Ojai Creek Cleanup on September 16

On Saturday, September 16, from 9 A.M. through noon, the Ojai Valley Green Coalition invites the public to join them and the Ventura Countywide Coalition for Coastal and Inland Waterways. That morning, participants will remove and record litter from Ojai Creek running through Libbey Park. Ojai volunteers are asked to sign in at 8:45 A.M. at the Libbey Park lower tennis court parking lot off S. Montgomery St. in Ojai.

Be one of 67,000 people to take part in the California Coastal Cleanup Day 31st anniversary event! Volunteers will remove debris from the coast, creeks, rivers, lakes and shorelines all around California protecting wildlife from harm while taking care of our environment.

The California Coastal Commission estimates that 80 percent of the debris on California beaches originates from inland and then washes out to the ocean. Last year volunteers collected nearly 750,000 pounds of trash and recyclables from California’s beaches, lakes, and inland waterways.

Coastal Cleanup Day takes place every year on the third Saturday of September, is the nation’s premier volunteer event focused on the marine environment, and offers a way for students, neighbors, families, and service groups to join together, have fun, and show community support for the stewarding of shared natural resources.

All participants must sign 2 waivers and those under 18 must have waivers signed by a parent or guardian which will be available on site. Please email coordinator@ojaivalleygreencoalition.com with any questions.

Please wear sturdy shoes and we recommend bringing your own gloves. We will provide rubber gloves.

If possible, please download the 2017 waiver form here, print it and sign it and bring it with you.

We will also have some copies of this waiver form available on site for those who are not able to print this out ahead of time.

SKYGLOW Project Presentation Sept. 15

OVGC_SkyglowFlyer_FINAL.jpg On Friday, September 15, 7 to 9 p.m., join the Coalition for a SKYGLOW Project screening and book signing.

SKYGLOW explores the history and mythology of celestial observation, the proliferation of electrical outdoor lighting that spurred the rise of "skyglow” and the Dark Sky Movement that's fighting to reclaim the night skies.

Held in the beautiful Thacher School Milligan Center for the Performing Arts at 5025 Thacher Rd., the suggested donation is $10 (students are free). There will be a drawing at the end of the program - 2 bottles of wine and 4 tasting tickets - complements of Topa Mountain Winery. Another Dark Sky Friendly Ojai Valley business - THANK YOU!

Thank you to our host/partner The Thacher School and the financial support of the City of Ojai and Rotary Club of Ojai for making this important educational event possible.

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ReSource Center Available to Rent

Read Rental Agreement Here

August 30, 2017

Kusa Seed Research Foundation looking for Seed Guardians

The Kusa Seed Research Foundation is Ojai's own “heirloom seed” organization, keeping alive the ancient human valuation of the preciousness of untrammeled seeds. They are looking for help hosting these seeds.

Founded in Ojai in 1980, the Kusa Seed Society has built-up a deep collection of bio-diverse, highly nutritious edible seedcrops — endangered staple-food seed crops that can re-green the earth and deliver healing and re-greening energies to mind and body alike.

Seeds are nutritious packages of peace and abundance, their germination power can light the pathway to human balance and well-being.

To preserve its collection, the Kusa Seed organization stores the seeds in household-type chest freezers, each one about the size of a small common refrigerator. Each seed-storage freezer is like a botanic treasure chest.

Recently, an opportunity has arisen to help maintain these sleeping seeds on their journey.

A “Seed Guardian” is needed, someone who will volunteer a space to keep the seeds safe until the magic of soil, moisture, and sun can re-awaken them. This “Seed Guardian” opening can be filled by any member of the community willing to host one of Kusa Seed's botanic “treasure chests.” What's needed is a dry, secure, indoor space with electrical service available. A quiet corner in a church, school, office, shop, garage, or outbuilding will do fine.

Anyone in the community with hosting suggestions, ideas or questions should call the Kusa Seed organization at 805-646-0772 or e-mail: info@ancientcerealgrains.org

Ojai Valley Green Coalition chooses new executive director

The Ojai Valley Green Coalition has chosen a new executive director, Tim Nafziger, following the resignation of Russell Sydney, who served in the post for a year and a half. Nafziger plans to serve for six to nine months in an interim role to help the organization find a long term executive director.

“We appreciate Russell’s service over the last 18 months to the work of the Coalition,” said Ched Myers, a long-time member of the Board of Directors. “He has worked hard during a challenging transition period, and helped open up a new chapter for our mission. As our Interim E.D., Tim Nafziger brings to our circle activist energy, organizational skills and management experience, and the passion and perspective of the next generation. The Board sincerely thanks Russell, and looks forward to partnering with Tim to deepen and broaden the work of the OVGC.”

Tim Nafziger has been a reservist and organizer for years for the Christian Peacemaker Teams that work in small teams to reduce harm in conflict zones around the world, including Iraq. He spent 6 years on staff with the organization as outreach coordinator and then as assistant director. He identifies as a Mennonite, and has been active as an organizer in the Carnival de Resistance, a traveling arts carnival and ceremonial theater dramatizing themes of ecological justice and radical theology. He also is a leader with Showing Up for Racial Justice Ventura County, or SURJ VC, a local chapter of a national group that does education and advocacy for racial justice He runs a web design company called Congruity Works that helps nonprofits with their web strategy.

“I look forward to working with the Board of the Ojai Valley Green Coalition,” said Nafziger. “We are fortunate in the Ojai Valley to live in an extremely charismatic watershed, and I am eager to bring new voices into the ecological conversation in this valley.”

For over ten years the Green Coalition has spearheaded recycling, green living, water conservation, electric vehicles, and other forms of conservation in the Ojai Valley, most recently helping sponsor a showing of “The Cat That Changed America,” about the effort to build the world’s largest wildlife crossing to save the mountain lions of Ventura County.

“It has been one of my goals to build the Board’s capacity to take on the task of running the Coalition,” said outgoing director Sydney. “This is the perfect time for me to step back from a very public role that was thrust upon me. I am delighted that this transition is happening.”

Tim Nafziger can be reached at tim@ojaivalleygreencoalition.org

Thacher Astronomer to Host Dark Skies Open House on September 15

During the day, Jon Swift teaches astronomy and mathematics at Thacher School in Ojai’s East End, where he has taken charge of a large state-of-the-art astronomical observatory, and oversees a hard-working group of students enthralled with the stars.

At night Swift and his collaborators look to the skies for illumination on a variety of astronomical subjects, he says, from “emerging galaxies” to “some of the most mysterious stars in the universe.”

Swift knows how important dark skies are, not just to astronomers, but to the natural environment and to our sense of wonder.

“One of the first things I did when I came to Thacher was to look at the characteristics of the site,” he said. “Before they built the site I wanted to know how bright the site was at night, and how much the stars twinkled, as well as the weather patterns. This is one of the things we’ve been monitoring with the Ojai Valley Green Coalition.”

Swift sees the night skies as a way to reach the community beyond Thacher, and potentially to unify it.

“I don’t really have a particular agenda,” he said. “I hope this event can bring people together regardless of political opinions, to explore the beauty of our environment, and to raise awareness of the consequences of light pollution. It’s my hope that as people become aware of our research observatory and have a bit of fun with it that they will become more aware and more interested.”

Swift has been working to preserve dark skies for many years, as an astronomer at CalTech, and as a collaborator with the Great Basin Observatory and National Park in Nevada. Being keenly aware of the light pollution issue, when he heard that time-lapse artists Gavin Hefferman and Harun Madmeninovik of the stunningly beautiful and powerful Sky Glow book and series were available, the best available argument for dark skies and against light pollution, he was eager to set a date to introduce them to Thacher and the broader public.

“Absolutely, this will be a sort of open house for us as well,” he said. “We want to host public events, and bring in other schools, and have people really look with their own eyes at what we are seeing.”

The public event, which is donation only, will be held in the Milligan Center for the Performing Arts. Parking available near the main entrance in the large lot. This will take place on Saturday September 15 at 7:00 p.m. Point person for questions: Katie O’Neill (koneill@thacher.org).

Please help spread the word by sharing the event on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/210937369441242/

VanLeit Joins Ojai Valley Green Coalition Board

Betsy VanLeit, who joined the Ojai Valley Green Coalition’s Board this August, brings years of experience in administration of different sorts, from working in health issues (while teaching at the University of New Mexico, and administering federal grants for underserved people in the state) and the environment (while working for the US Forest Service, in earlier years in Oregon).

Betsy is eager to dive in and help the Coalition, and thinks tentative plans to revive the demonstration garden near City Hall, and manage it as a water-wise garden and as a community garden, make a lot of sense, both for the City and for the Coalition.

“I would love for us to become the leaders of that effort, to do something tangible for people and to bring people together,” she said. “I think we need to be bringing people together around questions of sustainability and local food, and this garden was the specific piece that made me want to roll up my sleeves and help to create something exciting here.”

Betsy retired from academia and came to Ojai in part to be closer to her parents, but has already been busy volunteering not just with the Coalition, but with Food Forward and the Land Conservancy. She thinks the town especially needs to pay attention to water and how to keep it on the land, after being certified in permaculture techniques.

“I think affordable housing and water are at the heart of the things that Ojai needs to grapple with right now,” she said. “I’m not saying I have all the answers, but I do think the Green Coalition could help bring people together, and have the kind of conversations that could allow us to do things differently.”

Betsy stressed her eagerness to help, as well as her lengthy experience on one of the largest and most successful of food co-ops in the country, La Montanita in Albuquerque.

“There just seem to be a lot of wonderful and very caring people here, paying attention and trying to do good work and make it a better community,” she said. “And lots of people in spiritual practice as well. As a Buddhist practioner I like that connection to place and a certain sense of sacredness about life. In a lot of ways it feels very special to me, and I must say the farmer’s market is awesome. In Albuquerque we had a farmer’s market, but it began in May and ended in October, so to see the abundance of foods here week after week is quite amazing!”

July 24, 2017

The Cat That Changed America Comes To Ojai

In the hour-long documentary film “The Cat That Changed America,” wildlife biologist Beth Pratt-Bergstrom compares the bold young mountain lion, P-22, who risked his life crossing freeways to take up residence in Griffith Park to another iconic American star: James Dean.


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Incentives to Make the Bolt and Other Electric Vehicles (EVs) Affordable

The new EV models like the Chevy Bolt featured last month are already providing a better value for your money than ever before. This is due in part to advancements in technology and to the volume of sales that brings the price down. It is also due to the strong incentive programs listed below that may never be better than they are right now through the end of the year.

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Incentives to Make the Bolt and Other Electric Vehicles (EVs) Affordable

" »

June 23, 2017

Is the Chevy Bolt The Electric Vehicle Excuse Buster?

There are a lot of people who have been putting off becoming an Electric Vehicle Driver. Is the Bolt the EV to change that?

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Could Tourism be a Boon for Sustainability in Ojai?

In 2012, the Green Coalition helped sponsor a weekend-long community conversation at Meditation Mount on “ecotourism,” featuring Supervisor Steve Bennett and Assemblyman Das Williams. Among the dozens of Ojai leaders who spoke was Caryn Bosson, former Coalition board member, Scott Eicher, of the Chamber of Commerce, Mike Weaver, past president of Rotary, and Greg Gamble, of the Land Conservancy.

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November 4, 2015

50 Years and Counting:
E.J. Harrison & Sons and the Ojai Valley

Did you know our local trash and recycling hauler, E.J. Harrison & Sons, is celebrating its 50th year of servicing the Ojai Valley this month? The locally based company was founded in 1932 and is one of the oldest and largest privately owned collection businesses in the U.S. - serving over 90,000 customers. Maybe it’s their company motto, "Service is Everything" that has ensured their success and longevity. Or maybe the fact that it’s still a family run business with Ralph Harrison as President, and his brothers Jim and Myron serving as Vice Presidents.

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E.J. Harrison & Sons and the Ojai Valley" »

October 15, 2015

Business Member Spotlight: Kerry Miller Designer/Builder, Inc.

Business Member Spotlight: Kerry Miller Designer/Builder, Inc.

Ojai Valley Green Coalition business member Kerry Miller and his family moved to Ojai in1999. Since then he has used his considerable talents to establish his successful business, Kerry Miller Designer/Builder, Inc. Talents local theatre owner Khaled Alawar sought out when the historic Ojai Playhouse was damaged by a broken water main.

Raised in Texas, Kerry came to us from New Mexico where he attended University of New Mexico, receiving his BUS in sculpture. “Some of the other classes that I took there were solar energy, architecture, light and air pollution,” said Kerry, who enjoyed the woodworking skills that he used in the sculpture. “So after graduating I went into cabinetmaking.”

It was his artistic woodworking skills creating one-of-a-kind doors that drew the attention of a Corrales, New Mexico adobe home builder who hired him in 1980. Kerry earned his own contractor’s license a year later. Next he founded his own construction company specializing in custom doors, gates, fireplace mantles, cabinets, furniture, windows, stained, beveled and etched glass for homes and businesses in the Albuquerque and Santa Fe area.

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September 4, 2015

Update on the Ojai Food Co-op
with Co-founder Michelle Dohrn

OVGC member Michelle Dohrn helped found the Ojai Food Co-op in 2012. Michelle says the idea “sprouted” while she was picking potatoes on a local organic farm with her young daughter. Engaged in the physical act of harvesting those potatoes, she realized she had something incredibly valuable in her hands, a direct relationship with a farmer. She and her daughter were lucky enough to see where their food comes from and experience the work it takes to grow their food. “It so deeply touched me that I thought ‘why don't more people have access to this type of local organic fresh food?’" According to Andy Warhol, ‘the grocery cart is the most powerful tool for social change.’

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with Co-founder Michelle Dohrn" »

August 3, 2015

Business Supporter Welcome and Profile:
JL & Sons Landscaping

Severo Lara, current City of Ojai Mayor and co-owner of JL & Sons Landscaping, is a lifelong resident and father of two. He shares the goals of most small business owners in Ojai - making a living in the small town he loves.

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JL & Sons Landscaping" »

July 5, 2015

New Valley of the Moon Manager

During our hot Ojai summers most people either try to cut down on outside obligations or take a vacation. Not Heather Mohan-Gibbons. She’s already busy gathering information and making plans as the new garden manager of the Valley of the Moon Community Garden. The Garden, located at 370 Baldwin Road, uses sustainable gardening practices to provide two types of activities for Valley residents. The Garden offers a traditional community garden portion for individual gardeners, and a space where community members grow food to donate to the Help of Ojai Senior Food Program. At one time the garden was also a hands-on learning site for Ventura County Master Gardener Trainees.

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June 2, 2015

Business Member Profile: Studio Landscape

It's time for another Business Member shout out, this time to Kathy Nolan, owner of Studio Landscape. Kathy Nolan was an early supporter and director/president of the OVGC. Now it is our turn to thank her for being an OVGC business member.

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Rooftop Solar Matters

As the Sierra Club so eloquently put it: ‘… rooftop solar is safe and long lasting, with zero emissions and a low water footprint. No one ever had an asthma attack because of a solar panel, nor have we ever heard of a catastrophic solar-power spill threatening fish and wildlife.’

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April 6, 2015

Solarize Ojai: A Group-purchasing Program Running April 22 – July 22

Announcing the launch of “Solarize Ojai,” a three-month long group purchasing program designed to make going solar easier and more affordable for Ojai Valley homeowners. Our partner, the Community Environmental Council (CEC) helps guide homeowners through the entire process as an unbiased expert resource – making it as easy as possible for everyone to go solar.

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Solarize Ojai: A Group-purchasing Program Running April 22 – July 22

Announcing the launch of “Solarize Ojai,” a three-month long group purchasing program designed to make going solar easier and more affordable for Ojai Valley homeowners. Our partner, the Community Environmental Council (CEC) helps guide homeowners through the entire process as an unbiased expert resource – making it as easy as possible for everyone to go solar.

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December 3, 2014

Donate Now and Your Donation Will Be Doubled

Dear Friend,

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Green Coalition Joins CREW in Next Phase of Creek Restoration Work

Stewart Canyon Creek, the next two Saturdays, December 6th and 13th

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November 5, 2014

Sunday, November 9th the Coalition Hosts The Ojai Film Festival FOCUS EARTH 2014 Screening of Bringing It Home

It has been over 40 years since President Nixon signed the Controlled Substances Act making hemp illegal, yet industrial hemp has no drug value. The film Bringing it Home is packed with information that will leave you surprised and well informed about the often misunderstood topic of industrial hemp.

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" »

September 3, 2014

The Coalition’s Green Living Series Begins!

Please join us for two dynamic speaker events filled with valuable information, concepts, and tools to take home.

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September 20th is California Coastal and Waterway Cleanup Day

The Coalition will partner with the Ventura Countywide Coalition for Coastal and Inland Waterways.

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August 4, 2014

To Whom It May Concern: Waking Up to Water

by Deborah Pendrey, Director

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July 13, 2014

Good Exterior Lighting is Good Business

As our loyal readers know, the city of Ojai adopted an updated exterior light ordinance in August 2013, and the Coalition has been helping the city with outreach to residents. Recently, the focus has turned to businesses.

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July 11, 2014

Do You Know Dulanie Ellis, Editor of our Food News?

This month we’re honoring a longtime activist in Ojai’s local food movement, Dulanie Ellis. Dulanie shares, “my passion for food and agriculture developed as a result of moving to Ventura County and falling in love with the farmland. I realized if we weren’t careful and if we didn’t protect it, we would lose this rural quality of life.”

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April 3, 2014

What is Ecopsychology?

The Coalition will host two programs exploring Ecopsychology – a half-day introductory workshop Saturday, April 26, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.; and a 5-week course on Thursdays, May 1, 8, 15, 22, and 29, 5:45 to 7 p.m. Ecopsychology: Exploring the Complex Relationship between Nature and Human Nature will be conducted by Lori Pye, Ph.D. at the Resource Center, 206 N. Signal St. Suite S, Ojai.

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March 4, 2014

Facing Drought Together

Editor's note: Coalition executive director, Deborah Pendrey, has accepted an invitation to sit on a panel as part of a full afternoon of discourse on saving water and staying in community. The event takes place at The Ojai Retreat on Sunday, March 9, 1:30 to 5 p.m. Reservations are required. Let us not be fooled back into complacency with the recent fabulous (but not nearly enough) rain event. A new way of life and course must be set – read on.

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January 8, 2014

The Zero Waste Approach to Managing Resources

What does local jobs development and ‘zero waste’ have in common? A positive impact on the Ojai Valley and beyond. As explained in Wikipedia “Zero waste is a philosophy that encourages the redesign of resource life cycles so that all products are reused. No trash is sent to landfills and incinerators. The process recommended is one similar to the way that resources are reused in nature.”

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Recycle Your E-Waste, Plus

The Coalition will hold its 6th annual e-waste recycling event with partners - Ojai Valley Directory, Ojai Community Bank, Harrison Industries, and E-Recycling of California. This VERY popular community service event will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., rain or shine Saturday, January 11, 2014 in the Ojai Community Bank’s parking lot located at 402 W. Ojai Ave. The event is open to all Ojai Valley residents and businesses. We’ll again have yummy oatmeal raisin and chocolate chip cookies donated by Trader Joe’s to make the line seem shorter.

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December 1, 2013

Resource Center Lending Library Open for Business

by Evergreen Hericks, OVGC member and volunteer

“Books are the bees which carry the quickening pollen from one to another mind.” ~James Russell Lowell

When I think of all that is right with the world – an important practice of feeding my hope – at the top of the list must be libraries. What better long-lived example of the love of wisdom mixed up with the radically practical notion that a whole community can share a store of resources, and with extremely little fuss? And so, eager to get on that particular bandwagon of sharing information, nurturing life-long learning and, by the way, using our material resources wisely, we proudly announce that the Coalition lending library is now up and running.

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