Friday June 16, 2017
Socket is getting dressed up in style to be honored at the Governor's Environmental Stewardship Awards Luncheon next month. Department of General Services applied to recognize its project, Fire Station 19. Fire Station 19 is the first LEED Platinum fire station is the entire southeast region. With more than 89 applications coming in across nine different categories, Fire Station 19 won the "Building Green" category. The Fire Station 19 project team and guests will attend a private awards luncheon at the Ellington Agricultural Center on June 16 to recognize their achievements.
Read more about all nine of the Governor's Environmental Stewardship Award winners here: http://www.tn.gov/news/50589
LEED® Platinum 2016
Platinum level certification is the highest such designation awarded to any fire station in the Southeast and the highest level in the category of New Construction for Nashville Metro Government.
Earned LEED® Innovation Points for Exemplary Performance for On-Site Renewable Energy and use of Regional Materials
33% indoor potable water use reduction
43.92% energy cost savings (as compared to a baseline building)
33kW photovoltaic system with a bi-directional meter that first powers then station then feeds back into electric meter for energy credits
15.51% on-site renewable energy generated by solar panels (total energy costs of building offset)
63% construction waste diverted from landfill
16% recycled content in building materials (by cost)
31.85% regional materials used (by cost, regionally manufactured and raw materials extracted)
June 3, 2017
10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Historic Hadley Park
1037 28th Ave. N
3rd Annual Nashville General Hospital at Meharry Community Health Fair!
For more information, call 615-341-4082
Friday, May 26, 2017
Celebrate Bike to Work Day in Nashville on Friday, May 26! As part of Nashville Bike Month, Walk Bike Nashville invites bike commuters, curious and seasoned alike, to meet up at several locations around town and ride with each other on their way to work. We'll be celebrating with breakfast at the Public Square at 7:45-8:30am, open to all bike commuters. Grab a bagel and a cup of coffee at the courthouse on your way to work!
More information, including planned group rides, here: http://www.walkbikenashville.org/biketowork
Socket wishes all moms a happy Mother’s Day! While we celebrate our moms every day of the year, this is their special day.
Just as our own mothers nurture and nourish our bodies and minds, so does Mother Nature play a leading role in our physical and mental wellbeing. Today, as we each honor our “human moms,” take a moment to consider all that is provided by the complex planetary ecosystem all around us.
All 7.4 billion of us on the planet rely on clean water, clean air, and healthy food for our survival. The quality of what we drink, breathe, and eat is directly influenced by the environment from which it came. Pure water, clean air free from pollutants, and fresh food that is free from toxics support our physical growth and development.
Our biology dictates that we spend time outdoors. In fact, the best source of essential nutrient vitamin D is sunlight hitting our skin. Yet few foods in nature contain vitamin D, and more than 1 billion people worldwide are deficient in the nutrient.[i] As the world population migrates to cities and we spend more time indoors, this public health problem is likely to intensify. Luckily, getting your D is very doable – choose to spend 5-30 minutes in midday sun twice per week, take a supplement, and/or enjoy milk fortified with vitamin D, plus eggs and fatty fishes.[ii]
It is not just our physical health that benefits from time outdoors. City dwellers have a 20 percent higher risk of anxiety disorders and a 40 percent higher risk of mood disorders as compared to people in rural areas.[iii] Studies show that spending time in nature benefits our mood and mental health and can even reduce symptoms of depression.
As you can see, there are many things to be thankful for from the natural world. Socket says, this Mother’s Day, honor the mother who raised you, and your Mother Nature!
And remember, if you’re thinking of buying mom flowers or chocolate for the big day, consider making the sustainable choice. It’s all explained in our Green Valentine’s Day blog.
As usual, there is no shortage of things to do in Nashville this weekend. Why not treat your mom to a special mother’s day jazz brunch at City Winery, enjoy free performances by the Blair Children’s Choruses, or relive childhood wonder with the closing performance of "Goodnight Moon" at the Nashville Children’s Theatre on Sunday? Happy Mother’s Day!
[i] Cure for Vitamin D deficiency? More sun, less block: study 5/2/17 http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/cure-vitamin-deficiency-sun-block-study-article-1.3130619
[iii] Stanford researchers find mental health prescription: Nature 6/30/15 http://news.stanford.edu/2015/06/30/hiking-mental-health-063015/
This weekend, join Metro Parks at two of Nashville’s new properties for family fun, tours, and an opportunity to shape future parks! Visitors will also have the opportunity to learn about the site’s history and ecology as well as provide input on the future regional park plans. The community can enjoy hayrides, guided hikes, music, family games, door prizes and food trucks.
Saturday, May 20th, (1:00-4:00 pm) visit the new 800 acre property along the Stones river in Donelson-Hermitage.
Former Ravenwood Country Club
3401 Central Pike
Nashville, TN 37076
Sunday, May 21st, (1:00-4:00 pm) visit the new 600 acre property in southeast Davidson County.
Big Red Barn
12969 Old Hickory Blvd
Nashville, TN 37013
May 1, 2017 marks the 7th anniversary of a natural disaster that devastated Nashville, mourned 11 lives lost, saw $2 billion in damage, and ultimately brought our community closer together. Out of the rain that fell seven years ago – 13.5 inches in 36 hours – was born a greater resiliency, an engaged citizenry and stronger social cohesion.
Some 29,000 Nashvillians, many led by nonprofit Hands on Nashville, volunteered with flood remediation for homes, businesses, and natural areas. Many felt that a sense of community bloomed once the flood waters receded. Neighbors helping neighbors made a tragic event easier to bear.
In the storm’s aftermath, the city’s Chief Service Officer under Mayor Karl Dean’s administration developed the “Stormbusters Blueprint” to help cities across the country implement volunteer led flood mitigation and other climate resiliency efforts, based on the work Nashville accomplished post flood. Learn more here.
Hundreds of thousands of citizens pitched in to conserve water in the days and weeks following the flood, as the city’s water purification plants were under strain. When city officials requested that residents conserve water, Nashvillians happily obliged to ensure sufficient safe drinking water for all. Learn more about conserving water at home and in the office from Socket.
Land Use Decisions
In the aftermath of the flood, the city worked towards mitigating further flooding by converting floodplain areas to greenspace and non-residential uses. Metro conducted a buyout of properties in flooded areas. These areas now help to buffer waterways, reduce polluted runoff, and lower the possibility of loss of life and property damage in the case of a flood. In, many cases, the new green areas are community assets, providing education and recreation areas to area residents.
(The Hands onNashville Urban Farm is a great example of flooded land being re-used as green infrastructure and also volunteer and education site)
Nashville is a quickly growing city with new residents and infrastructure being added each day. In response to this rapid growth, city leaders passed regulations to deal with stormwater runoff.
One example is ORDINANCE NO. BL2014-910, requires that residential construction, if creating significant additional impervious surface, “shall include provisions for the management of the first inch (1”) of rainfall runoff from an impervious area equal to the net added impervious area.” In other words, these structures can use rain barrels, rain gardens, pervious pavement, and other catchment techniques to slow and purify rain water before it makes its way into the Cumberland River. More information here.
Nashville’s award-winning Low Impact Development plan details exactly how to achieve this management of the first inch of rainfall. More information here.
Public awareness is key to the city’s preparedness. Now in its 5th year, the city hosts the “Urban Runoff 5K,” a run/walk to boost awareness of stormwater issues. Our very own Socket mascot was one of the race contestants last year!
In an effort to keep our water clean for all, city agencies work to educate the public about water pollution. Recently, Metro Water Services partnered with Metro General Services to place these signs on storm drains throughout the Fulton Campus.
Signs were also installed to designate Fulton Campus bioretention areas, which capture and purify rainwater, resulting in less polluted runoff during a flood event.
Residents have access to a rich suite of informational resources to help manage risk and protect lives and property in the event of a natural disaster.
Metro Water Services provides a webpage with flood risk information, including maps and links to vital data. One such tool is NERVE, or Nashville Emergency Response Viewing Engine. Available on the Web and in mobile apps, NERVE shows which roads are closed, where emergency shelters are open, and where water and food distribution centers are located. Another program is Nashville SAFE, which allows Metro to monitor actual and forecasted river stages and acquire information that can be used to dispatch resources and respond more efficiently when the water rises to a hazardous level. A National Weather Service page contains an array of rich data related to the Nashville flood of 2010.
Now, in 2017, because of our volunteer spirit and our investments to prepare for the worst, if and when an historic flood affects Nashville again, our city is more resilient and better prepared to spring back even stronger. Indeed, We Are Nashville!
May 23 - May 24, 2017
In connection with Clean Air Month, the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC), Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT), and Tennessee Clean Fuels will host the Sustainable Transportation Awards and Forum on May 23-24, 2017 at the Downtown Nashville Public Library. The forum, entitled “Navigating Toward a Livable Tennessee,” will highlight transportation planning activities in Tennessee and beyond and the pursuit of place-based policies and investments for improved transportation options in our communities.
Socket was curious about the origins and impact of Earth Day, so we did a little digging! (But not enough to uproot the tulips!)
When did Earth Day begin?
The first Earth Day was on April 22, 1970 when 20 million Americans demonstrated for cleaner air, land, and water. Thousands of locations, including several colleges and universities, participated in the event.
When was Nashville’s first Earth Day?
2017 marks the 16th Nashville Earth Day celebrated in Centennial Park. Before that, Nashville Earth Day celebrations we held throughout the community at places like the Cumberland Science Museum (now Adventure Science Center), Radnor Lake, the YMCA, and many more!
Why do we celebrate on April 22?
The date of April 22 was chosen because on many university calendars, it falls between spring break and final exams. Since college students were targeted to champion the movement, this date accommodated their schedules.
What impact did the first Earth Day have?
By the end of 1970, “the first Earth Day had led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts.” Source: EarthDay.org
When did Earth Day go global?
On Earth Day’s 20th anniversary April 22, 1990, the event went worldwide, mobilizing 200 million people in 141 countries to celebrate the planet.
What about now?
Today, Earth Day has the distinction of being the “largest secular observance in the world, celebrated by more than a billion people every year.” Source: EarthDay.org
I want to know more!
I want to participate!
Socket can’t wait to see you at Nashville’s Earth Day Festival this Saturday, April 22 at Centennial Park from 11:00am – 6:00pm. Visit Socket’s booth to meet our mascot Socket, enter the kids’ art contest, pick up a free coloring book, and enter to win a backyard composter. Our booth, #38, is at the end of our row, right across the walking path from the "Green Market" vendor area.
… Save precious water
… Reduce stormwater runoff
… Mitigate flooding and drought
… Reduce pollution to local streams and rivers
… Save money on your water bill
Can you believe all of these benefits begin with just one barrel? Socket will show you how!
Rain barrels are a simple, inexpensive, yet effective piece of green infrastructure that you can easily add to your home. A rain barrel is a system that collects and stores rainwater from your roof that would otherwise be lost to runoff and diverted to storm drains and streams. They come in a few shapes and sizes, but all of them save you money and help protect your health and the health of the environment.
Here in Nashville, we experience both floods and drought. Rain barrels can help mitigate both. During a flood event, the ground becomes saturated with water and waterways are overwhelmed. By capturing some of the rainfall, rain barrels slow down the rate at which water must be absorbed by the environment. During dry times, your rain barrel will collect valuable rainfall to be used to quench thirsty plants around your home.
Rain barrels are also good at preventing water pollution by capturing stormwater. Socket did some research, and found an EPA blog, which states: “As stormwater flows over the surface of your property, driveways, parking lots, roofs, etc, it picks up lots of sediments, such as animal droppings, tire residue, motor oil, brake dust, deicing compounds (in the winter), fertilizers, pesticides, trash, heavy metals and other pollutants and carries them to the nearest storm drain. … From there it often goes directly into nearby streams, ponds or another water body.” (https://blog.epa.gov/blog/tag/rain-barrels/) Rain barrels can help!
Photo: waterway littered with garbage
Finally, who doesn’t want to save on their water bill and treat their outdoor plants to a treat? Socket does! Rainwater that collects in your rain barrel is free of chlorine, is slightly acidic (just the way plants like it), and contains nitrates, an important maco-nutrient for plants. Your plants will appreciate a drink of rainwater over water from the hose. Meantime, you’ll be reducing your costs for water by using what falls from the sky!
With all of these positives, why not resolve to install at least one rain barrel at your house this spring? It’s easy and inexpensive!
Ready to take the plunge?
Socket found a deal for you. You can buy a fully built rain barrel from Nashville nonprofit Cumberland River Compact for only $40. For installation and maintenance tips, Metro Water Services has you covered. Visit their website for easy steps for installing and maintaining your new rain barrels!
Want to learn more?
Check out this EPA video for a primer on rain barrels.