Conservation, Weatherization in the News

Earth Day is coming early to Hastings. From noon to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Hastings Branch Library, Flagler College Students in Free Enterprise will present Conservation Cadets Day. Earth-friendly activities and information will be the order of the day as the SIFE kids help Hastings reduce, reuse and recycle.

Jovie Reese and Kaila Davisson from Flagler SIFE have been coordinating the event, which will include environmentally-geared activities ranging from painting the town trash cans to money-saving tips and weatherization information. There will also be a litter pick-up and recyclable materials contents contest.

Registration starts at noon and the individual or team that collects the most bags of garbage and recyclables will win some super prizes.

Most folks know SIFE has teamed up with Pie in the Sky and has been helping to bring services to area residents. As a result, many great ripple effects are being felt, including the events on Saturday. But the pie shop’s association with St. Johns Housing Partnership and the federally-funded weatherization program has also become a focal point. The program provides sustainable, long term solutions to families who meet eligibility requirements.

Through this program, state and local agencies provide permanent solutions to low-income families and can help reduce their annual energy bill by as much as $437 a year.

The weatherization program is available to all St. Johns county residents and they can call 824-0902 for information.

One person in town who can tell you what a difference weatherization made in her life is Coretta Tomblin.

‘The weatherization program has saved me so much,” said Coretta, who was thrilled with the energy improvements made to her home — attic insulation, low flow shower heads and weather-stripping, just to name a few.

“I really don’t know what I would have done without ya’ll (the partnership),” Coretta told me one day when she stopped in at the pie shop.

On Saturday at the library, I will have a table with information and applications for the program.

In addition to saving money and reducing your carbon footprint and our dependency on foreign oil, one of the most important things to note is the weatherization program will end in less than 12 months.

The money for the program will be gone and so will the opportunity for struggling homeowners to make a difference that can have lasting effects. This is something you don’t want to put off.

With gas prices steadily rising, now is the time to save energy and reduce your utility costs.

Lots of folks in town have property that has been handed down to family members through the years. That can create a few problems, like not being able to apply for homestead exemption and not being eligible for the weatherization program. But help is available. Legal Aid can provide assistance and attorney Megan Wall will take appointments in Hastings.

Why wait? Times are tough and resources are available. Stop by the library on Saturday afternoon or call me at 692-3902.