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Local Residents Launch Herndon Environmental Network

Carlin Anderson's interest in learning what she can do to better the environment sparked a grassroots effort among area residents to form the Herndon Environmental Network.

The grassroots Herndon Environmental Network began with a group of Herndon residents who found themselves interested in educating themselves about environmental issues and sharing that information.

Carlin Anderson said it had been about a year that she wanted to take part in an environmentally focused group, but she wanted to do more than talk about climate change and the environment. She said she wanted the group to cover helpful and useful topics like making rain barrels, and provide an educational experience and positive example for children too.

Anderson said she was unable to find such a group in the greater Herndon area so she began to poll her friends in late November to see if it would be something they’d like to get involved with and got a positive response. The group grew on Facebook and currently has about 30 members.

“We’re excited about it,” Anderson said. “Hopefully we’ll be able to have a positive impact on Herndon.”

Anderson said the group, which had its first meeting in December, could use more members and more input. The Herndon Environmental Network welcomes anyone who wants to learn more, or who has knowledge of the environment they’d like to share with the community, she said.

Mary Brown, another member of HEN, said so far many people in the group are interested in learning about composting and other small things they can do to make a positive impact. She said often people don’t know how to make those changes and need help finding the right information.

Not all children know about topics such as recycling either, Brown said. She said she realized that while parents may handle the household recycling duties, that means children may not know how to do it themselves. There are many small activities that children can do to take part, she said. Anderson said the group is considering a recycling program for local schools.

Ann Csonka, who’s also involved in the group, said another topic that can be addressed is home cleaning services. She said she found she had to educate the people who were cleaning her house on recycling, and the group could discuss that issue and the use of green cleaning among home cleaning services.

Anderson said the group will likely start small with quarterly projects in and around the community and grow from there. She said the group is looking to find its focus since environmental topics can spur many great ideas.

The Herndon Environmental Network’s mission “is to work toward a cleaner, safer environment through local initiatives, education and advocacy.” Anderson said they are working through the process to become a 501c3 group.

People can learn more about the Herndon Environmental Network by attending the group’s next meeting, to be held on Saturday, Feb. 25 from 3:30 to 5 p.m. at the Herndon Friends Meeting House, 660 Spring St. Members of the greater Herndon and Reston communities are welcome to attend the meeting and bring their ideas. 

For more information and to get in touch with the group, visit the HEN Facebook page here

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