Thursday, May 6, 2021

Make Way for Pollinators

Last month, the Conservation Advisory Council provided counsel on the design for the new parking Columbia Memorial Health plans to create on the site of the former Eden Park Nursing Home, and the CAC's intervention resulted in some significant improvements. 

Last week, the CAC weighed in on the City's plans to build a solar farm on vacant land north of Charles Williams Park. At the April 28 meeting of the Common Council ad hoc committee pursuing the creation of the solar farm, David Konigsberg of the CAC spoke of the destruction of ecosystems and loss of habitat for pollinators caused by solar arrays and argued for creating a solar farm that was also pollinator friendly. He told the committee that combining a solar farm with a pollinator friendly habitat was no longer an experimental thing; it is increasingly seen as best practice in solar farm development. He said there were operational advantages: less maintenance, less mowing. He also suggested that creating a pollinator habitat could add value to the project with a beekeeping business. He argued it would be the right thing to do and it would be great PR for the Hudson.

Council president Tom DePietro, whose idea it was to site a solar farm on this parcel of City-owned land, told Konigsberg he would pass the information on to Peter Bujanow, commissioner of Public Works, who will be writing the RFP (request for proposal) for a solar developer to partner with the City on the project.