350 Day in Farmington – October 24 – Schedule of Events

350 Day, Farmington, Maine

Date: October 24th

The Idea:

Towns, cities, schools, places of worship, and other institutions around the world are sponsoring events to raise awareness about energy issues and climate change.

Our Town:

A full day of events that focus attention on combating climate change, reducing energy use (and saving money!), and celebrating the natural riches of Maine.


8 am:

350 Bell Ringing

The Old South Congregational Church will ring its bells 350 times to usher in the International Day of Climate Awareness

8:30 am-12:30 pm:

The Community Energy Challenge Workshop

Old South Congregational Church, Maine Street, Farmington

Well-known energy guru Dr. Charlie Wing will lead a free workshop on key concepts of the Energy Challenge, a program using simple home energy assessments and weatherization to improve people’s homes.
Free but space is limited, please reserve your place by email. Training workshops will be held at later dates for volunteers.

Sponsors: Franklin County Energy Resource Team & United Way of the Tri-Valley Area (via a grant from the Maine Commission for Community Service)

For more info: conservationfair.wordpress.com/join-the-community-energy-challenge/ and Nancy Teel (nteel@localnet.com) or Isaac Frith (intern@uwtva.org)

9 am–3 pm:

Free Electronics Recycling

Aubuchon Hardware Parking Lot, Rt 2 & 4, Farmington

Free recycling of TVs. Computers, monitors, and other electronic devices

Sponsor: Old South Congregational Church, Farmington; co-sponsored by UMF Sustainable Campus Coalition
For more info: www.ewastemaine.com or contact Magri@maine.edu

10 am-4 pm:

The Farmington Conservation Fair

Community Center, Middle Street, Farmington

A full day of energy exhibitors, workshops, speakers, local foods, and more – free!

We’re asking for a donation towards to reimburse the work of area businesses that donated light breakfast refreshments. Thanks for the support of Upfront & Pleasant, Marble Family Farms, The Chocolate Shoppe, The Lost Bikini Cafe and Two Oaks for go for helping to provide food and drink.

11-12:15 PM

Farmington Conservation Fair Keynote Address

Local Living: Having Fun Playing the Sustainability Game

Dion Olmstead: weatherization & sustainable home design
Iver Lofving: affordable renewable energy for the home
Chris Knapp: local, sustainable living

Organizer: Jeremy Smith; co-sponsored by the UMF Sustainable Campus Coalition, Koviashuvik Local Living School.

For more info or for exhibitor sign up: Jeremy Smith (350conservationfair@gmail.com) & conservationfair.wordpress.com/tag/350-org/

1-2:30 pm:

Talk on Bioefficiency by Will Bonsall

North Dining Hall, UMF

Will is a leader in the conservation of crop genetic resources, Director of Scatterseed in Industry, a director of Seed Savers national organization, and author of Yaro Tales.

Plenty of time for Question & Answer and Discussion

Organizer: Jeremy Smith
For more info: 350conservationfair@gmail.com & conservationfair.wordpress.com/tag/350-org/

1-3 pm:

Tours of Sustainability & Nature at UMF

Sign up in the foyer of the Education Center, UMF

Four free tours: Education Center, Aramark Food Services, Arboretum, Local Geology

While on a tour, drop off your kids for mask making (see below)

Sponsor: UMF Sustainable Campus Coalition
For more info: Valerie Huebner (huebner@maine.edu) or Drew Barton (Barton@maine.edu)

1-3 pm:

Children! Make Halloween Masks from Recycled Materials

Lobby, Education Center, UMF

Free for children 4-12 years of age

Sponsors: Alpha Phi Omega (UMF Service Club), UMF’s Everyone’s Resource Depot, UMF Sustainable Campus Coalition.

For more info: Ruby Bond (ruby.l.bond@maine.edu), Valerie Huebner (huebner@maine.edu), or Drew Barton (Barton@maine.edu)

4 pm (sharp):

350 Day Outdoor Video Shoot

High Street Commuter Lot, UMF

Want to be on YouTube? Here’s your chance!
Join us wearing a green shirt or jacket, and bring a bike if you can

Sponsors: UMF Sustainable Campus Coalition and UMF SEA-Change
For more info: Valerie Huebner (huebner@maine.edu) or Drew Barton (Barton@maine.edu)

5-7 pm:

Community Potluck Supper

Old South Congregational Church, Main Street, Farmington

Dishes accepted at the church starting at 2 pm

Local foods encouraged but not required.

Sponsor: Old South Congregational Church
For more info: Eileen Liddy (epliddy@yahoo.com)

7:30 pm:

350 Day Concert – “The Power of Music”

Nordica Auditorium, UMF

Great variety of local talent performing songs and readings that inform, inspire and entertain, including Ruth Hill, Bill Berlinghoff, Jane Parker, Seth Fogg, members of Northfield, a children’s chorus, UMF student members of Cleffnotes, and many others.

Song Contest, the winner performed at the concert!

Sponsor: WordPlay Theater; co-sponsored by the UMF Sustainable Campus Coalition

For more info: Sarah Sloane (Sloane@maine.edu or 778-4770) and https://conservationfair.wordpress.com/
Free! (Donations accepted to cover costs.)


Nordica Evening Program for October 24th


WordPlay Theater


A Song-writing Contest

For the 350 Day Celebration on October 24th!

Do you have a song you’ve written about the current global climate crisis? Have you always wanted to write one? Now is your chance! Write and submit a song to our contest and win the opportunity to perform or have it performed on the evening of October 24th in Nordica Auditorium during the 350 Day Concert.

For those of you who don’t yet know, 350 Day is an international day of global climate awareness. The number “350” refersto the highest amount of carbon dioxide (in parts per million) in the atmosphere that can be sustained without global climate change occurring. We are well above that number now and climbing. Communities throughout the world are planning many activities to raise the awareness of this crisis on Oct 24th; Farmington along with UMF has a full day of activities planned.

WordPlay Theater is putting together an entertaining and informative evening concert featuring such local performers as Bill Berlinghoff, Ruth Hill, and many others. The theme of the concert is “what can musicians do?” and will capstone the day’s activities in Farmington. Musicians historically have had great impact on people in many ways: increasing awareness, stimulating change, amusing, and distracting, for example. The 350 concert will do all those and more, using music and song both from today and from the past.

We would love to include a local song written just for this occasion. So we are sponsoring a contest. All types of original songs will be considered.  They can be funny, serious, informative, folksy, modern, classical-sounding, solo, ensemble, etc.  The only criteria are that the song deals with the issue at hand specifically (global climate change) and that it can be performed with minimal staging.

The winning song will be performed in the evening during the 350 Day Concert in Nordica Auditorium on Oct 24th at 7:30 PM.   For those of you who write songs but would rather not get up and perform, we have willing singers available to do that for you.  For those of you who like to perform, we would love to have you sing your song yourself!

The judges (not involved themselves in the show at all) will be making their decision based on originality, appropriateness of the theme, musicality, and performability.   Judging will be blind (no names given to judges).

Deadline for submissions is October 12th.  The winner will be announced the following week.  Simply send a recording of the song (rough is ok!) or a link on the web and a print-out of the lyrics to Sarah Sloane via email (Sloane@maine.edu) or snailmail (Division of Natural Sciences, UMF, Farmington, ME 04938).

Please call (778-4770) or email me with questions.

Fall 2009 UMF-Wide Forum on Climate: Schedule Of Events

Fall 2009 UMF-Wide

Forum on Climate


October 15 Thursday 12 PM
Thomas Auditorium (Preble 117)
Speaker:Dr. Drew Barton

How did changing climate affect life in the past?

Is there already a detectable fingerprint of climate change on living systems today?

What might we expect in the future?

The last part of the talk will focus on Maine and New England.

October 24 Saturday – All Day
Farmington Community Center
& UMF Education Building

350.org and local community affiliates
& UMF Sustainable Campus Coalition

Farmington Conservation Fair 2009:

Sustainable Practices for Farms, Businesses, & Community



October 29 Thursday 12 PM
Lincoln Auditorium (Roberts C131)
Speakers: Drs. Linda Beck, Scott Erb,
and James Melcher & Nancy Varin

How can political systems, at the international, national, and local levels, realistically contribute to solving the problem?

November 5 Thursday
All events in Lincoln Auditorium (Roberts C131)
12PM: Dr. Paul Mayewski

• What is climate?
• Why does climate change?
• How fast does climate change?
• Have humans impacted climate?
• How small a change in climate is
• Is recent climate change part of a
natural process or in a “new
• Where do we go next?
• What do we do next?

4pm: Dr. William Ruddiman

• Greenhouse-gas trends in recent millennia differed
from those of previous interglaciations.
• Previously, they had always gone down; this time they
went up.
• These unexpected reversals in gas trends coincide
with the spread of agriculture.
• Conclusion: humans started interfering with (and
warming) climate thousands of years ago.
• Modeling experiments suggest these gas emissions
stopped the onset of a new ice age.
• CO2 levels then dropped significantly during the
cooling into the Little Ice Age (1200-1800 A.D.).
• Pandemics that killed tens of millions of people were
a major cause of these drops.
• As farmers died, forests reclaimed the land and took
up large amounts of CO2.
• So: pandemics were a significant factor in causing the
Little Ice Age.

7pm: Panel discussion with Drs.
Ruddimanand Mayewski moderated
by UMF Provost Allen Berger
November 19 Thursday,
Lincoln Auditorium (Roberts C131)
Speaker: Dr. Thomas Eastler

Energy is the fundamental limiting factor. Solutions to the energy-climate problem include: using less, greater efficiency, non-fossil sources, and (if carbon is sequestered) carbon-based

Lots to Be Excited About!


I apologize for not being very on top of things with my blog posts. It has been a while and much has been going on to promote and develop our day on October 24th, so I’d like to provide some of the information that I’ve recently received and present it to you.

It seems that with the start of new school year (I teach at Maranacook Community High School in Readfield, Maine) has left me a bit behind as a provider of information.   In attempt to inform those of you who are watching this event and planning to attend or present here, I wanted to provide you with some information relevant to events and the overall day that we are planning. As the blog title indicates, we are excited and enthusiastic. Motivated by the support of a wonderful community and the contacts made from around the state of Maine, we’re celebrating some of the people that will be presenting workshops and speaking at the fair on October 24th.

Nancy Teel

First and foremost, due to the hard work of Nancy Teel, who is a member of CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) and the Franklin County Energy Resource Team.  We have some workshop offerings that are very timely, providing training and expertise around the issues of winterization and energy efficient window design. We are extremely proud to mention that Nancy will be at the Conservation Fair and that she is putting her focused talents to work for the community once again.  Her project, the Weatherization Project, involves using community resources to build windows for those in need and is sponsored by the United Way of the Tri-Valley Area.

Below, Nancy explains the connection and why CERT was formed:

“I am a member of both CERT and the Franklin County Energy Resource Team.  CERT stands for Community Emergency Response Team and is connected to Franklin County Emergency Management Agency. We train and are prepared to respond to various emergencies that could occur within our community. The Franklin County Energy Resource Team was formed last summer in response to the potential energy crisis that could have happened in our community because of the high cost of oil. It is comprised members of the United Way of the Tri-Valley Area, Western Maine Community Action, SeniorsPlus, Healthy Community Coalition, Franklin Memorial Hospital, Franklin County EMA, the Farmington Area Ecumenical Ministry, United Methodist Ecumenical Ministry, town and county officials,  SAD 9 Adult ED, the Opportunity Center, and State Reps from the greater Franklin County area.

Last year this team focused efforts on coordinating and consolidating all the agencies efforts so there wasn’t overlap and that hopefully people didn’t fall through the cracks. A flyer was created that would give people a clear idea of who to call when they needed assistance, like running out of oil. The Warming Center evolved out of this group. We continue to meet and will be redefining our mission. Supporting the Weatherization Project has introduced one such effort.”

In preparation for October 24, Nancy has used her extensive community expertise and connections with Habitat for Humanity to bring the work of talented builder and consultant, Charlie Wing to fair-goers.  I am pleased to announce that she and Charlie will be organizing a informational workshop for the purposes of organizing a core of volunteers, titled the Energy Challenge. The workshop will be held from 8:30 AM to 12:30 PM at Old South Congregational Church on Main Street in Farmington, with registration to begin at 8 AM. With the with help from  Nancy and Charlie, an author and co-founder of the Shelter Institute, volunteers will have a chance to help make window panels at trainings to be held later in the coming months. This program is just getting started and the purpose of the informational workshop to sign people up and provide an overview of the project. Come find out how to become an energy evaluator, or sign up for a FREE energy evaluation.

A little background on the Energy Challenge:

In the last couple of years, Charlie has generously donated his expertise to Habitat for Humanity Seven Rivers and the United Way of Midcoast Maine, both located in Bath, ME. Last winter, in a collaborative effort, they performed the Step 1 Weatherization Program in mid-coast Maine. By focusing on four simple strategies, air leakage reduction from the most obvious places, installing interior storm windows panels, creating a comfort zone, and replacing traditional light bulbs with CFL’s, home energy bills were reduced least 25%.

Results: The estimated savings of weatherizing 76 homes with an investment of $8,814 will save $32,475 annually!  Individual homeowner’s will save $376!
(Personal notes: Midcoast Maine Weatherization Forum, July 29th, 2009)

Due to the amazing success of the program, they are now making the program available to anyone interested in beginning a grass-roots effort in their own community. With the support of  Franklin County Energy Resource Team,  Western Mountain Alliance, Western Maine Community Action, Mission at the Eastwood, SAD 9 Adult ED,Hammond Lumber, Mt. Blue/Foster Tech, and grants provided by the United Way of the Tri-Valley Area,, this program is in the early stages in our own community.

Relying strictly on volunteers to make it happen, there are various ways to participate.

  • Attend the informational workshop scheduled with Charlie Wing on Oct 24th. The workshop is FREE but participants will be encouraged to participate in either two home evaluations or two window-making workshops. Space is limited so sign up early!
  • Become an Evaluator: As an evaluator, volunteers will make 2 scheduled visits to participating homes: performing basic weatherization strategies and measuring 6 windows for interior storm window panels. Attending Charlie Wing’s workshop is mandatory. Basic carpentry and good people skills are helpful.
  • Help make window panels. In community trainings scheduled for Saturday mornings (throughout late fall/early winter, dates to be announced), volunteers will learn specific skills about window construction and energy evaluations. Volunteering with the Energy Challenge is a fun opportunity to build your own window panels and help your neighbors build theirs. Very few skills are needed. Specific dates and locations of the trainings TBA, so stay tuned for more information. Please be sure to attend the informational workshop on October 24 at Old South, if interested.
  • Sign up for a home evaluation. This will be offered FREE to all low and moderate-income Franklin County residents. Those interested or able are encouraged to pay for materials.  All low to moderate income Franklin County residents are eligible to participate in this program for FREE. Those interested and able are encouraged to pay for materials. Due to funding constraints, the numbers of audits are limited at this time, so sign up early!
  • Donate time, money and/or materials. Contact Nancy Teel for “Wish List” details. Organizational help would be greatly appreciated!

Keynote Speakers

Chris Knapp of Koviashuvik Local Living School has been working hard to get a well-rounded triad of speakers to keynote our conference.  Along with himself as a speaker, Chris has successfully secured Iver Lofving and Dion Olmstead to speak on the morning of October 24 at 11 AM. We are looking forward to hearing from these three experts on LEED Certification and winterizing and sustainable home design (Dion), Permaculture and Low-Impact Living (Chris) and retro-fitting your home and lifestyle easily and affordably with simple, money-saving, earth-friendly solar and renewable components (Iver).

Special Guest Speaker

Will Bonsall, who will be speaking on bioeffieciency at MOFGA’s Common Ground Fair in Unity, Maine (Friday, September 25 at 10 AM) on  speak at 3 PM on October 24 about bioefficiency .  We are looking forward to hearing about Will’s new book, Yaro Tales and gain a broader glimpse into the biological and ecological benefits and impacts of small scale veganic farming and a bioefficient lifestyle.

Daytime Events For Children

APO service fraternity is taking part in an on-campus event on the UMF Campus will be organizing an afternoon event for children and that is still in the planning stages, but will most likely involve art and recycled materials from Everyone’s Resource Depot, located on the UMF campus.

Evening Program

There is an evening program being planned for 7:30 at Nordica Auditorium and it is being organized by Sarah Sloane, a UMF faculty member and part of the Farmington community.  Information will be released soon about the song contest that will be culminate with a winning composition to be presented during the night’s festivities.  More information on how to enter the song contest will announced soon, so stay tuned!

More in the Works

There is a lot more in the works. Folks are stepping forward in various areas and there will be breakaway workshops, presentations from local high school students about renewable efforts happening at their schools and loads of other things, such as door prizes and possibly a local foods luncheon or dinner being planned on October 24th.  Stay tuned!

Please Support Your Local Agricultural Fair

As with our fair, I encourage you, the reader, to get out and enjoy some of the agricultural fairs happening around the state this month as you plan your weekends or free time.

Why We Need A Green Revolution

The Background

In case you never saw Al Gore’s movie, An Inconvenient Truth or read his book of the same name, according to information compiled by the world’s geologists, climatologists and other researchers, our human impact in the last few centuries may have greatly changed life here on earth as we know it. The correlation is examined in a fair amount of detail on the EPA website.

On the other side of things, there are others going out of their way to disprove many of Al Gore’s points. Here are more than several links to illustrate the areas that Gore’s critics say are falsehoods.*

I have to say that its hard to know what research to believe, I haven’t had the time to boil it all down and examine the heart of the dissent.

Here is a story on the US Chamber of Commerce weighing-in with their thoughts on Climate change being manmade.

Seems interesting that the US Chamber of Commerce is threatening the EPA with a lawsuit, considering it missed the deadline for public comment. This seems to be the best summary of what the Chamber wants to reveal about the EPA’s findings. But there is something that we can do and lots being done already to attempt to change the course of an already-warming planet. Climate change is real and we are causing it, at least according to what I interpreted as true. Interesting! Here is a petition to check out related to the Chamber of Commerce/EPA issue.

No matter what your thoughts are on the level of human involvement on our resources and the connections that are made between things like deforestation, water usage, and drought, there are, I think many ways that humans are contributing to a changing world environment. The footage from the video above of the methane bubbling in the arctic is just a little scary..

Unfortunately, as you may remember from Gore’s film, we can’t resurrect the cooler temperatures from years ago by dropping a giant ice cube in the oceans by aircraft like the cartoon. And if we are creating the phenomenon known as global warming, then it should be our duty to try and conserve what resources a changing world may require. With an enormous range of biodiversity on our planet, climate change may effect chances for survival of the species of plants and animals and humans in proximity to the effected areas.

As I sit here writing this, I’m looking at the number of mistakes, inaccuracies, frauds or inconsistencies that one website cites that Mr. Gore is considered to have wrongly stated. Give it a read, at the following link: http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/monckton/goreerrors.html Ha, 35 errors! Most of these are related to the lack of scientific accuracy that a British Judge and others have accused Gore of exhibiting in his 2006 film. So, then I kept reading and looking and found this article, where two British Professors reason that the issues that Gore is supposed to have mentioned that were inaccurate are largely within debatable areas of the scientific research.

How fast will the trends continue or increase? How much water will there be? No one knows, mostly because we can’t predict the future. There are some troubling trends in the past 30 years, however. So, I guess it might be better to err on the side of being overcautious with the earth? No, definitely, we shouldn’t worry? What do you think? In a democratic society, a lot of discussion takes place and guess what? The people get to decide, with their vote! Or maybe you get an event like a full-blown lawsuit between theUS Chamber of Commerce and the US Environmental Protection Agency.

Oh, so I guess that means we should just argue with this issue and not take any action? Congress is still out on this one… To the reader, I leave it up to you everyday to make decisions about how much water you use daily, how far your food travels, and how full your trash cans are every week, etc.

Remember, we do influence the future with our current actions and if you have a mind to change things, you can. That’s all I have to say to wrap this part of the blog post up.. Thanks for listening! If you want to change your own personal habits and influence others, you can. Remember, this is America and people do pretty much what their neighbors do. Read NOAA’s statement about climate change and the weather associated with higher carbon levels.

The solution?

What if your neighbor is Iver Lofving? I met Iver last week and he invited me to show me how he and his wife save money and cut their dependence on fossil fuels by what he believes to be about half.
Here is the Youtube.com video where I interview Iver and actually testdrive a solar-powered vehicle that he owns called the SUNNev. The vehicle is a small, low-range, low-speed, light two-seater made in nearby Norridgewock, Maine. Here is Iver showing me around his Skowhegan home and letting me try out his SUNNev:

Iver will be one of the keynote speakers at this year’s Conservation Fair and we are excited to have him scheduled. I will be posting the Fair Schedule soon, so you will understand what will take place, hour by hour. He was interviewed by the folks at CNN, after being volunteered by others on a Peak Oil Website that Iver visits. Here is that footage, enjoy!:

*Here are the articles about Al Gore’s alleged innaccuracies and exaggerations:








Interested in being at this year’s Conservation Fair?

Conservation Fair Logo

Conservation Fair Logo


Fair Brochure with Link .doc format

Fair Brochure with Link .pdf format

Fair Layout Diagram.jpg

Conservation Fair Agreement For Release

Hi everyone,

Directly above my greeting on this page are the registration materials for this year’s Farmington Conservation Fair. In the Conservation Fair Exhibitor’s Agreement file, you will find a copy of our contract which you should fill out, sign and return to me either electronically or by mail if wishing to be a vendor/exhibitor.

I will process registrations for the fair in the order in which they are received at my address which is clearly indicated on the letter enclosed within the attached file, mentioned above.

As many of you already know, there is no cost to participate, this is planned as a community service event that we are putting on with the incredibly gracious offer by the Farmington Department of Parks & Recreation who has waived the fee for us to use the Community Center. There will be speakers, exhibitors, hopefully (weather-permitting) rides in a solar-powered car, local tours & breakaway sessions with local individuals, businesses, and groups offering products and services contributing to the emerging sustainability economy.

Registration will remain open until Saturday, October 10 at 11:59 PM or until all 30 spots are filled, whichever comes first.

Thank you for your interest,

You may contact me in one or all of the following ways:

* By cell phone at (207) 232-4691
* By land line at (207) 778-9636
* Via email at 350conservationfair@gmail.com

PS: Very soon, I will be putting printed copies of the brochure in area businesses and mailing them to local individuals, businesses, and groups. If you would like to help with distributing brochures locally or by mail, please drop me a line!


Pedal-Powered Tuesdays Draw to a Close

Riders Assemble at the Gazebo on 8/25 for the last Pedal-Powered Tuesday of 2009

Riders Assemble at the Gazebo on 8/25 for the last Pedal-Powered Tuesday of 2009

That’s all folks! Pedal-Powered Tuesdays draw to a close and we thank you for getting out your old ten-speed, mountain bike, cruiser, or whatever and coming for a spin with us in the name of earth-friendly, non-motorized travel. Hope to see you next year!

In the video above, Dr. Douglas Reusch, Assistant Professor of Geology at UMF, speaks about the potential allies that certain rocks like serpentine will play in a Carbon Sink process being developed for large scale carbon sequestration

Here are a couple photos from the past couple weeks.

Pedallers Grilling on the Sandy River

Pedallers Grilling on the Sandy River

On August, 18 a few riders and I went for a cruise down to the Sandy River to make an impromptu swim & meal..

The Falls at Cascade Leisure Park

The Falls at Cascade Leisure Park

On August 25, we rode to the Cascade Leisure Park out behind the Farmington Fairgrounds. If you’ve never checked the great waterfalls out there, please do so.. Its a beautiful spot and very close to town!

Check the Flickr “recent photos” box on the right for more!