by Liz Graves on Environment, News, News-Featured
Mount Desert Islander news story
BAR HARBOR — A Climate to Thrive (ACTT), a group with the goal of making Mount Desert Island energy independent by 2030, presents a gathering featuring Sen. Angus King on Sunday, July 31, from 3-5:30 p.m. at the Mount Desert Island High School.
The event includes a speaker session in the high school gym, coordinator Johannah Blackman said. Lisa Pohlman, executive director of the Natural Resources Council of Maine and Julia Dundorf, executive director of the New England Grassroots Environmental Fund (NEGEF) are set to speak. There will be music by the Sam Reeves quartet and a performance by the Barn Arts Collective.
MDI High School student Ellie McGee will introduce King. Representatives of ACTT working groups on alternative energy, building efficiency, transportation, waste management, food systems and public policy will present brief updates.
Later, the event will move into the school cafeteria for ice cream by Morton’s Moo and more informal conversation. Each of the working groups will have displays set up for more information on their work and how people can get involved.
“This project can better serve the island the more people that are involved, voicing what they want and what they need” Blackman said.
Blackman said she hopes as many MDI residents as possible will get involved. “There’s literally space for everybody. I truly feel this project has the potential to make a difference, and that’s because it’s so focused on solutions and action, and on employing the creativity of people on this island. Rather than looking outside for resources and channeling money off the island, this work does have the potential to bring resources and jobs back to the island. It’s very much at the core about the year-round population here.”
A Climate to Thrive began as a volunteer project of Mount Desert Island residents and now has official status through NEGEF, program manager Ruth Poland said. That status allows them to accept tax-deductible donations. They also have received some grant funding from the National Resources Council of Maine and private donations, supporting two part-time staff positions.
Emera Maine, ReVision Energy and Friends of Acadia are sponsors of the event. Camp Beech Cliff leaders and counselors-in-training created original artwork to be displayed in the gym vestibule entrance.
On Monday, Aug. 1, King also is expected to attend a 9 a.m. groundbreaking ceremony for a planned community solar farm at the Bar Harbor Public Works facility, along with town councilors and other public officials.