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WNY GOING GREEN: MASS. AVE PROJECT

Wednesday, 03.10.2010 / 3:51 PM / Blue & Gold Make Green
By Jackie Lewandowski  - Graduate Assistant (2009)
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WNY GOING GREEN: MASS. AVE PROJECT
The Buffalo Sabres Blue & Gold Make Green initiative has worked to improve sustainability and recycling within the organization over the last year. Now, the Sabres are asking the fans to reduce their environmental footprint.

Throughout the year, sabres.com will feature a local cause dedicated to making Western New York a “greener” place, and showing fans in the area how to incorporate conservation in their daily lives.

Take a look at this week’s profile on the Massachusetts Avenue Project

(mass-ave.org)
Are you living in a food desert?

Many residents of the city of Buffalo are living in areas of vacant land without real access to supermarkets and grocery stores, and don’t even know they are living in a food desert.

To address these issues, a local block club rose up to create awareness and to increase the opportunities for the youth living there.

Not long after, this small club evolved into a full-blown organization dedicated towards the education and implementation of those goals locally. The Massachusetts Avenue Project works to remediate vacant land in the city for gardening to reduce the impact of the food desert.

“Within the last 10 years we really honed in on a mission to impact the food system and address the problem of food access within our city,” Creative Director Erin Sharkey said.  “There are many neighborhoods in the city that are designated as food deserts and lack availability to fresh food, and we need to change that.”

The first steps included creating a mobile market to help residents living in food deserts to overcome that obstacle.  To start, the organization built its own urban farm on what formally were seven vacant lots in the Massachusetts Avenue area.

“Our mobile market is basically a mobile grocery store truck that carries fresh produce from local farmers and our own city-grown food to neighborhoods that lack a grocery store,” Sharkey said.  “We were able to grow 4,000 pounds of food last year and feed a ton of people who needed it.”

The Massachusetts Avenue Project also relies on the youth in our city’s neighborhoods to implement its ideals. 

Employing around 50 teenagers a year, the organization seeks to educate adolescents 14-18 years of age how to grow healthy food, how to cook healthy recipes with the food they’ve grown, and the importance of eating healthy.

“We have amazing teenagers in our program that just honor us by working for us,” Sharkey said.  “They become educated and then become educators themselves to their peers.”

Targeting young people is something that not only helps the state of the neighborhood, but also works at creating a healthier city.

“Young people impact their families in many ways,” Sharkey said. “By asking their mom to eat more vegetables, or going to the store with their family to pick out healthier options, these young people are becoming agents of change.”

For those residents living on the West Side, the response to this initiative has been positive.

“This is our eighth growing season, and we have found things to be very easy,” Sharkey said. “People are excited about gardens and the great use of the land.” 

However, building urban gardens on what used to be vacant land doesn’t come without its fair share of problems.

“There have been challenges in growing food in the city with things such as soil quality and toxicity issues,” Sharkey said.  “Pests are also a problem, but these issues can be resolved if you understand the proper measures to take.”

To help residents better understand their ideals and to launch their next growing season, MAP will be holding a volunteer day on May 1st at 10 a.m. where residents can tour the farm and build compost bins. 

MAP is also holding Flapjacks for the Farm, a fundraiser that will be located at the Trinity Episcopal Church at 371 Delaware Avenue on Saturday, March 27.  Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children under 12, and can be purchased on the organization’s website at www.mass-ave.org or by calling (716)882-5327 ext. 4.  Servings will be held at 9 a.m., 10:30 a.m., and noon.  

For healthy and easy tips for going green at home, or to become a Green Team member, click here.

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EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Hodgson 72 20 24 -26 44
T. Ennis 80 21 22 -25 43
D. Stafford 70 16 18 -19 34
C. Ehrhoff 79 6 27 -27 33
C. Stewart 63 15 11 0 26
C. Conacher 79 7 19 1 26
T. Myers 62 9 13 -26 22
Z. Girgensons 70 8 14 -6 22
M. Foligno 74 7 12 -17 19
J. McBain 69 6 11 -13 17
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
M. Neuvirth 4 8 2 .921 2.78
J. Enroth 4 17 5 .911 2.82