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.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Let's Hear It For The Girl Scouts! And...You?

Friday nine second grade Girl Scouts from Simpson Elementary School planted veggies at the Norcross Community Garden. The area was a buzz with activity as girls excitedly set to work clearing out the weeds and winter cover crops and got down to business. In no time squash, tomatoes, peppers and basil had been planted, watered, mulched and were happily basking in the late afternoon sun. The plants had even been sung to as the girls spontaneously broke into song a few times between planting tips offered by leader Jennifer Bonacci.

Saturday the happy scene repeated itself when Girl Scout Troop 3317 tackled the remaining two beds. The eight first graders, also from Simpson, chose sweet potatoes, onions, 2 types of tomatoes, strawberries, and beans that they started from seeds.

Leader Anila Ballerstedt organized this service project after meeting Connie Weathers of Sustainable Norcross while picking up at the Peachtree Corners CSA sponsored by Sustainable Peachtree Corners co-founder Robin Montri. Talk about perfect timing.

According to Laura Laszlo, founder of Norcross Charity Garden, they lost their space after two years of operation and were at a loss how to carry on. Relocating to the campus of Norcross Cultural Arts and Community Center was a natural.

Originally a project of Comcast Cares in 2009, employee volunteers had installed and planted four wooden raised garden beds beside the Latin American Association. Last summer Pattie Baker, a/k/a Sustainable Pattie, founding member of Dunwoody Community Garden, visited the site and saw the beds languishing. Pattie promptly recruited fellow volunteer Bob Lundsten to help plant and water the beds, keeping the veggies and the concept of a community garden alive.

Now Peachtree Corners Girl Scouts have breathed life back into the little garden. But they will not be tending the beds over the summer. That’s where YOU come in.

Ideally a community garden would have a small group of volunteers to manage the process, make a few decisions about how the garden will function and dig in to make it happen. That group could include you. Lend a hand to weed, water and watch veggies grow. Gardening is great exercise and can be a fun social outing to boot.

Not the play-in-the-dirt kind of person? First, you do not need a green thumb to be a successful gardener. Come join the fun and learn by doing. Seven to nine year old Girl Scouts can do it, and so can you.

Still not convinced to get your hands dirty? You can always donate money or materials. Here’s a partial wish list: 100 foot garden hose, pistol grip nozzle that shuts off when not squeezed, hose reel, watering cans, hand tools, work gloves, garden cart, paper lawn debris bags, gift cards to garden or home stores, seeds, plants, …oh, and did I mention money? Or writing an application for a grant?

Girl Scouts have blazed the trail for us. Now who will step forward to guide us on the journey?

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