Sustainable Communities Network Quarterly Meeting Minutes – September 2016

Sept 1st Meeting Notes of Sustainable Communities Network

Meeting was held at the ECWRPC in Menasha and Kathy Thunes chaired the meeting.

Attendees were: Carol Kasimor, Kathy Thunes, Jeanine Knapp, George Dearborn, Roger Kanitz

June 2nd meeting minutes were reviewed and approved.  These are posted on our website.

Discussion of group projects that network could undertake

Improved Recycling in community Parks as discussed in emails over the past several months with be summarized by Jeanine and sent to the network for reference.  Chris Miller has had some great documented success with these guidelines in Outagamie parks.  Many stories of poor recycling examples in the Fox Valley and beyond were shared.  This seemed to be a project that all communities could get involved in.  It was suggested that the Network would compose a common letter to our members and request that the issue be taken up with all of our sustainability committees.


  1. a) Jeanine will develop summary document
  2. b) Follow-up questions from this summary then will be directed to Chris (One example is how the Tricounty recycle center now deals with contaminated recycle streams as this may help our communities understand how we need to structure the program.)
  3. c) This topic will be placed on our Dec meeting agenda for discussion

The issue of Bee handling is now being explored in several communities in or near the Network.  It was suggested that that we let The Village of Fox Crossing and the City of Neenah explore how they develop their programs in comparison to the one appointed in Appleton.  A follow-up report on these efforts will again be reviewed at our December meeting.

Working with Community Businesses was discussed as per the recommendations complied from the Network survey that was conducted this spring.  Our community members that have approached area business groups have had limited responses to date.  More efforts on this approach will need to be developed; fresh ideas and approaches to expand this effort from our network are welcome.

Value statement of the Network from Greenville was discussed

The value of the Network in supporting the work of Greenville was discussed as per the note forwarded to us by John Conrad.  The following 4 synergies were developed by his Greenville team while discussing why it is important to participate in the SCN organization:

*        SCN as a source of new ideas and programs to keep Sustain Greenville meaningful and progressive *        Communicate and publicize SCN events to the Greenville community-broaden the scope of impact and encourage residents to participate/support *        Provide local drop points within Greenville for collections & drives occurring in the Valley (e.g. electronics recycling drives, clothing drives) *        Sharing environment to communicate Greenville activities and get feedback (other groups may have done the activity and can provide “watch-outs”)

It was agreed that these statements of value were very encouraging to the attendees and that it would be great to have other communities also develop value statements to share with the communities in the Network if they wish as a form of team building for our members.  This type of sharing may encourage other communities to re-engage with the Network and its mission.

Web-site Usage and Value

Roger noted that this meeting and the September 10th Electronic Recycling event were placed on the SCN web-site.  The minutes from our June meeting were also placed there.  It is again noted that each community has a representative that can post meetings and articles on the site.  This is too encourage members to attend events and to help us avoid planning events that conflict in the same time slots.

We need to determine if we want to continue to support this website in 2017 based upon the usage and value that the members find in it.  This will be a topic of discussion in our December meeting as well.

Community Sharing:

Neenah is currently exploring how to improve recycling in their city parks.  They are also looking at the value of planting fruit trees in city parks as a form of Urban Gardening expansion.  It was pointed out that Madison has information on this on their website.  They have an Electronic Recycling Event planned for October 1st (8 AM to noon) at the City Services Building at 1495 Tullar Road.

Village of Fox Crossing is now planning to expand their community gardening efforts to the eastside of the community based on the success of the 20 plot garden on the west side.  They have citizens that have volunteered and developed a Gardening Newsletter.

They are continuing their twice a year electronic recycling program and have an event scheduled for October 8th from 8 AM to noon at the Village Hall complex.  They are continuing to discuss and explore the plans to establish a Honey Bee program in the Village.  The village wants to renew their partnership with their community Sustainability network; formed in part by Miron, SCA, and the Evergreen Credit Union.  The Village has a staff and elected council that is strongly supportive of the sustainability Committee.

Menasha has an Electronic Recycling Event scheduled for Sept 10th at Menasha Utilities (this was shared by email with the SCN group prior to the meeting).  We continue to have our farmer’s markets and are working to establish walking routes in the downtown area to get the employees of our expanded business networks to explore our community during lunch time.

We are also looking to implement a Buckthorn Removal Volunteer program in the community this fall.  The Village of Fox Crossing noted that they have had a volunteer program like this for the past several years.  George promised to get information on the structure of this program to share with the network membership.

Oshkosh sent in a note indicating that they were holding a LIVE GREEN Event in Oshkosh from noon to 4 PM on September 10th(this was shared by email with the SCN group prior to the meeting).  It will feature music, rain barrel making and tabling by many sustainable groups in the Valley.

Next Meeting is scheduled for December 1st at 3:00 to 4:30 PM down in Oshkosh as will be led by Elizabeth.

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