September 2017

September 27, 2017

Ojai activist leader returns to help Coalition

Caryn Bosson, a former Board member of the Ojai Valley Green Coalition, the founder of the Ojai Youth Foundation, and a former executive at TreePeople in Los Angeles, has volunteered to help the Coalition’s leadership and Board formulate a new strategy for sustainability.

Bosson has lived in Ojai since the l990’s, and has been a monthly subscriber to the Coalition from the start. She thinks if we want to see a town that values and preserves its natural beauty and small-town democracy we need to have an organization working not only for sustainability in Ojai, but which can sustain itself.

“I really can’t imagine Ojai without the Green Coalition,” she said. “And I would really like to see it thrive, because I think Ojai needs this kind of organization in order to become the kind of community we want to see in our future.”

After talking with the Coalition Board of Directors, as well as with newly named executive director Tim Nafziger, Bosson signed a volunteer letter of agreement, offering to help guide the Coalition’s efforts to translate their new vision into reality.

With a great deal of revitalizing change in both the leadership and the Board in the last year, the Coalition has decided to hold a retreat at the end of September. From the retreat will come an agreed upon set of goals. Bosson -- now a Senior Faculty member at Cal Lutheran - part of their Center for Non-Profit Leadership -- said will help the Board work with those goals to find practical ways to connect to its membership and the community, and measure the work we do for a sustainable life in Ojai.

Coalition Team of Volunteers Cleans up Ojai Creek at Libbey Park

In September on our annual Creek Clean up day, we cleaned trash, tennis balls and miscellaneous items out of the Ojai creek bed that rambles through Libbey Park. The day was led Noel Douglas, our Coalition office manager and board member Betsy VanLeit. They worked with twenty volunteers -- including Thacher students and Severo Lara, our board chair.

“We took forty bags of trash out of the creek, and five large bags of tennis balls, but we still finished early,” Douglas said. “The creek seemed to be cleaner to us than in past years.” Greg Grant (the Public Works Director for the city of Ojai) was there, and he thought maybe the C.R.E.W., Concerned Resource and Environmental Workers, might have been through there recently.”

The most unusual item found in the creek was a ouija board.

“We had happy, smiley people, eager to go,” Douglas said. “The Thacher students, led by their teacher Juan Sanchez, actually went down twice, they finished so quickly the first time.”

The effort was also aided by one fellow with a van who drove down to the barranca behind the tennis academy and pulled out five large garbage bags of tennis balls.

“There’s some talk of inviting the tennis academy next year to join us,” Douglas said. “Maybe after a tournament they could take a few minutes to find some of the balls that end up in the creek.”

Photos

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September 26, 2017

Ojai activist leader returnst to help coalition

Caryn Bosson, a former Board member of the Ojai Valley Green Coalition, the founder of the Ojai Youth Foundation, and a former executive at TreePeople in Los Angeles, has volunteered to help the Coalition’s leadership and Board formulate a new strategy for sustainability.

Bosson has lived in Ojai since the l990’s, and has been a monthly subscriber to the Coalition from the start. She thinks if we want to see a town that values and preserves its natural beauty and small-town democracy we need to have an organization working not only for sustainability in Ojai, but which can sustain itself.

“I really can’t imagine Ojai without the Green Coalition,” she said. “And I would really like to see it thrive, because I think Ojai needs this kind of organization in order to become the kind of community we want to see in our future.”

After talking with the Coalition Board of Directors, as well as with newly named executive director Tim Nafziger, Bosson signed a volunteer letter of agreement, offering to help guide the Coalition’s efforts to translate their new vision into reality.

With a great deal of revitalizing change in both the leadership and the Board in the last year, the Coalition has decided to hold a retreat at the end of September. From the retreat will come an agreed upon set of goals. Bosson -- now a Senior Faculty member at Cal Lutheran - part of their Center for Non-Profit Leadership -- said will help the Board find practical ways to connect to its membership and the community, and set goals to guide and measure the work we do for a sustainable life in Ojai.

Restoring Soils and Seas on October 12 at Ojai Retreat Center

John Roulac, the founder of the organic superfood company Nutiva, lived in Ojai in the 1990’s, helped lead a composting movement here, and still loves the community. Even though he moved with his company to the Bay Area years ago, he continues to fund environmental activism in the Ojai area.

On Thursday, October 12th, at the Ojai Retreat and in association with the Ojai Valley Green Coalition, Roulac will lead a presentation on “Oceans in Peril,” about the crisis we face from our polluted and carbonized ocean water, and what we can do to help restore ocean health.

Roulac is alarmed by the accelerating decline in our ocean’s health and productivity, especially from pollution and acidification, but as “chief visionary officer” of the company he has some ideas on what can be done to reverse the damage as well.

“As part of our participation in 1% for the Planet, we are sponsoring ocean farming workshops along the California coast, in places like Santa Barbara, Sonoma, and San Francisco,” Roulac said. “In the same way oak woodlands are a keystone species in the coast ranges of California- a species on which thousands of other species depend - kelp forests are a keystone species off the shores of California. They have been devastated, beginning with the hunting of the otters for fur. The otters eat sea urchins, which eats kelp. Kelp forests are still recovering from that loss [of sea otters]. What we are talking about ultimately is a reforestation of the coast, but what we’re looking at right now is what we can do with ocean farming.”

Dan Marquez, a restorative ocean farmer with 25 acres off the Santa Barbara coast, will speak on the challenges of farming with kelp. Roulac says that one of the ideas being tested is the idea of feeding cows meal made of kelp instead of corn. He said that cows that consume kelp instead of cornmeal generate less methane, which is a potent greenhouse gas.

“In the last year this has gone from being considered some bizarre idea, to a “wow”! People are beginning to think about about whether they could be ocean farmers, working right off our coasts,” Roulac said.

Roulac and Nutiva also helped fund Ojai filmmakers Josh and Rebecca Tickell, who are completing a documentary project called Kiss the Ground, a 90-minute documentary expected to be entered into the Sundance Film Festival next year. A preview from the documentary will be shown as part of the presentation, and Ojai’s Steve Sprinkel, an organic grower for the community based at The Farmer and the Cook, along with Roulac and Marquez, will also be a featured guest speaker.

OCEANS IN PERIL at the Ojai Retreat at 7 pm on Thursday October 12th. 160 Besant Road, Ojai CA (near the Ranch House and Oak Grove School, off Lomita Avenue).

Join us for Water Wise Landscaping Workshop on Saturday, September 30

Join us for a Water Wise Landscaping Workshop on Saturday, September 30, Yes that is this Saturday!

Would you like to use less water and still have an attractive landscape around your home? Would you like to lower your water bill? Plan to attend a free water wise landscaping workshop hosted by the Ventura River Water District, Casitas Municipal Water District and the Ojai Valley Green Coalition.

After you have planted climate appropriate plants, installed a weather intelligent irrigation controller, and tuned up the irrigation system around your trees, there is still more to do to optimize the use of water for the health of the plants and minimize water use. Come and hear from the experts how it is done!

Location: Oak View Community Park and Resource Center in Oak View at 555 Mahoney Ave, Oak View

Time:9:30 am to 12 pm on Saturday, September 30

What: We will provide an update on our water supplies, tips on ways to improve our drought resiliency by capturing rainwater, reusing greywater, and using climate appropriate plants and efficient irrigation.

Save 30-60 gallons per 1000 square feet each time you water!

Speakers: Bert Rapp on Water Supply, Laura Maher on Rainwater and Greywater management, Dave Williams on Irrigation Efficiency, Renee Roth on Sustainable Landscaping / Plants and Cinnamon McIntosh on common irrigation mistakes.

Attendance is free with a chance to win prizes, including: Water Wise Site Evaluation, Irrigation Audit, Water Wise plants and books. Class size is limited. Pleace call Ventura River Water District to reserve your seat at 646-3403

Thanks to the Ventura River Water District and Casitas Municipal Water District for sponsoring this event!

Help us spread the word on Facebook by sharing the event and inviting your friends: https://www.facebook.com/events/1411914978929369/

Bios

Bert Rapp is the General Manager of the Ventura River Water District (http://venturariverwd.com/). Bert is following closely and reporting on the local water situation, along with working with the Upper Ventura Groundwater Management Agency to develop a Groundwater Management Plan. Bert is encouraging all of his customers to use water wisely and not waste it.

Cinnamon McIntosh has worked for water districts in the field of water conservation for 16 years. As a Certified Landscape Irrigation Auditor and Native Plant expert, she has assessed landscape water use efficiency at thousands of sites (homes, business, parks, schools, etc.) up and down California. Currently serving Casitas Municipal Water District, Cinnamon says she sees the same irrigation problems again and again and wants to help homeowners identify ways to be more efficient.

Laura Maher is a certified Water Harvesting Practitioner and a Greywater Action installer/educator. Simple, low-impact solutions are her specialty. As a Water Resource Field Specialist for Sierra Watershed Progressive and co-founder of Eco Action Co-op, she works together with other professionals to support watershed and ecological restoration.

Dave Williams has been in the irrigation industry for over a decade. He has helped with large scale commercial water management projects and has attained a Landscape Irrigation Auditors license with the Irrigation Association. He now is the project estimator for Scarlett's Landscape, Inc. in Ventura.

Renee Roth headed up the Save Our Water Ojai! campaign of the Ojai Valley Green Coalition to help educate residents about Watershed Wise landscaping. With a background in environmental horticulture and landscape design, she promotes sustainable landscape designs to save water, capture rainwater and support healthy soils with the use of climate appropriate plants. She is a certified Irrigation Auditor with the EPA WaterSense program.

September 14, 2017

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.