HHGTF 2012 Meeting Notes

Highland Heights Green Task Force – Serving the Greater Hillcrest Communities & Beyond

water droplets on blades of grass

December 5, 2012

Highland Heights Green Task Force Business Meeting

The following items were discussed:

  • We determined we could vote on business issues as enough members were present.
  • Voting in of officers and board of directors: We voted unanimously to accept both slates and agreed that if more people want to join the board we can add them later as representatives from CEVEC expressed interest.
  • Incorporation: Judy updated us on the status of the form that gives us nonprofit status.
  • Financial report: Judy gave a financial report and accepted more dues money at the meeting.
  • Programs: We discussed monthly programs and activities. One activity could be a green book club with volunteer speakers
  • Planet Aid: Judy explained the success of the Planet Aid box at the high school.
  • Name of group: We discussed adding “Serving the Hillcrest Area” to encourage participation.
  • List of what we can recycle: We discussed printing this and possibly placing this in the city newsletter.
  • Future projects: Judy will follow up to see if area restaurants would compost.

November 7, 2012: HHGTF Business Meeting

Meeting Notes in Progress, check back soon.

October 11, 2012:

HHGTF Board of Directors Meeting

Judy Dearden called the meeting to order around 7:30. Present members were Judy Dearden, Rick Evans, Al Hess, Mary Fash, Frank Sever, and guest Jeanette Evans. Maryellen Dombek and Marybeth Skala were absent.

Jeanette Evans asked if she could take meeting notes and Judy agreed to this.

Should the HHGTF continue?

We voted on the question of whether the HHGTF should continue for another year. The unanimous vote was yes.


  • We discussed the form needed for incorporation.
  • Judy will follow up with Ken Messinger Rapport about the form.


  • We agreed to nominate the same officers for the upcoming year and allow any new people who volunteer.
  • Elections will be held at the December 5 meeting.

Board of directors

We agreed to nominate the same board of directors.

Ideas for 2013

  1. We discussed the list of items we could use for a yearly campaign priority and agreed to make our priority the reducing our use of plastics.
  2. Rick is to follow up on using the projector at the community center.
  3. Future meetings and events could be:
    • Deer population
    • Living off the grid
    • Nutrition and environment loads on our body
    • Book or video discussion
    • Chemical free lawn care
    • Weeds you can eat
    • Cell Phones for Cancer – may be replaced with another group
    • Freecycle – in the spring and the fall (September)
  4. Membership forms could go out in US mail.
  5. Joint meetings with other groups should be considered.

September 5, 2012

Gazebo Party

The HHGTF was honored to be the first group to host an event in our new city gazebo with our end-of-summer potluck dinner.

Great weather, location, food, and most especially, great people! It was reported that all had a good time! Make sure to view our Facebook page for photos of the event.

August 12, 2012

FreeCycle Event

The first Freecycle was held on August 12 at our city park and was considered a success by all those involved! Just as many people were dropping off, as those finding new treasurers among the many different categories of items. There were so many positive remarks by people that we are considering sponsoring another Freecycle in the spring. And a huge thank you! goes out to all the volunteers who worked the event and helped make it a success!

August 1, 2012

HHGTF Business Meeting

This was a business meeting that discussed who could volunteer for the Home Day event to be held on August 4, and the FreeCycle Event is to be held on August 12. The upcoming Gazebo Pot Luck was also discussed. Judy thanked all of the volunteers who helped at the E-Cycle Drive that was held this summer. Although the results were not as good as Judy had wished, it was still an excellent event to help get unwanted items out of the waste stream. The HHGTF will also try to get another grant for outdoor recycling bins for the Mayfield Schools. We will keep you posted on the outcome.

June 6, 2012

HHGTF Business Meeting

Meeting Notes are in progress, check back soon.

May 2, 2012

Climate Change and Public Health

Judy began the meeting with reminders and information that included the following:

  • Thirty-six total 23-gallon-sized bags of recycling were collected for the first quarter at the City Hall complex.
  • The Planet Aid shoe bin will remain at the High School until further notice.
  • The Millridge Elementary composting is going well. They have a “Compost Team” during lunch where scraps are collected. HHGTF helped get the grant that purchased the 2 tumbling-type composters. In addition, Janet and Rick Evans from the HHGTF helped to plant four evergreen trees at the Elementary School at the front drive off of Bishop.
  • Remember that Fresh Fork will have a drop-off at Mayfield High School this year. Check April 2011 meeting notes on this page to get an overview of who they are.
  • Council approved the E-Recycle Drive for June 10 from 9 am-3 pm. Check the calendar portion of this website for further information.
  • The attending HHGTF members voted to approve spending $125 of the funds to become incorporated.

Presentation: Watersheds & the Water Cycle

Mering Borcherds, a watershed coordinator from the Cuyahoga County Board of Health, spoke to the group. He explained to the group that a watershed is an area of land that drains to a central location. Most of Highland Heights and the surrounding communities belong to the Euclid Creek Watershed.

The focus of his discussion was on Climate Change. He mentioned that climate change has to do with the water cycle; it is a long-term change in the statistical distribution of weather patterns over time. As a result of climate change, we are seeing changes in multiple ways. Our amount of freshwater supply is decreasing. China and India are examples of areas that are running out of water because of glaciers melting. There are more extreme weather events including more tornados, waves, and powerful fast storms that result in flooding.

Both animal and plant species are experiencing change. Planting zones are moving north due to warming and the longer growing seasons. Genetically modified crops do not adapt well to climate change, but non-genetically modified crops can handle some change. Butterflies are hatching sooner than their food sources are ready. Birds are changing their migration patterns.

In addition, a warmer lake temperature results in more algae. He mentioned that it may be a good idea to avoid shellfish from algae areas because they are filter eaters and they hold toxins for a long time. In Lake Erie, a good amount of the algae is caused by farming practices in the Maumee area, and the algae spread through the lake and to Cleveland from there. Algae are very light green, and it is harmful if ingested. Do not swim right after a large rain event because there will be a lot of bacteria in the water. Do not let your dogs swim in this either. He mentioned that the following website is good to look at before you go swimming in Lake Erie for beach information: OhioNowCast

April 4, 2012

Going Local: Connecting Land, People, and Community

The meeting began with Judy reviewing the following information to the group:

  • May meeting will feature Meiring Borcherds (from the Department of Health) who will talk about climate change.
  • The June meeting will be at Greenwood Farms
  • September 5 is the Gazebo Party
  • Shoe recycling is at the Planet Aid bin at the Mayfield High School
  • Green Dream is April 20 this year.

Presentation: Local Food Systems

Brad Masi of Oberlin College then spoke about local food systems.

  • Brad worked on getting the apple supply in Oberlin to come from local farmers. The supply used to come from Washington, New Zealand, and South America.
  • Local food sourcing gives money back to local farmers and increases the amount of money the farmers get from every dollar spent.
  • Local Roots of Wooster also works on local food sources and now returns 90% of the money spent to local farmers.

Presentation: Sweet Peet

Eric Hessler of Landmark Lawn and Garden Supply then spoke

  • Sweet Peet is an organic product made locally in Brunswick, Ohio. It can act as a mulch and soil conditioner.
  • Urban Organics is the manufacturer who also makes other organic garden products.
  • The manufacturer works with local horse farmers to get the bedding material as the base for Sweet Peet.

Presentation: Fresh Fork

Robert Stockham then spoke about Fresh Fork.

  • Fresh Fork is a community-supported agriculture program in the Cleveland area.
  • 92 farms are included with all the farms but one within 75 miles of Cleveland.
  • Mayfield High School will be a pick-up location starting in June.
  • Meat, dairy, and produce can be included.
  • About 1500 people participate and 2500 is the maximum limit.

March 7, 2012:

Business Meeting & Planet Aid

Judy shared the following:

  • She visited Buckeye Industries and reminded everyone that they recycle Styrofoam.
  • The HHGTF has not heard back yet for the Millridge Grant which is a reimbursable grant from the Solid Waste District.
  • Fresh Fork Market will have a drop-off at Mayfield High School this year.
  • She reviewed the by-laws and the HHGTF members who were present at the meeting approved the by-laws.

After the business reminders and announcements, Robert Takacs from Planet Aid spoke to the group.

Planet Aid Bin at Mayfield High School

  • Planet Aid bin will be installed at the Mayfield High School Parking Lot beginning in April.
  • All types of shoes, in any condition, will be accepted.
  • Please tie shoes together if possible.
  • Key Club students will help monitor the box.

Overview Of Planet Aid

  • Robert mentioned that it began in 1997.
  • There are currently more than 13,000 bins across the United States.
  • Planet Aid has established four programs in Africa which include: A program where money helps to control HIV, a program where the money goes to purchase food, a farmers’ club program that provides agricultural education, and a program that helps education and sets up schools.

Planet Aid helps protect landfills.

  • Approximately 95 million pounds of clothes/shoes were collected in 2010 alone.
  • He mentioned that 80 percent of the world’s population uses second-hand clothing.
  • Planet Aid accepts clothing, shoes, towels, and all textiles in any condition.
  • Robert asks that donations be placed inside of the boxes.
  • If they are left outside of the box in the rain, the items may mold and become unusable.
  • They do not accept mattresses or tires.

February 1, 2012

Presentation: Fair Farm Bill

Tia Lebherz is a field organizer with the Green Corps and the Food and Water Watch and spoke about the Fair Farm Bill campaign in Ohio.

Presentation: Alternative Fuels & Transportation

Alternative Fuels Director Tim Cole and Ken Styer – both from Ohio Technical College – talked about alternative transportation and fuel options.

Topics Covered

  • Fuel from corn sources and sawgrass
  • Biodiesel from canola or other oils
  • Hydrogen fuel cell cars
  • Add ons to improve fuel efficiency
  • Cars powered by propane
  • Cars powered by natural gas
  • Electric cars (such as the Leaf)
  • Hybrids

January 4, 2012

Mayfield Schools: Chemical Round-Up

This presentation was given by Frank Sever who works with the Mayfield City Schools, Custodial and Maintenance Department. Frank played a vital role in the Greening of the Mayfield City School System. Frank began this undertaking in 2006 when he looked at EPA statistics on indoor air quality and student health including asthma. He began greening the school system which aligned with the district’s mission and vision.

Greening Includes the Following

  • Removal of pesticides, chemicals in science labs, mercury (including removing thermostats with mercury), aerosols, fresheners or other items that could trigger asthma, and cleaning supplies.
  • Having a professional company do the cleanup and removal properly
  • Using hydrogen peroxide to do custodial/janitorial cleanup
  • Starting a new program of integrated pest management
  • Using very little extermination or pesticides
  • Using green techniques where possible
  • Using Green Seal approved cleaners
  • Eliminating bus idling
  • Recycling items such as batteries, paper, and glass

Mayfield High School

  • Mayfield worked closely with EPA and the EPA recognized Mayfield Schools with an award in 2007 for improving air quality.
  • Monitoring shows improved electrical usage, lower utility costs, and lower greenhouse emissions.
  • Student attendance has also increased from 2005 to 2009, perhaps as a result of a cleaner environment.
  • Students have been involved with the greening process.
  • Students in grades 5-6 graders and their teachers worked with Mr. Sever.
  • Students learned about what Frank and his team are doing.
  • Students also help measure CO2 levels.