Utica participated with cities world-wide on Moving Planet Day, September 24th. A bicycle-powered Tour d’Utica kicked off with a rally at the Tramontane Cafe on Lincoln Ave. Riders learned about the day’s purpose: to move beyond fossil fuels. One key goal towards that end is to reduce the carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere below 350 parts per million (a concentration many scientists believe is a ‘safe’ upper limit – see www.350.org for more information).
After the rally, the Tour moved on to three Utica venues that feature sustainable solutions to our climate change threat. First, riders biked to the LEED certified Hage building on Genesee Street. The building was restored from an existing structure and features commercial use of geothermal heating and cooling systems. Next, the Tour continued at the Utica Public Library. The library itself is a sustainable solution because it encourages the efficient sharing of resources among community members. The library was also kind enough to host SUNYIT’s portable solar roof demonstration. Despite the cloudy weather, riders were able to enjoy some Saranac root beer that had been chilled using power generated from the sun. After that, the Tour moved on to Johnson Park Center. The center is building affordable green housing employing both geothermal and solar technologies to reduce energy costs. Johnson Park Center also hosts a community garden and is planning on creating a green jobs training center. (You can learn more about Johnson Park Center at www.johnsonparkcenter.org.)
The Tour continued down Genesee Street to Cafe Domenico’s community meeting place, The Other Side (http://www.theothersideutica.org/). Riders got off their bikes and took a seat for a climate reality talk by Dr. Frederic Joyce. The talk illuminated the scientific evidence for human involvement in the climate change crisis. Dr. Joyce also focused on solutions at the individual, community and legislative levels. A small group of riders expressed an interest in holding other Tour d’Utica events to promote active lifestyles, involvement in the local community and climate change solutions. If you are interested in planning another Tour d’Utica, please email John at firstname.lastname@example.org.