(Background Music: Bum, bum, ba-bum, Bum, Bum, Ba-Bum, da-da-da…… )
(Scene: Light a match, put to a candle)
Our mission: To create a place that allows people to have a higher, more sustainable quality of life than they currently do. The future presents numerous challenges, and while some of the solutions are known, many are not easily accessible, or even recognized.
The Plan: To create a place with room for sustainability skills to be shared among our neighbors. To make wise use of our resources, and reconnect people with the skills that will make it easier to keep living in our area.
The Situation: Rural America and many small cities are filled with creative people, full of ideas, but lack resources to bring those ideas to reality. They don’t have “urban center” that’s big enough to bring people to their region, and the government’s attention to help create “enterprise zones.”
Solution: Identify a space that is large enough to provide space for needed and under available activities, and make it available for people to use. Users will pay user fees, but be able to charge their own rates for people to participate in that activity ie: sewing instructors need space to spread out their fabric and patterns, yet they can rarely afford a personal studio. They could teach sewing to novice needleworkers, earning money, teaching others self-reliance and help to pay the costs for the maintenance of the facility.
Characters: A non-profit, founded in 2010, developed to create a commercial kitchen, food hub and arts facility so that residents of the region could grow their local economy and sustainability.
A 1860 mill on more than 50 acres, in good condition.
Farmers who need markets and transport services to those markets
Artists of all type who appreciate rural life, but desire workspace and community arts programs to teach and share in.
Seniors citizens who have life skills such as sewing, cooking, woodworking, animal husbandry, who need incomes, but can’t travel far from home due to mobility concerns.
People of all ages who are seeking education, instruction and access to the knowledge and skills held by those listed above.
Young people and animal enthusiasts who have lost exhibition spaces, and though they want to learn about agriculture, or be active in pet based activities, they lack those opportunities.
Foes: Apathy among neighbors who lack financial resources to create this project without outside help.
Corporations who have taught the public that they need short cuts and “extra time,” so that they can provide lower quality, higher priced products with negative effects on the users, the community and the Earth.
A sense of doom and gloom that people are inherently selfish and the environment is beyond the help of any individual.
A less than supportive town government who could not see that such a vision is not an overnight solution.
Assets: An existing non-profit, North Country Sustainability Center,
An historical mill complex with ample space for all planned endeavors, with easy access to potential hydropower, solar power and interstate transportation
A willing and eager group of users who are currently struggling to build their businesses in isolation, but recognize that they could grow faster or in some cases, even begin, if they had access to such a facility.
How can you help?
If you live in New England, come to the John McCutcheon Concert in Fitchburg, a great fundraiser for North Country Sustainability Center, Inc. The venue is right off Route 2, near the center of the Bay State. Tickets are $20 for adults $15 for students. Details at www.northcountrysustain.org/concert.html
Can’t attend the concert, donate to our nationwide fundraisers: Crowdrise at North Country Sustainability Center, or Indiegogo.com at http://www.indiegogo.com/NCSCTools?a=521984 or donate directly to North Country Sustainability Center at PO Box 914, Ashburnham, MA 01430 or Pat@northcountrysustain.org at PayPal.
Share this message, retweet, reblog, or just forward it to everyone you know. This is a model for a sustainable region, with shared use facilities, education for alternative energy and sustainable agriculture, and a celebration of our local arts, all of which builds local economies and quality of life.
Time Frame: We have been evicted from our temporary home which did not allow us to address the most important needs of our community. We need to finish paying the oil bill and we need to prove that our concept is feasible by raising the down payment for the mill in an adjacent town. Lots of acreage, lots of space, and a town that understands that creativity needs nurturing, but is worth it in the long run. Our artists and crafters have lost a selling space just before the Holiday season. We don’t want them to miss another one.
If you look at the situation in New York and New Jersey, or what happened in Vermont last year, you sometimes see just the initial frustration and fear. But the rebuilding is a long, onerous process that will need the skills that NCSC can teach. If it can happen there, it can happen in another way, anywhere. Help us create that “go to place” for our neighbors, and for yours.
Extra bonus: Something positive to do while we all await the direction of this country based upon our Presidential choice. All donations will be placed on our email list, so you will receive updates as to how NCSC is proceeding. Be a team member and please accept this Mission: Possible.
Remember in the old television show, or the movie series, things always looked impossible, but they always succeeded. No need for disguises or CGI. Just show the doubters that we can help each other, ourselves and the planet, if we just show each other the way. Help us be that light for you, and for others.
(Candle flame phases into a fire in a woodstove, )
(Overlay of phrase: Sustainability: Whatever it takes to keep living here.)