Green Team initiatives focus on quality of life

Green Team member Warren Remein, left, helps make the Bay Skate and Bike Park’s rib cook-off fundraiser on June 8 a near-zero waste event. Ninety-eight percent of the waste was recycled or composted.

The Bay Village Green Team was established in fall 2007, when Mayor Debbie Sutherland invited several local experts to present sustainability ideas to a group of Bay residents, and from that the Green Team was formed. The Bay Village Green Team is recognized as being one of the most active community green teams in Cuyahoga County.

On May 20, members of the Green Team were invited to share details about their mission, past accomplishments and upcoming projects with Bay Village City Council. We appreciate the City's support and thought others in the community may be interested in hearing about the group.

The Green Team’s mission is to "improve the quality of life by decreasing our city’s environmental footprint. Our vision is for Bay Village to become a model sustainable community for current and future residents.”

The Bay Village Green Team views sustainability in a broad manner: the capacity to endure and to thrive. Sustainable processes focus on current and future generations, and consider both physical and financial health. Sustainability values the health of the environment and recognizes its impact on human health. Sustainability supports reduced consumption of finite resources and minimizing waste.

And, no conversation about sustainability can ignore energy, which is needed for the quality of life. The Green Team supports any move towards more renewable, clean energy sources.

The Bay Village Green Team has several areas of focus. These include:

Transportation: The Green Team partners with the Bay Skate & Bike Park Foundation and the Village Bicycle Cooperative to advocate for biking. The groups are responsible for the “Share the Road” signs that are now on city streets, reminding drivers to share the road with bikers, and are looking to revise the current bike ordinances.

Zero Waste: The Green Team has partnered with other local organizations, including BAYarts and the Lake Erie Nature & Science Center, to make their events “Zero Waste.”

Bay’s recycling rate has improved dramatically as a result of the new automated trash pick-up program which was adopted in May 2011. Both the City and the Green Team have been actively promoting recycling and composting within the community. In the past few years, the recycling rate has increased from around 45-50 percent to 68 percent in 2012, making Bay one of the leading recycling communities in Cuyahoga County. The recycled amount includes the materials that are placed in the recycle containers curbside and the yard waste which is composted by Kurtz Bros Inc.

Sustainability Education: The Green Team hosts community education sessions around sustainable topics such as composting, rain barrels, rain gardens and green homes.

Local Foods: The Green Team manages the Bay Village Community Garden. The garden is a great example of partnership between the Bay Village School Board (who provides the land), the City of Bay Village (which provides support) and the Bay Village Green Team (which manages the garden).

The community garden is a great community asset. It was established in 2010 and now has about 130 plots rented to Bay residents. Social justice groups in Bay Village can have a plot for free.

The Bay Village Green Team strongly believes that collaboration with city officials, city schools, local businesses and civic groups is the best way for the green team to accomplish its goals. For more information, visit or email Or, join us for our next monthly meeting on Tuesday, July 9, 6:30-8 p.m. at the Bay Village Community House, 303 Cahoon Road. All are welcome. Make a difference, get involved!

Brenda OReilly

Co-Chair of the Bay Village Green Team

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Volume 5, Issue 12, Posted 11:19 AM, 06.11.2013