Tag Archives: Regional Environmental Council farmers markets

ACTION ALERT! Support Urban Agriculture in Worcester!

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We Help Make Change in Your Local Food System!

For the past 3 years, we have been working with the City of Worcester on a zoning ordinance that would allow commercial farming in the City of Worcester.

Over the past year, the process has been stalled and community advocates have no longer been included in the development of the policy, or in the process for bringing it to the community.

We asked some of our key partners to start making phone calls to City Hall, and as a result Councilor Rivera asked for the Urban Agriculture Ordinance to be on the agenda at TONIGHT’s City Council meeting – Tuesday, January 31, at 7 p.m.

WE NEED YOU TO COME SHOW YOUR SUPPORT!

How can you do that?

1. Come to Worcester City Hall, 3rd floor for the meeting TONIGHT, Tuesday, January 31 at 7 pm. Bring a sign if you want! Having extra people in the room shows a lot of support!

2. Come and speak at City Council. Are you an aspiring small farmer? Are you a beekeeper? Are you an avid gardener that might like to sell some of what you grow? Come and share your story! You WILL make a difference!

3. If you can’t come but have something to say, send an email … we can read your remarks. Don’t forget to include your zip code as a City resident.

4. If you can’t come, call your City Councilor and let them know your interest in and support of the ordinance and that you won’t be able to attend the meeting in person, but that you’re supportive.

GET INVOLVED TODAY!

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Worcester community news you can use!

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The Family Health Center fair drew hundreds of folks to the Piedmont neighborhood! photos: R.T.

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Kids!!! TODAY!!!!! YAY!!!!

FREE!!!

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We are happy to announce that we are holding free Boston Bruins Alumni Street Hockey Clinics Wednesday August 17 and 24 from 6pm-8pm at the Buffone Rink (Parking Lot).

There is no need to pre-register.

Come out and meet the Bruins Alumni, get a free Bruins Alumni T-shirt and have fun!

Founded by US Olympian and NHL veteran David A. Jensen in 2012, DAJ Hockey is New England’s premier on-ice/off-ice hockey skills training company. DAJ features on-ice hockey skills programs via Boston Bruins Alumni Camps and off-ice skills training at the high-tech DAJ Skills Centers in Foxboro and Attleboro, MA. DAJ also manages street hockey and floorball clinics, camps and leagues throughout New England.

DAJ’s “Hockey in the Streets” program brings the joy of hockey to urban children, who may otherwise not get the opportunity to play the sport!

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Worcester Bands Together To Fight Substance Use!

Upcoming Events Promote Recovery and Healing!

Over the past several years, August and September have been the worst months for opioid-related overdoses in our community and beyond.

In 2014, there was a significant increase in the number of opioid related deaths during the end of the summer.

Since then, the City of Worcester, the Department of Health and Human Services, and our community partners have partnered to respond to the national opioid epidemic – equipping all first responders with life-saving Narcan; training non-emergency city personnel on the use of Narcan; collecting hundreds of pounds of unused prescriptions; instituting the first-ever needle exchange program with AIDS Project Worcester; conducting training for medical professionals on the dangers of overprescribing pain medication; and working to alert the public to the dangers of addiction.

The City of Worcester continues to collect unused prescription drugs at a dropbox at Worcester Police Department Headquarters and at all neighborhood watch meetings.

“Battling the opioid epidemic is a top priority for the city, and it’s a battle we intend to win,” said City Manager Edward M. Augustus, Jr. “From responding to overdoses, public education about addiction and recovery, From prevention to treatment to recovery, the City and our community partners are going all-in to fight this epidemic.”

Overdose Recognition and Response Training

The Worcester Police Department will offer free training for the public on how to recognize and intervene during an opioid overdose using nasal Narcan.

This training event will take place at 5:30 p.m. August 23 at the Worcester Public Library.

Worcester DPH encourages health care providers, substance abuse treatment service providers, first responders, and the public to exercise increased vigilance in promptly identifying suspected overdose victims and taking appropriate action.

The Good Samaritan Law provides protection to people who respond to an overdose and call 911.

The law is intended to encourage people to report drug overdoses as soon as possible, even if drugs are present at the scene.

AIDS Project Worcester’s Overdose Prevention and Narcan distribution program provides free Narcan to those who are likely to witness an overdose.

Learn to Cope, which has a chapter in Worcester, also provides free Narcan to family members of those with a substance use disorder.
Narcan is also available for purchase at CVS and Walgreen’s Pharmacies in the City of Worcester.

Overdose Awareness Day with a Candlelight Vigil:

The Worcester Department of Health and Human Services, along with our community partners will honor International Overdose Awareness Day, with a candlelight vigil and an addiction and recovery awareness campaign at 5:30 p.m. August 31 at the Worcester Common.

International Overdose Awareness Day is a global event held each year and aims to raise awareness of overdose and reduce the stigma of a drug-related death. It also acknowledges the grief felt by families and friends remembering those who have met with death or permanent injury as a result of drug overdose. There will be an opportunity for people to receive information and referral to services for addiction and recovery.

The event will provide an opportunity for the public to express sorrow while also raising awareness on the actions needed to provide more services for recovery and improve understanding of the opioid abuse epidemic.

Participation is free.

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Get yourself outdoors – to one of the many beautiful Worcester parks/green spaces…

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Every 3 1/2 hours, someone dies in a house fire.

With the goal of reducing home-fire related fatalities by 25%, the American Red Cross is installing free smoke alarms in residential homes across the nation.

In Massachusetts, the Red Cross will install up to 2 photo-electric and one dual (photoelectric and ionization) smoke alarms, as well as one carbon monoxide detector.

If you are a Massachusetts resident and would like to request a free smoke alarm installation, please call 1-800-746-3511**

* Southeast Massachusetts, Cape Cod and the Islands are experiencing a significant backlog

**please self-identify as a military attached household if applicable (military, military family member, National Guard, veteran)

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The Worcester Public Library Presents
The Rhythm Room Enrichment Program with Rick Morin

Thursday, August 18

2 p.m.

The Worcester Public Library will be hosting the Rick Morin and The Rhythm Room Enrichment Program on Thursday, August 18 at 2:00 p.m. as part of the Summer Reading Program 2016.

The interactive drumming program will be held in the Children’s Room at the Worcester Public Library, and is free and recommended for children ages 5-12.

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Go, lil’ drummer girl, go!!!

About The Rhythm Room:
The Rhythm Room Enrichment Program by Rick Morin explores world music as it relates to today’s pop culture, combining discussion, demonstration and participation. The use of world percussion, drum set, buckets and exploring percussion from objects and one’s own body (clapping, stomping, etc.) is educational as well as motivational and fun. Rick will explain the execution of hand motion to bring out the proper voice of each drum and demonstrate how a percussionist can tell a story with rhythm and theatrical flair.

About Rick Morin:
Rick Morin is the creator and director of the The Rhythm Room, an all-original ten member band. He also developed The Rhythm Room Enrichment Program. Morin is a freelance drummer/percussionist. In 2006 he was awarded the Kathleen McKiel Memorial Award from the North Attleboro Cultural Council for his contributions to the Arts. Morin is an endorsed percussionist by LP, Sabian, REMO, and Vic Firth.

The Rhythm Room Enrichment Program is part of the Summer Reading Program at the Worcester Public Library. The theme for the 2016 program is “Wellness, Fitness, and Sports” – with loads of free programs being offered through August 20 at the Main Library and all branches.

Participants are eligible for prizes for reading and participating in programs. All ages are invited to sign up for summer reading at mywpl.org or at any library location until August 20.

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And don’t forget! Rolling into your neighborhood TODAY! THE REC MOBILE FARMERS MARKET – AKA THE PRETTY BLUE VAN CAN! See schedule, below…

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Always in style – REC Farmers Markets! – for a healthier Worcester! SNAP accepted!

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Double your purchase for the price, Worcester working families!

Only at the REC farmers markets and REC mobile farmers market van. IN EVERY WOO NEIGHBORHOOD. Check schedules below!

REC farmers markets welcome all people, of all economic classes!

ALL FARMERS MARKETS ARE ENCOURAGED TO ACCEPT SNAP. The government pays the vendor/farmer. Markets that don’t accept SNAP, especially in the inner city, are prejudiced against poor people (many of them immigrants and people of color). The coordinators of the non-SNAP farmers markets won’t admit this, but they don’t accept SNAP because they do not want their farmers markets to be flooded with poor people, people who don’t fit the “right” demographic, people who won’t create the “right” kind of shopping experience. A kind of economic and racial red lining occurs. Not illegal – just not very ethical and … kinda phony … creepy. NOT building a healthy Worcester for all! For the 21st century!

You want racial and economic DIVERSITY?

Patronize REC FARMERS MARKETS!

pics/text: Rosalie Tirella

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Flowers are sold at REC farmers markets!

REC FARMERS MARKETS … All summer and fall! Every day of the week! In your neighborhoods! BEST PRICES! MOST WELCOMING TO ALL WORCESTER FOLKS! SNAP ACCEPTED!

Arts and crafts! Music! Local farmers! Their veggies, fruits, breads and other goodies!

Support the REC farmers markets! They don’t discriminate – or try to create an all-white, homogeneous “boutique” farmers market in the inner-city, like some farmers markets do!

Diversity now!

Food justice now!

REC MARKETS now … open!   – R.T.

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Edith parked in fashion! … Worcester Earth Day clean ups? The city’s most equitable/best farmers markets? Community gardens and more? REC’s been a Woo shining star for decades!

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Garden with REC!

By Edith Morgan
 
It’s that time of year again: Worcester’s citywide Earth Day Clean-up happens April 9, and on that Saturday morning, from 8 a.m. to noon, we expect more than 1,000 volunteers to fan out throughout the city to pick up trash in public places. 

So, in preparation for the event, there was a gathering at the Worcester Senior Center last night, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., to get ready – and to eat and see friends, and take care of “business.”  
 
Earth Day has been observed here in Worcester by the REC and all our neighborhoods since 1989, and yearly we have gotten together to celebrate the successes of the REC projects, plan for the future, and pass out the materials needed for the clean-up.
 
A lively and excited group filled the large meeting-eating area at the Senior Center. After a brief welcome from REC Board President Julie Orozco, we got down to the business of eating the great assortment of “pot-luck” foods that attendees had brought.
 
Then, down to business business: President Orozco  gave a brief summary of her involvement with the organization,  and  Treasurer Ted Hudson summarized the year’s finances, which were detailed for all attendees in the annual report booklet that we all were given.
 
To complete the formal part of this annual meeting,  elections were then held (the slate was at each of our seats,  and everyone was duly introduced, sworn in, and welcomed by the group.)

The Regional Environmental Council has greatly impacted the Worcester Community:

Thywill Opare summarized the accomplishments of the YouthGROW program and its impact on the young people involved with it.

Rafaela Morales-Rosa talked about the Community Gardens program.

Winifred Octave spoke about how she came to be involved, not only in the yearly clean-ups but also in advocating for the great improvements to Grant Park, directly across the street from where she lives. Together with Deb Bolz she founded the Green Hill Neighborhood Association, which carries on improvements year-round.
 
Finally, Steve Fischer, REC executive Director, spoke about some of the accomplishments of these programs:

Steve said there were 50 sites throughout the the city, that last year, 50 tons of trash were collected, involving more than 1,000 volunteers.

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Trash all over our streets! Here’s a bunch of refuse illegally dumped, on Ward Street heading into the Canal District! pic:R.T.

He thanked the many great corporate and community organization sponsors.

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Spring is here!!! flower pics: Chef Joey
 

Before giving the assembled Earth Day Coordinators some tips for the Earth Day Clean-up activities, Steve mentioned some figures that gave us a better idea of the impact these programs are having in Worcester:

There are now 64 [REC] community and school gardens in Worcester;  

34 youth are employed
on two “urban farms” 

and the ever increasing number of REC farmers markets served 8,000 separate (unique) customers. Lest you get the idea that using these locally grown and sold foods are being consumed only by those who can afford the sometimes higher prices that fresh, pure fruits and vegetables bring, I was amazed to find that half of all sales went to users of SNAP benefits and the WIC Program – so people who need it most are getting great, healthy food, fresh and home-grown. That’s a real win-win!

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All Worcester families can afford to buy the fresh produce and more available at REC FARMERS MARKETS because the REC markets do not discriminate – keep some city residents out of the healthy food loop – AND ACCEPT SNAP cards! Some even double the amount of veggies you can buy with SNAP. FOOD JUSTICE NOW!! – R. Tirella pic: Ron O’Clair
 
So, I urge everyone to participate, join REC, help us make our neighborhoods pristine …

… and on April 9 – our city’s Earth Day celebration – fill as many of REC’s yellow trash bags as you can!

REC provides Earth Day clean-up site coordinators with bags, gloves, instructions, and advice.

If you want to help, or have questions, or want to know more, call REC at 508-799-9139. Or go to their website: www.RECworcester.org.
 

From REC, home of REC farmers markets, Woo community gardens, YouthGrow and so much more!

Growing Community Since 1971 – the Regional Environmental Council

THANK YOU for helping us GROW in 2015!

Happy New Year! 

THANK YOU for your generous support last year. Because of you, we have a lot to celebrate!

In fact, here are 5 awesome things you did in 2015:

1. You trained 34 young men and women to become tomorrow’s community leaders and empowered them to make positive choices through YouthGROW. 

2. You provided more than 8,000 families access to healthy, affordable, and local foods by supporting the REC Community and Mobile Farmers Markets. 

3. You built or planted over 60 community and school gardens. Wow! These are going to be beautiful this spring!

4. You brought together 600 community gardeners and almost 2,000 public school students to grow healthy food in the city. What a tasty way to unite a community!

5. You cleaned more than 60 streets and parks in Worcester with the help of over 1,000 volunteers on Earth Day. Thanks for making our neighborhoods cleaner and safer!

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Pat yourself on the back, give yourself a high five, and pin on a gold star for what you accomplished in 2015.

Together, we can do even more in 2016! Please give us a call, follow us online, or stop by to say hello in person.

It’s only with your help, your voice, and your action that we will create a healthy, sustainable, and just new year for Worcester and Central Massachusetts!
 
Sincerely,
                                 
Steve Fischer, Executive Director, and Julie Orozco, Board President

From Main South’s REC!

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We’re thankful for you!

This Holiday Season, we’re so thankful that you’re involved with the REC. Over the past 44 years, thousands of people like you have helped build a powerful organization for community change. Thank you for volunteering, donating, supporting, and working together with us. You are making a difference every day in the lives of Worcester and Central MA residents. Together we are making a healthier, more sustainable and more just community.

We’re so glad that you are part of the REC.

Steve Fischer, executive director
Regional Environmental Council

Yay, Piedmont neighborhood! As I was zipping around Worcester yesterday …

… I was delighted to see something new “blooming” at Chandler Elementary School, the Piedmont inner-city school we got city officials to put a slide set/play-scape in (see it, in the background?) earlier this year:

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… raised garden boxes!

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Three of them!

Folks in this urban neighborhood are raising their own veggies! Just one more way to keep our kids healthy and strong!

As InCity Times celebrates its 14’th birthday, it’s victories like this spiffed-up school yard that make ME HAPPIEST OF ALL!

So break out the vegan ice cream! Buy a ton of Kettle Corn at Main South’s REC Farmers Market!

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Run a couple of laps around Maloney Field outside with Ron Charette (on left in pic, below) and his South Worcester Neighborhood Center crew on Camp Street!

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Celebrate with us! I am SO PROUD OF MY NEWSPAPER AND ALL THE WONDERFUL WRITERS AND ARTISTS who’ve made InCity Times so unique! Thanks to our wonderful advertisers and, most of all, READERS LIKE YOU!

You are my family!

– photos/text – Rosalie Tirella

(kettle corn and Ron Charette photos by Ron O’Clair)

TOMORROW! FREE yoga, live music, kids activities, art for sale at the BEST, MOST PROGRESSIVE Farmers Market in Worcester!

TOMORROW!

Saturday, June 27

9:30 am to 1 pm

Fuller Family Park in MAIN SOUTH, behind the YMCA Central Branch

So much more than fresh, local produce, fresh baked goods, fresh eggs …

(and don’t forget to check out the market at Beaver Brook, every Monday and Friday!)              – R.T.

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