East Side Green Machine

| 13 Aug 2014 | 03:15

    When the subject of Upper Green Side is brought up, Sarah Gallagher starts talking a mile a minute. The organization was started about four years ago, but it has already had a large impact on the community, and Gallagher is proud to be a part of it. Although Gallagher is an active member of the organization now, her involvement was something of a coincidence. As a television writer, Gallagher has worked on several law series, and so a local deli owner asked her for help when he got ticketed for chaining a bike to an awning. â??Because I must have experience in law, she said, laughing. In her quest to help the deli owner, she was directed to Glenn McAnanama, the founder of Upper Green Side, who was just starting the organization and had a serious interest in bike laws. Soon Gallagher, who works for Upper Green Side as a volunteer in addition to her full-time job, was helping to set up green markets on East 82nd and 92nd streets, and pushing to make electronics and battery recycling more widespread. She also helped with the organization of a paper â??shred-a-thon and an astronomy event last July. Some of her bigger goals are to bring more greenmarkets to the Upper East Side and to make it easier for people to recycle. â??Sustainability is important and I just want to make it as easy as possible for people, she said. Gallagher also wants to get more trees planted and to help the neighborhood take care of the ones that are already there. She is a licensed â??Urban Arborist, which means that she has been trained by the group Trees New York to properly care for urban trees. She even took a sculpture class from the School of Visual Arts in order to learn how to make tree enclosures. Gallagher, who has had a home on the Upper East Side for 40 years, said one of the best things about being a part of Upper Green Side is that the organization really supports each member"s personal interests and concerns. â??Everyone has different things that we want to do, she said. â??The group really works together to achieve everyone"s goals. Council Member Jessica Lappin has helped Upper Green Side fund some of its projects, such as the astronomy event. She thinks the impact on the neighborhood is important. â??Sarah brings her boundless energy and inimitable style to all of her efforts in the community, Lappin said. â??We are lucky to have her activist spirit and can-do attitude working for our neighborhood. Gallagher feels lucky to be a part of Upper Green Side because the organization has been so successful in accomplishing its goals. â??Things aren"t going to happen in this city unless you do them yourself, she said. â??But when you help others and change the landscape, it makes you sleep better at night.