I hope this update finds you all doing well out there, Ossining/Briarcliff. If Hurricane Ida impacted you and your property, and you are in need of help, be sure to visit the State’s comprehensive new Relief and Resources website. It contains information about NYS Department of Financial Services resources as well as a wealth of information regarding meeting basic needs, cleanup, accessing federal disaster assistance funds, and more.
Storms like Ida make the threat of climate change ever clearer. Here in Ossining, we have long been engaged in efforts to build a more sustainable future, and this week one of those efforts came to magnificent fruition. With the completion of the community solar project at Maryknoll, our town is now home to the largest solar canopy in Westchester County! The 2,184 panel system will produce enough electricity to offset CO2 emissions from 2,292,637 gallons of gasoline consumed. The clean electricity produced over the project's lifetime is equivalent to the carbon sequestered by 24,963 acres of U.S. forests in one year. I was so pleased to be able to join representatives from a variety of public and private organizations committed to sustainability as we cut the ribbon on this project.
One of the significant additions the Town of Ossining made in the last few years was adding in a solar code to allow larger scale, tier 3 solar developments to exist. Of course, we know these developments are a balance between protecting the environment through reduction of fossil fuel reliance and acknowledging the benefits we receive from trees, not all of which can be measured by carbon offsets. So we were super excited that the first real solar development project that we approved in Ossining was with Ecogy Energy (the solar developer) and Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers, where an already cleared piece of property (a parking lot--actually two!) was identified as a place to build a solar canopy. Not only will it be helping Maryknoll balance their books, keep rain off the heads of those opening their umbrellas as they step out of their cars, and continue Maryknoll’s mission to help sustain all of us in our “shared home”; it will also help the Fathers & Brothers offset their reliance on fossil fuels. And it’s a community solar development, with 77 households in Ossining, including all of IFCA's affordable housing units (representing 220 tenants)-- already signed up. Those who subscribe receive a 10% reduction off their electricity supply bill. Ecogy Energy has a focus on developing energy systems that serve traditionally underserved communities and low to moderate income individuals, who have historically been left out of the clean energy transition. We are extremely grateful for this project, which aligns so well with so many of our local priorities.
This new project opens as we are gearing up for another big event to promote sustainability: International Car Free Day is this Wednesday, September 22! On Car Free Day, we are asking everyone to change their habits for at least one day to reduce dependence on single-occupancy, gas-powered automobiles. So join us by walking or biking to work or school (and stop by a local business for breakfast on the way!), telework, carpool with a colleague, hop on mass transit, or take your electric vehicle out for a carbon-neutral drive. To learn more and take the pledge, click here!
We hope that after this one day, you can think of ways to keep the initiative going and reduce your carbon footprint through your commute. To that end, there is now a 511NYRideshare kiosk at the Community Center in Ossining. You can use it to learn more about program benefits, ask questions, enroll in the ridesharing program, and take the Car Free Day pledge. Check it out ASAP!
Over the course of this weekend we’ll be sharing more information about businesses who will be offering cool rewards for participating in Car Free Day. The Town of Ossining is also chipping in by offering free charging at the electric vehicle charging stations located at Louis Engel, Ryder, and Cedar Lane Parks. Check out our Facebook or Instagram to learn more and/or stay tuned for another email!
Representatives from Green Ossining and the Town and Village of Ossining will be at the Farmer’s Market tomorrow, September 18, to discuss ongoing and upcoming local environmental initiatives at our pre-launch event. Click here to learn more about the event and what’s to come! Looking forward to seeing you there!
We are still looking for local businesses to participate in Car Free Day. If you own a local brick-and-mortar business that would like to support this initiative by rewarding patrons for visiting your business car-free, please fill out this Google form by Sunday, September 19. We will provide a poster for you to hang in your business and add your establishment to our promotional efforts. Pedestrians and cyclists are excellent customers - the ability to pause and discover new businesses is higher on foot, when you are not zooming by on your way to something else!
Saturday is quite a busy day around Ossining. Green Ossining will also be hosting a Repair Cafe on Saturday, 9/18 from 11 AM - 3 PM at the Community Center. See the flyer below for information about what sorts of items can be brought for repair.
ENU Builds will be hosting a free, coed youth fitness pop-up this Saturday, September 18, from noon to 2 PM on the basketball courts at Nelson Park. If you’ve got kids interested in basketball, or just looking for something active to do, check it out!
The Westchester County Volunteer Firemen’s Association will cap off their annual convention with a dress parade at 3 PM on Saturday, September 18. More than 30 departments, most with apparatus and bands, are expected to participate. The parade will begin at Campwoods and Croton Avenue, continue down Croton to Main Street, and then follow Main Street down to the riverfront, ending at Louis Engel Park. The Ossining Police posted a map of the route on their Facebook page, please take note and if you need to get through town on Saturday afternoon, give yourself plenty of extra time. More importantly than getting AROUND the parade is coming out to watch it and support our local firefighters. Hope to see you there!
Also in Briarcliff: a Fall cornhole league is getting started this coming Tuesday, September 21. Games will be on Tuesdays at 7 PM every week until November 9 under the pavilion in Law Memorial Park. There is a social league and a more competitive league. Visit www.nycornhole.com to learn more and register.
Ossining Padres Hispanos is hosting a back to school supplies drive this Sunday, September 19 from 1-3 PM in Market Square. Please help if you can! Call (845) 216-2053 if you have any questions.
The next walking tour of the historic Sparta neighborhood at the south end of Ossining will take place on Sunday, September 19 from 1-3 PM. The tour will begin at the Jug Tavern (Rockledge Avenue and Revolutionary Road, behind the CVS) at 1 PM with an introduction to the history of the area. Participants will then walk about six blocks through the neighborhood learning about the historic homes in the landmarked district. Dr. Alan Stahl, a neighborhood resident who teaches in the History Department of Princeton University and has served as chair of the Village of Ossining Historic Preservation Commission, will lead the tour. The last tour for this year is scheduled for Sunday, October 10. The tour is free, but participation is limited to 20 people. For a reservation or further information, go to the Jug Tavern website: www.jugtavern.org.
Hispanic Heritage Month started this past Wednesday! In the Town of Ossining, we are excited and proud to honor and uplift people of Hispanic Heritage this month and every month. Many local organizations are hosting special programming to celebrate and we will be sure to share.
The Ossining Public Library is hosting a Latin Music 101 session on Zoom this coming Tuesday, September 21 at 6:30 PM. Click here to register!
OPL is also hosting Latin Dance workshops every Thursday during Hispanic Heritage month. There is an all-ages session at 6:30 and a teens and adults session at 7:30. Learn salsa, bachata and more! Click here to register.
There will be a Community Bike Ride at 5:30 PM on Wednesday, September 22nd to celebrate Car-Free Day. Click here to sign up - find the “Ride Schedule” menu and look for the Wednesday, September 22 ride with Kate Marshall.
If you or someone you know are interested in applying to Westchester Community College, click here to learn more about their virtual information sessions this fall. There are general information sessions taking place every Thursday this month at 3 PM, and a special session on the Nursing program coming up on Wednesday, September 29th at 5:30 PM. Participants will find out more about available programs and services and be able to ask questions and apply to the college. Attendees will also receive an online application fee waiver code to waive the $50 application fee!
Registration for Green Ossining’s Community-Wide Tag Sale is open now and ends September 24. The sale will be on Saturday, October 2. For the $25 registration fee, you’ll receive branded promotional materials and placement in online and local media publicizing the event. Click here to learn more and register to help reduce, reuse and recycle your old stuff. Remember one woman’s trash is another woman’s treasure!
Getting a lot of seeds from your garden this summer? Start collecting them now so you’re ready for the Green Ossining + Ossining Pollinator Pathway Seed Swap event September 25 at the Farmer’s Market! Click here to learn more about how to collect and preserve your seeds, and check out the flier below for more details on the event.
Parents: Ossining Recreation is hosting a Kids’ Night Out next Friday, September 24. There will be food and loads of fun activities. Register in advance and enjoy a couple of hours to yourself while your kids have a great time at the Community Center.
Cedar Lane Arts Center clay instructor Keith Gordon will be hosting an introduction to Horsehair Raku and Obvara Pottery at Bethany Arts Center on September 25. You can register at www.bethanyarts.org.
Jill Kiefer of the Ossining Arts Council is offering on-line art history classes via Bethany Arts Center this fall - click here to view more details and register.
Altice USA announced this week that it is increasing the speed of its “Altice Advantage Internet” affordable broadband service at no additional cost and renaming it “Optimum Advantage Internet.” The speed increase will provide download speeds up to 50 Mbps to new and existing “Optimum Advantage Internet” customers as soon as October at the same price of $14.99 per month. To learn more and check your eligibility for the discounted internet, click here.
Congregation Sons Of Israel in Briarcliff Manor has taken over the running of The Opportunity Shop thrift shop in Chappaqua. Donations began on September 1, and the official reopening took place on September 13. The shop has been cleaned, painted, and new display tables were built. In keeping with Congregation Sons of Israel's history of helping those in need in the greater community, each month they will earmark a charity to which they will donate some of the earnings. The phone number for The Opportunity Shop is 914-483-4144. The hours for sales are: Monday through Friday from 10:00-4:00 PM. For donations: 10:00-4:00 PM and for consignments the hours are from 10:00-12:00 noon.
Please remember that the gas powered leaf blower ban remains in effect in the Unincorporated Town of Ossining through the end of this month. Thank you to Green Ossining for preparing the summary below, and thank you for your cooperation! Please share this information with your friends, neighbors, and landscapers. We have made this available for download in both English and Spanish as JPG and PDF files. Please help us spread the word! This information was mailed directly to all landscapers who are based in Ossining for their reference.
Finally, we are nearing the end of our Comprehensive Plan drafting process. Thank you to everyone who has given feedback in meetings and via our comment boards, and a big round of applause to the Comprehensive Plan steering committee for all of their hard work to date. We are now sharing a survey to collect feedback on your priorities for the draft objectives and associated strategies we will pursue in our Comprehensive Plan. Click here to take the survey and stay tuned for more on this topic.
Our next public meeting, to be held on Tuesday, September 21st at 7:30 PM, will be dedicated to a discussion of our American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds. We will be making a presentation to the Board discussing the amount of funding the Town is receiving and the parameters determining what it can be used for, and soliciting your feedback on how it should be spent. We are also going to give a quick update on some upcoming grant applications. Please join us! The meeting will be on Zoom and the link to join is here. The link will also be at the top of the agenda that we send out via email prior to the meeting.
We will see you soon - till then, be safe and healthy!