What Is Sustainable Norcross?

Do you recycle, compost, xeriscape, use rain barrels? Would you like to learn how? Are you interested in organic and locally grown produce but cannot find it? Do you admire the fabulous tree canopy in Norcross? Ever wondered how to certify your yard as a Wildlife Habitat? Are you concerned about the quantity and quality of our water? Is it better to use paper or plastic bags at the grocery? What natural products are safe but effective? Ever considered sustainable alternatives for flooring, clothing and other products? Where can you discard old electronics?

Well, let’s learn together.

Starting a new organization can be a daunting task. Then an online training manual advised:

"Don’t wait - Get started without funding, expertise, or fear of adverse consequences.

Seek useful resources - Information on the web, in literature, in the community, in person, from experts.

Seek ways to scale up - Transform successful solutions into a movement of local significance.

Have fun projects – enjoy doing. Your efforts can result in important benefits, and you can have a good time while you’re at it!"

And that is exactly what a group of like minded citizens did. The organizational meeting was held June 1, 2008 and we've been busy ever since.

Learn more about us here on our blog or contact us now.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Georgia Adopt-A-Stream

Georgia Adopt-A-Stream (AAS) is the statewide volunteer water quality monitoring program. The goals of Georgia Adopt-A-Stream are to (1) increase public awareness of the state’s nonpoint source pollution and water quality issues, (2) provide citizens with the tools and training to evaluate and protect their local waterways, (3) encourage partnerships between citizens and their local government, and (4) collect usable baseline water quality data.

So the goals are to increase awareness of folks like you and me about the quality of our water and to empower us to work together to identify and correct water pollution and other problems. Volunteers can get the training and tools to collect and regularly report data on “their” adopted water. By tracking this info over time, everyday citizens can spot changes and trends that might indicate a problem that can be addressed.

Norcross has a new AAS program that tests water samples in the creek that runs along Longview Drive on the city-owned Ruby Fickling property. The thunderstorm on Saturday delayed the start and then required a quick relocation to finish the chemical tests, but the volunteers got it done. Thanks go to Keisha who started Norcross Adopt-A-Stream, Lynn from Gwinnett Sierra Club who lent an experienced hand, Brian and Gwinnett Environmental and Heritage Center who lent the test kit and City of Norcross for providing the location and support.

The test site is the same location as the November 2009 Rivers Alive Stream Clean Up. It is an unnamed tributary of Crooked Creek that flows under Holcomb Bridge and continues on to the Chattahoochee. See photos on the side bar.

Join us to assist or stop by to observe. The monthly testing is done the fourth or last Saturday of every month at 10 AM. Contact us to confirm.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Up, Up and Away!

City Manager Rudolph Smith got in the spirit of Georgia Cities Day April 23 with electric department staffer at the controls. Nearly 900 students from Norcross Elementary School walked to City Hall and learned about some of the governmental services.

They started at the new Welcome Center,saw the vintage fire truck at the Fire Museum, continued to City Hall where they went through the metal detector and attended court and heard from the community police officer. They received goodie bags from Public Works and learned about recycling and resource conservation among other things. Students paused to cheer on teachers and other adults with shouts of "higher, higher" as the brave souls rode the utility cherry picker. Next they heard more from the police and watched a K-9 demo. The Gwinnett Braves mascot was on hand along with Buster the Brown Thrasher anti-littering mascot. Kids went through the fire safety house then relaxed with cookies and punch while hearing a story. Then it was back to school.

What a great field trip on a lovely day in Norcross showcasing team work and out government in action.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

April 17 – A Grand Day in Norcross

And what a day it was!

It started early with the Corners to Crossing Race with volunteers taking their places by 6:30 AM. After the awards ceremony in Thrasher Park it was on to Webb Park for music and children’s activities “at the beach” during Spring Break in Norcross. Mayor Bucky said “we brought the beach to Norcross” for the day, even better than going to the beach. The new splash fountain was a big hit!

Then it was time to slip away for the official ribbon cutting at the Welcome Center before zipping back up to Webb Park to continue the fun. Volley ball playing, Frisbee throwing, dog romping, beach blanket lounging, bike riding, refreshment enjoying, sun worshiping, music playing day at the beach.

And it all ended with the Grand Opening and a nice ceremony honoring the namesake of the park, Mayor Emeritus Lillian Webb. Special guests were the members and families of the town’s baseball teams who played on that hallowed ground back in the day. Then live beach music rocked our world for a fine end to a grand day in Norcross.

Thanks to all the folks who made this happen. It was years in the making!

“A Celebration in a Field of Dreams Where Community Vision Shows that All Things are Possible”

Corners to Crossing

No doubt you’ve heard about the very successful Corners to Crossing Race held yearly on a route connecting Peachtree Corners to the railroad crossing in Norcross. Saturday April 17 was the third annual running of this popular event. It is a qualifier for the Peachtree Road Race and helps raise money for several important community groups.

What you probably don’t know is the housekeeping details. After all, they are not exciting, just required. While it may be necessary to see to the needs of the runners i.e. keep them hydrated, rewarded and celebrated, it is optional what to do with the stuff after all is said and done. Stuff like cardboard, plastic bags, shrink wrap, empty water bottles, banana and orange peels - just to mention a few.

Well, our community volunteers have gotten in to the habit of recycling, even when away from home. Some of them separated these items and held them aside. And nearly 40 pounds of cardboard, a huge "bag of bags" containing plastic bags and shrink wrap, empty plastic bottles and a bushel of banana and orange peels were diverted from landfills. Everything but the food scraps and plastic wrap was picked up by our local recycler. The fruit peels were put in the compost bin at Norcross Charity Garden, our city’s first Community Garden. In about 3 months they will be naturally turned in to compost ready to enrich the soil in time for the fall planting. The plastic wrap and bags were recycled at a local grocery store.

And all this was just a portion of what was produced by one event.

Next year I bet we can do even better.

Oh, and next month is the Classic Car Show. Now what will we do about recycling at this great annual event? Let’s talk.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

4 in 1 Results - Guest Post By Phil Robertson, Norcross Code Enforcement Supervisor

Good Afternoon,

Attached you will find all the final totals for our recent Clean-Up Day, Recycle Event and Canned Food Drive held on April 10th. All four events had a great turn out and I want to thank all the staff, volunteers and participants – without all of you the success of these events would not be possible. The participants were very enthusiastic and appreciative that the City of Norcross offered these services and that we are environmentally aware.

We surpassed all previous records to date of our Recycle and Clean-Up Events. Our next events will be:

· For 2010: The Fall Event will be held on Saturday, October 9th.

· For 2011: The Spring Event will be held on Saturday, April 9th.

Again, thank you everyone for your support!

Philomena M. Robertson
Code Enforcement Supervisor
City of Norcross

Electronics Recycled:
• 11,661 lbs of metal, plastic, glass computer housing and peripheral equipment.
• One Hundred fifty-three (153) participants
Shredded Papers Recycled:
• 9,372 lbs of sensitive and confidential records.
• One Hundred-twenty seventy-seven (177) participants
Clean-Up Event:
• 23.45 tons of bulky items, trash, old appliances/furniture, yard debris.
• 1.82 tons of “curbside” recyclables
• One Hundred twenty-one (121) participants
Participating Cities (33):
• Alpharetta
• Atlanta
• Berkeley Lake
• Buckhead
• Buford
• Chamblee
• Dawsonville
• Decatur
• Duluth
• Dunwoody
• Fairburn
• Flowery Branch
• Grayson
• Jefferson
• Johns Creek
• Jonesboro
• Lawrenceville
• Lilburn
• Lithonia
• Loganville
• Marietta
• Norcross (city)
• Norcross (county)
• Peachtree Corners
• Roswell
• Sandy Springs
• Snellville
• Stone Mountain
• Sugar Hill
• Suwanee
• Tucker
• Winder
• Woodstock

Added Activity to Recycle/Clean-up Day Events:
We also collected on the same day, non-perishable food items for our local food bank. Participants did not need to make a donation in order to participate in the Clean-up/Recycle Events but it was greatly appreciated. Donations of these items will be given to members of our community in need. We collected over 500 non-perishable/canned goods and monetary donation of $320.00.

Upcoming Event Dates:
• For 2010: The Fall Event will be held on Saturday, October 9th.
• For 2011: The Spring Event will be held on Saturday, April 9th.

Editor's Note: Sustainable Norcross provides volunteers to assist. Mark your calendars and plan to join us as a volunteer as well as a participant.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Norcross residents to grow garden for homeless  | ajc.com

Norcross residents to grow garden for homeless  | ajc.com

Posted using ShareThis

Spring is For Questioning

Inquiring minds want to know. What will you do to conserve water?

Without water conservation, Georgia will not be able to meet its future water demands. And the present is not looking too secure either.

As water resource management becomes more complex, Georgians (and the judicial system) are calling for comprehensive water resource plans and policies, as well as more aggressive water conservation. Our current source of drinking water is in doubt and new sources are decades and millions, perhaps billions of dollars away. So in my book conservation is the common sense, affordable tool to ensure water is available when and where we need it. And it is within the control of each Georgian. But how, exactly?

Enter Conserve Water Georgia, a water conservation clearinghouse with timely tips and tools for individuals, students and teachers, business and industry representatives and community leaders. This is a wonderful service of the Watershed Protection Branch of the Environmental Protection Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. There are a variety of topics and the website is constantly being updated to reflect the current threat level (seriousness) of water availability issues.

While we have had record breaking rainfall since the end last summer of the record breaking drought in Georgia, we need to actively maintain our conservation habits. And expand upon them.

And now that planting season is upon us, I’ve been looking at ways to Save Water Outdoors. Did you know that the average household uses about 80-100 qallons of water a day per person? Of that about 30 percent is outdoor water use. And this is the season when that begins to peak.

So here are tips from Conserve Water Georgia for

Saving Water Outdoors

• Water efficiently.
• Put the “right” plants in the “right” places.
• Add organic matter to the soil.
• Mulch.
• Harvest water from alternative sources and use it to irrigate plants.
• Know the rules.

And this Saturday April 10 you can make your very own water harvesting source. Join Sustainable Norcross at 3 PM for the first Rain Barrel and Water Conservation Class of the season. Look for the white tent between the Welcome Center and Fire Museum Parking Lot on Lawrenceville Street near the intersection with Mitchell.

Price is $50 for the class where you will assemble your own 55 gallon food grade recycled plastic drum from materials provided. You’ll also learn about a potential credit on your Storm Water Utility Fee. Additional kits available for $50 each.

Or order a rain barrel assembled and ready for you to install for $60 each.

At the rate of 1 inch of rainfall producing .6 gallons of harvestable water per square foot of roof area (that’s 600 gallons of water per 1,000 sq ft of roof during a 1 inch rain), you’ll want several. Let our instructors show you how to daisy chain them to increase storage capacity. And ask them about reusing HVAC condensate too.

Sign up NOW or call 404-229-7077.

This class made possible through the cooperation of City of Norcross, Coca Cola, Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeeper and Sustainable Norcross.