Thursday, December 15, 2016

Buying program cuts electric car prices

By Eric Smalley

Now’s the time to buy an electric car. Check out the Drive Green buying program from the nonprofit Mass Energy Consumer’s Alliance. The program, which runs through February 28, 2017, includes discounts from area car dealers. The discounts, which vary by make and dealership, are on top of a federal $7,500 tax credit and state $2,500 rebate. The deals make buying an electric car less expensive than buying a comparable gas-powered car.

The program covers buying or leasing a Nissan LEAF, Chevy Volt, Ford C-MAX Energi or Ford Fusion Energi. There’s also a waiting list for the new Chevy Bolt, which is expected to be available in Massachusetts by the middle of February.

With the current mix of generating sources on the electric grid in Massachusetts, driving an electric vehicle accounts for about a third of the carbon emissions of a gas-powered car. If you combine an electric vehicle with Mass Energy’s green electricity buying program, you can drive a truly zero-emission vehicle.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Join us for the final Maker Mob: Yard and Garden Design session

By Eric Smalley

Sign up now to participate in Session 3 of GreeningRozzie’s Yard and Garden Design Maker Mob. Laura Smeaton will lead us in transforming a barren, shaded side yard into a welcoming path to the backyard using woodchips and ferns.

Session 3 is this Sunday, October 30, from 10 am to 1 pm at Scott’s yard in Roslindale. RSVP for the address. If you have questions email us at

Below are some of the maps we made in Session 1. Read about the first session here: Reimagining Scott’s Yard.

(Catch me at the Maker Mob and I’ll give you a preview of Mass Energy’s soon-to-launch electric vehicle buying club that will dramatically lower the cost of buying an electric car.)

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Heritage Trees

By Amy Galblum

Ever since I attended the community meeting to discuss the ‘Mary Baker Eddy’ property (corner of Augustus and Poplar streets) I have been thinking about the oldest trees in Roslindale. One of these very big trees is on that property, and despite assurances from the developer that he would try to save every tree he could, this mighty Beech tree looks like it is right in the area on which he proposes to build.

Enormous, old trees like this one and others in the neighborhood are treasures. They are our heritage. In fact, I think of them as Heritage Trees. They enhance our streets and yards. And while they don’t last forever, we should be doing what we can to make sure they last as long as possible. Mapping them could alert people to their location so we can visit them, and knowing where they are may forestall removals when development encroaches.

Across the street from the Mary Baker Eddy house (corner of Poplar and Sycamore Streets) is a gigantic Sycamore tree.

At the bottom of Kittredge Street, next to Trethewey Brothers is a huge Elm. Now this is doubly amazing - it is both large and rare. There are not many elms left.

Are there any Heritage Trees near you? If so, can you post locations and/or photos?

Friday, September 9, 2016

Building a shed, step three

Photo by Elizabeth Thomson

A lesson in working with ancient circular saws was included in session three of GreeningRozzie’s Maker Mob to build a small garden shed.

Jeff, our carpenter, first opted for the lighter of two available saws to cut out a triangular “birds mouth” from a two-by-four destined for the shed’s roof. The smell of burning wood, however, quickly told him that the blade of said saw was too dull. Out came the second saw, which almost completed the job (Jeff used a small hand saw to cut through the final fibers). Along the way we got a primer on the parts of a circular saw and several safety tips. Among the latter: always wear goggles, and never stand in front of an operating saw.

Photo by Elizabeth Thomson
The day’s work was accompanied by a soon-familiar mantra: measure measure measure, check check check. For example, we temporarily put up the walls created in session two to make sure they fit. They came close, save for one side that was a little off due to a warped two-by-four, but Jeff wasn’t concerned.”That’s easily fixed” with a few nails, he said.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Building a shed, step two

Photo by Kim Patch
By Eric Smalley

Session two of three of GreeningRozzie’s Maker Mob to build a small garden shed was all about framing. We framed a door wall and a window wall. Our carpenter, Jeff, steered us through tricky alignments and careful measurements.

Photo by Kim Patch
As always, measuring was paramount. To ensure that the window will end up in the center of the wall, we had to slightly offset the window opening in the wall frame to compensate for overlapping the edges of the wall frames when we erect and connect them. We also learned that a deadhead mallet is very useful for whacking frames-in-progress into square without denting or otherwise damaging the wood.

Photo by Kim Patch
Next up, erecting the walls, siding them and building a roof. Session 3 is this Saturday, August 27, from 2 to 5 pm. If you’d like to join us, here’s where to RSVP.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Building a shed, step one

Photo by Kim Patch
By Eric Smalley

It was a beautiful Saturday to build something. The relentless summer heat took the day off and the threat of rain dissipated. We gathered in Alice’s backyard where a pile of precut lumber waited for us. DB&S, the lumberyard on Washington Street just over the line in JP, helpfully marked each piece with its length.

Photo by Kim Patch
We were there for the first of three GreeningRozzie Maker Mob sessions to build a small garden shed. The first session was about building the base and beginning the framing. Under the direction of our carpenter, Jeff, we cleared a patch of ground in Alice’s backyard large enough for the 4 x 4 footprint of the shed. We laid two parallel rows of paving stones, placed a four-foot length of cedar 4 x 4 on each, and then leveled them. Alice chose cedar, which is naturally insect- and rot-resistant, over pressure-treated lumber to avoid the chemicals.

Photo by Kim Patch
With the base in place, we framed the floor with 2 x 4s, attached it with long screws to the cedar 4 x 4s, and screwed on a piece of plywood for the floor. We also framed the two simpler of the four walls – the ones without a door or window. Jeff showed us some tricks of the trade: reducing the torque on the power screwdrivers to avoid stripping screws, using a chalk line to mark where to screw the plywood to the frame, starting screw holes perpendicularly before lining up the drill for angled attachments, and measuring floor and wall frames on both diagonals to ensure that the corners are square.

Photo by Kim Patch
Next up, framing the walls with the door and window, erecting all four walls and siding them.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

A Memory Tree Project profile: John Govoni and Dorothy Giarla

Photo by Renée DeKona
By Pam Sinotte
This summer, rainfall throughout Massachusetts has been well below average, leaving much of the state and Boston in a severe drought. It’s been a difficult summer for many plants, including our newer street trees. But thanks to the efforts of Memory Tree Project participants John Govoni and Dorothy Giarla, there are two honeylocust trees bordering Fallon Field that stand a great chance of surviving and thriving! Over the course of the summer, John and Dorothy have been bringing large buckets of water to these trees that might otherwise not receive adequate water because they’re not near homes or businesses.  

Photo by Renée DeKona
Here is what John and Dorothy have to say about participating in The Memory Tree Project:

We have lived in Roslindale for almost 40 years and have enjoyed the evolution of our neighborhood. We decided to join The Memory Tree Project to honor our families and contribute to the important growth of green space on our city streets. Many people have complimented us on our dedication to this effort. Win/win all around.
– John Govoni and Dorothy Giarla

We hope you’ll be inspired by John and Dorothy to join The Memory Tree Project and care for a street tree in memory of a loved one. You’ll be honoring a loved one, helping to reduce Roslindale’s carbon footprint, and beautifying the neighborhood! To sign up for your own tree, go to our home page or email  (To see a close-up of the tree sign, see Eric Smalley’s post Honoring My Father in a Green Way.)