Green Decade Newton Honors Founding Members

The celebration was held Thurs., May 31 at the New Art Center.

The following is an edited press release issued by Green Decade Newton:

On May 31, 2012, a celebration was held at the for over one hundred members and friends of Green Decade Newton to honor founding members, Barbara Herson and Brooke Lipsitt. The event included hors d’oeuvres, wine, desserts, a silent auction and live musical entertainment by Jim’s Big Ego.

There were presentations to Barbara and Brooke, who have recently retired from their Green Decade Board of Directors and committee positions. At the celebration, they were gratefully acknowledged for their superb environmental leadership for well over twenty two years and they were also honored to receive citations for their outstanding community service from Mayor Setti Warren and State Senator Cynthia Creem.

Herson, a past GDN President, organized Newton’s very first Earth Day Celebration, however she may be best known for implementing recycling and waste management programs for our city, as well as her popular musical programs. She served as Newton’s recycling coordinator for 15 years and has served on Newton’s Recycling Committee for 33 years. Some of her closest friends affectionately refer to her as the “Queen of Trash."

Herson also founded Newton’s 1st Household Hazardous Waste Committee and organized Newton’s first five hazardous waste collection events. Under her leadership, Green Decade’s Environmental Speaker Series featured a long list of impressive speakers on a wide array of environmental topics. Herson is especially appreciated for producing approximately 90 programs in all. These programs have provided many educational opportunities that continue to motivate residents to take steps to make our community a more sustainable place to live.

Lipsitt served on Green Decade's Board of Directors, most recently as clerk. Her valuable experience, as a past president of the Board of Aldermen, has helped to establish environmental priorities and planning strategies for Green Decade to collaborate with city leaders on a wide array of environmental issues, such as transportation and energy efficiency. In 2007, Brooke served as one of only two citizen representatives appointed by Mayor David Cohen to his Mayor's Advisory Committee on Sustainable Newton, given the authority to review environmental reports from city departments. In 2004, Lipsitt helped to establish Newton's High Performance Building Coalition, serving as its first co-chair with an agenda to make energy efficiency and building performance top priorities in the city's Capital Improvement Plan. She also worked ot ensure Newton North's environmental standards in its building design. 

Both Herson and Lipsitt have been an inspiration to many in our community to join Green Decade’s efforts to continue to make progress in achieving our environmental goals.


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