Town of Mountain Village offers residents smart irrigation control incentive

Smart Irrigation Controls

Words by Kathrine Warren / Development, Environment

As part of its effort to encourage environmentally friendly measures in the home and beyond, the Town of Mountain Village is offering a rebate to homeowners when they take measures to increase the efficiency of their irrigation systems.

The goal is simple: to help residents use only the water they need to achieve the desired results on their property. As water becomes an increasingly precious resource worldwide, water conservation efforts are critical for helping reduce water consumption.

When Mountain Village property owners replace their outdated irrigation control system with a WaterSense product, which includes weather sensing capabilities, the Town will offer a rebate of up to $500.

“These controllers are really a win-win for our residents,” said J.D. Wise, Mountain Village’s plaza services manager. “In addition to being a great water conservation tool, their ability to react and adjust to real-time weather conditions can truly have positive impacts on the overall health of a landscape. It’s exciting to see this technology continue to be embraced and improved on by a number of manufacturers. “

WaterSense is a certified smart irrigation control product sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency which helps homes meet the EPA’s criteria for efficiency. These controllers use real-time local weather data, including humidity, wind speed, air temperature, soil moisture, solar radiation and rainfall to calculate evapotranspiration rates and automatically adjust irrigation watering accordingly.

Most smart irrigation controllers either connect to the Internet for weather data or collect real-time weather data from an on-site station on the property. Some of these controllers can be monitored over the Internet and the settings controlled remotely, while others can be linked to other “smart” devices in your home. With a smart irrigation controller, your plants and lawn get the water they need, without being over or under watered.

“Gone are the days when a rain sensor was the only option to automatically turn the water on or off,” Wise added. “Now, a number of these systems can adjust your daily run-times so that on a cool, cloudy day, your landscape is receiving less water than on a hot, dry day.  Not only does this conserve water, but it also improves irrigation efficiency, and helps to achieve optimal plant health.”

Residents are encouraged to consult with their landscaping professional to choose the best WaterSense rated controller and submit the Smart Irrigation Controls Program application to receive a rebate of up to $500 for the cost of the controller. (Please note, this program does not cover the cost of installation).

This incentive program is open until funds are exhausted and is for residents of Mountain Village, Ski Ranches and West Meadows.

For more information please contact J.D. Wise at (970) 369-8235 or please visit townofmountainvillage.com/smart-irrigation.

June Green Tip of the Month

June Tip of the Month

Words by Zoe Dohnal / Environment

June’s Green Team Tip of the Month encourages you to eat less meat. Eating less meat (especially red meat) can have a significant impact on reducing your carbon footprint even if it’s just for two or three days per week.

GreenAmerica.org reports that global meat production is responsible for 18 percent of global warming emissions, based on a report from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.

VIsit Green America’s website on best practices for meat eaters in selecting products with a smaller environmental impact.

Bloomberg also recently reported on the issue, stating, “Ultimately, if people worldwide who heavily rely on meat switch to a more plant-based diet, they could potentially decrease food-related greenhouse-gas emissions by almost half by 2050.”

May Green Tip of the Month

May Green Tip of the Month

Words by Zoe Dohnal / Environment

May’s Green Team Tip of the Month helps reduce single-use waste in the kitchen.

Instead of using plastic wrap or tinfoil to keep leftovers fresh, simply turn a clean plate upside down and put it over your plate of leftovers. This will keep food fresh in the fridge for your next meal.

Other plastic-free food storage options include beeswax cloth, mason jars and reusable snack bags.

 

 

Celebrating Earth Day in Mountain Village and Telluride

Earth Day Blog

Words by Kathrine Warren / Environment

Every April 22 since 1970, more than 193 countries celebrate Earth Day with various measures to support environmental protection. Here in Mountain Village, every day is Earth Day as our staff and volunteers on the Green Team Committee work tirelessly to implement green, environmentally friendly measures throughout the community and we encourage homeowners to reduce their environmental footprint through a number of incentives.

Several organizations are celebrating Earth Day in the region today, so there are opportunities aplenty to celebrate Mother Earth.

Telluride Earth Guardians, Pinhead Institute, Ah Haa, Carbon Neutral Coalition, EcoAction Partners, Sheep Mountain Alliance, and friends will gather on Elks Park from 3:30-5 p.m. to celebrate Earth Day on Monday. For more information on the gathering, please visit their Facebook event.

The Wilkinson Public Library is encouraging middle and high school students to help clean up trash in Telluride from 3:30-5:30 p.m. Kids can check in at 3:30 p.m. to pick up equipment and head out to pick up trash. At 5:30 p.m. report back to the library for pizza and awards for Best of Trash! For more info, visit the library’s website.

Additionally, the Telluride Mountain School will host a free, community-wide slide show presentation and book signing with nationally renowned, Colorado Landscape Photographer John Fielder on Monday evening.

John is an avid outdoor enthusiast, conservationist and a wonderfully talented landscape photographer. For the past 38 years, he has dedicated his time and passion to capture the serene and breathtaking moments of Colorado’s most majestic landscapes. John will be on hand before and after the show to sell and sign all of his popular Colorado coffee table books, guide books, and children’s books, including his new book Colorado Black on White. 30% of sales to benefit the Outdoor Education Program at Telluride Mountain School.

Every month, a committee of volunteers and Mountain Village staff convenes as the Gream Team to advise Mountain Village Town Council on environmentally friendly measures. In March, the Green Team started a monthly Green Tip of the month. These tips are ideas for residents to improve their impact on the environment in their home.

March’s green tip focuses on tips for more water efficient techniques for dishwashing, and April’s tip takes a look at cooking with excess fats, oils and grease. To learn more about the Green Team and its work, please visit our website.

The Town of Mountain Village also recently announced its Smart Building Incentive Program offering significant building permit fees if owners take measures to increase renewable energy use, reduce exterior energy use on homes and more. Visit our Smart Building web page for more information.

 

April Green Tip of the Month-Cooking with excess fats, oils and greases

Green Tip of the Month

Words by Zoe Dohnal / Environment

April’s Green Team Tip of the Month will come in handy in the kitchen.

Excess fats, oils & grease (FOG) are a problem in our sewage collection and treatment system. The proper disposal of FOG is very important.

Improper disposal of FOG can create a hazard for wastewater operators and increase the risk of a sewer backup in both your home and overflow at the wasterwater plant.

Please take the time to follow these simple rules:

  • Dry wipe pots, pans and dishware with a paper towel prior to dishwashing
  • Do not put food waste down the drain
  • Recycle cooking oil or pour it onto a paper towel or newspaper
  • Make sure everyone in your home knows how to dispose of FOG properly

Source: Town of Telluride. 

 

Living with coyotes

Coyote

Words by Kathrine Warren / Communications, Environment

The Town of Mountain Village Police Department has been receiving increased reports of coyote sightings throughout Mountain Village and would like to remind residents and visitors of several helpful tips for keeping local coyotes afraid of humans.

Coyote breeding occurs between January and March and pups are born from April to mid-May. People should never approach pups and should be aware that female coyotes are extremely protective of their young.  If you see pups unattended, their parents are not very far away and could become aggressive if they perceive a threat to their young.

Coyotes are inherently afraid of humans, but they can lose their fear. If you encounter a coyote on a trail or ski run and the coyote lingers or begins to approach, “hazing” is appropriate to scare them away. This helps keep the coyote afraid of humans. If they lose their fear, they become more aggressive to pets and begin hunting them. That can include any of the following tactics:

  • Be as loud and big as possible and do not run or turn your back.
  • Wave your arms, clap your hands and shout in an authoritative way.
  • Make noise by banging post or pans.
  • Throw small stones, sticks or tennis balls at them, but remember the intent is to scare them off, not injure them.

Do not allow your pets to roam, especially at night and do not allow dogs to run with coyotes. Don’t leave pet food outside and keep your garbage in a storage facility or tightly sealed container. Keep garbage cans and recycling bins clean with hot water and bleach to reduce residual odors that can attract animals.

 

For more information about living with coyotes, visit the Colorado Parks & Wildlife website.

Introducing the Green Team Tip of the Month

Words by Zoe Dohnal / Environment

Each month, the Green Team Committee, a team of seven volunteers – including council members, residents, Telluride Ski & Golf and TMVOA staff  – along with Town of Mountain Village staff meet to discuss strategies for living green in Mountain Village.

The Green Team Committee encourages the community to appreciate and preserve the natural world and to facilitate conservation efforts, share knowledge and resources and advises the Mountain Village Town Council on matters related to environmental quality.

Introducing the Green Team’s new Green Living Tips. Each month, the Green Team will share ideas and tips with residents for ways to improve their impact on the environment.

March 2019 Tip of the Month:

Don’t rinse dishes before loading, and you’ll save 55,000 gallons of water over the life of the appliance. That’s equal to a lifetime supply of drinking water for a family of four.

 

If you have a newer dishwasher, it has a sensor that checks how dirty the water is to determine how much water and how long a cycle is needed to get the dishes clean. Then think about the 1.7 to 6 gallons of water you use every minute you run your kitchen faucet at full blast trying to knock off that food waste. You’re also paying for the energy used to heat the water. So even if you don’t have a newer dishwasher, rinsing with cold water will still save you money and energy.

Stay tuned for monthly tips from our Green Team for ways to improve your environmental impact.

Sources: Lowe’s & Consumer Reports.

The San Miguel County Holiday Tree Disposal

Holiday Tree Disposal

Words by Bill Kight / Community, Environment, Public Works

The San Miguel County holiday tree disposal site is moving this year to Ilium Valley—Vance Drive Industrial Area. Follow the marked signs.

Please remove all lights and decorations from your trees. This site is for tree disposal only, please no other dumping of debris.

Trees will be chipped on January 31. For more information, call (970) 728-3844.

Mountain Village Farm to Community Program Delivers 4,500 Pounds of Locally Grown Food to Community Members

Farm to Community Program

Words by Zoe Dohnal / Community, Environment

The Town of Mountain Village’s Farm to Community Incentive Program surpassed expectations in its inaugural year by delivering over 4,500 pounds of locally grown food and produce to community participants. Developed by Michelle Haynes, planning and development services director as a “climate action plan implementation measure,” the Mountain Village Green Team Committee unanimously supported the program along with the Town Council.

38 income qualified Mountain Village residents took part in a 14-week local farm share food program with an outcome exceeding the program’s goal of providing nine weeks of low-cost, high nutrient foods all while lowering carbon emissions by delivering a regionally grown food. Furthermore, the program gave a unique opportunity for Mountain Village residents to interact with local farmers, encouraging the use of new foods and recipes, and minimizing the time and distance for food shopping.

“I am so grateful for this program,” said one program participant, Melissa Touhly. “I’m a single mom with two daughters, and they started taking fresh salads to school because they loved the produce and the story of where the food sourced.”

Heather Knox shared similar sentiments by adding, “my two girls, ages 12 & 14, and I ate many more vegetables and fruits than I would normally purchase. It was fun introducing new vegetables that I had not ever seen, and figuring out how to cook them, or following the recipes included with the weekly bounty. I also really enjoyed getting to know ‘Farmer Sam’, with the Fresh Food Hub.”

The Town has approved an expanded program for 2019 with participating farms Mountain Roots Produce based in Mancos, Colorado and the F.R.E.S.H Food Hub, a community-run food co-op based in Norwood, Colorado. F.R.E.S.H Food Hub purchases food from local farms and producers such as Indian Ridge Farm and Bakery, Buckhorn Gardens, Birdhouse Farm, Laid Back Ranch, South River Aquaponics, and many more small-scale producers on the western slope.

2019 program applications are available February 1 for Mountain Village residents living in deed-restricted housing or meet the annual household income qualifications.

Furthermore, the town hopes to reduce their carbon footprint further and support the regional economy by developing a residential Community-supported agriculture (CSA) pick-up and a Town-led employee CSA wellness program.

Planning and Development Services Director, Michelle Haynes explains, “The Town of Mountain Village offers a wellness program benefit to employees that can be used in place of the purchase of a ski pass. The town agreed that participation in a CSA meets the wellness criteria. We hope to place a request for proposal this winter to work with a local farm in exchange for providing CSA shares to employees through the town’s wellness program this next summer.”

Haynes goes on to say, “with the success of the Farm to community program and positive farm presence at the Market on the Plaza this past summer, we hope that we can reach a critical mass of CSA share participation so that shares can also be delivered to the Mountain Village for residents and take advantage of the delivery route for wholesale distribution to local restaurants.”  “Supporting the local economy and taking advantage of our local food sources is important to a resilient and healthy community.”

For program information, please contact Zoe Dohnal by email by phone (970) 728-8236 or by visiting townofmountainvillage.com/farm-to-community.

Thanks to our Partners and Participants for the Inaugural Mountain Village Community Clean-Up Day

Words by Zoe Dohnal / Community, Environment, Event

The Mountain Village Community Cleanup Day and Celebration was a great success!! 

We had 100 participants and four truckloads of trash!

Thank you for all who came out to celebrate the beauty of where we live and taking steps to keep it that way.

The Mountain Village Green Team would like to thank our Partners:

Telluride Trappings & Toggery
Telluride Sports

The Market at Mountain Village

Telluride Festival of Cars and Colors

Babies of the Bush African Wildlife Arts & Gifts

Telluride Brewing Company

Poachers Pub

Tracks Cafe & Bar

Town of Mountain Village Owners Association

Telluride Ski & Golf

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