Monday, September 6, 2010

State award will help pave way for Ayer to become a "Green Community"

Late last week, Ayer became one of 45 communities that will receive technical assistance to boost its bid to become a "Green Community." A planning grant from the Department of Energy Resources covers the hiring of a planning professional to help the town meet state requirements to earn the "Green Community" designation, which recognizes Massachusetts towns' dedication to cutting their energy use.

Under the Patrick administration's Green Communities Act of 2008, towns who meet a set of five criteria that demonstrate their commitment to reducing energy consumption and pursuing alternative energy solutions become eligible for state grants to help them take their efforts even further.

Earlier this year, members of the Board of Selectmen planned to hire a consulting firm to help advise the town on ways to reduce energy usage in order to become a Green Community, but hit a stumbling block when the Town Meeting article that would have financed it was tabled for future discussion. With the help of the planning professional Ayer will now have on hand, thanks to the award, the town should be able to make a fresh start toward earning the "Green Community" title.

The BOS unanimously agreed to apply for the grant toward the end of August. Under the terms of the grant, Ayer must now commit to meet the five criteria within a year. The town is now planning to form a Green Communities committee to get the push going in earnest.

To read more about the Green Communities initiative and the criteria involved, click

Recycle Your Reusables event set for Oct. 23

If you find you've been accumulating a few piles of household odds and ends and are wondering what to do with them, hold the least a little longer. Recycle Your Reusables, brought to you by the Ayer Recycling Committee and its cosponsors, has reuse solutions for a whole host of items, including, but not limited to:

  • Athletic sneakers
  • Personal documents
  • #6 Styrofoam (even food trays!)
  • Canned goods
  • Coats and blankets
  • Good-condition used furniture and home goods
  • Gently-used sporting goods
The event will take place in the Ayer Public Schools parking lot from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. To get more specifics, contact the Ayer Recycling Committee at or 978-­496-5839. You can also visit the Recycle Your Reusables Ayer blog.

Green goings on

Ayer Recycling Committee quarterly meeting
-- Wednesday, Sept. 8, Ayer Town Hall, Conference Room A, 7 p.m.

This session will focus on preparations for the Recycle Your Reusables event (see above), to be held Oct. 23. All are welcome.

Fourth Annual River Day with Congresswoman Niki Tsongas --
Sunday, Sept. 12, noon to 5 p.m.

Celebrate the role of local waterways in connecting and contributing to the Fifth Congressional District with stops along the rivers in the Fifth District.
Stops included are:
  • Riverwalk Park, Osgood Street, Methuen, noon -- Meet with city officials and Groundwork Lawrence volunteers to discuss efforts to expand and clean up the Spicket River Greenway.
  • Muldoon Park, Lowell, 1 p.m. -- Paddle on the Concord River and visit the newly-completed Concord River Greenway with volunteers from the Spindle City Corps, the Massachusetts Audubon Society and Girls Inc., to discuss their efforts to rehabilitate this greenway.
  • Assabet River National Wildlife Refuge Visitors Center, Hudson Road, Sudbury, 3 p.m. -- Tour this newly-completed, green building and meet with students from the area to talk about their involvement with the Refuge.

RSVP to Jane Adams in Representative Tsongas' Acton office by e-mail or at 978-263-1951.

DEA National Prescription Drug Takeback Day -- Saturday, Sept. 25, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Get those leftover prescription meds out of your house...safely! You can drop off your expired, unused and unwanted prescription medications at the Littleton and Townsend Police Departments. This event is being held by the Drug Enforcement Agency (supported by the Mass. Department of Public Health).

Law enforcement staff will handle the dropoffs and ensure that the collected medications are safely stored and destroyed in accordance with DEA’s requirements. This collection gets these drugs out of medicine cabinets and closets, protecting people who shouldn’t take them, and prevents them from being flushed down drains and into sewers and septic systems, where many pharmaceutical compounds survive municipal water treatment.

Ayer Greenway Committee Family Rock Scramble -- Saturday, Sept. 18, 9 a.m. to noon

Kids aged six to 12 should have their responsible adults meet at the trailhead on Groton-Harvard Road at 9 for a short hike to Porcupine Hill, followed by an easy-but-steep climb to an area with caves and chimneys to explore for about an hour. Play clothes and sturdy shoes are recommended. Call 978-821-2916 or e-mail event leader Steve Smith with any questions and to sign up for this event

Ayer Greenway Committee monthly meeting -- Saturday, Sept. 25, location TBA

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