As Woodstock gets ready to celebrate Earth Day on Monday, April 22, we wanted to recap some local environmental milestones.
In 2003 the Woodstock Environmental Commission (WEC) procured a New York State Energy Research Development Agency grant covering eighty percent of the project cost of a photo-voltaic panel array for the municipal building at 76 Tinker Street. On March 13, 2007, the Town of Woodstock unanimously passed a Zero-Carbon Initiative. The goal was to achieve a net zero emission of carbon dioxide by the end of 2017.
In 2009 the Roots of Woodstock Live Concert was held on August 15 at the Bearsville Theater. This 40th anniversary Woodstock festival concert also raised money via an Eco Raffle. The monies raised enabled the concert promoters to purchase two bright red bicycle-shaped Dero bike racks. One was placed in front of Houst’s on Mill Hill Road and the other in front of the Woodstock Chamber of Commerce and Arts booth on Rock City Road.
Also in 2009 the WEC produced The Green Guide, a 39-page handout, detailing ways Woodstockers can lower their eco-footprint. In June 2011 the town installed a solar array atop the Woodstock Highway Garage. The town currently generates over five percent of its electricity needs from solar arrays. Woodstock is continuing to work on a plan to reach its net zero emission goal by 2017.
“An Air of Magic—Roots of the 1969 Woodstock Festival: The Backstory to “Woodstock,” an article by David Bouton that appears in the winter 2009 issue of Kaatskill Life, offers a great review of the Roots book and concert. Bouton begins with, “[The festival] happened here in the Catskill Mountains. It did not take place at Berkeley, or in the Golden Gate Park near San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury. The historic, famous, somewhat spontaneous Woodstock peace, music and arts festival of 1969 in the Catskills was not a fluke either in its nature or its location. Yes, the event eventually was held in Bethel, NY, 70 miles away, but the festival is and forever will be called “Woodstock,” reflecting its origins, its geographical location, its nature, and inherent outlook and attitude: that of the community of Woodstock, NY.”
When we were invited to spend the Woodstock Festival’s 40th anniversary weekend at our friends’ home in Woodstock itself (actually Bearsville, a few miles west on Route 212), I checked the local gig schedule and saw that former Howlin’ Wolf guitarist Hubert Sumlin would be appearing at the Bearsville Theater on Saturday night. Hubert turns 78 this November and it seemed an opportune moment to hear one of the last surviving originators of Chicago electric blues. Only when we saw the flyers posted around town did I discover that Hubert was but one of four acts on the show.
Also appearing were a local local gospel-infused jam band called Children of God, the 2009 version of the Blues Magoos (!), and the folk-blues singer/guitarist Ellen McIlwaine. Read the rest of this entry »
We’d like to express our appreciation to the many individuals and organizations that so graciously gave their time, enthusiasm and resources, helping to make the August 15 concert and Zero-Carbon fundraiser a resounding success. Heartfelt thanks go to the in-kind sponsors—Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, Sun Mountain Solar (Larry Brown, on-site solar tech!), Naomi Graphics and Hurley Ridge Market; and the Eco-Raffle sponsors—Cameron Design, H. Houst & Son, Oriole9 Restaurant, Overlook Mountain Bikes, Paul Alexander Construction Co., Pondicherry Yoga Arts, River Rock Health Spa, Rondout Savings Bank, Sunflower Natural Foods Market, Susun Weed, SweetHeart Gallery, Village Green Bed & Breakfast, Woodstock Music Shop and Woodstock Chimes®. A great debt of gratitude is owed to Steve Walter and to the musicians—the Blues Magoos, Hubert Sumlin and band, Ellen McIlwaine, Marc Black and band, Jerry Moore and the Children of God, and the Robbie Turner Band. Thanks go also to the Bearsville Theater—Peter Cantine, Lisa Hantes, Robert Frazza, and other members of the staff. Rick Schneider of WKZE was a knowledgeable and adroit emcee; we thank him and the whole of WKZE for their support. Chuck Ballantine and Chris Andersen, we thank you for your audio assistance.