South Durham Green Neighbors is sponsoring three upcoming programs

Sustainability and Our Infrastructure

Thursday, September 15, 7pm, South Regional Library

Scott Huler the 2011 Piedmont Laureate and author of On the grid : a plot of land, an average neighborhood, and the systems that make our world work, will be speaking on “Sustainability and Our Infrastructure” at the South Regional Library on Thursday, September 15, at 7:00 p.m.

Menu for the Future (registration required)

September 29, October 6, 20, 27, and November 3, 10 and 17 from 7:30-8:00 pm, Southwest Regional Library

Southwest Regional Library
3605 Shannon Road
Durham, North Carolina 27707
Contact: Jennifer Lohmann
Contact Number: 919-560-8594

To register:
Go to Southwest Regional Library ; click on the calendar and then the event.

This eight-session discussion course from the Northwest Earth Institute looks at where our food comes from and how we can help the environment with our food choices.

Topics Covered:

  1. What’s Eating America: Given the array of food choices and advice, eating in modern industrial society can be wrought with confusion, contradictions and anxiety. Session One considers the effects of modern industrial eating habits on culture, society and ecological systems.
  2. Anonymous Food: Session Two traces the historical shift from family farms to industrial agriculture to present day questions surrounding genetically modified organisms (GMO) and industrial organics. The session examines the ecological and economic impacts that have accompanied the changes in how we grow and prepare food.
  3. Farming for the Future: Session Three explores emerging food system alternatives, highlighting sustainable growing practices and the benefits of small farms and urban food production. The session considers how individuals can make choices that lead to a more sustainable food supply.
  4. You Are What You Eat: Session Four explores food systems from a human health perspective. The session considers the influences that shape our choices and food policies from the fields to Capitol Hill, and the implications for our health and well-being.
  5. Toward a Just Food System: The readings in Session Five examine issues of hunger, equity, and Fair Trade. The session considers the role that governments, communities and individuals can play in addressing these issues to create a more just food system.
  6. Choices for Change: Individuals and communities are discovering the benefits of choosing local, seasonal and sustainably grown and produced foods. Session Six offers inspiration and practical advice in taking steps to create more sustainable food systems
  7. .

A World of Health (registration required)

Tuesday evenings, September 27-November 15, 7:00-8:30 pm.

South Regional Library
4505 S. Alston Avenue
Durham, North Carolina 27713
Contact: Cathy Starkweather
Contact phone; 919-560-7410
Contact email: cstarkweather@durhamcountync.org

To register:
Go to South Regional Library; click on the calendar and then the event.

A World of Health is an eight-session discussion course from the Northwest Earth Institute. Come explore “good health,” the connections between human health and the environment, and how we can sustain both.

For more about the course: Northwest Earth Institute.

Topics Covered:

  1. Redefining Health: Good health is something most of us strive for, but what do we really mean when we talk about it, and how might we go about creating the conditions that foster it? This session explores how we define health and how that understanding informs our individual and collective well-being.
  2. Eating Well: Most people agree that eating well is a foundation of good health. Yet many of our decisions are now focused on avoiding foods that might be harmful to ourselves and our planet. How did we arrive at this point where food, which sustains us, has often become something to fear and worry about?
  3. Cleaning House: Americans now spend nearly 90 percent of their time indoors, much of that at home. We look to it as a safe haven, a place to escape from the stresses and trials of the outside world. But recent studies suggest they may not be the safe refuges we think. This session uncovers dangers of household toxins and empowers participants to minimize exposure to health risks.
  4. Building Healthy Communities: Many of Americans’ health problems may be traced not only to what we eat, but also to where we live. The readings in this session examine how issues of proximity to major roads and industry, urban and suburban sprawl, and access to amenities and green space impact our overall well-being.
  5. Curing Consumption: Having considered some of the more direct links to health in previous sessions, the authors in this session look at health within the broader context of a consumer culture. While it is easy to see the connection between health and what we eat, drink and breathe, making connections between the products we buy and our health can require some additional effort.
  6. Healthy Planet-Healthy People: The focus of this session widens to consider health within the context of Earth’s dynamic and life-sustaining ecosystems. The readings explore the importance of biodiversity, the health of the oceans, climate change and the interplay between the forces of nature and our individual and collective health.

Tabling at Audubon Park for National Night Out

NECSW braved the late day heat August 2nd at the Audubon Park subdivision’s 6th annual National Night Out event. It was organized by resident Ron Carroll and the homeowners’ association, in partnership with the Durham Police Department and the National Association of Town Watch. It is mainly about preventing crime, by educating people on crime prevention strategies, increasing participation in anti-crime programs, such as neighborhood watches, encouraging community solidarity and community-police relationships, deterring criminals from targeting communities, and demonstrating community concern about crime. Audubon Park (audubonpark.org) is on a ridge just above the Creek, so they invited NECSW to participate. In 2010 Audubon Park received a National All Star Award from the National Association of Town Watch for the [third] year in a row and Durham ranked 9th in participation out of a group of over 145 similarly sized municipalities.

Our table had maps and displays about the Creek’s natural beauty and problems, trash cleanups and other NECSW events, information about stormwater runoff, etc. Several people took our cards or signed up for email updates, and we exchanged information and fish stories.

Fire trucks and police vehicles were on display and many police personnel attended. There was also ice cream and other refreshments and a clown. It was orange in the west, after sunset, when five or six brilliantly red and blue flashing police motorcycles arrived in the pool parking lot, heralding Mayor Bill Bell and Police Chief Jose Lopez, who spoke at the end of the event.

Durham County Residents: Participate in Strategic Planning Survey for County Government

The Durham Board of County Commissioners’ web site provides this description of the survey:

What will Durham County look like 5, 10 or 50 years from today? What current and emerging issues do we need to consider now as we strive to make this community an even better place to live, work, learn, play and grow?

These are just some of the visioning questions Durham County Government will be asking as we journey through a strategic planning process, which culminates in early 2012 with a Strategic Plan adoption by the Board of County Commissioners. Between now and then, the Board of County Commissioners, citizens, county employees and countless stakeholders will be working to shape a plan that will help guide Durham County forward in the years to come.

Durham County Strategic Planning Survey

Homeowners Guide to Stormwater Management

New Hampshire Guide to Stormwater ManagementNew Hampshire Homewoners Do It Yourself Stormwater Management
(PDF 56 pp, 10.4MB
The State of New Hampshire has prepared a New Hampshire Guide to Stormwater Management (PDF 56 pp, 10.4MB). The techniques for managing drainage on your property are applicable here.

The guide to native plants, however, is for New Hampshire. Look at the list of native plants under the Explore Your Neighborhood menu on this site for ideas about suitable plants for Chatham, Wake, or Durham counties. Or contact your Agriculture Extension Agent.

Stream clean-up and self-organization

Self-organization is an idea that has become current in the Facebook/Twitter age, but it does not depend on technology.

Self-organization is the process where a structure or pattern appears in a system without a central authority or external element imposing it through planning. This globally coherent pattern appears from the local interaction of the elements that make up the system, thus the organization is achieved in a way that is parallel (all the elements act at the same time) and distributed (no element is a coordinator).

Language and culture are self-organizing. Markets begin as self-organizing. Many of the things that were earlier labeled as the “social contract” are self-organizing. Civil society, those organizations other than corporations or government, are self-organizing.

Stream preservation involves elimination or reduction of:

  • sediment in runoff from property,
  • pollution from human-controlled sources,
  • pollutants in the air that fall out or wash out in rain as pollutants.

Watersheds consist of a tree of catchments. Catchment is another word for a drainage basin that comprises a single segment of a stream (a twig of a limb of the tree pattern of a stream) and the surrounding land from which the water runs off. The people who live in a catchment form the group primarily responsible for the water quality of that catchment. They can most effectively organize themselves to protect that water quality.

The Northeast Creek Streamwatch web site exists to support folks in the Northeast Creek watershed who are already working to improve water quality in their neighborhoods. The front page is for notices of events that clean up a section of the creek, provide environmental education to adults and children, advocate for better water quality, inspect and monitor the creek for deterioration and pollutants, and conserve the buffers on the creek and creek bottomlands.

The front page is for sharing stories about the history of folks who have lived in the Northeast Creek watershed and cultural events that have happened in the area.

The front page is for opinions about the best way to preserve Northeast Creek and its cultural heritage.

It is for teachers to share lesson plans about using the creek for instruction as:

  • a demonstration of scientific facts or principles
  • a laboratory for projects or field work
  • an example for making mathematical problems real and motivating students
  • a subject for art, photography or writing
  • a theme for performance, music, dance
  • a setting for drama
  • a subject for developing research skills in natural history, history, genealogy, measurement, laboratory techniques

It is for calls to advocacy on issues affecting the preservation of the Northeast Creek watershed, its natural heritage, and its cultural history.

If you live or work in the Northeast Creek watershed, the front page is for you.

It is for facilitating the self-organization that can help preserve the creek and its heritage.

To post, you will need a login. Request one from webmaster@northeastcreek.org. You must provide an address and an email address in order to receive a user ID; this is to ensure that folks who post are in the Northeast Creek watershed and to prevent spamming of posts and comments.

Volunteers Preserving the Natural and Cultural Heritage of Northeast Creek