MASSENA — A week of community activities provided by the New York Power Authority wrapped up on Friday with a Community Education Day at the Massena Housing Authority.
It wasn’t just about education, though. It was also about having fun while learning.
Take a bike riding demonstration, for instance. Visitors sat on a mock bicycle and pedaled as fast as they could to show how much electricity was needed to charge a cell phone.
Another mock bicycle ride resulted in colorful artwork. A round bowl-like structure was attached to the front of the bike, and a sheet of paper was placed inside it. As the individual pedaled, the bowl twirled at a speed that was relative to the speed of the pedaling, and different colors were squeezed onto the sheet of paper. At the end of the ride, a colorful piece of art was created to take home.
Other fun activities, some that came with prizes, included a bounce house and slide, a bean bag toss, a “Footprint Facts” game about electricity, face painting and a magic show by Belly Buttons the Clown, and a free catered luncheon.
“Please thank them for giving us a wonderful Community Education Day,” Mary Elman, acting Massena Housing Authority executive director told the crowd that had gathered on the field behind the housing authority’s offices.
Lisa Wansley, NYPA vice president of environmental justice and sustainability, said this week’s activities were part of the Power Authority’s Environmental Justice program, which provides resources to meet the needs of underrepresented communities located near the Power Authority’s power assets. The program also promotes a sustainable clean energy future.
“We’re here because we have one of our largest facilities here in St. Lawrence County. You’re our neighbor, and we want to come and meet you. Our motto is be a good neighbor. This is a way to meet your neighbor and share knowledge,” she said.
As part of being a good neighbor, Ms. Wansley recalled that in December, the Power Authority had provided Massena Housing Authority residents with 260 new energy-efficient refrigerators at no cost to them. While making the announcement about the new refrigerators, NYPA officials also handed out turkeys and platters of cookies to residents.
Another effort in 2017 was a partnership between the Power Authority and the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe on a STEM Camp through the Johnson-O’Malley Program, which contains educational objectives to address the needs of eligible American Indian and Alaska Native students.
Earlier this week, the Power Authority held a two-day STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) camp for members of the Boys and Girls Club of Massena at the Nicandri Nature Center, and they provided lunch and a movie to residents at Laurel Terrace on Tuesday, Grasmere on Wednesday and 55 Victory Road on Thursday.
Ms. Wansley said the authority also works with St. Lawrence County on programs that benefit local residents, including a weatherization program. Those who attend are shown how to weatherize their home and receive energy kits to tackle the project.