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.
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!
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.
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.