2011 Successes

Lots have happened over the past 12 months! We held our first town-wide forum called Creating Greenfield’s Future: Our Food, Economy, and Community. Leading up to this important discussion about our future, we held a film series and three workshops. As for reducing our energy use, we continued to build on the successes of our 10% Challenge, held another Save $-Save Energy workshop, and in collaboration with the Town we received an EPA Climate Showcase Communities grant and the Town launched the Energy Smart Homes program, which aims to help renters, landlords and homeowners find funds to do energy upgrades on their homes.

All these efforts support the Greening Greenfield campaign, a collaborative effort of the citizen Greening Greenfield Energy Committee (GGEC) and the Town of Greenfield, which aims to use ‘greening’ as the economic and inspirational engine to build a sustainable Greenfield so current and future generations can enjoy life in this beautiful abundant valley.

For more information follow these links:

Cutting our energy Use – Our Successes & Next Steps

Planning for our Future – Forum, Workshops, Films & Master Planning

Fostering Community

Other Exciting Activities in Greenfield – that are ‘greening greenfield’

Cutting Our Energy Use – Our Successes & Next Steps

Our Goal: In 2007 Greenfield set a goal of reducing the amount of money that leaves Greenfield to pay for oil, electricity, natural gas and gasoline, and to reduce by 80% its greenhouse gas emissions by the 2050. This is a daunting task – but we have made great strides!

  • Our 10% Challenge, kicked off in 2008, aimed to get 10% of Greenfield’s 8000 households to take the challenge of reducing their energy use by 10% by the end of 2010. As reported last year, Thanks to your efforts, we exceeded out goal! 1000 households signed up! Our next goal is to get another 10% of the households, or a total of 1600 households to take the challenge by the end of 2012. Please help us by recruiting your friends and neighbors. Tell them to follow this link to find our list of “Easy Things You Can Do,” and to sign up.
  • Our first-ever Greenfield Energy Report Card looked at average energy use per household in Greenfield over the past four years. Our 2050 goal translates into reducing our use by 1.8% per year. Our report card showed that for the past four years, we have cut our energy use for heating by 3.2% and 1.4% for oil and natural gas users respectively – well done! Our electrical use, however only decreased 0.3%. Overall, our collective efforts are working - and we need to keep up the good work! Thank you for your good work!
  • Energy Smart Home program launched: Last year we collaborated with the Town of Greenfield and wrote a grant proposal – and we got it! Our Three-year $160,000 EPA Climate Showcase Communities Grant has enabled the Town to hire a coordinator, canvassers and counselors to help renters, landlords, and homeowners find the funds they need to do energy upgrades to their homes. To find out more, contact them by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or calling 413-772-1389.

Planning for our Future – Forum, Workshops, Films & Master Planning

On November 5, we held our first town-wide forum called Creating Greenfield’s Future: Our Food, Economy, and Community. The over 130 attendees gave high marks to the event held at GCC’s new facility. The event was kicked off by Mayor Martin; Jim Barry, who represented Gov. Patrick's office; and Ben Hewitt, Author of the Town that Food Saved. Attendees then discussed our future in 10 workshops. A report will be given to the Planning Board for consideration during our Master Planning process in 2012.

For a slide show, a great Recorder article about this event, videos of our keynote speakers, and reports click here.

In preparation for the forum, last spring we held a film series and three workshops.

  • At our Spring film series, we showed three movies and held discussions at the YMCA in Greenfield: “A Convenient Truth”, about ideas carried out in Curitiba, Brazil, to address myriad ecological problems present and future; “Dirt”, about how this vital resource can be nurtured; and “What’s on Your Plate,” where school children from the city learn how food is produced, both industrially and organically. A fourth gathering was a panel discussion lead by several of our co-sponsors. Over a hundred people attended one or more of the films. A group is planning another spring film series so stay tuned and join us for provocative information and lively discussions!
  • Three Workshops Explore our Future. In March, we partnered with Pioneer Valley Institute (PVI) to bring Dr. John Mullin, UMass Professor of Regional Planning and Director of the Center for Economic Development for a talk called Greenfield’s Past – Greenfield’s Future. He shared lots of thought-provoking facts and led over the 70 attendees in a very lively discussion about our future. This was followed in April by an equally well-attended workshop led by John Waite, Director of the Franklin County Community Development Corporation called Local Food: Building Our Delicious FutureAlso in April, we partnered with the Town of Greenfield and FRCOG to bring Dr. David Cash, Assistant Secretary for Policy at the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and the Environment to Greenfield. He talked about Massachusetts’ commitment to cut climate change emissions by 25% by 2020, and the first-of-its-kind study called Massachusetts Clean Energy and Climate Plan for 2020that shows how we will accomplish that goal largely through existing policies and programs.

Greenfield Master Planning: We are looking forward to the Greenfield Master Planning process because it will offer us all a great opportunity to talk more about what we want our town to look like in 10 to 40 years from now. The plan will institutionalize that vision and lay out clear steps to achieve that vision. We are following this process closely by talking with Eric Twarog, Greenfield Planning Director, and attending Planning Board meetings. Last year we had a study group where many GGEC members read Master Plans from other communities that have made sustainability a core focus, met with planners from other communities to learn more about the process, as well as actively participate in the Franklin Regional Council of Governments (FRCOG’s) Regional Sustainability Planning process. The public portion of the Greenfield Master Planning process will begin in 2012. If you are interested in pre-planning activities, please let us know by emailing us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Fostering Community

Fostering Community is a key to working toward sustainability – and preparing for our more uncertain world. It is important because it creates connections that we can all use when we need assistance or when we have things or skills to share. (What do you do with all your extra zucchini?) One way to get to know your neighbors is to have a block party with your neighbors – and that is what several GGEC members created for their Allen Street neighborhood. This block party joins others already established in Madison Circle, Orchard Street and elsewhere. A “neighborhood group” that started meeting monthly three years ago also expanded. It got so large that it spit into three separate groups – a west, central, and east group. These groups are eager for new people to join. If you want to join a neighborhood meeting, or start a new block party or neighborhood group and want some tips, please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Other Exciting Activities in Greenfield – that are ‘greening' Greenfield

Food Security and Community: Through the efforts of Just Roots, the Town put 32-acres of its Town Farm on Leyden road into APR (Agricultural Preservation Restriction), so that that this land will be farmed forever, and never developed. Just Roots also received a 15-year contract with the town to manage the 60-acre farm. To find out more, or get involved, follow this link.

Regional Sustainability Plan: The Franklin Regional County of Governments (FRCOG) received a HUD (Housing & Urban Development) grant to create a regional sustainability plan. In September and October they held three public meetings to get input into the plan. The final plan will be published in 2012. It is FRCOG’s hope that the report will be of use to towns in Franklin County who are involved in planning for their future.

Celebrating 200 Years: In July, Greenfield held an event celebrating becoming the County Seat 200 years ago. The purpose of the event was to connect the past, present and future – and to foster community by holding its first-ever town-wide block party. A good time was had by all. GGEC helped by documenting the energy efficiency measures and solar installations that prepare the newly renovated buildings on Bank Row, Olive and Main Streets, for the future, as well as the new energy efficient ATM building at the Greenfield Savings Bank. Information about these futuristic renovations were the heart of the lead article in the event handout. The information is also posted in each of the buildings, and it was integrated into tours of the Town.

Transition Town Greenfield, an effort connected with the international Transition Town movement, was launched. They built a Monument to Oil and participated with it in the Franklin County Fair parade. They also scheduled a forum to discuss Emergency Preparedness for more severe weather events that are anticipated to occur due to Climate Change – only to have it cancelled due to the freak snowstorm on Halloween. They hope to hold this soon along with reskilling workshops.

Award. Greening Greenfield Energy Committee’s own Nancy Hazardreceived recognition for her work at the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association, as director of the Tour de Sol, America’s Green Car Competition and Festival, and with Greening Greenfield Energy Committee (GGEC) from the New England Women In Energy and the Environment. Click here for award info.

 

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