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.
On the 40th anniversary of Earth Day members of the Town Council and Chamber of Commerce gathered to officially welcome two bright red bicycle-shaped bike racks to Woodstock. The new racks were purchased with funds raised through last summer’s Roots of Woodstock Live Concert and Eco Raffle. The racks are intended as functional sculpture—signaling to visitors and residents that Woodstock is serious about its 2007 Zero-Carbon Initiative. One rack is located in front of the Woodstock Chamber booth at 10 Rock City Road. The second is at H. Houst & Son (an Eco Raffle sponsor), 4 Mill Hill Road. In honor of the occasion publisher WoodstockArts designed a 20.4 mile bicycle route featuring “Stories of Woodstock.” Click here to download the PDF.
Other green initiatives underway in Woodstock during this 40th anniversary year include the following:
- The Chamber’s Experience Woodstock Card. Available to residents and visitors for just $25, this card is a passport to a festival of special offers at many of Woodstock’s leading shops, galleries, performance spaces and other venues in the area. Its purpose is to encourage everyone to think globally but shop locally, thereby helping Woodstock and the environment. The card is currently accessible online at the Chamber web site, as well as at Lotus Fine Art & Design (33 Rock City Road), Coldwell Banker Village Green Realty (11-13 Mill Hill Road) and Rondout Savings Bank, (295-4 Route 375, near the Hurley Ridge Market in West Hurley). Read the rest of this entry »
“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.”
Forty years ago the ’69 Woodstock festival triggered many new trends. One such, the back-to-the-land movement, helped bring eco-consciousness to the forefront. The following year Earth Day was created. In March 2007 the Town of Woodstock passed a Zero-Carbon Initiative, pledging to neutralize Woodstock’s carbon footprint by 2017.
In a nod to these go-green efforts, the 8/15/09 Roots of Woodstock Live Concert was designated a Zero-Carbon fundraiser. This 40th anniversary tie-in event, held at Woodstock’s Bearsville Theater, included an Eco Raffle with prizes contributed by a dozen of Woodstock’s leading businesses. Monies raised were to be used for the purchase of Energy Star refrigerators or bicycle parking racks.
Given the relatively modest amount raised by the raffle in this challenging economy ($1,166), the concert producers together with the Woodstock Environmental Commission (WEC) have determined that the money should be used for bike racks. The Town of Woodstock plans to purchase four racks, and the Roots producers will buy several more with the raffle proceeds. David Lewis of the WEC has offered to coordinate placement of the racks throughout the town.