Transition Wayland and the Wayland Schools PTO Green Team would like to thank all the hosts, visitors, sponsors and volunteers for making Wayland's latest Earth Day event a resounding success.
Last year the two organizations put up a traditional fair with booths and activities behind Town Building. Though that too was by all counts a success (400 visitors), they wanted to try something different this year. The goal was to “give Earth Day away” to the community by decentralizing it. They came up with the idea of open houses, open gardens, places of worship and businesses, where things sustainable, resilient and “green” are happening, though not always known to residents.
The invitation to the community elicited a much larger response than they had anticipated. By the April 1 deadline, the schedule counted thirty-four events all over town, north to south, east to west. Some houses offered to be open for two hours, one for twelve, and many opened on both days. It's a good thing it was an Earth Day weekend, because all of it would not have fit into one day. As it was, it was a challenge to fit all of them onto the flier, the printing of which was generously sponsored by Maple Hill Architects (Doug Sacra, aka the Wayland Town Crier's “Green Guy”) and Tempietto Homes (Win Mallett of Toaster House fame). Other publicity included an eleven-week article series in the local press and (re-used) lawn sign invitations coming up by roadsides.
Hosts had prepared tours and handouts of their houses old and new, designed, built or retrofitted for green living, their geothermal systems and lots of solar, mostly photovoltaic but also hot water. Claypit Hill and Happy Hollow showed off their gardens, composting and rainwater catchment. Visitors came to stroll private vegetable and herb gardens, take home seedlings and perennials and try dandelion fritters and pine needle tea. Girl Scouts and BASE offered children's activities. There were horses to pet, bees to watch and baby chicks to hold.
Stop and Shop and Whole Foods offered goodies to customers bringing in their maps, and Russell's Garden Center gave tours of their greenhouses and solar array. Trinitarian and Peace Lutheran welcomed visitors to their efficient buildings and solar PV, respectively. Fireseed Arts invited people to play electric guitars and other instruments made from trash, and the Transfer Station offered a Conservation Committee booth, and free compost. Mainstone farm put its band saw into action and Forty Acres Drive welcomed test drivers for three fuel-efficient cars.
All together, these events received over 600 visits, some from friends and neighbors, many from welcome strangers. There were even people looking to move to Wayland and using this event as a way to explore the town and meet the people. Needless to say, they were impressed. The sunny weather helped walking and biking.
In the end the two organizations could not resist holding one centralized event. The choice of showing Chasing Ice, which made waves earlier in the year in theaters around the world, was an easy one. Thanks to Stop and Shop, who generously sponsored the purchase of the screening rights, and the High School, who hosted it, over fifty visitors watched this breath-taking documentary. It was one of the first grass-roots screenings in the US - in fact, the DVD had arrived in Wayland just the day before.
The conversation that followed brought out both optimism and pessimism about climate change and our ability to deal with it. The same happened after a smaller, living-room screening of Green Fire: Aldo Leopold and the Land Ethic of Our Time, and during conversations at many of the open houses. People have questions, concerns and hopes, and this Earth Day was, in the end, all about the question: how can we live sustainably and resiliently? Even though the event is over, Transition Wayland and the Wayland Green Team want residents to know that the invitation to courageously combat, and adapt to, climate change is outstanding and continuous. They invite Waylanders to visit their websites, contact them, and come to their meetings. (www.transitionwayland.org and www.waylandgreenteam.org)
GRAND KicK-Off EVENT on Friday, APRIL 26, 7:30 - 9 pm
Movie Chasing Ice
Wayland High School Lecture Hall
(Suggested donation: $7)
The mission of the Wayland Earth Day is to unite the community in a broad conversation about sustainable living and climate change. On the weekend of April 27 and 28, 2013, households, businesses, schools and houses of worship all over Town will host Open Houses. Many have already signed up. You can find a full list here. Below you can find our specially designed annotated map as well as a Google map. Click here for a printable schedule.
The following was the invitation we sent out, which resulted in no less than 34 events.
Do you want to host your own open house? Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, address, the time slots you're thinking of, what you would like your event/house to be called, and a blurb (of max 30 words) on what you want to show/talk about.
Here are some suggestions:
show off your ultra-efficient furnace, heat pump, geothermal system, solar PV, etc.
talk about how an energy audit and insulation and other efficiencies changed your fuel consumption, lowered your bills
show off your gardens, orchards and animals (we know, we're talking April: all the more reason to do a Spring garden of lettuce and spinach this year!)
show how lifestyle changes lowered your carbon footprint, upped your health and benefited your pocket book
screen a movie about something you care about, followed by a conversation
hold a talk/conversation about climate change, food shed, school gardens, resilience, the economy, etc.
simply serve cookies, or dinner, and say hello to your neighbors
share what you are planning, what you would like to change, and the mistakes you've made
pair up with neighbors or team up for an Open Neighborhood and/or block party
design your own program and make it fun!
Transition Wayland and the Green Team will take care of putting your event on the map and do the publicity. We will assist you (to the best of our ability!) with the program you have in mind. We would also like to give you a sign-up sheet and brochures about our organizations for your visitors. We will of course encourage people to move about town by walking or biking.
See you around town!
Transition Wayland Wayland Green Team