HOW GREEN IS OUR VALLEY?

By Christopher A. Anacker

Members of the Ojai Valley Green Coalition (OVGC) take to heart the saying “Think globally, act locally” as they teach themselves and others about keeping the local ecology and environment sustainable.

Today, more than 500 members volunteer their time in the coalition. Their varied backgrounds cover a wide range, from those having degrees, certificates and experience in green disciplines (e.g., green building design, environmental inspection, wildlife biology), to those involved in filmmaking, art publishing, or green products distribution, through to your average resident who simply cares about the Ojai Valley and wants to help make it greener and keep it that way.

These people are inspired as they actively work to influence things such as the way buildings are designed, built, renovated and operated; sustainable watershed and land use planning; less-polluting means of transportation; more eco-friendly lifestyles in general (e.g., reduce, reuse, recycle, compost); as well as less impactful food choices.

The coalition has formed committees focused on such areas as Building and Construction, Energy, Environmental Health, Food and Agriculture, Transportation, Waste Management, and Watershed. If one of these appeals to you, please contact any OVGC member for information about joining a committee. New members are always welcome.

One of the OVGC’s most active committees is Food and Agriculture. Some of the fun projects and events these folks have recently planned or engaged in include:

• Presenting a Culinary Club workshop, recipe swap and tasting social.

• Organizing the Grow Food Party Crew Project to install home gardens in the community. They installed 20 gardens in one day with the Ojai Valley Youth Foundation and 16 more gardens for deserving families with the sponsorship of Commonwealth Financial Network—and produced a Grow Food Party Crew DVD.

• Took a trip to Ojai’s Rio Gozo Organic Farm, located on the old Honor Farm site.

• Screened Mad City Chickens—a film about urban chicken keeping.

• Set up a shed and loaner tools—a storehouse for communal tools and garden supplies.

• Produced a “Victory Gardens Past and Present” community presentation.

Many local organizations and businesses support the OVGC, including the City of Ojai, the County of Ventura District 1 Supervisor’s Office, the Ojai Unified School District, the Ojai Valley Chamber of Commerce, the Ojai Valley Youth Foundation, Oak Grove School, the Ojai Foundation, the Symphony of Life Spiritual Center, Ojai Trees, Food for Thought, the Ojai Peace Coalition and the Ojai Valley Democrats.

Want to join this positive, proactive group? Sign up and find out how at ojaivalleygreencoalition.org. It’s our own coalition of residents and friends working together to make and keep the Ojai Valley “green.”


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