The Conservation Advisory Council of Pleasantville (CAC) is a local committee dedicated to the preservation and improvement of our village’s beautiful natural environment. Made up of knowledgeable members with a variety of strengths and skill sets, council members pool their collective talent, make recommendations, jumpstart projects or otherwise help to assist the Village Board with matters regarding the preservation and protection of the town’s natural resources.
This may sound daunting, but by tackling specific challenges, real progress is made. Individual members share their knowledge and skills on everything from wetlands mapping to clean-ups and sustainability efforts–all of which help maintain the beauty and integrity of our village’s natural surroundings.
As chairperson Helen Meurer puts it, the CAC exists to “protect natural habitats and water quality” and is made up of “members [who] are enthusiastic about the wonders of nature.”
Minding the Landscape
Many in the community embrace the Conservation Advisory Council and recognize its work as a very valuable asset to the town. This ensures that Pleasantville’s natural environment is always being considered when making town decisions. Essentially, their job is to advise the Village Board how potential upcoming projects and initiatives may affect the landscape.
Meurer explains that its function “offers checks and balances with regard to building proposals to ensure that our environment will still support wildlife and allow proper filtration of rainwater.”
New ideas and projects are constantly being brought up by and executed by the council. In just the past three years, the CAC has mapped and submitted an open space inventory to the Village Board, created a new wetlands map, hosted Saw Mill River clean ups, and introduced a 50/50 tree planting program to help residents get a tree planted in their yard for half the wholesale price- just to name a few.
‘Tree Walk’ in the Works
Currently, the council is working on a tree walk at Nannahagen Park as well as a tree photography competition in which the winning pieces will be shown in a gallery to celebrate the diverse, beautiful trees all over the town.
According to Meurer, the hope of these two projects is to not just tell people what they shouldn’t be doing and what they’re doing “wrong,” but to instead help them appreciate and celebrate the environment around them. She says the projects’ aims are “to help people appreciate and love their trees,” as well as to “celebrate our local trees both for their beauty and the health of our environment.”
Council meetings are open to all community members which presents a great opportunity to get involved. It is a great committee to invest time and interest in. They are held on the third Thursday of each month at the Village Hall.
The council’s efforts to preserve and protect our local environment range from educating the community with fun activities like “guess the tree” on Pleasantville Day to getting composting bins and rain barrels placed throughout the town.
They also strongly encourage local tree planting and maintenance through their 50/50 program, in which the Village will share the wholesale cost of a tree and help to plant it too! The CAC is currently encouraging residents to participate in their photography competition as an easy way to get involved and get outdoors!
To enter, follow @pleasantville_village on Instagram and tag them in your tree photo with the caption “I love #mypleasantvilletree because…” Entries are accepted until September 1st!