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Recycling, Sidewalks, Environmental Education Discussed During PACE-EH Assessment

 

March 27, 2019 | View PDF

Kristin Podsiad asking for specifics on why sidewalks were considered an issue of importance. (Photo by Jaymi Loobey)

As scheduled, Thursday, March 21 at 5:30 p.m., ARC or the Active Richland County action group held a PACE-EH assessment at the Mainstay Suites in Sidney, Montana. Attendees told the group the environmental health concerns they have in the community and discussed strategies on how to fix the issues.

The meeting was held in the common area of the hotel. People from local businesses, the county health department, Richland County employees and Sidney City employees came to participate. Everyone was asked to sign in and fill out a survey. Attendees were given three stickers with their surveys. There were two cardboard displays set on tables with suggestions of community health concerns. They ranged from things like sidewalks, lighting, feral animals, and urban forestry to things like landfill capacity, water quality, air quality, and recycling and there were many more. Attendees were asked to put their stickers on the three most important issues concerning the health and well being of the community. The three issues with the most stickers were singled out to be discussed during the meeting. Those issues were recycling, sidewalks and environmental education. Then time was spent discussing what specifically needed to be addressed about each topic and what could be done about them.

It was mentioned that items that can be recycled are being thrown away or just left on the ground as litter even though numerous recycling opportunities are available. It was suggested that ARC should work with ROI to redo their recycling bins or do some social media advertising for them. The fact that there are many areas within the town of Sidney where sidewalks are not available and where they are available they are sometimes in disrepair or inconsistent was brought up. One of the attendees mentioned that it is a city ordinance that city homeowners are to put in sidewalks then he mentioned that the city couldn't seem to enforce the ordinance. The ARC representative said it was not an easy fix but a tree program that was shared in Miles City about factors to consider when planting a tree like future damage to sidewalks was brought up. It was also suggested that the city partner with someone to get deals for people wanting to put in sidewalks. Environmental Education brought the discussion back to recycling. It was suggested that ROI's recycling receptacles be possibly moved or repainted. One attendee even mentioned that they could make a contest for it like the hay bale decorating contest that took place last fall. People dumping stuff where it does not go was also brought up. It was suggested that people be informed about what is in it for them. Giving company incentives and holding recycling events where participants can win prizes was suggested. It was also suggested that there be a list given to the chamber for new residents on where to dump unwanted items.

Stephanie Ler explained to the participants how to vote on the possible environmental issues. (Photo by Jaymi Loobey)

In the 2015-2018 Richland County Quality of Life Assessment, the need to do a PACE-EH assessment in Richland County was mentioned. According to the hand out given to attendees, PACE-EH means Protocol for Assessing Community Excellence in Environmental Health. ARC served as the planning team for the assessment. They will continue on to different towns around Richland County this week to allow the residents to participate as well. Monday, March 25, ARC was in Savage. On Thursday, March 28, they will be at the senior center in Fairview from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. and Tuesday, April 2, they will be in Lambert from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the CQ Bar & Grill.

Those with questions for or about the assessment can contact ARC by phone at 433-2207 or the questions can be emailed to kpodsiad@richland.org.

 

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