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Tuesday, March 26 2013

Creating Greenfield’s Future: Visions For 2050

Six years ago, the Town of Greenfield committed itself to becoming a sustainable community by 2050.  Scarce energy resources and new information on climate change are increasing the urgency of that pledge.  Creating Greenfield’s Future: Visions for 2050 will ask us all to look at our lives today and consider what we need to do to meet that 2050 goal. Organized by Greening Greenfield, it will be held Saturday, April 6, from 8:30am-1pm, at the Greenfield Community College’s Dining Common. A $15 registration fee covers lunch and refreshments.

“We have a number of questions that we must consider if we are to meet this goal.   The Sustainable Master Planning process will move us through the next 10 years or so, but we need to think more broadly,” says Susan Worgaftik, member of Greening Greenfield organizing committee. “How are the things we do today building toward a sustainable community and region in 2050?  How will we get from here to there?  What can we do today to move us in that direction?"

“I believe we owe it to our children and grandchildren to think deeply about what we need to change now to create a sustainable future,” said Becca King, a member of the Creating Greenfield’s Future organizing committee. “This is a great opportunity to continue the conversation that was started March 9th, at the town’s Master Planning workshop.”

As a basis for discussion of these questions, the forum will start with four short presentations by area experts on food security, schools and education, health services, and buildings and energy.  This will be followed by discussion of each of these topics in small groups.

“This event is a great opportunity to think about how our work will change in 30 years,” said john Waite, Executive Director of the Franklin County Community Development Corporation. “I expect that the presenters will challenge some of our assumptions and give us some new ways of moving forward.”

The presenters include Abrah Dresdale, head of the Food and Farm Systems programs at Greenfield Community College; Joshua Hornick, teacher at the Four Rivers Charter Public School; Donna Stern, RN at Baystate Medical Center; and Ben Weil, professor of Building Systems at UMass Amherst. Students from the Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter Public School will also share their visions of the future through music.

The forum is organized by Greening Greenfield, a group of concerned citizens working with residents, businesses, and town government. The forum is co-sponsored by the Franklin County Cooperative, the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce, the Franklin County Community Development Corporation, the Greenfield Business Association, the Greenfield Planning Board, and Just Roots. It is supported by the New England Grassroots Environmental Fund.

To register, go to www.GreeningGreenfield.org and look under "Events” for Creating Greenfield’s Future, or mail a $15 check made out to Greening Greenfield with your contact information to 45 Forest Ave, Greenfield, MA 01301. If you have questions, call 413-773-0228.

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