Concord CAN launches education initiative

ConcordCAN, Concord-Carlisle Adult and Community Education (CCACE), and MA Audubon’s Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary will join forces in providing a variety of community education opportunities in and around Concord this fall. ConcordCAN’s programs are designed to help Concord citizens understand how to lead more sustainable lifestyles by reducing carbon footprints and greenhouse gas emissions, conserving natural resources and energy, while protecting and celebrating the environment.

ConcordCAN will offer monthly workshops entitled “CarbonCalc Nights”, starting in late September. Workshop participants will meet in local computer labs to calculate their household’s carbon footprint and then, as a group, explore actions they can take to reduce their footprint through changes in personal habits and household energy systems. Trained ConcordCAN members will lead the workshops.
Some Concord residents may be ready to make changes in their home energy systems, but not quite sure how to evaluate the many options available and/or what improvements are most effective. In November, Andy Proulx and Mark Garvey will co-lead an interactive workshop entitled “How to Reduce Your Home Energy Expenses”. Proulx and Garvey will show you how to conserve home energy use while reducing energy costs and carbon emissions. Alternative energy options will also be discussed.

As food prices continue to escalate due to the effects of climate change and peak oil, finding healthy food in our local communities and backyards is becoming increasingly important. Buying local and growing your own is part of adopting a more sustainable lifestyle. This fall Drumlin will join ConcordCAN in co-sponsoring two important adult workshops in Concord.

In late October Tia Pinney, Drumlin Farm’s Adult Program Coordinator, will offer “Eating Responsibly”. Pinney will help us understand how to make responsible food choices that build the local economy, support responsible agriculture and keep the planet and us healthy. How did we ever live without freezers, microwaves and take-out? We’ll sample foods we might have eaten before electricity was available and learn that it really is possible to eat locally in New England during the winter.

Early in October, Robin Wilkerson, in conjunction with Drumlin Farm, will lead a workshop in Concord entitled “Small Scale Agriculture: Growing Fruits and Vegetables in the Home Landscape”. This workshop will offer expert guidance on planning, planting and growing your own edible landscape. Wilkerson will cover seed selection and ordering, building simple compost piles that work, easy ways to control weeds and many other great ideas that inspire and educate the beginner as well as the experienced food gardener.
In addition to Concord based workshops, watch for ConcordCAN’s promotion of ‘The Ultimate GREEN Lawn’, led by Jackson Madnick, a local environmentalist, at Drumlin Farm. Madnick has created a fescue mix that will make your lawn more ecologically friendly and substantially easier to maintain. Learn how to save time, money and water on your lawn and still have the greenest lawn on your street, all the while protecting the environment. His grass mix is more drought tolerant, requires no fertilizer or water after it’s established, and little to no cutting, forever! Drumlin Farm will be hosting this workshop and co-sponsoring with New England Wild Flower Society.
Concord-Carlisle Adult and Community Education (CCACE) will be playing a vital role in promoting ConcordCAN’s educational programs and helping to find space within the Concord Public Schools to host them. They will also be joining with ConcordCAN and Drumlin Farm in finding some first class speakers on topics related to climate change, sustainability, and Peak Oil. Specifics will be appearing over the next few months in the Concord Journal; on the Concord Conserves website (www.concordconserves.org/);on CCTV’s Community Bulletin Board; and in the educational catalogues of Drumlin Farm and Concord-Carlisle Adult and Community Education. For further information, or to join with ConcordCAN in planning their programs, contact Hasso Ewing at hassoewing@comcast.net.

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