Clean City Things to Know and Do! Meet HCCC, Everything You Wanted to Know About Gardens but Were Afraid to Ask, Balloon Pollution, Eco-Tours & More, But What About Those Butts?! #DoBeautifulThings
NEWS YOU CAN USE!
MEET HCCC BOARD MEMBERS & STAFF
The Hampton Clean City Commission is comprised of nine (9) City Council-appointed board members and three (3) City employees. February featured member is HCCC Board Member, Dr. Barb Abraham.
Dr. Barbara J Abraham earned her BS in Zoology with minors in Botany and Genetics at Iowa State University (Ames) and her MS in Animal Behavior also from Iowa State. She earned her PhD in Ecology at Utah State University (Logan). She has been on the faculty of the University of Missouri-Columbia (where she also worked as an Identifier for APHIS in the Entomology Museum), Eastern Kentucky University, and Hampton University (for 31 years). She retired from full time teaching at HU in 2016 and began teaching as an adjunct at Christopher Newport University where she still teaches.
She studied the singing of long horned grasshoppers in the prairies of Iowa, spider communities in the sagebrush steppe of Utah, and conducted field research at the Iowa Lakeside Lab and Mountain Lake Biological Station in western Virginia. After over 30 years of studying spiders, she turned to native bees. She currently is a Master Gardener, a member of the Hampton Clean City Commission, and the Chair of Bee City USA – Hampton. When she isn’t teaching for CNU, she gives talks for the public on spiders, native bees, and beneficial insects in gardens.
STOPPING BALLOON POLLUTION
“HB2159 is the bill that will ban intentional balloon releases in Virginia. Please call or email your state Senator now and ask them to support this bill. Releasing balloons is littering and the current law makes it legal to litter up to 49 balloons. Lawmakers are being asked to change that law to 0 balloons and make it illegal to intentionally release balloons. (Christina Trapani – Ban Balloon Releases in Virginia)
HB 2159 (Delegate Nancy Guy of District 83) – Release of balloon prohibited; civil penalty. Prohibits any individual 13 years of age or older or other person, including a corporation, from intentionally releasing, discarding, or causing to be released or discarded any non-biodegradable balloon outdoors and provides that any person convicted of such violation is liable for a civil penalty of $25 per balloon, to be paid into the Game Protection Fund. Current law prohibits a person from knowingly releasing 50 or more such balloons within an hour and sets the civil penalty at $5 per balloon, with the proceeds deposited into the Lifetime Hunting and Fishing Endowment Fund.
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CIGARETTE BUTTS ARE LITTER AND CAN DAMAGE PLANTS
Did you know that cigarette butts are harmful to plants and trees? Approximately 4.5 trillion cigarette butts are discarded every year, and the majority are not properly disposed. If you are a smoker, you can recycle your butts through https://www.terracycle.com/en-US/. Our trees need our help, so please keep butts off the ground and away from plants and trees!
Cigarette butts take at least 5 years to break down in seawater. Butts have been found in the stomachs of young birds, sea turtles and other marine creatures. Another serious concern is that toxic chemicals such as lead and cadmium, which are trapped in the cigarette filter, can leach out in water. Within just one hour of contact with water, the chemicals begin to leach into the aquatic environment and threaten marine life.
Soil testing is an important part of gardening that is often overlooked. Soil testing is inexpensive and can save you money and time! Want to learn more? Check out this link: https://www.soiltest.vt.edu/. You can find soil test kits at the Virginia Cooperative Extension office and from the Hampton Master Gardeners (https://www.hamptonmastergardeners.org/) at Bluebird Gap Farm Arboretum. Call VCE at 757-727-1401 for more information.
YOU CAN HELP OUR BEES AND OTHER POLLINATORS THIS WINTER!
Our Bee City USA - Hampton team has created beautiful pollinator seed packets available now at the HCCC office! The mix includes native perennial pollinator plant seeds along with a mix of zinnia, cosmos and marigold seeds. The packets are available for a suggested donation of $3. Please call HCCC at 757-727-1130 to schedule your visit to the office! For more information on native plants, visit our web page at https://hampton.gov/3762/Pollinators#idealpollinator.
SEED LIBRARY OPENS AT THE HCCC OFFICE!
Check out the newest addition to the HCCC office – our own seed library! We received a generous donation of seeds, so whether your passion is vegetables, flowers or herbs, there may be something just for you. We are still accepting donations for the seed library. Contact wendy.iles@Hampton.gov to donate. To schedule an appointment to visit the seed library, call 757-727-1130.
AMERICAN COMMUNITY GARDEN ASSOCIATION CONFERENCE
Hampton has been selected as the site for the ACGA 2021 conference! Gardeners from all over the US and Canada will be coming to Hampton in September and touring much of the city. Since last year’s conference was 100% virtual, we know that Hampton will be the place to be for gardeners this fall. To learn more about the ACGA, check this out: https://www.communitygarden.org/
CREATING YOUR VERY OWN RAIN GARDEN – RAIN GARDEN 101
A rain garden is a depressed area in the landscape that collects water from roof downspouts, asphalt or sump pump discharge and allows it to soak into the ground rather than enter the storm sewer system. Less runoff from your home means less channel erosion and fewer suspended solids and pollution in the waterways. When planted with native grasses and flowering perennials, rain gardens can be a cost effective, low maintenance and beautiful way to reduce and filter runoff from your property. Create butterfly habitat, prevent flooding and make your lawn more attractive by installing a rain garden at your own home!
ARE YOU UP FOR THE CHALLENGE?
Looking for a place to recycle plastic? Several schools, the community gardens and Hampton Master Gardeners are always willing to take your clean, dry plastic! Take the Trex Challenge to #recycleright https://www.trex.com/recycling/recycling-programs/. Contact 757-727-8311 for donation locations.
HCCC TOUR DE RECYCLING EXPRESS - HOUSEHOLD CHEMICAL & COMPUTER RECYCLING COLLECTIONS 2021
The Virginia Peninsula Public Service Authority has just released its 2021 calendar for chemical collections and computer recycling. You may find out dates, times, sites, and what may be accepted for collection at www.vppsa.org or by calling 757-259-9850. On March 20, HCCC will sponsor a Tour de Trash Express to this event so to give you a firsthand look at what items can be recycled, and to view the collection process. A VPPSA representative will be on hand to answer your questions. To register for this event, contact HCCC Project Assistant Cris Ausink at 757-727-1158 or email@example.com. Detailed information will be provided at registration. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, group size will be limited – so contact Cris right away!