There is growing interest among many religious institution around the country in good stewardship of the planet earth. The Neighborhood Network is working to foster and harness this interest on Long Island, to create positive change. To that end we have joined with a number of representatives of religious congregations to form the Long Island Interfaith Environmental Network (LIIEN).
The Neighborhood Network is helping a group of Massapequa residents to enhance appreciation of the 423 acres of woodlands, ponds, and freshwater wetlands known as the Massapequa Preserve. Stewardship of the Preserve is desperately lacking, and the group is looking at alternative activities for young people in the community who have been vandalizing the Preserve.
Dedicated Environmental Fund for Nassau County
The Nassau Master Plan Task Force, which the Neighborhood Network organized in 1996 was successful in convincing Nassau County Planners to include in the County's first Master Plan a recommendation for a Dedicated Environmental Fund. Although the recent Nassau County fiscal crisis temporarily put this issue on the legislative "back burner," the Neighborhood Network continued working to see that it remained viable. In 2004, Nassau County voters established a dedicated source of funding for the environment by approving the $50 million Nassau Clean Water, Open Space and Parks Trust Fund. On election day, November 7, 2006 they approved by 73% a further $100 million environmental bond act.
Recent polls show more public concern with energy costs than with any other single issue. Energy conservation involves both the use of new products and technology along with changed practices. The Neighborhood Network was an early supporter of public power for Long Island. The Neighborhood Network is now working to help educate the public, businesses, and government about what we all can do to conserve energy.
The current New York State "Bottle Bill" exempts non-carbonated soft drinks, although they make up more than 22% of the beverage market. Bills have been proposed in the State Senate and Assembly, and in the Suffolk County Legislature to put a deposit on these cans and bottles.
A coalition of environmental and civic groups have joined forces to save 450 acres of open space in the Coram, Gordon Heights, Medford area.