By Andrea Goodell, Herrick District Library
A sustainable community takes more than just environmental health or economic health or social health. It takes everyone working together for all of those things.This month, Living Sustainably Along the Lakeshore will kick off its fall series of events addressing ways in which Holland is becoming a more sustainable community and telling how residents can be a part of the movement.
The first meeting will talk about noise, one of the leading neighborhood complaints in Holland.
“Hearing our Neighbors: Community and Neighborhood” will be a community discussion about city noise, neighborly communication strategies, and ordinance enforcement. It will be 6:30 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 25, at Herrick District Library, 300 S. River Ave.
How much noise is harmful? What about pets, what are they hearing? The panel of experts will include Holland City Councilman Raul Garcia, Holland Assistant Director of Community and Neighborhood Services Tricia Dreier, Hope College professor Kathy Winnett-Murray, and Holland Department of Public Safety Sgt.Larry Matzen.
Garcia, who has also served as a program director for the city neighborhood group WestCore Neighbors, will provide resources for positive communication between neighbors.
“No one tries to be bad neighbor,” Garcia said.
Winnett-Murray will speak to domestic animal reactions to noise.
Matzen and Dreier will discuss Holland ordinances related to noise, such as fireworks, and ways they can and cannot be enforced. Though the city officials will not be able to take complaints at the event, they will share ways to file formal complaints and the importance of following up with officials.
“Hearing our Neighbors” will include resources to become be a more aware neighbor. Participants are encouraged to bring their questions and suggestions about noise from the resident’s perspective.
Community organizations that sponsor the Living Sustainably series are: Herrick District Library, Holland-Hope College Sustainability Institute, GreenMichigan.org, League of Women Voters of the Holland Area, Meijer Campus of Grand Valley State University, city of Holland and West Michigan Environmental Action Council.
—Next month, Living Sustainably Along the Lakeshore will take on smart energy at home. Meeting at the Holland Energy Park, 6:30 to 8 p.m. Oct. 9, the event will include a self-guided tour of the Holland Board of Public Works’ new Energy Education Center. Home energy retrofit advisors will talk about improvements that can make a home more comfortable, healthy, efficient and sustainable, as well as financing options available to make those improvements. Holland residents who have completed home energy retrofits will share their stories. Tickets are required for the October event (https://bit.ly/2v8Z8i1) as room is limited.
—In November, “Stump our Recycling Chumps” asks for community members’ toughest recycling questions and will discuss Holland’s recycling initiatives and the sorting practices of the city’s new trash and recycling hauler, Republic Services. It will be 6:30 to 8 p.m. Nov. 13, at Holland City Hall, 270 S. River Ave. and will be live streamed over the Living Sustainably Along the Lakeshore Facebook page t facebook.com/LivingSustainablyAlongtheLakeshore/.
Andrea Goodell is community relations associate at Herrick District Library.
This Week’s Sustainability Framework Theme
Community & Neighborhood: The places we live and the individuals we interact with support the development of our personalities and perspectives on life. Encouraging vital and effective communities is essential.
ABOUT THIS SERIES
Living Sustainably is a collection of community voices sharing updates about local sustainability initiatives. It is presented by the Holland-Hope College Sustainability Institute, a joint project of Hope College, the City of Holland and Holland Board of Public Works. Go to www.hope.edu/sustainability-institute for more information.