A group of people interested in spreading the Green Party’s message on the East End met for the first time recently in downtown Riverhead.
The East End Greens, organized by Celeste Tracy of Aquebogue and Ian Wilder of Riverhead, gathered Aug. 10 at Green Earth Natural Foods Market on East Main Street.
Ms. Tracy said she wanted to establish a group of “like-minded individuals” concerned about local environmental issues.
“I’m from the East End and I didn’t know whether or not there was something like this out here,” she said.
Mr. Wilder, secretary of the Green Party of Suffolk County, had already established a similar group in Babylon, where he lived previously.
About 14 people attended the first meeting in Riverhead, with each expressing a desire to leave the earth a better place than they found it.
Some ideas brought forward were increasing options for children’s recreation, finding ways to make better use of open space and ridding supermarkets of plastic bags. Participants also talked about finding ways to improve drinking water quality on the East End. Of course, politics also entered the discussion, with people expressing support for Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein and frustration with this year’s election.
Riverhead resident Matt Forrest said he attended the meeting because he wants to make positive changes on a local level.
“I feel like there are a lot of people who are stuck in the problem, but I’m a real ‘solutions’ guy,” Mr. Forrest said. “I thought if I could be a part of some sort of a solution or some sort of a conversation, it would be taking a baby step toward empowerment in my home community.”
Ms. Tracy and Mr. Wilder said they were pleasantly surprised with the meeting’s turnout and are excited to continue growing the group’s presence.
“I think we can really help make the East End an even better place to live,” Mr. Wilder said.
The East End Green’s second meeting will take place at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 15, at Green Earth Natural Foods Market in Riverhead.
Photo: Ian Wilder and Celeste Tracy recently created East End Greens, a group to promote the Green Party’s platform. (Credit: Krysten Massa)