Faith Alliance for Climate Solutions

Fairfax Hub Update – September 2022

Be sure to register for our annual Climate Crisis Forum on September 22! The health impacts of the climate crisis are immense, and we’re all figuring out how to adjust. What are the ways we can adapt and keep the planet healthy? 

Fairfax FACS has continued advocacy over the summer. 

   On August 4, the FACS-Fairfax transportation team met with Tom Biesiadny, director of the department of transportation, and Dwayne Pelfrey, chief of transit, about the transition to a carbon-free bus flee. FACS is concerned about the slow pace of creating a plan to electrify Connector, the county’s bus transit fleet. We also asked when the dept. would be prepared to apply for federal grants to partially pay for electric buses. Mr. Biesiadny said it wouldn’t be next year, maybe in 2024, after a pilot program is complete. Our view is that’s too slow. 

  • The Fairfax County Public School team met with Mount Vernon board member Karen Corbett-Sanders on Aug. 3; with new FCPS Board Chair Rachna Sizemore-Heizer and Karl Frisch of the Providence district on Aug. 18; and made a presentation to Dr. Michelle Reid, FCPS superintendent, on Aug. 23. Among the issues we discussed is the lack of an implementation plan to implement recommendations of the Joint Environmental Taskforce.  

If you’d like to be in on the fun, sign up for the Green Breakfast, which is a great opportunity to join with the County and FCPS to act with the urgency we need. 

Green Breakfast | Saturday September 10th | 9:00am – 10:30am | Virtual

The Joint Environmental Task Force (JET) works to join the political and administrative capabilities of the County and the school system to proactively address climate change and environmental sustainability. Join Supervisor Dan Storck and School Board members Karl Frisch and Elaine Tholen to hear the latest on these efforts.  JET includes community partners from higher education, industry, community and student advocacy groups working with County and school system leaders to recommend aggressive goals in areas of County and school operations. Goal areas include: energy, waste management, workforce development and transportation. This presentation will focus on the development and implementation of the Joint Environmental Task Force between the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors and the School Board. Future plans, lessons learned, and the current status as of September 2022 will be highlighted.

New registration link: https://tinyurl.com/Sept2022GBregister

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Kris’ Korner

We all know that trees are important, and that native plants rock. What I didn’t know until recently is how critical it is to select Keystone plants, ones which support the most wildlife and ones (for bees) which support the specialist bees. Some plants support hundreds of species, and some only a few. 

With our use of insecticides, loss of habitat to lawns, agriculture and pavement our essential critters are in disastrous decline. So if you are planting shrubs or trees this fall, please take the time to pick ones that keep the butterflies, bees and humans alive. Here’s a great resource to choose the right plants, and find them.

And when FACS advocates for tree canopies and native plantings, please back us up with calls to your local officials. Pavement in heat islands can get to 130 degrees F in the summer, while shaded areas are much cooler. Where it’s cooler, people can walk for transportation, and use less AC in their homes. 

-Kris