In this week's Newsletter: Tuesday was a beautiful day for a groundbreaking ceremony, Sydney Ireland, Stuy Cove Park volunteer, makes history, explaining the Diablo Winds and much more!
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What A Beautiful Day for a Groundbreaking

On Tuesday morning at 10am, Solar One held a ceremonial groundbreaking for our new Environmental Education Center in Stuyvesant Cove Park. It was a beautiful cloudless morning and about 60 people came to celebrate with us.

Along with the Solar One staff and Board, Park Volunteers, members of Community Board 6, and many of the funders and elected officials who have helped see this project through showed up to take a look at the concept design (shown above) and hear about both the past and future of Solar One.

Enormous thanks to Councilmember Dan Garodnick, without whom this day would never have come, and his amazing Director of Operations Ellen Gustafson, for helping us put the event together and being such fantastic partners throughout the years Dan's been in office. We are also tremendously grateful to Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, State Senator Brad Hoylman, Assemblymember Brian Kavanagh, CEO of the NYC Economic Development Corporation James Patchett, CB6 Parks committee member Gary Papush, Solar One Board chair Sara Queen, and, on behalf of Governor Cuomo, David Sandbank, director of NYSERDA's NY Sun Initiative, who all were willing to come and speak about their support of Solar One and the new building.

We'll be updating our website with more information on this exciting project soon, so please visit to learn more about the timeline and other developments as we move ever-closer to opening day. To all who were able to come, thank you for joining us! And to all those who were not, we'll see you at the opening!

Stuy Cove Park Volunteer Makes History

Meet Sydney Ireland, a New York teenager and Stuyvesant Cove Park volunteer (she did her very first scout project in our Park!). For the past six years, Sydney has been fighting to be allowed to join the Boy Scouts. She's been an unofficial member of Troop 414 here in NYC and is an official member of the Canadian Scouts, which allows scouts of all genders. But Sydney's dream is to become an Eagle Scout...and now it seems that dream may be within her reach.

You can read why Sydney wants to be a Boy Scout in her own words here in this op-ed she penned for the Washington Post, and her eloquent argument has paid off: Last week, the Boy Scouts of America announced that it would begin accepting girls.

So while she hasn't been accepted just yet, the signs are good. Sydney is already planning her first Eagle Scout project: Helping to put a solar array on a homeless shelter in Maine. And Solar One can't wait to help her with this next part of her quest.

Good luck Sydney, you're a real inspiration!

What Are the Diablo Winds?

If the devastation in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands and Mexico weren't enough, last week saw Northern California destroyed by wildfires whipped up the Diablo Winds.

Californians have long experienced the hot Santa Ana winds in the south and the Diablo Winds in the north, when extremely hot air spills out of the Great Basin in Central California and down the surrounding mountains...including Mt. Diablo, just to the east of the Bay Area. Those winds can easily and quickly reach tropical storm or hurricane speeds, which, combined with very dry brush and fall leaves, can turn into deadly wildfires.

The winds also make it very difficult to control the fires once they get started. So far, 160,000 acres have burned, 2,000 homes and businesses have been destroyed – and much more is threatened. And as with hurricanes, while it's impossible to draw a direct connection between these wildfires and climate change, the National Weather Service described an abundance of grasses produced by “record winter rains combined with heavier vegetation stressed by years of extreme drought and disease.” Extreme weather fluctuations? Record-breaking weather patterns? Sounds a lot the effects of climate change to us...
You can read more about this on here.
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Upcoming Events at Solar One

Community Volunteer Day in Stuyvesant Cove Park
Solar 1, Stuyvesant Cove Park, 23rd Street & the East River, 10:00am-1pm, free

Other Events

E-Waste Recycling with the Lower East Side Ecology Center: Flatbush
Flatbush Food Co-Op, Cortelyou Road bet Rugby & Marlborough Rds, Brooklyn, 10am-4pm, free

E-Waste Recycling with the Lower East Side Ecology Center: East Williamsburg
Grand Street bet Lorimer & Leonard Sts, Brooklyn, 11am-4pm, free

E-Waste Recycling with the Lower East Side Ecology Center: Kingsbridge
Church of the Mediator, Kingsbridge Avenue bet W. 230th & W. 231st Sts,, Bronx, 10am-4pm, free

E-Waste Recycling with the Lower East Side Ecology Center: Cobble Hill
PS 29, Baltic Street bet Henry & Clinton Sts, Brooklyn, 10am-4pm, free

Climate Solutions Town Hall
Brooklyn College Student Center, Gold Room, 2705 Campus Road bet E. 27th St & Kenilworth Pl, Breooklyn, 7-10pm, free with registration

Harlem River Water Conference
The Bronx Museum of the Arts, 1040 Grand Concourse bet E. 165th & E. 166th Sts, Bronx, 5:30-8:30pm, free

Design and Health in Urban Redevelopment Projects
1776 NYC, Building 27, 63 Flushing Avenue bet 5th & 6th Sts, Brooklyn, 3:30-7pm, free

Meet a Solar One Staff Member: Helen Hooke, Director, Fiscal & Operations

Helen Hooke has been responsible for the behind-the-scenes smooth functioning of Solar One since 2009. Helen brings 20 years of experience to Solar One from her work as Director of Finance and Administration of the Law Firm of Hollyer Brady Barrett & Hines LLP and Secretary and Director of the Winfield Foundation.  She has a BA from Smith College, and Certification as a Non-Profit Accounting Professional from the Financial Management Association.  She also has a Certificate in PV Installation from Solar Energy International, and designed and built her solar-powered home.

She is originally from Rochester, NY, and studied at the Eastman School of Music Preparatory School.  She also writes, performs, and records in the field of music with her original group The Deadly Nightshade, as a side musician on violin, and with her own band, the Helen Hooke Band, and has her musical work released on many recordings and CD’s.  She is an avid gardener.
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