Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Sustainable Farming Program Re-Scheduled

Metacomet Land Trust has re-scheduled its program on Sustainable Farming due to the after effects of today's snow storm...

Please join us Wednesday, December 16th, at the Mendon Senior Center, 62 Providence Street, Mendon for this program with Carolyn and Rob Nicholson of Sweetwilliam Farm (Upton). Rob and Carolyn will discuss Sustainable Farming in our region.

Come hear the perspective of a practicing farmer when Rob and Caroline present our Annual Meeting program. We'll also discuss the important connection our land preservation efforts have to supporting agriculture in the region.

Metacomet's short annual meeting will begin at 6:30, followed by the program with Carolyn and Rob at 7:00. Please stay for refreshments and conversation after the program.

This program is free; a small donation is requested at the door.

If you join Metacomet Land Trust before the end of this year, your modest dues will be extended through the end of 2010.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Green Jobs in Massachusetts

Even as unemployment rates climb, there are opportunities in our area for new careers greening the energy infrastructure of the Bay State and New England.

Recent news stories and links that may lead you to a new job:

Tri-County Regional Tech in Franklin offers a continuing ed course in Photovoltaic Solar Panel Installation. The course starts on Saturday, September 26th and costs $450. One neat thing about this course is that it is scheduled on 4 Saturdays, so if you're still employed, you can test this new field with a weekend course!

Today's Boston Globe includes news that the number of jobs in our solar industry doubled between 2007 and 2008. Should continue to increase, if the Patrick administration can use the Obama energy stimulus plans to keep building more sun-powered facilities in Massachusetts. A formal announcement will be made today at the Cleantech Forum XXIII, happening in Boston.

Of course, sometimes the green economy takes a few media hits - as was obvious this week when Van Jones left the Obama administration precipitously... but news coverage of the Jones snafu's often included the big picture of what he, the President and so many are trying to do. A Google search for Van Jones plus Green Jobs produces over 43 Million results!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Boot Camp on New Media

Volunteers Charles and Monique in our Franklin Area Climate Team were intrigued by Steve Sherlock's quick intro to many cool ideas, tips and tools available for non-profits working on social change. After our meeting, they asked for some more info on some of the tech topics we heard about tonight... Steve blogs about civic issues in the Town of Franklin, Massachusetts, and on a number of personal interests as well. He's volunteered to help FACT maximize its online visibility as we work toward local events on October 24th for the international 350 Teach-In.

On the way out of the meeting, Charles began to put some of the new media concepts together with his own concerns about health care, politics and delivery of information... he's on his way! He asked for some links to sources I've explored over the past three years on my own voyage of discovery into new media and social networking. Others may find this short list helpful, so here it is... please comment and add more links!

Grass Roots Use of Technology conference, sponsored by Organizer's Collaborative, a group I joined after attending in 2006. This year's GRUT will be at Northeastern this year, October 17th, 2009.

Usually OC posts presentations from the past conference, but so far I don't see them on their new site.

One of the interesting thinkers I first met at GRUT is Alison Fine. Alison has published a lot about the new media implications & ramifications that Charles is picking up on. Her blog is good and she also does a monthly podcast called "social good." Her latest book is called "Momentum: igniting social change."

For an introduction to how some people are USING all of this stuff "out of the box" check out "The Action Mill" and co-founder Nick Jehlen... a video of one of Nick's presentation at a past GRUT is now on line at Action Mill. They have a good blog that also is loaded with info on what they're up to. Lots of meat here!

In the parking lot, Charles and I started talking about the Obama Campaign as an example of a modern political campaign that was based on direct contact with the voter, outside the bounds of white male powere structure; the idea of power at the edge rather than at the so-called center of society. For more on the concept of "pushing power to the edges" see Network Centric Advocacy.

The 2005 report which coined the concept of pushing power to the people through technology (I believe) is at this link; Well worth reading.

Another superb source for latest info on how people use the web in a democracy, check out the Pew Center for the Internet and American Life.

Happy reading!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Keeping in Touch - Resources to Help You

Thank you to the brave souls who participated in our short survey on non-profit needs. We found your responses helpful. It's clear from the small sample that everyone sees the need for realistic fundraising goals and budgeting to be able to reach your targets. Other needs include assistance designing new ways of reaching your members and prospects and preparing Board members and volunteers to help the organization.

If you did not take the survey but would like to add your own "two cents" to the dialogue, please email me or comment on this post!

Here are some current links for those working on land conservation or other enviro projects:

The summer 2009 issue of "Saving Land" - the Land Trust Alliance magazine - is filled with news you should know about. The online version is now available for download. It includes a two page spread on the major social networking venues and how they can be applied to your organization.

One of the tools mentioned is the photo sharing site flickr. Here's a new photo group I created for photos of Franklin, Massachusetts and one for the Taunton River Watershed that has many outstanding photographs of the now officially Wild and Scenic Taunton River.

A flickr photo pool is basically an online location for people interested in one place, one activity, or an artistic idea to share their images. Some groups have thousands of members and images. If your organization has even a few members who care about the mission, events and activities you sponsor, it's a fun way for them to share person-to-person without going through your hierarchy.

The first step is to create a free flickr account for someone in your organization - a volunteer or staff - and share a few photos on the web. You have the flexibility to set the copyright protections using standard Creative Commons choices. (You can also restrict access to your family or friends if you want to use flickr as a personal or family photo sharing site.)

Once your flickr page has been started, you can then search for other photos already on flickr that relate to your location or your group's issue. Comment on the ones you like to give feedback to the photog!

When you're ready, you can then join groups set up by others and very easily create a group just for your location or cause. Add your own photos to your new group and then invite others to link their photos. And you're off!

Flickr has a very good Help section that will provide initial FAQ and search tools for assistance.

Of course, if you would like help with all of this, please let me know!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Survey Open: Services Needed by Non-Profit Community

We are working to find solutions to keep your organization healthy and moving forward even during these tough times.

We are currently developing a non-profit service concept that would be based around your organization’s needs and our strengths. No need is too small or too great.

Please accept our invitation to take our short survey on the current needs of the non-profit conservation community and allied organizations at Survey Monkey.

The survey has 10 short questions. You may take it more than once if you work with, or volunteer with, more than one organization. Thank you!

(Survey Monkey offers free accounts for anyone to run a short web-based survey with sophisticated tools to collect and analyze up to 100 responses. Constant Contact offers a trial subscription for its survey tool. Talk to us to learn more about how online surveys could be used by your organization.)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Buying Time: Get The Job Done

Got tech stress?

Do you have great ideas but not enough time to implement? Is your organization clear on its mission and ready to roll out a new project or service but just short of enough hands to actually get your project done?

We can help! Whether it's a needed technology upgrade, permission-based email news, volunteer rewards programs, better events promotion, or media outreach, we can provide hands-on time to help you lead your organization to a higher profile and greater productivity.

Lisa and I are available to help environmental non-profit organizations with project assistance on a freelance, short-term basis. We're currently brainstorming a survey to determine the need for several types of freelance "intervention" for our colleagues in the Massachusetts land trust community.

If you work or volunteer with a non-profit organization in southern New England, please take our short survey at Survey Monkey.

Among the services we can provide:

~ Stress-free, customized training to help manage your online visibility and upgrade technology
~ Permission-based email marketing
~ Website Content updates and promotions
~ Media Outreach
~ Publications: newsletters, annual reports, brochures, website content, proofreading and editing ~ Volunteer recognition programs, member thank you promotions
~ Fundraising events planning and execution

If you just can't wait and need help now, please email Susan or Lisa through the comment/email icon below this post!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Energy Film - Kilowatt Ours

Highly recommend this film if you are interested in "big coal," the impact of mountain-top destruction by coal mines, and how one family can really cut their energy use.

“Kilowatt Ours: A Plan to Re-Energize America,” an award-winning film about energy conservation was shown at the Franklin Public Library, on Wednesday, January 14th at 7:00 p.m. The program was co-sponsored by the Friends of the Franklin Public Library and the Franklin Area Climate Team. The film focuses on how ordinary citizens can take an active role in energy conservation and provides simple solutions that result in health, money and environment-saving measures.

Kilowatt Ours is an inspirational and enlivening film that demonstrates how easy it is to conserve energy that is produced from traditional sources as well as the many ways the average consumer can easily become part of the renewable energy revolution.

“Kilowatt Ours” was chosen as an official selection of the 2008 United Nations Association Film Festival. from environmentalist and filmmaker Jeff Barrie that has sparked a word of mouth sensation, spreading the message of hope and inspiration. With occasional whimsical zest, the film shares how simple changes such as switching incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescents, using energy star appliances, installing adequate insulation and locating and sealing leaks in air duct systems can have significant results. These changes can result in hundreds of dollars saved on home energy annually, millions of dollars in savings for businesses and communities, as well as dramatically reduced carbon footprints.

“The film provides simple energy saving ideas for homes, businesses and schools that significantly lower utility bills,” said the film’s maker, Jeff Barrie. “With rising energy costs and the potential environmental impact, this is an important and timely issue.”

Barrie asks film subjects if they know where their energy comes from – few are aware that over 50% of our power in the U.S. comes from coal, amounting to more than 5 tons of coal burned annually to provide electricity for the average American home. Personalizing the film’s message, Barrie turns the tables on himself and takes viewers along as he and his wife take steps to reduce energy use in their own home. The film features other stories of individuals, businesses, organizations, and communities that are foregoing traditional forms of energy and encouraging conservation, promoting energy efficiency, reducing waste, buying renewable power and saving money.