughout the community for both residential, commercial, industrial, and town buildings.
As an example, I'm very much involved in exploring the use of heat pumps throughout Hamden. We have approached it in the past only slightly, but now we're getting very aggressive in promoting the installation of heat pumps and of low, moderate, high end apartments and homes throughout the Hamden area. It's one of the most efficient technologies and available for use anywhere here and it could quite literally save hundreds if not a few thousand dollars to a homeowner, or an apartment user, for the use of either natural gas or oil. We're going to be showcasing heat pumps at Earth Day, and you'll have an opportunity to see one in place. See how it works both inside -- how it's mounted through a wall -- and and the compressor being used outside with either cool air or warm air coming in to provide real great comfort for the occupants during the course of a day and evening.
In terms of scope of what the energy use and climate change commission is involved in, we are involved in the changeover from the current incandescent lights that we currently use on the street, and in parking lots, just about everywhere. And we are moving in the direction of using LEDs -- light emitting diodes. They use far, far less electricity, the brightness will be very comfortable on the human eye. The amount of blue light emanating from these lamps is far lower than you would see most anywhere else. And it's going to be a big boon for the town in terms of actual energy savings. Look for these to start rolling out later this year.
Concurrent with it, we're doing a major exploration into improving the energy efficiency of all of our town buildings. That's the actual operating buildings, municipal buildings, schools, and all the facilities, and we are embarking on a program of doing an investment grade audit for each and every building, and that is about to begin. Its intent is to bring all of Hamden and to the 21st century and enable the town to realize hundreds of thousands of dollars and electrical energy savings everywhere throughout where our buildings are located.
Concurrent with that, we have been tasked with the responsibility of putting in charging stations for EVSE electrical vehicles. And we currently have plans to install nine new charging stations throughout the center of town, and we will be doing that along with installing charging stations on private properties such as in commercial real estate, and in the residential home market for apartments. You will typically be seeing two or three charging stations -- which will be level two charging stations -- going into somewhere between 20 and 30 site locations when all is said and done, and people will be able to take their EVs -- and I assume most EVs will be new -- plug them in in the evening or whatever is convenient for the car owner and charge your car -- typically in a level two, in approximately two and a half to three hours. It's a big boon.
You'll be able to pay for the use of that surface with a credit card, and essentially, that's all there is to it. The plan for this is to get charging stations underway within the next two to three months. They're very easy and convenient to operate. The work involved in putting them in will be done by the utility company and the town, and we look forward to seeing them all over. They'll be placed for the convenience of all residents and visitors throughout the city. That's of major importance since President Biden is really pushing charging stations and the equipment for it and electric vehicles as a means to replace automobiles throughout the country, and hopefully give us all an opportunity to help save on energy consumption and reduce our carbon footprint.
Another major thing we're getting underway with is the implementation of what we've designed as a Municipal Energy Planning Guide. This is a footprint. This footprint is specific to solving issues like what happens when our power goes out either town wide or within the community. When we have a tornado -- okay? -- or a severe snowstorm. The utility systems, generally speaking, are extremely fragile and as many of you have seen, when trees go down or branches go down or the snowfall builds up, or when we have a tornadic event we lose power. Sometimes for a few blocks, sometimes much greater areas.
Our expectation is that by having a micro grid as part of the municipal energy plan, we will have a secondary means to reduce problems associated with loss of power by putting in solar arrays to charge up our battery solar storage around the municipality along from Hamden High School all the way up to Town Hall and these locations will specifically supply power for the school, at the Hamden High School, Middle School, Town Center, Town Hall, and other town locations along the Magic Mile. It will also be able to provide power for banks, restaurants, emergency locations that provide services for people who have illnesses and the like. And doing this on an emergency basis, it will provide all the special services that people within the town need for getting assistance when the power is out.
That also includes supermarkets that supply our food and groceries and the like. We will provide a means for all of these buildings to power up, and get assistance for supplying products to the residents of the town.
Another major program we're embarking on is our complete streets, and our bicycle friendly community, and this should be important to every resident living in Hamden. There are lots of streets throughout Hamden that have bicycle lanes that start and end, then start up again and then end, and provides an inconducive approach for people that want to bike safe from Hamden into New Haven. We only have one or two streets that allow for that, and even with those streets, it's very disconcerting to see the bicycle lanes interrupted because of crosswalks, cross streets, narrow streets, and the like. So we are approaching building a better community for the residential community and people that would prefer to use bicycles on the lanes that are designated for bicycle friendly use, widen certain streets that need to be widened and the like. In other words, to take Hamden on an easy path forward into New Haven and vicinity, and we have other communities -- many other communities, in fact -- throughout Connecticut that have started this program. We're going to be next in line, and that's going to start a bit later this year. We're going to provide lots of information on our website, and on the Energies and Climate Change commission locations for people to tune in and see what we're doing.
Besides handling the Earth Day event, we're running two other major energy electric vehicle events. First being March 27. We're doing a venture with Quinnipiac University, where we're going to exhibit some 70 electric vehicles and people will be able to come up to the sports campus off Sherman Ave. and check out a huge accumulation of electric cars, possibly test drive some of them, but at least be able to sit in them and see what they're all about. We expect to have one or two charging stations for people to see how they operate. And also to look at electric vehicles from the standpoint of pure electric cars and electric hybrids, which are very fashionable and very much in vogue.
We're doing another event September 23, which is going to be Hamden's of fourth electric vehicle event, and we will have in excess of 30 cars there on exhibit and enable people visiting the show to take test rides in the cars and determine for themselves which they like the best.
Finally, we're going to have an exhibit of all electric cars outside of the Earth Day event where we could exhibit several cars that people could check out for looking at the specifications, how they feel, how they feel being inside the car. And we have the cooperation of virtually all of the car dealerships in and around Hamden. There we go, and that's my presentation.
Ryan Keeler 50:33
And you can attend the energy use climate change meetings on the second Monday of each month, just monitor the Hamden website to see whether the meeting is going to be in person or on Zoom.
Ariana Davis 50:48
In her own words, I would like to share some information provided by Teresa McCabe, president of the Spring Glen Garden Club.
"The Spring Glen Garden Club's members have a long history of serving the Hamden community. The club was founded in 1925. In 1929, it became a charter member of the newly formed Federated Garden Clubs of Connecticut in the National Garden Clubs. We have been active in the community for 98 years. Over that time, we have worked on projects with the Agricultural Extension Service, the town of Hamden, Hamden Public Library, and local individuals to improve the appearance of their properties. Members enjoy working in the various gardens we maintain, getting our hands dirty, and spending time with friends who have a common interest in nature and the environment.
"In 2000, the club hosted an event at the library called 'Plant Doctors'. Club members gave out plants and helped visitors identify entry problem plants. In 2005, the Associate Director of the library, Judy Layman, asked the club to help with the beautification of the Miller Library's atrium. The club donated $250. It was then that we began maintaining the plants in the atrium.
"We also have held three to four teas during the spring and winter holidays, where we served refreshments and gave out bookmarks. This was an opportunity to let the community learn about us. The public can visit our tables at the Hamden Earth Day celebration and the Farmers Market. We also participate in the Brooksville Fall Festival. We give away small plants, have activities for children, and distribute literature.
"In addition, we maintain the plants at the Hamden Government Center, the historical herb garden at the Jonathan Dickerman House, the planters in parking lot gardens in Spring Glen, and a small garden we call 'Poppy's Garden' along the Farmington Canal Trail. Besides visiting our table at the events previously stated, you can find us on Facebook and look for Spring Glen Garden Club on blogspot.com. We also announce our speakers and meetings in The Advisor. Guests are always welcome. For more information, check out connecticutgardenclubs.org."
Michael Pierry 53:20
I hope you enjoyed hearing from some of the people that helped make our community in our environment a little greener. That's all we have for you this month. Please remember to rate and review us on Apple podcasts or your favorite podcast platform. It really helps. See you next month.
Alyssa Bussard 53:37
Do you need affordable internet? Are you feeling left behind by technology? Hamden Public Library's digital navigators can help. The digital navigator program can help you with general computer questions, find affordable internet, search for a job and so much more. They may even be able to help you obtain a free device if you do not have access to technology at home. This is a free service offered to the public. Call 959-261-0689 for More Information
Transcribed by https://otter.ai