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Earth week opportunities for change abound

Spring… Earth Week… They’re finally here. After a record-setting, seemingly never-ending winter, Transition Towns from Virginia to Connecticut are really ready to break out with some amazing activities throughout the region. Transition Towns, or Transition groups, are dedicated to promoting environmental, social and economic sustainability and resiliency at a local level in the face of the challenges posed by economic uncertainty, weather extremes and diminishing resources. And we, in Durham and Middlefield, are part of this wide-ranging, grassroots movement with the Coginchaug Area Transition.

“Ben Franklin had it right,” said a C.A.T. member. “’We must all hang together or assuredly we will all hang separately.’ He was talking about a political revolution, but we are in the midst of a revolution in how we live on Earth while preserving all its creatures.”

During Earth Week, on Thursday, April 24, the local Clean Energy and Sustainability Task Force will sponsor a program on “Energy Efficiency for Older Homes.” Durham and Middlefield are rightfully proud of their extensive collections of 18th and 19th century homes. In fact, Durham’s Main Street is a National Historic District. What could be more valuable than to have a knowledgeable presenter from Northeast Utilities speak about making those iconic homes as energy efficient as possible?

Other events planned for the mid-Atlantic region include Happiness Week in and around Media, Pa., including a happiness fair, a plant and seed swap, a happiness choir composed of members of various church choirs in town and a panel discussion on “What is happiness?” Transition State College, PA will be participating in an Earth Day Birthday celebration on April 26 and hosting a learning garden event on April 13.

The Transition group of Howard County, MD, will be sponsoring a bio-blitz at the Howard County Farm Heritage site on Saturday, April 26. The Park and Recreation Division is partnering with scientists and the local Transition group to take a biological census at the site and explain what this census data means to participants. Did you know, for example, that 48,000 caterpillars are necessary to feed a developing nest of chickadees?

Albany, N.Y.’s Transition group will host a bike ride on April 22, Northwest New Jersey’s Transition group will help sponsor an Earth Day celebration at a local organic farm, and the Wilmington, Del. Transition group will sponsor a seed swap, seed-starting demonstration and cold frame building class.

Activities over a broad swath of our area of the country are evidence of a new direction, an awakening at the grassroots level, a local intention to live well now while leaving enough for future generations to live well also.

To find out more about what’s happening to make the mid-Atlantic region more sustainable and resilient, log onto www.transitionmidatlantic.org or www.transitionus.org.

For more information about the local C.A.T. call Sue VanDerzee at (860) 349-0777 or visit our Facebook page (CoginchaugAreaTransitionCAT) for further information.



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