The Kent Environmental Council invites all environmentally concerned residents of the Kent area to join us in accomplishing our local action agenda for 2012-2013. We will be working on the following focus areas:
At the 2012 KEC winter planning meeting, it was suggested that three of the organization’s focus groups (Parks and Trail Development, Sustainable Community Development and Transportation) reorganize, for at least 2013, into a combined group that will concentrate on the concepts of active living. For PowerPoint slides describing the concept of active living, click here. The elements of active living that this focus group will study for 2013 are:
KEC is looking for interested persons to get involved in this process at all levels. Just take pictures and write about them as in goal 1, below, or come to KEC's active living focus group meetings at Scribbles coffee shop, 237 N. Water St., Kent, on March 6 and 20 and April 3 and 17. You also can contact Charles Frederick by email at, by phone at 330-678-5327 or by postal mail at 532 Pioneer Ave., Kent, OH 44240. Or join the active living conversations on Facebook.
- movement + transportation
- placemaking + neighborhood characteristics
- social participation + activism
The focus group's goals are as follows:
- The focus group is seeking input to document existing conditions until March 22 by using crowdsourcing. Anyone can collect photos showing examples of active living in Kent (good or bad) and send them with the proper documentation to Charles Frederick. By doing so, you will be helping improve our community and adding to data showing where Kent is encouraging active living and where it has room to improve. These photos could show, for example, someone riding a bicycle on one of the bike paths around town, children walking to school, areas of sidewalk that are risky for pedestrians or vehicle drivers not paying attention to bicycle riders. For each photo, include when and where the photo was taken, what you found interesting about the scene, and a description of the weather conditions. If you have any questions, contact Charles Frederick at 330-678-5327 or by postal mail at 532 Pioneer Ave., Kent, OH 44240, about this great way to get involved in our active community.
- The focus group also will be reviewing Kent planning documents until March 22 to see what has and has not been accomplished.
- The group then will take a month to conduct analysis mapping and synthesize the data, which will be presented during an April 22 panel discussion at KEC's spring forum at the Presbyterian Church in Kent.
- From April through October, the group will be involved in the development of active living projects that will be presented to the community at KEC's fall forum. KEC is looking for interested persons to get involved in this process at all levels.
- The group hopes to develop a series of projects or policy recommendation for residents, public officials and stakeholders.
Charles Frederick (330-678-5327)
Communication and Publicity
The purpose of this focus group is to support the activities of other KEC focus areas by providing environmental information to KEC members and the public. Communication tools include an e-newsletter, a hardcopy newsletter as needed, letters to the editor, legislative alerts, booths at special events such as the Kent Heritage Festival and River Day, and public forums at least twice a year.
Our goal for 2012-2013 is to enhance KEC’s Internet capabilities, including more frequent e-newsletters and more timely use of KEC’s Facebook pages. We always welcome volunteers who are willing to help us prepare written copy and/or graphics in order to keep the Web site and the Facebook site current or provide assistance at special events.
Lorraine McCarty (330-554-3829), Jeff Ingram (330-673-4970), Audrey C. Kessler (330-677-1168)
Archives 2011: KEC 40th Anniversary Celebration Draws More Than 100 Members, Friends, KEC Raffle Winners Announced
The primary goal of this focus group is education. This may be subdivided into three major areas: energy conservation, fossil fuels as an energy source and alternative energy sources. First, is to inform the public on the methods to conserve energy by using less. Second, that burning fossil fuels not only contributes to serious health problems by filling the air and water with poisonous substances, it also contributes significantly to global warming and results in severe and often irreversible environmental damage (a current concern is the impact of gas drilling by fracking on the Portage County environment). Third, that a great deal more attention needs to be given to the use of wind, solar, water, and geothermal power sources. We welcome your participation in our educational efforts.
Ted Voneida (September to June); Barb and John Brovarone (June to September)
Archives 2011: KEC 40th Anniversary Celebration Draws More Than 100 Members, Friends, Frack, Baby, Frack! (Update), Questions on Fracking Posed by a KEC Member
Our purpose is to reconnect people with the natural world. Research has shown that contact with nature promotes knowledge, appreciation and caring for the environment and, more important, is fundamental to human health and well-being.
Our agenda for 2012-2013 is to provide opportunities for positive experiences for adults and children within the natural areas that surround us. We welcome your contributions as we plan this year’s KEC events and activities.
Friends of the Kent Bog
We are an informal group dedicated to the protection and preservation of the Tom S. Cooperrider Kent Bog State Nature Preserve for the education, enjoyment and inspiration of present and future generations. For more information, visit us on Facebook. For a video tour of the bog, click here.
Toward our goal of spreading the word about the fift of nature we have in our community, we write letters to the news media and legislators and speak at public meetings that deal with the preserve. We distribute trail guides that point out interesting plants and animals that may be seen in the preserve during each season of the year. We also serve as greeters and docents during special events at the preserve. We keep in touch through e-mail, occasional post card mailings and meetings. For a video tour of the bog, click here.
Friends of the Kent Bog or Fred Skok
Archives 2009: Report on Clean Fuels Ohio Meeting . . . Green Energy and Conservation Focus Group Concerns
Archives 2010: Frack, Baby, Frack!
Haymaker Parkway Adopt-a-Spot
This area on the north side of Haymaker Parkway between Mantua and River streets is maintained by KEC members and friends, with leadership by Bob Wilson and Helen Green. Helen has been lending her horticultural skills, labor and encouragement for three years (driving from Geauga County to plant and offer guidance). Bob supports the project with the use of his truck for mulching and hauling weeds. Longtime KEC member Sherry Gedeon donated plants in the fall of 2011.
We will maintain our section of the parkway and encourage the city of Kent to maintain the remainder of the parkway (which was landscaped by KEC members and friends in the mid-1990s). We also will continue to look for donations of perennials, especially those that are drought tolerant. Native plants are preferable but not essential. Nothing from the invasive-species list, please. This is a labor-intensive project and more volunteers are needed to help maintain the area with weeding, pruning and planting. We also need signs to announce when we are working at the site.
Ann Ward (330-285-0899)
Archives 2009: Work Continues on KEC Haymaker Parkway Adopt-a-Spot
Archives 2011: Haymaker Landscaping Project
Archives 2012: Haymaker Parkway in Bloom
This focus group is committed to building access to local food in Portage County by supporting the work happening in farmers’ markets, school gardens and food businesses.
The focus group's goals are as follows:
- We seek to support the efforts of parents and administrators in area schools to get fresh local food to students by helping to grow school gardens.
- We seek conversations about ways we can work with the community to develop projects via the membership of the Portage Local Food Project. One such project is the conversion of Kent Social Services’ kitchen into a licensed and inspected facility that can be rented by food entrepreneurs to produce food for sale at markets and other outlets.
- We seek ways to partner with area farmers’ markets to support programming that increases access to fresh local food for low-income community members. KEC underwrote the purchase of the equipment needed to launch the SNAP program at Haymaker Farmers’ Market in Kent so that customers receiving food-assistance benefits can purchase fresh fruits and vegetables with their Ohio Direction Card. KEC also is underwriting the first month of the SNAP double-value days at the market.
Kelly Ferry and Karl Liske
Archives 2010: Holden School Gardeners Thank KEC for Support . . . Holden School Gardeners Offer Peak at Their Efforts
This focus group is committed to protecting and restoring local aquatic treasures with public participation. We are active in the stewardship of the Cuyahoga River watershed and tributaries, the Kent Bog, local parks and nature preserves, and wetlands.
- We seek to identify existing and emerging threats to area lakes, rivers and streams and then identify the causes and sources of these problems. For 2012, we will continue to participate in the development and completion of the Middle Cuyahoga Watershed Plan, along with other citizens and all local governments in the western Portage County watershed that extends into Summit County.
- We seek to involve citizens and local governments in focusing on high-priority issues. After the Middle Cuyahoga Watershed Plan has been submitted and approved, federal funding may be available for addressing issues.
- We seek ways to broaden public understanding of the importance of clean waterways by monitoring issues and educating the public about them. As part of this effort, we will continue to coordinate with Chris Carman, a teacher at Kent Roosevelt High School, on water-quality issues for his fall environmental science classes.
- We want to celebrate the Cuyahoga River as part of our natural heritage and seek ways to enjoy recreation and the benefits of a free-flowing river, such as canoeing, kayaking, fishing and hiking. We will coordinate with Kent Parks and Recreation and other organizations to plan annual River Day festivities as one way to involve families in nature activities.
Edith Chase 330-673-1193
Archives 2009: Friends of the Kent Bog: A KEC Focus Group . . . KEC's Edith Chase Receives Environmental Award
Archives 2011: 2011 River Day Activities, Food for Thought about Protecting Our Drinking Water