In this week's Newsletter: Less light pollution in NYS means less "fatal light attraction" for migratory birds, the color green, what's in bloom at Stuy Cove, and much more!
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Reducing "Fatal Light Attraction" for NYS's  Migratory Birds

Every spring and fall, thousands of birds of all kinds migrate from their wintering grounds to their summer habitats, and vice versa. Many species rely on constellations to guide them to their proper nesting grounds, but light pollution from big buildings can make that difficult, if not impossible. Now New York State will do its part to help mitigate some of that light pollution, by requiring all state buildings to turn off non-essential outdoor lighting between the hours of 11pm and 6am during peak migratory periods, April 15 through May 31 and August 15 through November 15. Introducing the NYS Lights Out Initiative!

“This is a simple step to help protect these migrating birds that make their home in New York’s forests, lakes and rivers,” Governor Cuomo said. “I encourage anyone interested in learning more about New York's birds and their migrations to visit the new I Love NY Birding website."

You can read the whole story on the Governor's website here. For more information on light pollution and its effects on both wildlife and humans, check out Ian Cheney's excellent film The City Dark. Now if we can just do something about glass reflections- they are also deadly to migratory birds!

Correction: In last week's story about the City Council visit to the S1 workforce lab, we neglected to mention that the interns who are preparing for jobs at OnForce Solar are part of a program funded by NYSERDA. We regret the omission, and will be featuring this internship program in this space in a couple of weeks.

Notes on the Color Green

Now that another Earth Day has passed and spring is here, everyone's probably had about as much "green" as they can handle. But last week the New York Times published this fascinating little article about the color green, things we've recently learned about it and what it's meant at various points in human history.

Not everyone loves green, though. For example, the late Ellen Stewart, founder of the LaMama Experimental Theater on East Fourth Street, banned the color from all productions and would even scowl at audience members who dared to wear green. It has also been labeled a sickly color, the color of jealousy and envy. It certainly doesn't help the Hulk win anyone's trust, having green skin.

But green is also the color of life on Earth. Photosynthesis is the basis for all the food, and all the oxygen, on our planet. New research into the evolution of photosynthesis shows that the process has been around a lot longer than we thought, with plants beginning their stunning electro-chemical mission shortly after the very first living cells appeared, about 3.5 billion years ago. And green is in the exact center of the visible light spectrum!

So it may not be easy being green, but without it, we'd be nowhere at all.


What's Blooming in Stuyvesant Cove Park: Mid-Spring Edition

As we head into May, we're finally getting a string of beautiful days of warm sunny weather- exactly the type of weather that spring flowers adore!

If you take a walk in Stuyvesant Cove Park in the next couple of weeks, keep an eye out for Blackhaw ViburnumVirginia Bluebell (pictured above), Wild Geranium, Wild Columbine and Wild Cherry, and of course Violets. Lots of violets, in blue, purple and white (with blue).

For a complete list of currently blooming plants with pictures, visit the Solar One blog here. 

Upcoming Events at Solar 1

Stay tuned for more spring events coming up soon!

Other Events

2015 Bike to Work Challenge
All day, everywhere, free

CHP Healthcare Queens Power Breakfast & Tour
The Silvercrest Center for Nursing & Rehabilitation, 86-19 144th Street, Briarwood, Queens, 8:30-10:30am, free

Spring E-Waste Recycling with the Lower East Side Ecology Center (Carroll Gardens)
Smith Street between President & Union Sts, Brooklyn, 10am-4pm, free
For a list of accepted electronics, click here.

Spring E-Waste Recycling with the Lower East Side Ecology Center (Hell's Kitchen)
Manhattan Plaza, W 43rd Street bet 9th & 10th Aves, Manhattan, 10am-4pm, free
For a list of accepted electronics, click here.

Spring E-Waste Recycling with the Lower East Side Ecology Center (Morningside)
Morningside Park, Morningside Avenue bet W 113th & W 114th Sts, Manhattan, 10am-4pm, free
For a list of accepted electronics, click here.

Spring E-Waste Recycling with the Lower East Side Ecology Center (Forest Hills)

Forest Hills Jewish Center, 69th Road bet Queens Blvd & Austin St, Queens, 10am-4pm, free
For a list of accepted electronics, click here.

Integrated Daylight at the Bullitt Center: Presentation & Discussion with Chris Meek
Building Energy Exchange, 31 Chambers Street, Suite 609, bet Elk & Centre Sts, Manhattan, 9-10:30am, $10 general admission/$5 partner organizations/$0 students 

Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance Waterfront Conference
Aboard the Hornblower Infinity, Hudson RIver Park, Pier 40, Manhattan, 9am-5pm, $120 general admission/$50 government or non-profit/$35 student
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