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Local group aims to make Skaneateles more sustainable

Sustainable Skaneateles is holding a local event to observe Earth Hour on March 23, an international event for which people turn off their lights for 60 minutes to raise awareness of environmental issues.

Sustainable Skaneateles is holding a local event to observe Earth Hour on March 23, an international event for which people turn off their lights for 60 minutes to raise awareness of environmental issues.

The goal of the newly formed local group Sustainable Skaneatles is right in its name. They want to get Skaneateles to be more sustainable.

Sustainable Skaneateles was founded by three residents who wanted to inform the public and hold events to promote sustainability and environmentalism. The group will be holding an event on March 23 to observe Earth Hour and will be sponsoring a local Energy Team Challenge.

Mary Menapace, Carol Stokes-Cawley and Connie Brace had the idea to start the group when they saw a need for the people of Skaneateles to be better informed about what they can do to be sustainable.

“Our main idea is to give people tools to fulfill their desires to be sustainable,” Menapace said.

Though they don’t want to become an advocacy group, they hope to become a resource and a liaison between local governments, residents and other organizations.

The village is currently renovating the old fire hall on Fennell Street to become its new office. The project, for which Brace is the architect, includes making the building have “net-zero energy use” by using geothermal and solar energy sources. The timing that project has makes it fitting start Sustainable Skaneateles now, Brace said.

“The perfect time to start this is now because of the new village office and all the positive attention it has been getting,” she said.

The group, though still in its beginning stages, will be holding two events this spring through which it hopes to get the public engaged and involved.

On Saturday, March 23 the group will be holding an event to observe Earth Hour, an international event that encourages people to turn off their lights as a way of showing concern and raising awareness about environmental issues.

Earth Hour, which is from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. local time, is being observed by 7,001 cites and towns across 152 countries according to the event’s website.

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