Highland Heights Green Task Force​

​​​​​Meeting Minutes:


Agenda, Oct 3, 2018    MOVIE & DISCUSSION; “Plastic Paradise”    HHGTF

FINANCIAL REPORT:    current balance of assets…over $4,000.00

MEMBERSHIP:    63 PAID MEMBERS!!!  3 over the 2018 goal of 60 thank you all!

SCHOLARSHIPS;    This year we awarded 2 = $500 scholarships to graduating Mayfield seniors


FREECYCLE/E-Waste Drives
Once again both were a big success! We had 16 volunteers, thank you all who helped out!  The E-WASTE total was 1,100 lbs…bringing grand total from all drives to approx.. 15,000 lbs saved from the landfill…


Has been used all summer and restocked a few times


Sept, good thing we moved inside!, Thanks to all who attended.

Our  drop-offs to Bulldog Battery in Willoughby have been just under 200 lbs = $160.00



The world is paying attention!  We are partnering with the City Of Cleveland’s Office of Sustainability in getting the word out.  It’s up to us to say…NO STRAW PLEASE


Carol Smith in Richmond Hts has one to donate

SHRED DAY, this Sat…9-1 pm, service dept


We are registered as a charity/non-profit and will receive a small percentage from orders placed thru this department of Amazon

FRANK MANCUSO: author of “Evolution of Pollution”….phytoplankton & plastic pollution


DISCUSSION:    Comments from those who attended Dr. Mason’s presentation

NOV. 7         Annual Business meeting and election of officers

2019 campaign:    “AVOIDING TOXINS”



FINANCIAL REPORT: We have a current balance of all assets equaling over 4K

MEMBERSHIP: 63 PAID MEMBERS!!! 3 over the 2018 goal of 60 thank you all!

SCHOLARSHIPS: This year we awarded 2 = $500 scholarships to graduating Mayfield seniors  - Caravita Melarango and Lauren Irwin
The Lorenz family has once again helped fund the 2019 scholarship awards with another $400.00

FREECYCLE/E-Waste Drives: Once again both were a big success! We had 16 volunteers, thank you all who helped out! The E-WASTE total was 1,100 lbs…bringing grand total from all drives to approx.. 15,000 lbs saved from the landfill…

LITTLE FREE LIBRARY:Has been used all summer and restocked a few times

ALKALINE BATTERY RECYCLING: Our first drop-off to Bulldog Battery in Willoughby was 90 lbs. ($67) and we have at least that amount to be taken to them again. The successful participation by the community proves the need to continue this recycling effort…I am hoping we might convince the city to take on this effort in the future.

SKIP THE STRAW CAMPAIGN: The world is paying attention! We are partnering with the City of Cleveland’s Office of Sustainability in getting the word out. Laura Jackson from our Skip the Straw Committee has already gotten at least one restaurant on Lee to agree to only give straws upon request, and the city of Cleveland has gotten many more….so, everyone, help us out!

AUGUST: Field Trip to PLASTIC MATERIALS, INC- an industrial recycling facility in Macedonia

AMAZONSMILE.COM We are registered as a charity/non-profit and will receive a small percentage from orders placed thru this department of Amazon

At the city park in the pole barn…movie- “PLASTIC PARADISE”


"THE PERILS of PLASTICS” Aug 14, 2018 presentation given by Dr. Sherri Mason, Chair of Geology & Environmental Sciences and Professor of Chemistry at the State University of New York in Fredonia, with over 140 in attendance.

The Highland Heights Green Task Force, Friends of Euclid Creek along with a number of other watershed and environmental groups sponsored bringing Dr. Mason to town in August to present at the Beachwood Community Center her on-going research findings on plastic pollution in our Great Lakes.  Dr. Mason gave a very interesting, if not disturbing, educational presentation on the dangers of plastics once it finds its way into our waters.  If you were unable to attend, you should still be able to view the presentation that she gave to The City Club earlier in the day at this link:    https://www.cityclub.org/archives and search for Dr. Sherri Mason, 2018.

Other speakers for the evening included Cuyahoga County Councilwoman Sunny Simon, updating us on her efforts to pass legislation for a fee on plastic bags, Executive Director of Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District, Diane Bickett addressing the issues of recycling in the county, and Dr. Cathi Lehn from the City of Cleveland’s Office on Sustainability with more information on the dangers of plastics., and the SKIP THE STRAW initiative.

The ‘SKIP THE STRAW” movement is a sub-campaign also for the HHGTF’s ‘USE LESS PLASTICS” campaign, and we are partnering with the City of Cleveland’s “Plastic Reduction Working Group” with efforts to encourage the public to simply say..”No straw please” when eating out and to also ask local eateries to only give straws upon request.  We hope you will join this movement that is really picking up steam across the city, country and world.

On August 1st about 20 of us took a very educational/informational tour of PLASTIC MATERIALS, INC. in Macedonia, which is a post-consumer industrial plastics recycler.


FINANCIAL REPORT:  We are in good financial shape


a thank you note but is in NC already…but Caravita Melarango will be joining us tonight a bit
later to tell us of her career plans.
New amount earmarked for 2019 scholarship $400.00 from Pat Lorenz.

FREECYCLE/E-WASTE DRIVE….Sunday, June 24, @ the H Hts Park, 10-3

July….SUMMER BREAK……but we will have an outreach table at the Highland Hts Community
Day on Sat, July 21 …noon-5-6 ish

SKIP THE STRAW CAMPAIGN…hand-outs for restaurants….still need table tents for
restaurants….Paul C. attended the last Plastic Reduction Working Group meeting….

ALKALINE BATTERY RECYCLING…if we take to Bull Dog Battery, charge is $1/lb. We

already have about 100 lbs. There are collection boxes at H Hts city hall, JT Highland Auto and
Wildcat Fitness facility at Mayfield High School.

Fran Ursu “Food, Inc” and ‘GOOD GUT” & “HAPPY GUT”
Tom Pappas FROM Smithsonian Magazine: article about ‘POISON GAS” from WWII
Judy Dearden- ‘PLASTICS, A Toxic Love Story” plus “Nat Geographic Mag…on PLASTICS”
Deb Kramarz “A BEAUTIFUL LAWN ORGANICALLY” by Good Nature’s Alec McClennan
Rick Evans Soda Stream Product Review
Mary Fash ‘GREEN BEHAVIOR” internet article
Rosemary Balazs Report on how weather change is affecting the Olympic games
Cara Melarango 2018 HHGTF scholarship winner gave a recap of her career plans


May 2, 2018        MAN’S IMPACT on OUR WATERS - HHGTF Combined program with FOEC

FINANCIAL REPORT  - The HHGTF is in good financial standing

SMILE.AMAZON.com    - ORDER THRU https://smile.amazon.com/ch/46-3332858 and HHGTF will receive 0.5% of eligible sales

ALAN LORENZ ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION SCHOLARSHIP: we have 2 scholarship winners….both have plans for careers in engineering.  This Friday is Honor’s Awards and we will be awarding the scholarships with Donna Grigas being our presenter , and Alan Lorenz’s widow Pat will again be joining us…and a huge thank you to the Lorenz family for helping fund the scholarship.

SIGN –UP LIST: In need of more volunteers for the FREECYCLE/E-WASTE DRIVE, Sun June 24, for the afternoon shift 12- 3:00

Also, now would be a good time to sign-up to give a book/article report for June 6th

And the MOVIE & DISCUSSION night in October…the movie is ‘PLASTIC PARADISE’                                                              

HILLCREST HOSPITAL EARTHDAY CELEBRATION in the atrium,  was April 24th, 430 attendees stopped by our table …the display items were alternatives to the following:
Plastic Straws, Restaurant to-go containers, plastic produce bags, and Bee’s Wraps instead of plastic wrap…the alternatives were also raffled off………..THANK YOU TO ALL VOLUNTEERS!

SKIP THE STRAW CAMPAIGN: We will be working in conjunction with the city of Cleveland’s “PLASTIC REDUCTION WORKING GROUP”. Our VP Paul Costanzo HAS attended A meeting as our delegate, and plans to attend the next one, May 15

ALKALINE BATTERY RECYCING….and drop off boxes have been placed at the WILDCAT FITNESS CENTER at Mayfield High School, and JT Highland Auto (Highland & Bishop)….and the Highland Hts City Hall

FOEC – Updates….Ken Messenger-Rapport or Chris Vild

WELCOME OUR SPEAKER…coming all the way from Toledo to present tonight, Sandy Biln who is the Executive director of the Lake Erie Foundation…and the topic is ‘MAN’S IMPACT ON OUR WATERS”


April 4, 2018        ACCURATE IT, Electronic Recycling Explained   

FINANCIAL REPORT: The HHGTF is in good financial standing.

SMILE.AMAZON.com    - ORDER THRU https://smile.amazon.com/ch/46-3332858 and HHGTF will receive 0.5% of eligible sales

ALAN LORENZ ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION SCHOLARSHIP: we received 2 scholarship applications….both are hoping for careers in engineering. Thursday is interview night, and the winner(s) will b decided by our scholarship committee.

SIGN –UP LIST: In need of more volunteers for the FREECYCLE/E-WASTE DRIVE, Sun June 24

             Also, now would be a good time to sign-up to give a book report for June 6th

HHGTF 2018 CAMPAIGN-  “USE LESS PLASTIC”: 2018 Calendars on back table


        Our table will have display items on alternatives to the following:

Plastic Straws, Restaurant to-go containers, plastic bags and plastic water bottles, Bee’s Wraps instead of plastic wrap

SKIP THE STRAW CAMPAIGN: We will be working in conjunction with the city of Cleveland’s “PLASTIC REDUCTION WORKING GROUP”. Our VP Paul Costanzo attended their last meeting as our delegate. The actual kick-off for this campaign will be this month.

ALKALINE BATTERY RECYCING….and drop off boxes have been placed at the WILDCAT FITNESS CENTER at Mayfield High School, and JT Highland Auto (Highland & Bishop)….Highland Hts  Service Dept…has declined our request to place a box with themFOEC has finalized the plans for Dr. Sam (Sherri) Mason’s presentation.  The program will be held August 14 at the Beachwood Civic Center from 6:30 to 8:30.  Sunny Simon will also give a short presentation on her proposal for reducing plastic bag use. 


March 7, 2018                    HGTF BI-ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP BUSINESS MEETING                            

 Total paid members to date 58 w/one on the way, goal is 60

Alan Lorenz Environmental Scholarship Fund:     
scholarship balance = $649.95 from donations    
Amount voted on for the 2018 award= $1,000.00 .Either one @$1,000 or 2 @ $500.00 will decide after the interviews on April 5th
with the awards being given on May 4, committee: Marybeth Skala, Donna Grigas and Joan Albro

2018 Calendars on back table

in the atrium, April 24th,  11-2 - Our table will have display items on alternatives to the following:

Plastic Straws, Restaurant to-go containers, plastic bags and plastic water bottles

We will be working in conjunction with the city of Cleveland’s “PLASTIC REDUCTION WORKING GROUP”. Our VP Paul Costanzo attended their last meeting as our delegate. The actual kick-off for this campaign will be in April.

….and drop off boxes…Wildcat Fitness Center…hopefully also our city service department, and maybe TJ Auto….look for boxes to be out soon…

Sign-up lists…..need additional help for the FREECYCLE/E-WASTE DRIVE….Sun, June 21

APRIL 4TH Program:  
Jack Knapp, Director of Client Relations with ACCURITE, IT the company from Columbus that picks up and recycles the electronics collected at our E-Waste Drive will be our presenter….educating us on how the electronic recycling works.

Coming in August: 
Friends of Euclid Creek, plus many other watershed groups will be sponsoring Dr. Sam Mason, professor of chemistry @ SUNY of Fredonia, to come to Cleveland to give a presentation on the plastic pollution in our Great Lakes…this is a must attend event.


Mel Hauser with GOOD NATURE LAWN COMPANY is with us tonight. Welcome Mel!  With spring right around the corner, we thought this would be good timing for Mel to give a short presentation about how GOOD NATURE works.


February 7, 2018 RECYCLING TODAY, w/Kimble HHGTF
 FINANCIAL REPORT - We are in good shape financially
Paid memberships at end of January = 58…only 2 to go to get to our goal of 60!
Welcome new members! Vince Adamus, Melanie and Rich Kutnick, Sue Polomsky, Mary
Scibana, Sunny Simon, and Pat Simpson..thank you for joining us, and believing in our

Federal and State taxes for HHGTF have been filed for 2017…good for another

campaign….the first meeting of the committee met last week to
discuss our strategies…most went away with a task of some sort…working on graphics
and text, and our “elevator speech”…anyone else wanting to join…put your name on the
sign-up sheet, also …please tell restaurant servers.. ”NO STRAW PLEASE”

have been re-ordered, consider buying….
 ALKALINE BATTERY RECYCLING w/ The Big Green Box, Lancaster…
still working out the
details with boxes and drop-off sites…any suggestions?

 HHGTF Calendar…
limited copies on sign-in table…the year is set 
March 7 –
Annual Business meeting, Mel Hausser, Good Nature will join us, and
tentatively my investment advisor from Morgan Stanley will give us some info on green

our electronics recycler from Columbus
May 2 - LAKE ERIE FOUNDATION, Exec. Director, Sandy Bihn,”Man’s Impact on our
Waters” ,
our yearly combined meeting with Friends of Euclid Creek
Sign-up sheets in notebook….looking for more volunteers for FREECYCLE in June

I am so pleased to welcome, once again, Don Johnson, from Kimble’s Transfer and
Recycling Facility! (Also with us tonight is Doreen Schreiber, Business Recycling Specialist, with
Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District)
Don, along with Cassie, were our very first speakers…back in 2011, and then led a number of
us on a tour of Kimble’s new transfer facility that had just been built in Twinsburg. A lot has
changed in recycling, and Don will talk on the evolution of participating in residential recycling
programs from 1990 to 2018. We will save a little time at the end to go over items we brought
with us to see if they are “trash” or “recyclables”.



Alan Lorenz Environmental Scholarship Fund balance $649.95

For distribution of the the scholarship we decided on the following:
1 @ $1,000.00 2 @ $ 500.00 Other______________

I renewed for 2 years at a cost of $181.26= $7.55/month
Sea Turtle”


2018 campaign “USE LESS PLASTIC”

JANUARY 1 Plastic and Paper Bag fee explained…Sunny Simon
FEBRUARY 7 Kimble & Solid Waste District- what and how to recycle
MARCH 7 Bi-Annual Business Meeting, +Tom Arbeznik, Financial advisor- green investment
APRIL 4 Accurite IT (our electronics recycler) Jack Knapp
MAY 2 Lake Erie Foundation, “MAN’S IMPACT ON OUR WATERS”
JUNE 6 Book Reports
JUNE 24 FREECYCLE/E-WASTE DRIVE , Sun, June 24 th , 2018
JULY Summer break
JULY 21 HH Community Day, July 21, 2018
AUGUST 1 FIELD TRIP: PLASTIC RECYCLER…tentative, location to be announced
SEPT 5 Gazebo Potluck Dinner
OCT 3 Movie & Discussion - “PLASTIC PARADISE” documentary PARK POLE BARN
NOV Year-End Business meeting and elections
**NOTE; FOEC, trying to get Dr. Sam (Sheri) Mason to do a talk, would be combined w/us
Most meetings/events at the Highland Hts Community Center, 7 pm.

proposed PLASTIC and PAPER BAG LEGISLATION and answer our questions. 
Sunny discussed how Cuyahoga County could soon join other cities across the country by placing a 10 cent fee on plastic and paper single-use bags. Sunny recently introduced legislation that if approved would take effect in July 2018. The goal is to prompt Cuyahoga County residents into using reusable bags, which would keep plastic out of Lake Erie. This 10-cent fee is a fee for our future and for our children.


Nov 1, 2017  YEAR-END BUSINESS MEMBERSHIP MEETING                    


To renew:  With a New Website Builder promo, which is designed for mobile devises and utilizes scrolling…. $95.88/yr (includes security) + $12.99 for Domain Ownership Protection +$14.99 to renew domain name = $123.86


            CO-PRESIDENTS                      Judy Dearden / Tom Pappas

            VICE PRESIDENT                      Paul Costanzo

            TREASURER                             Roy Fash

            SECRETARY                             Amy Milroy


            Judy Dearden                          Marilyn Wilson

            Rick Evans                               Paul Costanzo replaces Maryellen Dombek

            MaryBeth Skala                       Mary Fash

            Frank Popotnik

2018 campaign  “USE LESS PLASTIC”

JANUARY         Kimble & Solid Waste District- what and how to recycle      

FEBRUARY       Cathi Lehn/County councilwoman Sunny Simon- plastic bag legislation

MARCH            Bi-Annual Business Meeting, +Tom Arbeznik, Financial advisor- green investment

APRIL                Accurite IT (our electronics recycler) Jack Knapp

MAY                 Lake Erie Waterkeeper on plastics in our waters

JUNE                Book Reports and FREECYCLE/E-WASTE DRIVE , tentative Sun, June  24th, 2018     

JULY                 Summer break, HH Community Day

AUGUST           FIELD TRIP: Regency Technology

SEPT                Gazebo Potluck Dinner

OCT                 Movie & Discussion - “PLASTIC PARADISE” documentary $25.00 by 5 Gyres- park again?

NOV                 Year-End Business meeting and elections

**NOTE; FOEC, trying to get Dr. Sam (Sheri) Mason to do a talk, would be combined w/us


CUYAHOGA COUNT PLASTIC BAG LEGISLATION SUPPORT-http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2017/10/why_put_a_fee_on_plastic_and_p.html


Another good time was had by all at our annual potluck dinner with about 30 in attendance. We were definitely all very happy that the decision had been made to move the event inside .. right at 6 PM as everyone was arriving the heavens opened up...and gave us some much needed rain, just not needed for an outdoor event!


​​AUGUST 2, 2017    QUASAR ENERGY'S: “Collinwood Digester” 

In keeping with our HHGTF 2017 CAMPAIGN topic of energy and resources,this was the appropriate year for 20 of us to tour the Quasar Energy Group, Collinwood Digester. The Collinwood Digester develops biomass waste-to-energy technology utilizing anaerobic digestion. This system converts readily available biomass sources (food waste, manure, biosolids, crop waste) into biogas that can be used as electricity and thermal heat, natural gas or compressed natural gas (CNG). This method of energy production reduces greenhouse gas emissions, diverts waste from landfills, and contributes to cleaner air, water and soil. The Cleveland location will provide 1.3MW of electricity per hour, processing 42,600 wet tons of pumpable organic biomass per year. I believe we were all impressed with the facility and thankful for all the tons of waste that are diverted from the landfills.



 Volunteers from the Highland Heights Green Task Force worked our out-reach table.  Lots of good discussions with our city residents on how to change one's habits to be more environmentally friendly.

June 7, 2017  Highland Heights Green Task Force Meeting - Green Book Club Book Reports

Judy called the meeting to order and went over our financials. We have over $4K in our checking account.

Judy went over the financials and the membership thus far this year. Both continue to grow and we are in a good place with 49 paid members. We have $544.95 earmarked for the 2018 Alan Lorenz scholarship and $500.00 for the Living Lab Project at MHS.

On May 17th, Mary Fash, Pat Lorenz and daughter Ashley Meinke presented two scholarships to MHS students. The winners this year were Anthony Gamerman and Nishant Muralidharan. Pat brought the rain barrel that she wanted to donate to the Living Lab at the high school. Both winners attended the meeting and filled us in on their career goals.

We have a new and improved Little Free Library at the Pool in the Highland Heights City Park. Be sure to check it out and take a book or leave a book! A big thank you to David Ianiro - he even included curtains - it’s adorable!

The native plants from the Cleveland Natural History Museum have been taken from the High School Courtyard and returned to the Museum. The fostering project was a success. Thank you to Judy and Mary Fash for taking this on.

Remember there is no meeting in July.

Mark Baxter,District Executive of the Boy Scouts of America, talked to the group about the boy scouts and possible environmentally based programs in the Hillcrest area.

We then had our book reports:

Mary K. Evans - “Terracycle”

Amy Mittman - “Junkyard Planet” by Adam Minter

Rosemary Balazs - “”World Without Us” by Alan Weisman

Mary Fash - PD article about Wind Turbines, 5/28/17

Marilyn Wilson - “Grounded” by Diana Butler Baum

Betty Krysan - article about GMO’s

Marybeth Skala - PD article about turning food waste into packaging, 6/7/17 and a National Geographic article about Maps of Habitats in the USA

Barb Betz - “Dirt has a Microbism” newspaper article

Nelli Johnson - “This Changes Everything” by Naomi Klein and “Drawdown” by Paul Hawken

Tom Pappas “Potentially Polluting Shipwrecks” by Michael Barrett

Respectfully Submitted,
Amy Milroy


May 3, 2017
FINANCIAL REPORT:        Income for April =  $ 70.00
                                     Expenses for April ($100.00)—FOEC, Day in the Life of EC
All assets still in good standing. Currently 49 paid members.

ALAN LORENZ ENVIRONMENTAL SCHOLARSHIP: We have 2 winners…thank you scholarship committee!  The scholarships (EACH $750) will be awarded on May 17th at MHS HONORS DAY. Pat Lorenz and her daughter Ashley plan on joining us again this year.  Pat is also donating Alan’s rain barrel to the school for use in the “Living Lab” courtyard

HILLCREST HOSPITAL EARTHDAY OUTREACH TABLE:  Big thank you to our volunteers, Anna and Ron Hinkle, Mary K Evans and Deb Harpp!  We gave away over 300 packets of basil and wildflower seeds, and lots of excellent handouts from PUCO.  Great event, with over 250 please attending.
HHGTF Calendar of upcoming events and programs


JUNE 25th(Sun)           FREECYCLE/E-WASTE DRIVE, 10-3 in our city park


OCT 4th                      MOVIE & DISCUSSION NIGHT, 7 pm at the pool barn in our city park
                                  Private showing of: IN SEARCH OF BALANCE


Welcome to tonight’s presenter: Beth Nagusky, Director of Sustainable Development at LEED CO. – LAKE ERIE ENERGY DEVELOPMENT CO.

April 5, 2017  Highland Heights Green Task Force Meeting - P.U.C.O Presentation

Judy called the meeting to order and went over our financials. As of 4/4/17 we have over $5K in our checking account and $100.00 in savings.

Judy went over the financials and the membership thus far this year. Both continue to grow and we are in a good place with 46 paid members - with the potential of 60 if everyone pays who did last year - and over 5K in the bank. Corey Rice still thinks the Living Lab Project is a go.

The committee working with the Alan Lorenz Environmental Scholarship will be interviewing the 4 candidates that we have this year on April 20th. This meeting will determine the finalists. On May 17th, Mary Fash will once again announce the winner for our group. Alan’s wife Pat will be in attendance and plans on bringing the rain barrel that she wants to donate to the Living Lab at the high school.

Judy reviewed the final version of the 2017 calendar with the group. EarthFest 2017 will be held April 22nd at the Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds.  Also of interest: On May 6th in Euclid there will be a Euclid vs Collinwood trash pick-up!

Our speaker this evening was Luka Papalko from the Public Utilities Commision of Ohio, Office of Public Affairs - Public Information Officer. Luka informed us that the PUCO is involved in some things that you never would have guessed such as railroad crossings and moving companies. He also walked us through www.energychoice.oh.gov to shop for utilities rates using Apples to Apples. Also we were reminded that using Energy Star appliances will save us on our utility bills and you may be eligible for rebates!

Respectfully Submitted,

Amy Milroy, Secretary

March 23, 2017  Highland Heights Green Task Force Meeting - Bi-Annual Board Meeting

In attendance this evening where:Judy Dearden, Paul Costanzo, Roy Fash, Amy Milroy, Marilyn Wilson, Mary Ellen Dombek, Rick Evans, Mary Fash, Frank Popotnik and Marybeth Skala.

This evening the members of the Highland Heights Green Task Force Board gathered together to discuss the future of the Task Force and how we plan on moving forward with all that we do.

Judy went over the financials and the membership thus far this year. Both continue to grow and we are in a good place with 46 paid members - with the potential of 60 if everyone pays who did last year - and over 5K in the bank. Corey Rice still thinks the Living Lab Project is a go.

Our Federal Tax for non-profits has been filed. At the end of 2017 we should get a reminder from the state to file the Statement of Continued Existence.

The committee working with the Alan Lorenz Environmental Scholarship will be meeting to review the applications of the candidates who have applied on 3/27/17. We have 4 candidates. How the $1,500.00 will be split will be decided after the interviews.

We reviewed the calendar for the year and made any changes. It is ready now to print. Judy will make 250 copies for Hillcrest and other outreach events.

The Officers for 2018 were discussed. We will vote in candidates at the October meeting and then have the final vote in November at our year end meeting. We have decided to skip the December meeting and have November be the final business meeting of the year.

The idea that we need to reach more people was agreed on. We need our mission out in the public more and have more visibility. Trying to get more things published would be a good place to start. The Board then reviewed the usual events and outreach tables that we have been hosting in the past. The majority were deemed worth keeping with the exception of HH Community Day, GMEEC Spring Plant Sale, Greenwood Farm Fall Family Fun Fest, and the Green Vendors Holiday Gift Sale.

A spring clean up in the park/Dusty Goldenrod Meadow would be a nice addition to the calendar for 2018.

Respectfully Submitted,
Amy Milroy, Secretary

March 1, 2017  Highland Heights Green Task Force Meeting - Business Meeting

This evening the members of the Highland Heights Green Task Force gathered together to discuss the future of the Task Force and how we plan on moving forward with all that we do.

Judy went over the financials and the membership thus far this year. Both continue to grow and we are in a good place with 46 paid members and over 5K in the bank.

Soon the committee working with the Alan Lorenz Environmental Scholarship will be meeting with the candidates who have applied. We will decide as we work through the process how many scholarships we will offer this year and the amounts. Hopefully we will have great students apply like they did last year and we will be able to make our $1,500 offering go far.

The Little Free Library in the community park always can use some new books. Children’s books are the most popular.

We decided to give away seeds along with information on the HHGTF at the Hillcrest Hospital Earthday Celebration. We have budgeted $60 for this.

The FreeCycle/E-Waste Drive still needs volunteers. Judy is working with the city to have there be an on-going drop off for e-waste. Lakewood uses Accurate IT and it is working well. Perhaps we could partner with surrounding cities. Talking to Mayors would be the next step.

We have a Board Meeting Scheduled for March 23 at 5pm at Panera in Highland Heights.

Next we discussed the Officers and Structure of the Task Force for 2018. Judy would like to have a co-president next year at the very least. The position of Secretary will be open in the organization next year as well. We will see if Paul would like to be the Vice President in 2018.

Each usual event was looked at for 2018 and we discussed which we feel we should keep and which could go in the upcoming year. It was decided that HH Community Day, GMEEC Spring Plant Sale, Greenwood Farm and the Green Vendors Sales can all be deleted from the calendar in 2018.

A spring clean up in the park/Dusty Goldenrod Meadow would be a nice addition to the calendar for 2018.

Respectfully Submitted,
Amy Milroy, Secretary

February 1, 2017  Highland Heights Green Task Force Meeting - Guest speaker Nelli Johnson, Topic - How our diet is tied to energy usage

Judy brought the meeting to order and quickly reviewed the schedule for the 2017 calendar. We have some wonderful programs being planned for further education and information on how to be an active member of the community while living as green a life as possible.

The financial report for the beginning of the year was presented. As of this month’s meeting we have a membership of 40. Our total assets in the bank are $5,235.04.

The Alan Lorenz Environmental Scholarship information has been submitted to Mayfield High School. The Committee who will choose the scholarship recipients this year is comprised of: Mary Beth Skala, Donna Grigas, and Joan Albro. The 2017 amount will be $1,500.00.

The new HHGTF Website is up and running. Please give it a look. The total cost for one year will be $12.00.

We hope to have another movie night sometime in the fall with “In Search of Balance”.

Kathleen Gips, the “Herb Lady” of the Western Reserve Herb Society shared an immune booster “tea” recipe with us:
Cayenne Pepper - raises body temperature = viruses don’t have a stable environment in which to live.
Fresh sliced ginger root
Fresh squeezed lemon juice of ½ lemon - boosts immunity

Our speaker for this evening, Nellie Johnson gave a talk about how much energy is used to raise livestock for food. She is a Cleveland Heights resident and the Co-Founder of The Vegan Fund. She is a supporter of the Cleveland Veg Fest. The 2017 event will be held at the Cleveland Convention Center, June 3, 2017. The admission is a $5.00 donation.

For more information on factory farming and the harm it does to the environment Nellie suggests checking out http://www.cowspiracy.com . Our current diet consumes vast amounts of energy and if we change our eating habits even just a bit - we can have a positive impact on the environment.  Eat more veggies!!!

Respectfully Submitted,

Amy Milroy, Secretary


January 4, 2017  Highland Heights Green Task Force Meeting - Guest speaker Mike Foley, Director, Cuyahoga County Office of Sustainability

This evening the members of the Highland Heights Green Task Force were joined by one of the largest crowds we’ve seen at a meeting! Judy brought the meeting to order and quickly reviewed the tentative schedule for the 2017 calendar. We have some wonderful programs being planned for further education and information on how to be an active member of the community while living as green a life as possible.

The financial report for the beginning of the year was presented. We are in great shape thus far. The Alan Lorenz scholarship is fully funded and we have as of 1/3/17 30 paid members already.

Amy and Judy are working on updating and rebuilding the website for the HHGTF. We have decided to stay with GoDaddy for another year.

In February we can look forward to two great events, one our regular meeting on February 1st and then a movie night scheduled for Thursday, February 16th from 7-9 in the Buckeye Room at the Highland Heights Community Center. The movie that will be featured is “The Garden”.  

We hope to have another movie night sometime in the fall with “In Search of Balance”.

Our speaker for this evening, Mike Foley, drew a big crowd representing people from many neighboring cities. Some are office holders and others concerned citizens. With the national landscape due to change quite dramatically with the incoming new administration, it is as important as ever to be well informed and hold our policy makers accountable for legislation regarding the environment.

Please refer to: https://www.http://executive.cuyahogacounty.us/en-US/Sustainable-Cuyahoga.aspx

This website provides valuable information about some of the key sustainability issues communities are addressing today.

Should you wish to contact Mike Foley directly his email is : mfoley@cuyahogacounty.us and his phone is 216.443.3055

Respectfully Submitted,
Amy Milroy, Secretary


December 7, 2016  Highland Heights Green Task Force  Year End Business Meeting and Elections

This evening the members of the Highland Heights Green Task Force met one last time in 2016 for the Year End Business Meeting and Elections.

Judy recapped the events from the year and we talked about the tentative program plans for 2017. The theme for 2017 is “The Future of Energy and Resources”

2016 marked the 6th year for the HHGTF! This is a great milestone and looking back over these 6 years many wonderful programs have been offered and many people have been reached.

The GoDaddy site and costs were discussed and we will look into a cheaper option or a free one. Amy and Judy will iron out the kinks on this.  It was mentioned that we could probably be getting more out of Facebook if we wanted to.

As of 11/30/16 we have $4,334.86. The Alan Lorenz scholarship is fully funded for next year. It was discussed that we may offer 2 scholarships depending on who applies. We will revisit this in March.

Elections were held and the results are as follows:

Officers -

President: Judy Dearden
Vice President: Paul Costanzo
Treasurer: Roy Fash
Secretary: Amy Milroy

Board -

Judy Dearden, Marilyn Wilson, Mary Ellen Dombek, Rick Evans, Mary Fash, Frank Popotnik and Marybeth Skala.

Judy received a donation of a box of children’s books from Half Price Books for the Highland Heights Little Free Library. Dave Ianiro will work on fixing up the Library at the Community Park in the spring.

Respectfully Submitted,

Amy Milroy, Secretary


October 5, 2016  Highland Heights Green Task Force “Waste, Human Health, & You”

This evening the members of the Highland Heights Green Task Force were lucky enough to be invited to Hillcrest Hospital for a special presentation about the Cleveland Clinic Foundation,(CCF), Green Team.

Judy brought the meeting to order and gave a brief overview of what the Green Task Force does and who we are. We have been around for 6 years now! Judy also let us know that we have set a record with 54 paid memberships for 2016.

 Reminder - Our Green Vendors Holiday Gift Sale is November 5th from 10-4. We have 30 vendors as well as sandwiches, soup and refreshments this year.

 Susan Jones, Director of Environmental Services at the Cleveland Clinic then began our presentation.

 We watched a couple of informative videos and then learned about the CCF works with recycling and sustainability. Since they are a health system they deal with many unique challenges in this area.

When new staff are onboarded they begin learning about the Clinic’s culture of recycling with such systems in place like color coding trash. Both patients and staff can participate in these types of programs. By the end of 2017 they hope to have a 50% landfill diversion rate. The Clinic helps keep up with their goals by conducting waste audits and by energizing their employees to make them involved in sustainability goals.

The folks who made it to Hillcrest for this informative session left feeling great about how a large local industry is dealing with the challenges of recycling on a BIG scale. Hopefully many more companies will strive to achieve these same goals and certainly could learn a thing or two from CCF.

Respectfully Submitted,
Amy Milroy, Secretary

August 3rd, 2016  Highland Heights Green Task Force Midsummer’s Eve Social at The Farm-

A History of Greenwood Farm as well as a presentation by Kathy Mahovlic of the Western Reserve Herb Society

Judy called the meeting to order and we were welcomed by Fred Cash, the President of Greenwood Farm. Fred gave us some general information about the farm and told us about the filming of the Bye Bye Man that took place there earlier this year.

Beth Johnson then gave us a wonderful presentation on the history of the Farm. The Phypers family who lived there for generations certainly have left a lasting legacy for the city of Richmond and it’s surrounding communities.

The grounds of the farm are open to the public for walking and hiking. It is a beautiful property and should be added to any fall foliage lover.

Kathy Mahovlic taught us all about cooking with herbs. She is with the Western Reserve Herb Society.


September 7th, 2016 Highland Heights Green Task Force Gazebo Potluck Zero Waste Dinner and 50/50 Raffle

The Potluck was once again a wonderful success. Many members were able to attend and we kept it cool despite the hot, hot heat!

Many lovely dishes were provided and we were joined by the winner of the Alan Lorenz  Scholarship! This was quite an honor since he was leaving for Northwestern the very next day.

Judy sent people home with prizes galore. A great time was had by all.

June 1, 2016 Highland Heights Green Task Force Meeting

Financial Report: Assets at this time = $4,172.02 We have the Alan Lorenz Scholarship funding for next year in the bank already. The 2016 recipient was Isaac Bykhovsky. Mary Fash gave the wonderful presentation at the awards ceremony. Many members of Alan’s family were able to attend the event and were moved by it.

The May Movie and Discussion night was a big success and the group agrees that they would like to do that again in the future.

The Freecycle/E-Waste Drive is Sunday, June 26 th from 10-3 in the City Park.

Judy passed around the various sign-up sheets for upcoming events – please make note of what you have signed up for!!

***Reminder: There is NO meeting next month as we take our July break.

Midsummer’s Eve Social at Greenwood Farm is August 3 rd . There will be a presentation of the history of Greenwood Farm as well as a talk by Kathy Mahovlic “Cooking with Herbs”. Kathy is the president of the Western Reserve Herb Society.

June meeting: Book Reports:

Book reports were given by the members of the group who brought them. The following list is of the books reviewed - they should provide some interesting summer reading.

Their Paths are Peace by Clara Lederer

Too Good to Waste – National Geographic, March 2016

6 Ways Mushrooms Can Save the World, Paul Stamets TED Talk

Green Goes with Everything by Sloan Barnett

Changing Diapers by Kelly Wells

Folks this Ain’t Normal by Joel Salatin

Letters from Eden by Julie Zickefoose

Smaller, Faster, Lighter, Denser, Cheaper by Robert Bryce

Junk Yard Planet by Adam Minter

Countdown: Our Last, Best Hope for a Future on Earth? By Alan Weisman

Food in the City by Jennifer Cockrall-King

Rick gave a presentation on Puppy Linux and Mary talked about a couple of articles from an Oregon paper about rehabbing habitats

Respectfully Submitted – Amy Milroy, Secretary

April 6, 2016 Highland Heights Green Task Force Meeting

Judy called the meeting to order and we made introductions around the room.

Financial Report:  As of the end of March we have a total of $4,648.82 in the bank.  The total earmarked for the Alan Lorenz Environmental Scholarship for 2017 is $1394.00 Therefore the Scholarship is already fully funded.

As of now we have a total Membership of 51 with our 2016 goal being 50!

We have received applications from three incredibly impressive Mayfield High School Seniors competing for the 2016 Alan Lorenz Scholarship. The applications have all been reviewed and Donna Griggas, Joan Albro and MaryBeth Skala will personally interview the candidates on April 13th. The Scholarship will be awarded to the winner at the Honor’s Day Ceremony on May 19th.

udy passed around the 2016 calendar of events as well as the sign up sheets for various volunteer opportunities throughout the year. Please be sure to make note of what you have signed up for as we had many people over-book themselves last year.


The time is now to start thinking about what book you will read for our June Green Book Club book reports!


May 4th will be a field trip meeting pertaining to the “How to’s of Composting”. We will meet at North Chagrin Reservation Nature Center at 6:30pm sharp. Jake Kundra will give a 20 minute presentation about the park’s plans to compost and show us the bins they have. Following that we will drive to the Highland Heights gazebo and park cars there. From there we will go to Judy’s house across the street at 5738 Highland Road where she will continue the conversation about composting.


The program this evening was “Biomimicry Explained” and was given by Carol Thaler, of Great Lakes Biomimicry. Carol gave a fascinating talk about biomimicry which is defined as: an approach to innovation that seeks sustainable solutions to human challenges by emulating nature's time-tested patterns and strategies. The goal is to create products, processes, and policies—new ways of living—that are well-adapted to life on earth over the long haul.                                   

Respectfully submitted - Amy Milroy, Secretary        




March 2, 2016 Highland Heights Green Task Force Meeting

Judy called the meeting to order and we made introductions around the room.  Twelve people were in attendance.

Financial Report:  We  currently have a total cash balance of $3,213.79 + $100.07 in savings. Funds are earmarked for: MHS Courtyard Project - $500. and Alan Lorenz Scholarship - $500.

The 990N postcard for federal tax and the Attorney General Annual Report have both been filed for 2015.

As of now we have a total Membership of 46 with our 2016 goal being 50!

There will be a Board of Directors meeting Thursday, March 24 at 5pm at Panera.  Judy reminded folks that these meetings are open to the public and that if anyone is interested in becoming a Board Member they should come. Also she suggested that she would be open to handing the position of President over should anyone be looking for that post within the organization.

Since this was a business meeting we reviewed the calendar of upcoming events in detail, taking time to answer questions and pass around sign-up sheets for various programs. Please see the website for the full schedule of events for 2016.

The Living Lab project at MHS is ongoing, albeit rather slowly. The students have received the grant from Progressive and have purchased the items needed to construct the monitors for the courtyard. They are going to make a prototype to test in the Innovation Center at the High School.

Looking to the future and 2017, we touched on what we might want our focus to be for that campaign. It was decided that Energy would be a good topic. Judy will start to formulate a schedule with that as the focus. She asked that if anyone knows people who can speak to this topic to please let her know.

For follow-up: Al Hess is going to talk to Frank about the status of the water bottle station at the High School. Frank Popotnik is interested in being more active in the recycling of hazardous waste throughout the community. Susan Jerome and Mary Kay Evans are going to look into recycling items that have a cord in Mayfield Village and South Euclid respectively.

Please be sure to join us next month to hear our speaker Carol Thaler discuss biomimicry!


Respectfully submitted - Amy Milroy, Secretary             


February 3, 2016 Highland Heights Green Task Force Meeting

Judy called the meeting to order at 7:08pm. We made introductions around the room.

Financial Report:  Income for the month of January is $540.00 in Membership Dues, less $25.00 for a speaker fee, plus $310.00 in donations with a grand total of $875.00. We have a total cash balance of $3,088.79 + $100.07 in savings. Funds are earmarked for: MHS Courtyard Project - $500. and Alan Lorenz Scholarship - $500.

Website –First time views continue to add up.  Judy called GoDaddy to see if they could tell us where all of the viewers are coming from and they are not able to let us know. However, since the call, the counter seems to have been reset. New views continue to add up though.  Please “Like” us on Facebook.

As of now we have a total Membership of 38 with our 2016 goal being 50!

Judy informed us that she has heard from Kimball that we should no longer put brittle plastic trays - such as the ones that cookies come in - in our recycle bins. They break into tiny pieces and mess up the machinery at the plant.

We passed around flyers pertaining to interesting programs coming up at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History and the Western Reserve Herb Society. They are:


Friday, February 26; 5-8pm

Members get a first look at The Power of Poison, a killer exhibition from the American Museum of Natural History. Explore the paradoxical role of poison in nature, human health, history, literature and myth. Take an immersive trip across different lands and times to explore the many roles that toxins have.


Wednesday, February 17; 10-11:30am at the Orange Library - 31975 Chagrin Boulevard, Orange OH 44124.  See their website for more details: http://www.westernreserveherbsociety.org

The calendar of events for 2016 for the HHGTF is on the website and mostly complete with a couple of items still tentative at this point.

Judy presented to MaryBeth Skala’s women’s group for the second year in a row.  The topic this year was “DIY recipes for cleaning and personal care”. Judy and Barb Betz gave the same presentation at the Vitamin Shoppe on Mayfield as well.

The time is now to start thinking about what book you will read for our June Green Book Club book reports!

This evenings presentation,“Organic Gardening 101”, was given by Jacqueline Kolawlski. Jacqueline has been the Agriculture and Natural Resources Ohio State Extension Educator for Cuyahoga County since 2011.  She works with urban farmers, community gardeners, oversees the Cuyahoga County Master Gardener program and manages other commercial horticulture issues. The program was packed with useful information for the home gardener. She explained how organic is about soil health, not chemistry. The state of the soil is of course most important and knowing how to properly amend it is crucial. She talked about integrated pest management and the need to keep ahead of pests and weeds in the organic garden.                                  

Respectfully submitted - Amy Milroy, Secretary        


January 6, 2016 Highland Heights Green Task Force Meeting

Judy called the meeting to order and we went around the room and made introductions.  We were joined by two new guests.

Financial Report:  Assets at this time = $2,293.72

Membership =  The 2016 Membership dues are being collected now.

Website –First time views continue to add up.  We have achieved over 100 “Likes” on Facebook.  We will see if that helps to boost our posts.


The calendar of events for the year is still a work in progress. Judy asked that if people have any requests for programs or people that they know who could give a pertinent talk to let her know.

Judy delivered the sad news that Alan Lorenz has died. The Board all agreed to name the scholarship that we are offering to a Mayfield student after him. His family was very touched by this and his wife and children hope to attend the ceremony where the winner is presented with the scholarship.

It was also decided to expand the Scholarship to students studying other disciplines that will lend to more a more environmentally friendly future.

This evenings program called “Then and Now”, was presented by Becky Gardner from the Gates Mills Environmental Education Center. Becky is a teacher at GMEEC and Department Chair for Excel TECC.

Becky gave us an update on the changes to the Environmental Education Center (formerly Horticulture) since its inception in 1974.  The program has made strides in not only Agricultural Education, but also organic vegetable gardening and utilizing more IPM (Integrated Pest Management) strategies  throughout the greenhouses and the landscape. She provided the group with a wonderfully entertaining dialogue and an informative PowerPoint about all things GMEEC. She invited us all to come and see the Center in action and attend the Spring Open House, Friday, May 6th from 8am-1pm.

Respectfully Submitted – Amy Milroy, Secretary


December 2, 2015 Highland Heights Green Task Force Business Meeting & Elections

Judy called the meeting to order with 11 people in attendance.

Financial Report:  Assets at this time = $2,313.73

Website –First time views continue to add up.  We have 23,331 views. Please “Like” us on Facebook.

Judy went through the list of Events that were held during the past year. What worked well and what didn’t, various suggestions made - such as - the FreeCycle worked well with things up on tables, the Eco-Fair while small, produced some great conversations with people who were really interested in learning and sharing information. The Green Vendor Gift Fair was a success. We talked about charging a door fee next year, providing food (bake sale, coffee, soup?), and some form of music.

The Millridge Garden has been turned over the PGT at this point with a few interested parents who will hopefully move forward keeping it and the composting program alive. Without support from the administration and staff at Millridge or help from families, the garden had become a burden.

The MHS Courtyard Project has $500 slated from the HHGTF and a $2K grant from Progressive to help see it to fruition.

We chose our Campaign theme for 2016 which will be “Land, Food and Us”. We have a tentative schedule put together for next year which looks fun and informative. The January meeting will hopefully be held at Hillcrest Hospital so we can see all of the wonderful recycling initiatives that they have in place there.  Amy will update website as dates are finalized for 2016.

Elections for both Officers and the Board of Directors were held. The results are:


President - Judy Deaden

Vice President - Rick Evans

Treasurer - Roy Fash

Secretary - Amy Milroy


Judy Dearden

Al Hess

Mary Ellen Dombek

Rick Evans

Mary Fash

Frank Sever

Marybeth Skala

As our assets grow we should consider how best to use them. Marybeth suggested creating a scholarship for a MHS student who is going on to college to study Environmental Science or the like. It was voted on and agreed to offer a $500.00 scholarship this spring. Al will check on the deadline to offer a scholarship for this year as well as looking into putting ad in the program for the “Green Tie Gala” for the HHGTF. Amy will begin creating a scholarship application as well as a blurb for the program should we buy ad space in it.

Respectfully Submitted – Amy Milroy, Secretary

October 7th, 2015 Highland Heights Green Task Force Meeting

Great Lakes Issues, Presenter:  Hyle White Lowry, Ohio Outreach Coordinator w/ the Alliance for the Great Lakes

Judy called the meeting to order and briefly went over our financial status – we have a balance of $2,158.56 in the bank. Our website continues to see increased traffic of new viewers which is a great thing. Our Facebook page has 88 likes – encourage people to follow us on Facebook – we only need 12 more to reach 100.

The Little Free Library in the Community Park located near the pool is being used nicely and can always use donations of children’s books.


Great Lake Erie Boat Float –Once again weather foiled the fun at the Great Lake Erie Boat Float!  Due to 5-7 foot waves only the surfers and kite boarders along the beach were in the water.  No boats could go out into the rough water.

Greenwood Farm Fall Fun Fest – Despite the rain folks made it out to the Fun Fest.  With the help of the wagon stopping at our remote location at the back of the property we had more people swing by our table.

Eco-Fair - Twenty-two environmental groups participated and the event was well attended with people gathering much interesting information from each group. Many people wanted to know where to find out if a commercial product is safe for the environment - Check out the Environmental Working Group at: http://ewg.org for information.

Upcoming Events:

Holiday Gift/Green Vendor Sale - November 7th, if anyone knows a vendor who would be interested, please let Judy know. NOTE: There will not be a Wednesday evening meeting in November.

End of Year Business Meeting – December 2nd with election of officers.

The evening presentation by Hyle White Lowry – the Ohio Outreach Coordinator - was wonderful.  She joined us to speak about the Alliance for the Great Lakes whose mission is: to conserve and restore the world's largest freshwater resource using policy, education and local efforts, ensuring a healthy Great Lakes and clean water for generations of people and wildlife.

If you were unable to attend the meeting on the 7th, the Alliance for the Great Lakes has a wonderful website which of course covers all of the things Hyle discussed. As citizens living along the shores of the incredible resource that is Lake Erie we, should all be aware of the special challenges and issues that the lake faces.  The Alliance addresses these problems head on and offers people the opportunity to help.


 A big HHGTF Thank You to Hyle for all of the great information and a really fun informative evening!


September 2, 2015 Highland Heights Green Task Force Meeting

The 4th Annual Gazebo Potluck Dinner and 50/50 Raffle

Judy called the meeting to order and briefly went over our financial status, 2015 membership count and our social media presence. We have over 2K in the bank with $500.00 earmarked for the Mayfield High School Living Lab project.  We have exceeded our 2015 membership goal with 42 paid members. Our website continues to see increased traffic of new viewers which is a great thing. Attendance at meetings and events has been high this year – 25-50 – which is fantastic.  The Highland Heights Green Task Force extends a big thank you to all of our presenters and volunteers for contributing to this success.

Judy mentioned that the Little Free Library at the Highland Heights Swimming Pool could use some donations of children’s books. They seem to be very popular there.


Judy gave the group an overview of the events that the Highland Heights Green Task Force has hosted or participated in thus far this year.  We have been a busy group and have had some wonderful programs in 2015.  We have a few more great ones scheduled through the end of the year as well.

Upcoming Events:

Great Lake Erie Boat Float –The HHGTF will be participating in the event that will be held September 12th at Edgewater Park.  We will be partnering with FOEC, Soil & Water, Mayfield High School Environmental Club and North Chagrin Reservation Metropark. It is a great event to attend.

Greenwood Farm Fall Fun Fest – Saturday, September 19 from 1-5 at Greenwood Farm.

Eco-Fair - October 3rd in partnership with the Cuyahoga County Public Library.  Twenty-six environmental groups are slated to participate.

October Meeting: Wednesday, October 7th at 7pm at the Community Center. “Great Lakes Issues” Presenter – Hyle White Lowry, Alliance for the Great Lakes.

Holiday Gift/Green Vendor Sale - November 7th, if anyone knows a vendor who would be interested, please let Judy know.

End of Year Business Meeting – December 2nd with election of officers.

Overall a lovely evening was had by all. The weather was perfect and the food was delicious!  Thank you to everyone for coming and sharing your company and your talents in the kitchen!


August 5, 2015 Highland Heights Green Task Force Meeting

Greenwood Farm: “Midsummer’s Eve Social @ the Creek”

Judy called the meeting to order and made introductions.  We had guests this evening from Greenwood Farm, Friends of Euclid Creek, The City of Richmond Heights, Cuyahoga County Soil and Water District and the Holden Arboretum.  This joint meeting brought many wonderful groups together to share an informative and fun evening.  
Attendance was high with approximately 50 people for the event!

Financial Report:  Skipped this evening

Website – Our social media numbers keep rising the website – be sure to follow us there at www.highlandheightsgreen.com as well as on Facebook.


Freecycle/E-Waste Drive - June 21st at Highland Heights Community Park was a great success.  Use of the pole barn made the rain tolerable.  South Euclid Recycled Committee is sponsoring another Freecycle this Sunday, August 9th, at Bexley Park from 9am-2pm.

Great Lake Erie Boat Float –The HHGTF will be participating in the event that will be held September 12th at Edgewater Park.  We will be partnering with FOEC, Soil & Water, Mayfield High School Environmental Club and North Chagrin Reservation Metropark. It is a great event to attend.

The 4th Annual Gazebo Potluck Dinner and 50/50 Raffle – will be held Wednesday, September 2nd at the Highland Heights Gazebo on Highland Road.  This is a zero waste event! 

Eco-Fair - October 3rd in partnership with the Cuyahoga County Public Library.  Twenty-six environmental groups are slated to participate.

Holiday Gift/Green Vendor Sale - November 7th.  If anyone knows a vendor who would be interested, please let Judy know.

Our guest speaker this evening was Chad Clink – He is a Community Forester with The Holden Arboretum.  He took us on a tour of the property at Greenwood Farm and discussed the many species of trees found there and the special place each plays in the environment.  He stressed the importance of bio-diversity when choosing trees for both our private properties and for cities during re-forestation.  Being sure to plant the right tree for the right place is also something to consider. When we finished our walk, we met back at the house for a power point presentation as well as light refreshments.  The presentation gave us an in-depth look at the importance of trees in the urban landscape and how we can all play a part in getting the proper trees into our everyday lives.  The long term payoff for investing in the right types of trees for each location has a huge positive impact on both our economy and health.  A lovely evening was had by all. 


June 3, 2015 Highland Heights Green Task Force Meeting

Judy called the meeting to order at 7:10.  We went around the room and made introductions.  We were joined by two students from MHS, Alan Trester and Rotem Avisar.

Financial Report:  Assets at this time = $2,091.53

Membership = 40 paid members which means we have met our 2015 goal!!

Website –First time views continue to add up.  We discussed adding a tab to the website for people to leave messages/comments.  Please “Like” us on Facebook.


Faith United Church Spring Farmer’s Market – June 5th from 4-7pm

Pet Day at Greenwood Farm – June 6th

Freecycle/E-Waste Drive - June 21st at Highland Heights Community Park

Eco-Fair - October 3rd in partnership with the Cuyahoga County Public Library.  Twenty-six environmental groups are slated to participate.

Holiday Gift/Green Vendor Sale - November 7th.  If anyone knows a vendor who would be interested, please let Judy know.

Recent Events:

Gates Mills Environmental Education Center Spring Plant Sale – The event was great and a wonderful time was had by all.  We even had a new attendee this evening because of it!

Millridge has planted peas, Indian corn and pumpkins in the garden.

Plant sitting in the courtyard at the Mayfield High School is going well.  Plants chosen to go there are not deer resistant and are safe within the courtyard walls.  The MHS Living Lab Project is moving forward with the help of Progressive.  This project will allow the students to use the third courtyard for scientific work and experiments.

***Reminder: There is NO meeting next month as we take our July break.

June meeting: Book Reports:

To begin our discussion Alan and Rotem, from the High School, presented us with their project that they have created for use in the 3rd courtyard.  They have created a device that uses both science and engineering to determine the temperature, humidity, light, and moisture in the garden.  Using the data that they collect from their invention they can assess what plants will grow best in which areas of the courtyard.  This can also be used to program automatic watering when it is deemed necessary.  Water can be provided by rain barrels and the device can run on solar power allowing for off of the grid use.  Progressive is interested in this project and would like to not only help fund it, but plans to use the instrument on their campus as well. 

Book reports were then given by the members of the group who brought them.  The following list is of the books reviewed and they should provide some interesting summer reading.

The Teeth of the Lion: The Story of the Beloved and Despised Dandelion by Anita Sanchez

No Impact Man by Colin Beaven

The Dorito Effect: The Surprising New Truth About Food and Flavor by Mark Schatzker

Our Iceberg Is Melting: Changing and Succeeding under Any Condition by John Kotter and Holger Rathgeber

DIY Solar Projects by Eric Smith

Schnormeier Gardens: Peace, Harmony & Serenity by Scot E. Long

Keep your yard green and our waters clean

A legacy of living places

Various Children’s Books on the subject of water to go with our 2015 theme


May 6, 2015 Highland Heights Green Task Force Meeting - Drink Local, Drink Tap

Judy called the meeting to order.  Attendance was high – and even included a class of  Mayfield High School Students!

Financial Report:  Assets at this time = $2,091.53

Membership = 39 paid members with a 2015 goal of 40

Website – 18,803 first time views!!  Please “Like” us on Facebook

Gates Mills Environmental Education Center Spring Plant Sale - May 15th from 10-4 on County Line Road - stop by our table.
Native Plant Sale – North Chagrin Nature Center – May 23rd from 10-4
HHGTF Green Book Club Reports – June 3rd
Faith United Church Spring Farmer’s Market – June 5th from 4-7pm
Pet Day at Greenwood Farm – June 6th
Freecycle/E-Waste Drive - June 21st at Highland Heights Community Park
Eco-Fair - October 3rd in partnership with the Cuyahoga County Public Library.  Twenty-six environmental groups are slated to participate.

Holiday Gift/Green Vendor Sale - November 7th.  If anyone knows a vendor who would be interested, please let Judy know.

Recent Events:

Hillcrest Hospital Green Task Force Earth Day – Thank you to Deb Harpp and Anna and Ron Hinkle for working the table.  Judy met with the Cleveland Clinic Sustainability Officer and we have the potential of partnering for a program with CCF in 2016.  A nurse from  the Cole Eye Institute won the rain barrel in the raffle.

Judy gave a presentation to a class of preschool students at Faith United Church and the Mayfield Citizens Committee.  The children planted seeds in toilet paper tube containers.

Mayfield High School - Please consider donating to Creeklife.com for the MHS bottle filling stations.  Any amount would help. They have raised enough money to purchase the first bottle filling station and still have 5 more to go!

MHS is “plant sitting” for the plants in the Perkins Wildlife Center that will be displaced during construction at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.  Planting took place in the courtyard and consisted of trillium and cinn. Ferns.  Thank you to Mary and Deb.

Alan Lorenz sent a thank you to the group for his get well card and looks forward to seeing everyone soon – hopefully at the Freecycle on June 21st.

Pumpkins and Indian Corn will be planted in the Millridge Garden at the end of May.

Drink Local, Drink Tap: This evenings presentation by spokesperson Brett Wessler included watching Erin Huber’s documentary: “Making Waves – From Cleveland to Uganda”.  783 million people lack access to safe drinking water and every 20 seconds a child under the age of 6 dies from drinking unsafe water.  The mission of this organization is to provide rural communities the tools and knowledge for water sustainability moving forward.  Wells have been constructed at schools and local people are taught how to care for them and keep them working.  This results in much more accountability and measureable results.  The documentary was very moving and the work that Erin and her group are doing is incredibly important and very admirable.


April 1, 2015 - HHGTF Food and Water Watch: Fracking - Alison Auciello - Speaker

Judy called the meeting to order at 7:10.  Attendance was high - approx. 40+ people.

Judy passed a card for Alan to let him know that we are thinking of him and that he feels better soon.  April program flyers for Greenwood Farm were passed around. Programs are free - donations are always appreciated.

Financial Report:  Assets at this time = $2,064.47
Membership = 39 paid members with a 2015 goal of 40

Upcoming Events:  
Hillcrest Hospital Green Task Force Earth Day - April 28th from 11-2:30pm.  Stop by for a chance to win a rain barrel!
Gates Mills Environmental Education Center Spring Plant Sale - May 15th on County Line Road - stop by our table.
Freecycle/E-Waste Drive - June 21st at Highland Heights Community Park
Eco-Fair - October 3rd in partnership with the Cuyahoga County Public Library.  Twenty-six environmental groups are slated to participate.
Holiday Gift/Green Vendor Sale - November 7th.  If anyone knows a vendor who would be interested, please let Judy know.
May 6th Program - Erin Huber - Drink Local, Drink Tap.  We will view her documentary “Making Waves”

Millridge Garden Update - Judy met with parent volunteers.  Next week she will meet with the school staff.

Mayfield High School - Please consider donating to Creeklife.com for the MHS bottle filling stations.  Any amount would help. MHS is considering “plant sitting” for the plants in the Perkins Wildlife Center that will be displaced during construction at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.

Our speaker this evening was: Alison Auciello.  Her presentation was “The State of the State of Fracking”

Alison is an organizer working in Ohio.  Her background is in community outreach and fundraising around environmental and consumer rights issues. Before joining Food & Water Watch, Alison worked with Ohio Citizen Action on manufacturing and landfill pollution issues, and most extensively on coal pollution issues.  She has contributed to successful campaigns to stop new coal plants from being built in Ohio, advocated for closure of the oldest and dirtiest coal plants, and worked toward an end to mountaintop removal.

For more information about Fracking, from Food and Water Watch click here: 

Alison’s contact information is:

March 4, 2015 - HHGTF Business Meeting

Judy called the meeting to order at 7:05pm. 

First on the Agenda was the Financial Report.  We are well ahead of the game for this time of year and for 2015 generally, so this is great.  Judy informed us that she has filed the 2014 taxes for the group.

Millridge Garden and Composting program is starting to gear up for spring.  Judy met with the President of the PTO and she produced 9 parent volunteers to help with the composting program.  Judy will meet with them to explain how the composting works and to narrow down the number, because 9 folks are a few too many.

Corey Rice from MHS came to update us on the Courtyard Project.  He expects the project to be tabled until testing season is done at the high school.  The opportunity to “plant-sit” some the Cleveland Museum of Natural History plants while renovations are done there has been offered.  This would be a great way to kick-start using the courtyard as a garden.  This would be a 2 year commitment.  It will be looked into further.

The students in the Environmental Club have created a Creeklife.com project to fund bottle filling stations at the high school water fountains.  Donations can be made on the Creeklife website here –


Donating is easy and every dollar counts.  All members should please consider supporting this cause.   

The Eco Fair is shaping up nicely.  Judy has a diverse group of 25 or so organizations who will be on hand at the CCPL, Mayfield Branch (SOM Center Road).  This is an exciting partnership between the HHGTF and the Cuyahoga County Library.  The event will be held Saturday, October 3 from 11a-3p. 

All members should keep the Green Vendors Holiday Gift Sale in mind and let any artisans who would be interested in participating know about it.  The Cleveland Flea might be a great place to find additional vendors.  The event is Saturday, November 7, 2015.

The Greenwood Farm program schedule was shared with the group.  On March 18th from 6:30-8:30pm, Garrett Ormiston from the Cleveland Museum of Natural History will give a presentation there titled “Native Plantings and Pollinator Gardens”.

Sign-up sheets were passed around for the Gates Mills Environmental Education Center – Spring Open House May 15, Barb Betz Young Living Essential Oil Party March 30, and the Green Book Club Report Meeting June 3.

Judy let us know that she has heard from our absent member Alan Lorenz.  He is feeling better, having missed many meetings while suffering from eye troubles.  We wish him a speedy recovery!

The Freecycle/E-Waste Drive will be Saturday, June 21st.  Michael Bissel will handle the e-waste this year.

The Board of Directors will meet March 26.

We came up with some new monthly challenges for the website for 2015. 

Deb shared two upcoming events with us:

The City of Euclid will hold its Garden Tour July 17-19.
Euclid Beach Blast – August 1 at starting at 4pm.  This fun event will feature a sand castle building contest as well as a bonfire.

Anna asked for suggestions to help her husband who works at Hillcrest find a suitable item to raffle off at the Hillcrest Earth Day Green Fair.  She is thinking a rain barrel would be perfect.  Judy will look into it.  The possibility of the HHGTF having a table at the event was also discussed.


February 4, 2015 “Clean Water 4 All Presentation” Presenter: Judy Dearden, President HHGTF

Meeting was called to order and attendance was very respectable considering the frightful weather.  We even acquired a new Member!  We went around the table and made introductions.

Judy updated us on the funds that have been received thus far and we are ahead of our budgeted income already so that is a good thing.  It was mentioned that tax acknowledgement emails have been sent out and that the $20 Membership Fee is not included in these acknowledgements.

Plans are going ahead for hosting an Eco-Fair at the Cuyahoga County Public Library in Mayfield Village in the fall.  Judy has lined up several groups to be represented at the event.  The date is Saturday, October 3rd from 11am - 3pm.

It was announced that the City Council of Highland Heights voted last Tuesday to approve the Kimble garbage contract which will not only save the city significant amounts of money, but will bring the garbage cart system to the city.  This has been shown to greatly increase participation in recycling and will be an opportunity for Highland Heights to become an even more green city.

It was proposed to spend $50 on Erin Huber’s “Drink Local, Drink Tap”  documentary video.  There was a unanimous vote to do this.  We will view this at our May meeting.  This will be a step towards creating a video library for the group.

Our April speaker will be Alison Auciello - a spokesperson for Food and Water Watch.  She will be traveling from Cincinnati to give her presentation and has asked the HHGTF for travel funds.  The amount of $75 was agreed upon and approved via an unanimous vote.

The rest of our 2015 scheduled meeting topics and activities was discussed and reviewed.

Judy sent around a list of former Members to see if any current Members who knew them could reach out to these folks to see why they have not stayed with us and invite them to return to the HHGTF. 

Marilyn Wilson handed out the 2015 Calendar of Events for Greenwood Farm.  She gave a brief history of the property and the vision for the use of the land and buildings going into the future.

The task list was passed around for people to sign up for committees and volunteering  opportunities for various Programs and Events in the upcoming year.

Judy was our esteemed speaker this evening and gave a wonderful presentation which kept with the 2015 theme which is “Clean Water for All“.  She gave us recipes and tips to help to replace commercial cleaning  and personal care products in our homes with more environmentally friendly ones.  This is important to think about because so often using commercial products leads to really nasty chemicals going down our drains and  making their way into our watersheds.  She included the very informative handout - “DYI recipes for cleaning and personal care that will help keep our waters healthy and clean”.    Along with the handout she brought actual products that she uses as visual aids to pass around the room.  A wealth of quality information was shared.

The evening was wrapped up with a fun drawing in which one lucky winner took home wash soap and the other a lovely calendar.

Judy mentioned that one of our Members - Barb Betz - is selling essential oils.  She would be willing to have a party  which the oils for sale if anyone was interested.  A sign up sheet was passed around.

Jan. 7, 2015 - CREEK LIFE - "Fundraising for Outdoor Projects & Awareness", Presenter: Mark Contorno
Judy called the meeting to order at 7pm.  We went around the room and made introductions.

Judy gave a review of the Financial Report as we go into 2015.

Election results from the meeting in December of 2014 were announced.  They are as follows:

Officers: Judy Dearden – President, Rick Evans– Vice President, Roy Fash– Treasurer, Amy Milroy- Secretary

Directors: Frank Sever, Al Hess, Mary Fash, Rick Evans, MaryBeth Skala, Judy Dearden, Maryellen  Dombek

A reminder was made that membership dues need to be paid now in order to keep current.

The binder containing all of the committee information for various activities throughout the year was sent around the room for people to review and sign up.

The idea of hosting an Eco-Fair was presented.  This would involve including other groups whose missions are either environmental, eco-friendly, land conservancy, or the like.  The Cuyahoga County Library in Mayfield Village was suggested as a venue.  Judy will look into their interest and availability.  We might benefit from the library’s publicity capabilities, drop in traffic from patrons, and an indoor space so as to not have to worry about the weather.  Greenwood Farm was also offered as a possibility.  Judy will keep us posted.

The Mayfield High School “Living Lab Courtyard” project was discussed.  Mr. Rice from the high school came to give us an update on the Environmental Club and teacher interest in the project.  Teachers in the Science Wing have been asked to provide “Wish Lists” as to what they would like seen done with the space.  Many different areas and groups within the High School could be involved in the development of the space and all students would benefit from it.

Judy proposed that the HHGTF donate $500 as money to help get the project rolling.  Marilyn Wilson motioned that: “The HHGTF should donate money not to exceed $500 as seed money for the Living Lab Courtyard project”.  There will need to be follow-up with Progressive regarding funds that they were interested in granting last year now that there is a project to fund.  The Garden Club may be able to donate funds in the amount of $1000.00.

Finally a presentation by Mark Contorno, founder of Creeklife.com  - “Fundraising for Outdoor Projects & Awareness”, was made.  Mark has developed a website which may be very useful for us to help raise money for such projects as the above mentioned Living Lab Courtyard project.  This site is much like a go fund me or a crowd funding type of set-up.  Going forward his site could be used as a way for the HHGTF to get the local community involved and lend a hand in helping to fund, protect and restore the places we love.

Dec. 3, 2014 - Business Meeting - YEAR END ELECTION OF OFFICERS
Judy called the meeting to order around 7:00.



Judy announced we have a quorum and can vote.


Financial report

Judy provided the financial report


Web site

We are paid up through the end of 2016.



We voted to accept the Officers and Board of Directors on the slate.




2014 Annual Report

2014 Zero Waste Campaign

2015 Clean Water Campaign

MHS Living Lab 



We looked at sign up sheets with committee duties


Nov. 5, 2014 - Green Vendors- HOLIDAY GIFT SALE
The Highland Heights Green Task Force hosted the first Holiday Gift Sale with 15 "green vendors" who offered a wonderful selection of items for alternatives to mass produced products for gift giving for the holidays. The event was a great success and comments from the vendors and shoppers were all positive. 
Judy provided an update on finances, little free library, Millridge garden, Attorney General Annual Report, Sustainable Cleveland Conference, Gazebo party, Fall Family Fest, restoration planting on Bishop near Hawthorne on Oct. 11, and the Boat Float. Speaker Deez Lincoln made a presentation on Reclaimed Cleveland, Rustbelt Reclamation where he is the founder and owner.
September 3, 2014 - GAZEBO ZERO WASTE POTLUCK and 50/50 RAFFLE
We held the gazebo potluck and 50/50 raffle meeting. Judy reviewed the achievements of the year including freecycles, ewaste drives, financials, 501c3, zero waste campaign, little free library, Millridge garden, composting, fermented tea party, Greenwood Farm, Great Lake Boat Float, hazardous waste drive, shred day, Gates Mills Education Environemntal Center Festival, and greening your holidays program.  Good food, great company and wonderful weather! 

August 6, 2014 - Midsummer's Eve Social @ Greenwood Farm and the Creek
This was a joint meeting with Friends of Euclid Creek and Greenwood Farm Association. According to Claire Posius 94 people signed attendance sheets. Judy covered the following.

1. Our 501c3 application was accepted and granted

2. A thank you goes to all who helped at our 4th freecycle/ewaste drive in June... best one yet with great press coverage... collected 1625 pounds of elecronics... total for 4 approximately 5,000 pounds and the Highland Heights Community Day table

3. Little free library, Millridge garden, Great Lake Boat Float, fermented tea party on August 21 

4. September 3 is our gazebo potluck with zero waste

5. Our upcoming project is the high school courtyard landscaping improvement

The speakers were Claire Posius and Dr. Larick.
June 4, 2014 - GREEN BOOK CLUB, Book Reports, presenters...HHGTF members
Judy provided an update on the upcoming freecycle event on June 22, community day on July 26, financial report, Millridge garden,the high school environmental club participating in the Lake Erie Boat Float, fermented tea party, compost demo, little free library, Gates Mills Spring Open House on May 9, Hillcrest Green Task Force, and August meeting to be with FOEC at Greenwood Farm.  We then presented book reports. 
May 7, 2014- WHY ARE WE LAND-FILLING FUEL? presenter Mike Dungan, Director of Sales & Marketing, 
RES POLYFLOW, an Akron, OH based company.
Judy provided an update on finances, 501c3, Millridge garden, food composting, recycling, closing of GreenTech, upcoming events, future project, and the June 4 book report meeting. 

Thank you to Mike Dungan, Director of Sales and Marketing for providing the presentation about the Akron based RES Polyflow energy recovery process.
April 2, 2014- HOW TO WASTE LESS, presenter, Judy Dearden, Pres. Highland Hts. Green Task Force

Judy Dearden updated the group on the HHGTF Board of Directors meeting and upcoming events and activities, distributed sign up sheets, and made a presentation on ZERO WASTE, the HHGTF 2014 campaign. This was a well attended program! Lots of audience participation and lots of laughs!


March 5, 2014 - BUSINESS MEETING w/an update from the Mayfield High School Environmental Club students

Judy Dearden called the meeting to order with 24 attendees, and we covered the following. 

1. Recycle bin grant update for Mayfield schools and Highland Heights


2. Mayfield HS Environmental Club updatee

Student from the club reported on their efforts at community service at Metroparks, recycling awareness, sustainable energy efforts, and a biofuel project.


3. Freecycle proceeds of $60 came from selling leftover books to Half Price Books - we agreed to buy pizza with this money at the next freecycle


4. Financial report


5. 501c3 update


6. Waste less program update


7. Gates Mills Environmental club open house in May

8. Green book reports will be the meeting in June


9. Freecycle/E-Waste drives will be June 22, Sunday, at the Highland Hts community park


10. Fermented tea party in August will be at Milroy's house


11. Greenwood Farms event on August 6 will be with Friends of Euclid Creek


12. Cook off - we discuss possible events and agreed during the week in Oct.-Dec., possibly on Meatless Monday, would be some options


13. Mayfield Hts. or Lyndhurst Home Days - are possible events where we could participate


14. Planet Aid update - the Operations Manager explained about the program


February 5, 2014 - SUSTAINABLE CLEVELAND & the YEAR OF ZERO WASTE, presenter, Dr. Cathi Lehn, Sustainable
Cleveland Coordinator

Judy called the meeting to order around 7:00 PM and covered the following topics:

1. Financial report

2. 501c3 application is almost complete and will be ready to submit soon

3. FREECYCLE/E-WASTE Drive that was held in January at Millridge Elementary School

4. FREECYCLE/E-WASTE Drive in June....we voted on June 22 for this 4th drive. We also discussed ideas for other types of   FREECYCLES for the future.

5. Mayfield High School Environmental Club update

6. COOKING HEALTHY CLASSES w/ Leslie Elia...were a wonderful success...plans under consideration for future events   
centering around healthy eating and nutrition.

7. GREEN BOOK REPORTS will again be on our agenda for the June meeting...everyone should be considering what "green" book they might want to read.

Cathi Lehn took the floor and did a wonderful presentation that introduced us to the working groups, ideas on how to get involved and begin the celebration for 2014 and the Year of Zero Waste.

The HHGTF March meeting will be a general business meeting, and an update from the students involved in the newly formed Mayfield High School Environmental Club. 



December 4,2013- BUSINESS MEETING- Year End with Election of Officers, with the meeting being called to order by Judy at 7:00 PM.

The meeting covered the following topics:

1. Financial report

2. Website - we voted to renew for one year

3. Elections - we voted to accept the slate of officers and Board of Directors

4. Dues

5. Mayfield High School Environmental Club

6. 2013 Annual Report

7. 2013 "USE LESS PLASTIC" campaign and how it was a success

8. 2014 "ZERO WASTE" campaign and how it ties into the City of Cleveland's 2014 Zero Waste initiative

9. 2014 Calendar of Programs, Meetings and Events

November 6, 2013 - Solar Options and Lighting Options Update

The meeting covered the following topics:

1. Financial report

2. Non profit application

3. Millridge garden, pumpkin contest, and raffle tickets sold

4. Planet Aid

5 Mayfield Green Team Executive Committe with a school system wide garden club

6. Mayfield School Family Funfest 

7. Freecycle/ecycle

8. Cooking with Leslie Elia

9. Board of directors meeting on Oct. 22

10. Moniatio slate

11. Roy Fash agreed to be treasurer

12. Board of directors remain the same

13. Volunteer for board are being accepted

14. Membership will vote on the slat in December

15. December meeting will cover 2014 calendar

16. Membership letter and dues should go out soon

Jon Kaplan of Pearlwind presented on solar options.

Rick Evans, VP of HHGTF, presented on lighting options.


October 3, 2013

Judy called the meeting to order and updated on the financial report, gazebo potluck, Millridge garden, Planet Aid box, Greenwood Fun Fest, and 2014 campaign. Upcoming events are Sat. Oct 12 at the Gates Mills Environmental Education Center and Jan. 18 at the Millridge recycle event. 

Thank you to Clint Pemerton for speaking about the Quasar Energy facility known as the Collinwood Digester. 


September 4, 2013 with the 2nd Annual Gazebo Potluck Dinner

We reviewed achievements over the past year to include:
- planet aid box
- freecycle/ewaster drive
- use less plastic campaign
- Millridge school garden expansion
- Mayfield green team executive committee
- became incorporated
- received federal tax id number
- began 501c3 application
- sponsored 8 green living speakers series programs
- held green book club meeting and 2 business meetings

August 7, 2013 - Business Meeting and Environmental Loads on Our Bodies

Judy Dearden called the meeting to order at the Highland Heights Community Center around 7PM.

She  provided an update on the HHGTF finances, June book report meeting, HH Fun Day, Millridge School  activities, possible work with Mayfield High School, Planet Aid box at Mayfield High School with 11000 pounds collected, freecycle activities with discussion of a possible indoor event in January, September 4 gazebo no waste party, Federal ID number work, December elections, and possible need for a nominating committee. Judy then introduced our speaker Leslie Elia.

Leslie Elia talked about environmental loads on our bodies. A huge thank you goes out to our most interesting speaker.


June 5, 2013 - Green Book Club

Judy Dearden started the meeting with the following reports:

Financial report
Freecycle and ewaste event on June 23 
Pumpkin patch planting took place at Millridge with all classes (YAY!)
Community Day on July 27
Mayfield schools green team
Recycling in schools
Planet Aid box at high school received over 9000 pounds since April, 2012 (YAY!)
No July business meeting  
Aug  7 business meeting - stay tuned for details


We watched a video of The Majestic Plastic Bag: A Mockumentary, then proceeded with book reports.


April 3, 2013 - What Can We do with the Deer?

A record number of 63 people attended.

Judy Dearden discussed the following as concerns the group. 

- At the recent HHGTF board meeting we agreed that funds if our group ceased would go to Mayfield for a scholarship

- Attendees should sign a volunteer email list that Judy passed around.

- Fund raising is in progress

- Millridge composting update

- Mayfield Green Team Executive meeting update

- New Mayfield library opening is Sat., April 20, 2-5, stop by our HHGTF table


Christi Carlson, VP of Friends of Euclid Creek, spoke about how this is a joint meeting and about the land acquisition initiative for Richmond Heights and Highland Heights. 

Geoff Westerfield, Assistant Wildlife Management Supervisor, Ohio Division of Wildlife, ODNR, spoke on the topic "What Can We Do with the Deer?" 

Cathy Murphy, President of Highland Heights City Council, spoke briefly on the topic of what topics city council is discussing concerning deer.

March 6, 2013 - Chemical Free Lawn Care

Introductory material covered updates on the following:

- meetings coming up

- list of what Highland Heights recycles

- Mayfield Schools green teams and composting

- NE Ohio Environmental Task Force on Facebook

- Richmond Heights tree planting through ReLeaf

- Friends of Euclid Creek fundraising for a Richmond Height property 

- Treasurer's report 


A representative from Beyond Pesticides spoke about how and why to use organic approaches instead of pesticides when it comes to lawn care.  


The founder and president of Good Nature spoke on organic lawn care. He covered topics such as problems with pesticides, types of grass, maintenance, optimal mowing, spot weed treatment, composition of fertilizer, use of compost, and a timetable for fertilizing.  




February 6, 2013 - Air Quality, How We Can Improve It

Judy called the meeting to order and covered the following:


. New members

. Financial report 

. Membership dues

. Calendar

. Recycling list

. Green book club ideas

. Mayfield school recycling update

. Mayfield school and composting update

. Freecycle and e-waste drive 


George Baker presented on air quality. He is the Commissioner of Air Quality, Cleveland Dept. of Public Health, Div. of Air Quality. 


Judy asked for additional items for discussion. Cathy Murphy, Highland Heights City Council President, asked that we look at the web site http://www,cuyahoga-airportea.com to look at the environmental assessment of the airport currently in progress.


January 2, 2013 -  Plastic Pollution


Attendees introduced themselves.  After that, Judy provided a financial report, update on incorporation, and review of 2013 tentative calendar events and 2012 accomplishments. 

We discussed the green book club, gazebo party, Mayfield school recycling results, Millridge composting, and from Al Hess we heard about his work in having science teachers provide credit to students who attend meetings, which hopefully will be under consideration with the school system. 

Nancy Hughes - Compost and Recycling Coordinator at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo - and Cathi Lehn - Great Lake Erie Boat Float Coordinator - gave presentations on plastic pollution. 


December 5, 2012 - Business Meeting

The following items were discussed at the December Business Meeting:

-  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 non profit 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 about 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 - Meeting Minutes in Progress, check back soon.


October 11, 2012 - HHGTF Board of Directors Meeting

Judy Dearden called the meeting to order around 7:30. Present 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 minutes and Judy agreed to this.

- Should the HHGTF continue?

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


We discussed the form needed for incorportion. 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 of 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:

    a. Deer population

    b. Living off the grid

    c. Nutrition and environment loads on our body

    d. Book or video discussion

    e. Chemical free lawn care

    f. Weeds you can eat

    g. Cell Phones for Cancer - may be replaced with another goup

    h. 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. 


October 3, 2012 - Meeting Minutes in progress, check back soon.


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, great location, great food and most especially, great people!  It was reported that a good time was had by all!  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 catagories 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 - 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 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 results were not as good as Judy had wished, it was still a good event to help get unwanted items out of the waste stream.  The HHGTF will also try to get another grant for outdoor recycle bins for the Mayfield Schools.  We will keep you posted on the outcome.  


June 6, 2012 Meeting Minutes 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-types 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. 
- Reminder that Fresh Fork will have a drop off at Mayfield High School this year.  Check April 2011 meeting minutes on this page to get an overview of who they are.  
- Council approved the E-Recycle Drive for June 10 from 9am-3pm.  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. 

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 statistical distribution of weather patterns over time.   As a result of climate change, we are seeing changes in multiple ways.  Our amount of fresh water 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 shell fish from algae areas because they are filter eaters and they hold toxins for a long period of time.  In Lake Erie, a good amount of the algae is caused from 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: www.ohionowcast.info/index.asp


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 Heath) who will talk about climate change.
- June meeting will be at Greenwood Farms
- September 5 is the Gazebo Party
- Shoe recycleing is at the Planet Aid bin at the Mayfield Hight School
- Green Dream is April 20 this year. 

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.

Eric Hessler of Landmark Lawn and Garden Supply then spoke about Sweet Peet.
- 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 bse for Sweet Peet.

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 07, 2012 - Buisness Meeting and Planet Aid

 This meeting began as a business meeting.  Judy mentioned 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 which were present at the meeting approved the by-laws. 

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

Robert also gave an overview of Planet Aid.  He 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 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 - Alternative Fuels and Transportation

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

Alternative Fuels Director Tim Cole and Ken Styer - both from Ohio Technical College - talked about alternative transportation and fuel options. Some topics they covered included:

fuel from corn sources and saw grass
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)


January 04, 2012 - Mayfield School System:  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.

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 included the removal of pesticides, chemicals in science labs, mercury (including removing thermostats with mercury), aerosals, fresheners or other items that could trigger asthma, and cleaning supplies.  Greening also included having a professional company do the clean up and removal properly, using hydrogen peroxide to do custodial/janitorial clean up, 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, and recycling items such as batteries, paper and glass. 

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 green house 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.  5-6 graders and their teacher worked with Mr. Sever.  Students learned about what Frank and his team are doing.  Students also help measure CO2 levels. 


December 07, 2011 - Year End Business Meeting

This meeting was a business meeting that summarized accomplishments from 2011, and discussed ideas for 2012.  Judy Dearden mentioned the following information:

-  Applied for a grant from Fiskars.  It is to be determined if we receive the grant.  The money would be used for the City’s Green Space.
-  Twenty bags of recycling were collected for the month from the new recycling bins that have been placed on the City Hall Complex.
-  There is discussion of Millridge Elementary starting tumbler composting.  The HHGTF will try to continue trying to help them achieve this in any way we can.
-  The HHGTF will have a table at the Green Dream which will take place on April 20, 2012 at the Beachwood Community Center.  For more information, view the calendar on the Home Page of this Website. 
-  HHGTF Meetings in 2012 will continue to be the first Wednesday of each month. 

Judy then reviewed ideas for the 2012 Speaker Series Topics and officers were elected.  For the list of officers, view the Home Page of this website.  There was also a discussion of having a membership fee for the 2012.  Overall, 2011 went well.  The recycling bins that the HHGTF received in a grant for the City Hall Complex was a great success.  Everyone has learned a lot from all of the Speaker Series we’ve had.  It is a goal of the HHGTF to have more projects in the future.  Thank you all for a great year; our first year!  


November 02, 2011 - Home Energy Audits and Alternative Energy Sources

Clint Cravens from Green Street Solutions began the evening with a discussion on Energy Audits.  He mentioned that his company has been in Cleveland for approximately three years.  When they come to your home, they ask to see energy bills from an entire year.  It takes them approximately 3-4 hours to do the initial walk thru of your home.  They take thermo-graphic images of walls, conduct an indoor air quality and carbon monoxide test, and a blow test to expose air leakage location.  They then go back to the office and do virtual models of the home with all of the information that they’ve comprised.  They then come back to the home owner with an assessment of what they suggest should be done to increase energy efficiency in your home.  They not only conduct the audits, but they also have the capabilities to do all of the improvements to the home as well. 

He suggested that it is most important to properly insulate and air seal the home first.  Air sealing and insulation will give you the most “bang for your buck.”    Air sealing is very important.  Once you have air sealed and insulated, then he’d suggest getting a new efficient furnace, and after that it is worth considering new windows.  Before replacing windows, take a look at adding new storm windows.  It is also important to look at insulating plumbing pipes.   A faucet furthest away from the hot water tank should take no more than 28 seconds maximum to heat up.  If it is more than that, than you will be wasting, on average, over 27,000 gallons of water per year just waiting for the faucet to heat up. 

Green Street Solutions can offer the consumer 27-45% in saving if consumers follow their suggestions.  Go tohttp://www.greenstreethome.us/ for more information.  It was also mentioned that Dominion has offered rebates since 2010 for homeowners so that is also something worth looking into!   

Then, a representative from Bold Alternatives spoke about solar panels in residential settings.  The typical payback is approximately 10 years if you add solar panels to your home.  A micro-inverter would be recommended for residential.  With this system, meters can go backwards on sunny days.  You pay the utility company for the net number of times your meter spins forward.   Panels should aim south for best results.  There should be approximately 3-4” air gap between the panels and your roof.  They are made from tempered glass, and can withstand up to one inch hail.  Go to http://boldalternatives.com/BoldAlternatives/Home.html for more information. 

The evening concluded with a discussion from our own Rick Evans, and engineer on lighting.  He mentioned that the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 has two phases.  The first phase requires that all general purpose light bulbs be 30% more efficient by 2012.  The second phase will require that all general purpose lights are to be at least 45% lumens per watt by 2020.  A lumen determines the lamp brightness; it is a unit of light.  A watt is the electric power consumption.

Rick then discussed the different types of bulbs that can be purchased. 

- Incandescent: Will be removed from sale between 2012-2014.  It was invented in 1879 by Thomas Edison.  It has an approximate life of 1,000 hours.  The danger from one is that it can produce minor burs and cuts from broken glass.  The efficacy is 12 lumens/watt (about 2%).

- Halogen:  Will be removed from sale in 2020.  It was invented in 1959.  The life is about 3,000 hours and it has the same dangers as an incandescent bulb.  The efficacy is 16 lumens/watt (about 3%). 

- Compact Fluorescent:  It was invented in 1974 and has a life expectancy of 5,000 hours.  Frequent on/off cycles can reduce its life.  The dangers are cuts if broken, and mercury contamination.  Make sure to properly dispose of these bulbs (for example, take them to Home Depot).  The efficacy is up to 62 lumens/watt (about 10%). 

- LED (light emitting diode):  invented in 1995 with a life expectancy of anywhere between 20,000-60,000 hours.  They have no dangers associated with them.  The efficacy is up to 70 lumens/watt (about 11%).  LED bulbs are slowly beginning to come down in price. 


October 05, 2011 - Water Conservation and What's in Our Water? 
7-9pm at the Community Center 

The evening began with Judy informing the group that the recent Paper Shredding Day that the city had collected approximately 8,000 pounds of paper, bringing the total for the year up to 18,000 pounds!

Then, Beth Toot-Levy, the Senior Environmental Specialist from the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District spoke.  The sewer district is an independent political subdivision of the State of Ohio and services 62 departments.  She mentioned that the sewer district treats waste water, but will include storm water management in the near future.  She mentioned that the city is responsible for the sewers on the street, but that they are responsible for the larger mains. 

The sewer district has three treatment plants in our area.  Approximately 120 million gallons are treated per day at the Southerly Plant, 33 million at the Westerly Plant and 120 million gallons at the Easterly Plant.  The solids from the “Easterly” Plant are pumped to the Southerly Plant where they are incinerated. 

The Process begins with a preliminary treatment of raking out larger items.  Then, there is a primary settling process where the solids settle.  Then it goes into the secondary treatment, either a filter process (West) or activated sludge process (East and South).  There is then an aeration process and a final settling.  The collected solids are handled by centrifuges that spin the water out, or they incinerate bio-solids.  The incineration process will be replaced with fluidized bed incinerators soon.  Fluidized bed incinerators will reduce the amount of ash produced; it burns hotter and more efficient.   The East and West Plants discharge effluent directly into Lake Erie.  The effluent is tested for metals, phosphorus, e-coli, etc. before it is discharged.   They have invested in generators to ensure function of plants in case of a power outage. 

It is important NOT to dump fats, oils, grease, pharmaceuticals, fragrances, lotions, mercury thermometers, sharps or needles, paint or paint thinner, or just about anything you store in your garage down the drain.  Latex paints should be dried out and thrown away.  All other hazardous items should be disposed of during the city’s Hazardous Waste Collections.  Pharmaceuticals should be taken to the “Operation Medicine Cabinet” take back events or excessively wrapped in duct tape and thrown away.    Mercury thermometers should be taken to Home Depot or can be traded in at the Sewer District.  If these items are dumped down the drain, they can end up in Lake Erie.  Our drinking water does have minimal traces of caffeine, ibuprofen, etc. due to people dumping these items down the drain.  The traces are very low, however, so Beth advised that it is nothing to worry too much about. 

Then, Barb Holtz from the Cleveland Metro Parks spoke.    She discussed the history of the landscape of Ohio.  The original, natural landscape was able to heal itself from floods.  She mentioned that in 1780, 95 percent of Ohio was forest, but by 1900, only 12 percent was forest.  Swamps were drained for farmland, land was cleared for houses.   Ohio drained about 90 percent of its natural wetlands.   The clearing of the natural landscape developed into a flooding problem because there were little trees and swamps remaining.  The settlers of Ohio changed the landscaped, causing a problem, and then there was a need to fix the new problem.   People then fixed the problem by incorporating drain tiles into construction, and moving water to where we wanted it to be, and incorporating retention and detention basins into the new landscape.  

She mentioned that we are in the Euclid Creek Watershed which is approximately 24 square miles.  A small portion of our city is also part of the Chagrin Watershed.  The Euclid Creek Watershed has an average of 2,833 persons per square mile while the Chagrin River Watershed has 621 persons per square mile.   Because of the high concentration of people, we need to be aware of chemical runoff and invasive plants in our watershed, which eventually ends up in the Lake.   To help with this, we can install rain barrels, rain gardens, limit chemical fertilizer usage, pick up our pet’s waste, and safely discard of medication. 


September 07, 2011 - Business Meeting 
7-9pm at the Community Center 

    Unfortunately the speaker, Tim Cole from Ohio Technical College, was unable to attend, but we do plan on rescheduling his talk.  We then decided to use the evening for a relaxed chat and business meeting.

Thanks went out to everyone that volunteered for the “Green Vendors Fair” at this year’s Community Home Day.

    Judy read the Income and Expenses year to date. She then passed the donation box around to cover the cost of the raffle items from the Green Vendors Fair.  With that being accomplished, names were drawn for the raffle items. Mary Fash’s name was drawn for the recycle bin, however, she said she already had enough, so she picked another name, and the winner was Jeanette Evans.  We then picked a name for the 7th Generation cleaning products, and Jeanette Evans won again. Jeanette was very happy, as she was really hoping to win.

    Judy passed around printed information about events of interest around Cleveland, and Highland Heights. She reminded everyone that our city would be having another Shred Day on October 1st, and a Rain Barrel workshop is now scheduled for Oct 19th.

    Business cards for Roger Vozar from the online news media the Patch were passed out in hopes that more people would start viewing it.  www.patch.com  then choose Hillcrest Patch.

    Jeanette Evans volunteered to send a follow-up letter to Tom Evans and Judy Dick regarding the purchasing of the recycle bins.

    There was then a discussion about having a FreeCycle next summer and trying to reschedule the e-Recycle drive for next spring.  Mary Fash agreed to check with the high school to see if perhaps the Key Club or National Honors Society might be interested in helping with these events.


July 06, 2011 - Speaker Series: How to Renovate Your Home in a Sustainable Manner
7-9pm at the Community Center 

Julia Cyganski, Registered Architect and LEED AP BD+C and Amanda Tharpe, Interior Designer and LEED GA presented on ways to renovate your home in a sustainable manner.  The evening began with an introduction to LEED.  LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is an internationally-recognized green building certification system developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).  LEED certified buildings are designed to lower operating costs and increase asset value, reduce waste sent to landfills, conserve energy and water, be healthier for occupants, and reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions.   LEED promotes sustainability in design, but it was noted that you can still bring sustainable ideas and techniques to your design without getting LEED certified. 
They then continued to explain what the urban heat island effect is, and ways to help reduce it.  On average, the temperature in a city is 10 degrees warmer than in a surrounding rural area.  The main cause of the urban heat island is modification of the land surface by urban development which uses materials which effectively retain heat.  Typical dark asphalt roofs, for example, are hot and absorb 70% or more of the solar energy striking them.   White or lighter color roofs (cool roofs) absorb 35% and stay between 50-60 degrees cooler.  A lighter color roof will then help reduce the outdoor temperature, and help reduce the temperature inside of your attic space which will help reduce your cooling costs in the summer months.  If you purchase new shingles, look for ones with an SRI (Solar Reflective Index) value of 29 or greater to help with this.  In addition to a light color roof, lighter color pavement around your home will also help reduce the heat island effect.  

It is also very important to have a properly vented attic.  Most older homes typically are not vented properly.  Proper ventilation helps prevent ice damming in the winter, extends the life of your shingles by keeping the roof cooler in hot weather so shingles will not buckle, warp or crack, reduces cooling costs by allowing hot air to escape the roof, helps reduce moisture build-up and the growth of mold.  Look for shingles (and all building materials) that have a better warranty.  For example, with shingles, the energy used to manufacture a 50 year shingle is the same as used to manufacturer a 15 year, but will end up in a landfill at a slower rate.  Also, look for Class 4 shingles since they are rated to withstand hale damage so most insurance companies offer a discount if these are used on your home.  

It is also important to look at the life-cycle cost of a product.  Even though it may be a few extra dollars upfront, it may save a lot in the long run.  Metal Shingles are one such example of this.  Even though they cost about 2 times more than asphalt shingles upfront, they can last up to 100 years so you get a lot longer use out of them.  Metal shingles can come in a similar look to asphalt, can easily to be a cool roof depending on the coating, are easy to install, will not chip, rot or crack due to harsh environmental conditions, do not support fire, retain their value throughout their entire life cycle, and area fully recyclable at the end of their service life.  

All building materials have pros and cons, so it is important to do some research on your own before purchasing.  It is also important to do some research on what products are made of.  Look for products that are either made of recycled materials, or that can be easily recycled at the end of their use.  Linoleum, for example is a very sustainable flooring material.  The general public, however, tends to confuse it with vinyl composite tile, which is not sustainable because they have a similar look.  There are also numerous countertops made out of recycled glass which can be purchased at local places such as Virginia Tile or Stoneworks. Make sure you shop around.              

Other ways to save money and be more sustainable include the following:
·  Update older plumbing fixtures to newer more efficient fixtures.  Look for the Water Sense label.  Consider installing a foot pedal faucet or a dual flush toilet.
·  -Update older appliances with newer ones that have the Energy Star Label.  
·  -Install a rain barrel to help water exterior plants.  
·  -Install pervious pavement.  
·  -Consider installing light tubes in darker areas of your home that do not have natural light, such as an interior hallway or bathroom.
·  -Install dimmer switches where possible for incandescent fixtures.  
·  -Consider how items can be refinished or reused in a creative way before throwing them away.  Can old wood floors be refinished?  Can cabinet faces be refinished?  If you are purchasing new cabinets, can your old ones be reinstalled in your basement or garage for extra storage?  How can you reuse items, for example an old door can be used as a work surface.  
·  -Consider donating items to charities.  

The evening then concluded with a representative from Habitat for Humanity.  He explained that Habitat builds using energy efficient techniques and materials because the homes are intended for a lower income population. Residents will be able to have lower utility bills in their homes.  Habitat recycles anything they can, and they have been able to reduce their construction waste by 93%.   He mentioned that volunteers are always needed.  He also encouraged people to donate to the restore.  He mentioned that the store always has changing stock, so new treasures can always be found.  For further information, view the following website: http://www.gchfh.org/ 


June 01, 2011 - Speaker Series: Rethink Our Habits and Get Toxins our of Your Home
7-9pm at the Community Center 

  Our speaker began the evening with an overview of chemical-containing items that should be avoided.  Some of the items she mentioned that should be avoided include:  cigarettes, formaldehyde, gasoline fumes, computers, BPAs,  plastic lined canned foods, Teflon and Teflon on food liners, bleach, chlorinated water, foods with preservatives and food coloring, flee collars, and “the new car smell”.  She warned to never use any type of plastic in a microwave.  She recommends using glass containers instead. She mentioned that heat can leach the plastic into the foods we eat.  In addition, acidic items such as juice leach plastic into the beverages we consume.  She also mentioned that most mattresses contain a flame-retardant chemical on them and that wool is a natural and flame resistant material.  She mentioned that it is possible to get doctor’s notes for people with allergies so that mattresses can be purchased that do not contain the flame resistant chemicals.  She also warned against the chemicals that are present in articles of clothing that are stain and wrinkle resistant. She also warned against any items with a fragrance, as most contain petroleum.  Some of these items include candles with chemicals, chemical detergents, fabric softeners and drier sheets, perfumes, chemical air fresheners, etc.  Be weary of items labeled as “unscented” because they can still contain chemicals. “Fragrance Free” is the more desired term to look for when purchasing items since they do not contain chemicals.    

Two representatives from Aveda Cosmetics then spoke about their company.  Aveda (located in Beachwood Mall) has a green ingredient policy in that the overall environmental impact is considered with each ingredient.  Every ingredient is biodegradable, naturally derived and approximately 90% of all raw ingredients are organic, and there is no animal testing.

 The company not only thinks about the environment with their ingredients, but they think about packaging and how it affects landfills and the environment.   Their aerosol sprays do not contain CFCs.   All of their containers can be refilled.  They use minimal packaging material and all of their bottles contain almost 100% post consumer recycled plastics.  They have a great cap recycling program.  They accept all caps from soda and water bottles and laundry detergents within the store that later get crushed down and reused into their packaging material.  They do not accept pump or spray caps and metal caps.  Feel free to drop off your caps the next time you visit the mall.   Visit their website for more information on the cap program, and to learn more about their products, packaging, etc.  http://www.aveda.com/aboutaveda/index.tmpl  

Judy Dearden then concluded the evening with some extra tips for “greening” your home.  For a complete list, view our Facebook page.  Some of the tips she mentioned include:
·  Use fans when sitting outdoors to prevent mosquitoes instead of sprays or candles.  
·  Sprinkle Borax and confectioner’s sugar around ants (but keep your pets and kids away from this)
·  Baking soda will soften your water when doing laundry and can help get rid of pesticides on produce.  
·  Lemon juice with the sun is a natural bleach on clothing.
·  Hydrogen peroxide is a natural bleach.  (Warning: do not combine hydrogen peroxide with anything that contains chlorine).  
·  Club soda with sodium works well for cleaning windows and mirrors

·  Most essential oils are antibacterial

Judy also recommeded a few books about the topic including "Green This!" by Deirdre Imus and "The Naturally Clean Home" by Karyn Siegel-Maier.


May 04, 2011 - Speaker Series: Organic Gardening and Composting
7-9pm at the Community Center 

The meeting began with a brief overview of events.  It was mentioned that approximately 67 pounds of medicine were collected at the Highland Heights Police Department for the “Operation Medicine Cabinet” event held on April 30th.   Judy Dearden also mentioned the idea of adopting the highway as it runs through our city.  Volunteers will be needed to collect the trash that collects on the side of the highway approximately four times a year.

Jason Smith from Beyond Pesticides Ohio then presented on organic lawn care.  According to Jason, approximately 30-60% of the urban fresh water used in summer months is used for watering lawns.  Yard waste, mostly grass clippings, account for 20% of all municipal waste collected.   Suburban lawns in the United States are given more pesticide applications per year on average than are used in agriculture.  These toxic pesticides and herbicides create health problems for people, pets, wildlife and contaminate our air and water.  Most people don’t see health affects from exposure until years later.  Children take in more pesticides relative to body weight than adults and have developing organ systems that make them more vulnerable.  

Some of the heath statistics that Jason mentioned include: 
·  Home and garden pesticide use can increase the risk of childhood leukemia by almost seven times.
·  Exposure to home and garden pesticides can increase a child’s likelihood of developing asthma, autism, hyperactivity, behavioral disorders, and motor dysfunction.
·  People exposed to glyphosate found in Round-Up are 2.7 times more likely to develop non-Hodgkin lymphoma.    
·  Dogs exposed to herbicide-treated lawns can double their chance of developing canine lymphoma and may increase the risk of bladder cancer in certain breeds by four to seven times.
·  Of the 30 commonly used lawn pesticides, 16 are toxic to birds, 24 are toxic to fish and aquatic organisms and 11 are deadly to bees.  
·  Pesticides are not safe, and it is against federal law to make any claim of safety, even when used as directed.   As we use more chemical pesticides, plants are becoming more immune so new products are getting more toxic.  

Cleveland Heights was the first city to ban chemical fertilizers from city property back in 1985.  Other areas that have also banned their use include New York City, San Francisco, Middleburg Heights, and Canada.   Organic lawn care has many benefits including including: saving money, water, time, the environment, helps to clean up water ways and reduces yard waste.  When looking for an organic lawn care company, make sure you understand what they use.  A company only needs to use 25% organic material to call themselves organic so you need to be careful.  Ask what kind of fertilizer is being used.  One that contains more than 10% nitrogen is too much.  Ask what they do for pre-emergent weeds.  A good response is that they use grass seed, over-grassing to prevent weeds.  

Other organic lawn tips include:
·  Fertilize moderately with organic products in spring and again in early fall to encourage root growth.  Not all fertilizers are bad; compost is a great fertilizer as is decomposed chicken manure. 
·  Aerate.  Soil compaction invites weeks and makes it difficult for air and water to enter the soil.  Once your soil is returned to good health, the earthworms and birds will help keep it aerated.  If a screwdriver will not push easily into your soil, it is too compacted.
·  Water you lawn less often but for a longer duration to encourage deeper roots
·  Mow the grass high will keep the sun out enough to discourage weeds from germinating and encourage deeper roots.  Leave clippings on the lawn will add nitrogen to the soil.
·  Think about replacing portions of your lawn with ornamental grasses, and native plants.   

Garrett Ormiston from the Natural History Museum then continued to talk about native plants.  According to him, native plants are those that persisted locally before European colonization.  The benefits of planting native plants include: provide shelter and food for wildlife, they use less chemical care, and they are more tolerant of local soils and weather conditions so they use less water.    Native plants that grow close in a bed help reduce weed growth because there will not be as much room for weeds to grow as in a typical mulched “ornamental” bed.  Garrett warned to not use invasive plants which are defined as exotic and extremely aggressive and may pose threat to native ecosystems.  They lack natural predators which keep them under control in their native locations.  It is costly to remove invasive plants, they compete against native plants, and they reduce biodiversity. Garret then went on to show images of several native plants.  Many nurseries (including the local ones in Highland Heights) have native plants.  Make sure to look and ask for them.   

Judy Dearden then presented on the basics of composting.  She mentioned that the following reference guide was good to look at.http://cuyahogaswd.org/pdf_cuyahogaswd/en-US/Brochures/backyard_composting.pdf.  She mentioned that the benefits of composting include the following: reduces waste, free source of fertilizer, reduces water, improves plant health, generally lessens weeds when used as mulch, and helps to reduce the need for chemical fertilizers resulting in a safer home environment.   

The four basic ingredients include:
·  Nitrogen: green material, i.e. grass clippings, vegetable and fruit scraps, coffee grounds, eggshells, flowers, green leaves, hair, manure, seaweed, tea bags
·  Carbon: brown (dry) yard and garden materials, leaves, hay, wood sawdust, unbleached paper towels, shredded paper, pine needles
·  Water: moist as a wrung-out sponge
·  Air: bacteria and fungus in compost need oxygen to live and work. 

Make sure to mix and turn your compost.  Do not use meat or dairy products, materials treated with pesticides or herbicides, and do not use a grass only or else it will start to smell.  You want to make sure you have a mixture of green and brown material.  The best way to learn about composting is to begin and test it out. ____________________________________________________________________________________

April 11, 2011 - Speaker Series: Community Garden and Food Co-ops
7-9pm at the Community Center 

The meeting began with a brief overview of events.  It was mentioned that approximately 10,000 pounds of paper were collected at the City’s Shredding Day that took place last week.  Also, there will be an event called “Operation Medicine Cabinet” that will take place on April 30 from 10am-2pm.  Bring all unused medicines to the Highland Heights Police Department so that it can be properly disposed of.  This will prevent medicine from getting into the wrong hands, or into the water system.  Make sure to take your labels off of the bottles, and all bottles will be recycled.  Last year, approximately 9,000 pounds of medicine was collected! 

Cathy Murphy then showed and reviewed the two plans that the landscape architect presented at the last Council Meeting which was held on April 5.  The first option kept the existing parking lot that is on the site, incorporated a gazebo in the center of the space, a playground and two bocce courts, an ice skating rink in a natural depression area (for the winter), and a community garden in the Northwest corner.  The second option removed the existing parking.  Cathy mentioned that the second option was pretty much ruled out at the Council Meeting because it would cost a lot to add a new parking, and there would only be one main entry that would be shared by the City Hall Complex and the new green space.   

A few of the comments that the public had about the plans included:
·  The need for a compost area on site
·  The need for visibility from Highland Road
·  Need for water on the site.  The water to the old Church has been capped off.  Rain Barrels were mentioned to collect water from the Gazebo’s roof.  
·  The community garden should not be on the Northwest corner because it didn’t seem to make sense to tear down trees to build a garden
·  The playground could be near the trees to provide shade for children.
·  The playground shouldn’t be near the Community Garden The landscape architect will rework these initial schematic ideas.  

Since warmer weather is quickly approaching, it seems that the goal for this year is to install the gazebo and perhaps install the community garden in the fall so it is ready for planting next spring. The city has budgeted $50,000 for this green space this year. In addition, the Lion’s Club will contribute $5,000 dollars to a gazebo structure.   It was also mentioned that the Rotary Club is interested in having an area where vegetables could be grown and then donated to the seniors in our community.   

Noreen Paradise then spoke about her ideas for the community garden.  She is involved with the Highland Heights Garden Club, and mentioned that the Garden Club was willing to help assist with registration, educate gardeners, etc.  Noreen envisions that a family would pay somewhere between $10-20 for a lot, and they would have a commitment to upkeep their lot for the year. Families could only pick from their own garden and they could not use pesticides.  She also envisions an herb garden that the Garden Club would be involved with where people could randomly pick from.  She sees the community garden as a place for education.   

Cathy then emphasized the need for a committee to be established for the community garden.  She mentioned that would help speed things along.  In addition, the committee could make the rules, etc.  It was suggested that Judy Dearden and Noreen Paradise head this Community Garden Committee.  It was also mentioned that other city’s community gardens need to be visited to get ideas.   

The evening then continued with a presentation by Trevor Clatterbuck from Fresh Fork Market.  He explained that a CSA is Community Supported Agriculture, where someone purchases directly from one farmer.  His company is different in that he facilitates the combination of product from approximately 70 different farmers.  Families can purchase packages that change every week as the season changes.  Products include meats, cheese, produce, etc.  All foods are supplied from farmers within a 70 mile radius.  All items are pesticide free.  All animals are fed a grass based diet, pasture raised with no hormones.  Packaging is done on site to ensure fresh delivery.  The closest drop-off point to our community is in Beachwood.  For more information about visithttp://www.freshforkmarket.com/    

The evening then concluded with a talk by Claire Posius from the Cuyahoga Soil and Water Conservation District. She did the rain barrel workshop in our community last year.  This year, she hopes to install a rain garden.  She said that most of Highland Heights is part of the Euclid Creek Watershed, which eventually empties into Lake Erie. She explained that turf grass has roots that are only as deep as the grass is tall.  Therefore, it almost acts as an impervious surface.  Native Plants in a rain garden, however, have roots that grow very deep.  These plants help to filter out pesticides before it enters into the watershed.  Therefore, she doesn’t recommend using any plants that you’d eat in a rain garden.  Claire mentioned that a rain garden should not be installed in an area that already collects a lot of water; instead, it should be located a little uphill so it collects water as it comes down.  Claire will need volunteers to help with the labor of the install.  She mentioned that the new green space would be a good location to help educate the public about rain gardens.    

March 02, 2011 - Speaker Series: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle 
7-9pm at the Community Center 

Jeff Riebe, a naturalist, began the evening with an introduction about recycling.  According to him, recycling is defined as the reuse of materials in either their original or changed forms.  Benefits include having a cleaner earth, conserving wildlife, conserving natural resources, creating jobs, reducing pollution, and saving money.  He continued with a list from the National Parks Services that indicated the amount of years that it would take items to degrade.  Some of the items he mentioned include:

plastic bag = 10-12 years to degrade
a foam cup = 50 years to degrade
disposable diapers = 10-20 years to degrade
fishing lines = 600 years to degrade
plastic bottles = 450 years to degrade
plastic from a 6-pack = 100 years to degrade   

The evening continued with a presentation from Don Johnson and Cassandra Carlisle, both from J&J Refuse which is trash/recycle company that Highland Heights uses.  They began their presentation with a history of recycling in which they mentioned that the first recycling center was established in New York City in 1867.  

According to them, landfills are the safest and most economical way to house trash.  It was described that when a landfill is first formed, they remove a large amount of earth in an area, and line the bottom of that “hole” with a thick plastic material.  They then place a layer of “soft” trash over the liner so that the plastic does not get punctured.  As the landfill is filled in, the sides are also lined with this plastic.  The perimeters also have monitoring wells installed.  Eventually, when the landfill is full, the liner is placed on top so that all the trash is entombed and then earth and topsoil are placed over it.  Sometimes, landfills are then converted into parks, or other types of green spaces.  

J&J Refuse began as a coal mining company.   When they had the hole from the mining, they then decided to dump trash into that hole.  Now, the company has grown and has 230 trucks.  The recycling center is in Canton currently.  For now, they have a dual stream system established in which they have two separate trucks that come around, one for trash, and one for recycling.  The recycling truck separates paper from the other comingled items, so for now it is important that paper goods are bundled separately from the other recyclable items.  J&J is in the process of building a new facility in Twinsburg that should be completed by December 2011.  At that time, they will change over to a single stream system.  They will then be able to comingle paper with all other recyclable items. In the future, one truck will pick up both recycling and trash.  

      J&J Refuse asks that for now, residents place the following in a recycle bin or blue bag:

Aluminum cans, bimetal cans

Clear, Brown, and Green glass jars and bottles

#1 and #2 plastics

They ask that residents place the following items in brown bags, or tie them together:

Newspaper, Magazines, Catalogues

Corrugated Cardboard

Telephone Books

Mail (no envelopes)

Printer/copier paper

Chipped Board


They do NOT accept plastic bags, egg cartons, anti-freeze or motor oil containers, envelopes or aluminum foil.   They mentioned that it is okay if residents do not take the tops off of plastic bottles.  It is also okay if residents do not remove the paper off of cans or bottles.  There is no need to scrub your recycling items clean but please do not have large food particles on them.  

It is encouraged that all residents recycle as much as possible.  It was mentioned that in 2009, Highland Heights recycled 23.48% while in that same year Beachwood recycled 71.73% of their waste! 


February 02, 2011 
7-9pm at the Community Center 

The second meeting of the Highland Heights Task Force was a business meeting that focused on the approval of an agenda for the year, discussion of how/where to advertise our group, and discussion of how to get funding.    

Judy went through the addenda that was created.  She discussed proposed topics for each month as well as possible speakers and/or videos that would correspond with the topics.  The agenda was approved.  Judy will work on getting confirmation from all of the speaker.  Once confirmed, they will be added to the "Upcoming Schedule of Events" above.  It was also mentioned that speakers should be videotaped so that residents who are unable to attend an event can still view online.  In addition to the monthly topics, events were discussed for the year.  These included the idea of a FreeCycle, a booth for us and other green vendors at Home Days, etc.  Judy mentioned that there will not be a rain barrel workshop by Claire Posius in Highland Heights this year, but that she may try to do installs instead.  The possibility of installing a rain barrel at a future Community Garden was discussed.   It was mentioned that the High School only recycles paper right now, and that it would be nice to try to get them to do more.  

Advertisement is needed so that the public becomes aware of our group, and our events.  Ideas for advertisement in the area  included the following:
- Panera, Library, and other information boards around the area
- Getting into the city newsletter
- Getting on the electronic message boards in town
- Beginning a Facebook Page 
- Having a link from the city's website to our website
- Getting mentioned in the Mayfield School Newsletters

Our group will need funding to help pay for various items.  Judy mentioned that one recycling bin costs between $45-$69.  She discussed the possibility of having several boxes that could contain hard bottle caps for Aveda, styrofoam for Buckeye Industries, #5 Plastics for Whole Foods, etc.  We will need to find volunteers to run the contents of these boxes to those companies.  However, the transport of these items will need to be during normal business hours which may be an issue.  Some of the funding ideas that were discussed included contacting local businesses for a donation, doing a "Can Drive" or something similar at established events in the city, such as summer baseball games, where there is already a group of people, and looking into grants (example the Ohio EPA)