Monday, Feb 06th

Butterfly and BeeBees, birds and butterflies are vital to the health of our planet, and they need our help. Without pollinators, most of the Earth’s plants would not produce viable seeds and fruit which form the foundation of the food chain.

Here are some easy steps to take to create a pollinator-friendly yard:

Plant native plants that attract pollinators
Native plants evolved alongside native wildlife and provide them with the right pollen and nectar for food as well as with protection and places for their young to grow. When planting flowers, make sure that a variety of plants are selected so that flowering takes place from spring through the fall.

Most nurseries sell plants that are clearly marked as attracting specific pollinators as well as specifying bloom time and sun requirements. Some examples of native plants that attract pollinators are: eastern bluestar, wild columbine, wild geranium, creeping flox, foam flower, anise hyssop, butterflyweed, common milkweed (very important for monarch butterflies) and great blue lobelia. For a more extensive list, visit SUNY’s Native Plant Center.

Avoid using pesticides
Pesticides not only kill pollinators on contact but also are absorbed by plants, thereby making their pollen poisonous. There are many organic products readily available that serve the same purpose as pesticides but are not harmful to wildlife and humans. For example, corn gluten can be used as an effective fertilizer and weed preventer, and milky spore can be used to prevent grubs. Native plants, which are best suited to our climate and terrain, are less susceptible to drought and disease so it’s even easier to avoid pesticide use when caring for them.

Reduce lawn size by creating flowerbeds
Lawns made up solely of grass are wastelands for pollinators. By carving out sections of grass and replacing them with pollinator-friendly flowerbeds, you are creating areas that are both beautiful and havens for pollinators while costing less to maintain than lawn care. (Better yet, allowing such pollinator favorites as white clover, dandelions and violets grow in your lawn--even in limited areas-- creates a friendlier yard for pollinators while acknowledging that you are helping pollinators by having a less than perfect lawn.)

Provide water
Just like any other animal, pollinators need water. Supplying water can be as simple as placing a shallow dish or saucer--that can be easily emptied and refilled --anywhere in your yard. Birdbaths are available in many sizes and materials so that they, too, can be easily maintained.

Supply shelter and nesting sites
Trees and larger shrubs are important for nesting birds. Make sure that pruning waits until late fall or early winter, after nesting season. Keeping some of the yard wild provides an undisturbed place for bees and butterflies to nest. Having a patch of bare ground and leaving leaves --or mulched leaves--on the ground provide places for them to lay their eggs and for larvae to overwinter. Even if these areas are small, every small area throughout a neighborhood adds up!

Creating a pollinator-friendly yard benefits our environment while adding beauty to the neighborhood—and it’s a great activity to share with our children. For more information, visit the US Forest Service or the Cornell Cooperative Extension.

If you have any questions or comments, contact the Scarsdale Conservation Advisory Council.

steakAs the summer season approaches, safety should be at the top of the menu! Many local restaurants are beginning to welcome sit-down guests once again while effectively protecting both staff and patrons. Brian Mahon, co-owner of Lilly’s and the Hudson Grille restaurants, both recently opened for patio dining on Mamaroneck Avenue in White Plains, shared some of the safety centered strategies in place there – all smart ideas for home barbecues and parties too:

Take It Outside!

Mahon says his restaurants’ shared 5,000 square foot patio space is organized for social distancing and allowing for natural air flow. You can follow suit at your party by spacing picnic or patio tables at least 6 feet apart and limiting to 4 diners per table.

Designate Cooking Duties

The CDC says that up to 80% of all illnesses may be spread by contaminated hands. To reduce that risk, Mahon suggests having one person only on the grill, another on salad duty, and yet one more on dessert etc... Use clean gloves to handle and serve all food, and wear a face shield and mouth covering while preparing food for others – all part of the new normal at Mahon’s restaurants. Guests should not feel shy about wearing a face covering at the table before and after their meal. They more comfortable and safe they feel, the more they will enjoy their experience!

Don’t Share!WhitePlainsHospitalSponsorBanner

When planning your menu, consider simple, individual serving foods like burgers, grilled chicken, hot dogs and corn on the cob. Bowls of salad and chips, which attract lots of hands, are a definite no-no in this climate – stock up on some single-serve chip bags if they are a must at your get-together, and pick up some condiment and salt and pepper packets.

BYO… Glasses?

Allow your guest to bring their own wine glasses or beer mugs if they aren’t fond of drinking out of disposable cups. “We want to do whatever it takes to make our customers feel safe and comfortable,” he says. Same goes for bottle openers, as the less you need to pass around, the better. Keep Sharpies on hand to mark all cups and plates.

Hype Up the Hygeine

Don’t forget the must-have table decoration for the Summer Entertaining Season: hand sanitizer! In addition, Mahon has dispensers outside of the bathroom and near all entrances and exits. Stash all hand towels, and purchase a stack of decorative throwaway hand towels for the bathroom.

Get a Little Creative

“With Zoom gatherings taking off, don’t be afraid to try a virtual barbecue cook-off with friends and family, so you can still have bragging rights,” suggests Mahon. If anything, coronavirus has sparked some new ideas for current takeout offerings, including brunch boxes with mimosas, and coming soon: marinated burgers and ribs in a box, with instructions for how to cook them.

Ready to try a little gourmet creativity yourself? Tyler Jacobs, executive chef at Lilly’s and the Hudson Grille, shares how to season your dishes like a pro. Check out his recipes for Chipotle Mayo for Grilled Corn and Chimichurri Steak Sauce below.

Chipotle Mayo for Grilled Corn on the Cob


2 cups mayonnaise
1 cup of softened, whipped cream cheese
2 oz. finely chopped cilantro
Juice of 3 limes
3 oz. chipotle peppers in adobo
Grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

To make it:

1. Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl, and combine evenly.
2. Grill corn to desired tenderness, coat with dressing.
3. Sprinkle corn with Parmesan cheese.
4. Refrigerate leftover dressing for future use.

Chimichurri Steak Sauce


3 oz. cilantro
3 oz. parsley
2 oz. dry oregano
3 tbs sherry vinegar
2 tbs finely chopped shallots
2 tbs finely chopped garlic
2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 cup olive oil

To make it:

1. Combine all ingredients in jar or container, shake well.
2. Spread on cooked steak, or serve on the side.

NAMIThe Junior League of Central Westchester (JLCW) joined the National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) Westchester in their Virtual Mental Health Awareness Walk. This year’s event was virtual to protect participants in light of COVID-19 and the New York State On-pause executive order.

NAMI asked teams to “walk your way” giving flexible guidelines to walk a 5k or do any activity such as exercise or crafting that would be inspiring and raise awareness to the importance of removing the stigma associated with Mental Illness. The JLCW Cares Team walked a 3.5 mile loop in the shape of a heart and chalked their walk. Perhaps you noticed some sweet chalk drawings along your street or path? The messages there were intended to inspire all and send the message that none of us are alone.

NAMI offers free help to individuals and families in search of Mental Health answers. They also offer presentations to educate the communities about mental illness. JLCW hosted a Zoom-based Ending the Silence presentation that was informative and included speakers who were young adults managing their mental illness as well as a parent with similar experiences.

“When the Junior League of Central Westchester partnered with NAMI Westchester last year, we did not expect the events of this Spring, which made the need for Mental Health Awareness particularly relevant during 2020,” said JLCW President, Valerie Phillips. “We all need to know we are not alone, that if we need help, it is ok, there is hope.”

The walk was an opportunity to raise awareness for Mental Health as well as take care participants bodies and minds. The Mind-Body connection is very strong and Saturday was a beautiful day in Scarsdale to get out and be active. The physical act of exercising can help us take a break from our everyday concerns. This in turn helps us feel more energized, relieves stress, improves memory and sleep as well as reaps the calming effects of more meditative exercises, all of which contribute to better overall positive mood and general health.

If you are feeling depressed or anxious please reach out for help:
NAMI Westchester Helpline (914) 592-5458
Dept. Community Mental Health Information, Support and Referral line (914) 995-1900
Please call 914.723.6130 or email, if you have questions about JLCW’s work with NAMI Westchester.

bookThe Scarsdale Safe Coalition and Scarsdale Edgemont Family Counseling Service invite you to participate in a virtual discussion about coping during periods of grief and loss. The discussion will take place via Zoom on Thursday, July 9th at 10:00 a.m. and will be led by SFCS Family Therapist Judi Townsend, MFT, PA-C, MPH. The discussion will include elements from the book "It's OK That You're Not OK" by Megan Devine.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us have experienced some form of loss. Now more than ever we need to feel connected to our friends, neighbors and community. Building attachment among community members is not just a way to cope with isolation but it is also a key protective factor in building community safety. The discussion will cover topics including:

-Death versus ambiguous types of loss
-Societal and cultural responses to loss
-The power of being present

The community book read, and discussion is an opportunity to explore a topic that is relevant to us all right now. The format will be discussion oriented, therefore this event will not be recorded or rebroadcast. All community members are welcome to join. Having read the book is not a pre-requisite for participation, however the book can be downloaded or purchased at your favorite online outlet or bookstore.

An RSVP is required to participate in the discussion. Please indicate your interest in participating by emailing Joan Caputo at by Tuesday, July 7th and a Zoom link will be sent to you.

For more information, please contact Lauren Pomerantz, LCSW at

PelotonFormer Scarsdale resident Mark Gompertz, with help from Penny Lowy, Daniel Spielsinger and Allie Weber, who also hail from the ‘Dale, has just published a timely new book. Peloton Hacks, Getting the Most From Your Bike, helps users figure out how to use your bike from the moment it enters your home.

With so many confined to their homes, Peloton purchases and usage has surged. There are now 1.5 million users of this indoor workout bike that has quickly become an obsession for some. However, the bike is complex. Getting used to it and getting the most out of it are challenging and that’s how this book can help.

In Peloton Hacks, Gompertz tells you virtually everything you need to know about the bike – from where to place it and how to set it up to how to be comfortable on it and use it to its full capacity. Need a class on understanding the tablet? Gompertz outlines all the options that are offered and how to navigate to what is best for you. If you’re having any technical problems with the equipment, there are tips on correcting those as well.

The book is comprehensive and includes tips on clipping in and out of the pedals, executing correct posture, positions and ergonomics, understanding the leaderboard, setting up power zones, customizing audio, video chatting with friends, trouble shooting heart monitor issues, navigating different levels of classes, measuring health and fitness metrics and more.

And for those who don’t want to use the bike itself, there’s advice on choosing from the wide array of stretching, cardio, boot camp and yoga classes that are available with the subscription service.

Author Mark Gompertz is a publisher of many New York Times best-selliPelotonHacksng books. He has edited several books of fitness and health. A life-long couch potato, he is now an active and proud Peloton owner.

The book is published by Skyhorse Publishing and is on sale in hardcover and as an e-book. Check it out and get yours here:

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