Transition Bolton Landing

large__3363269509 What is Transition Bolton Landing? An organization based on a growing global movement that fosters local community responses to fossil fuel and climate predicaments, and their growing impact on our economy and life styles. Over a thousand communities all over the world, including Bolton Landing, have started thinking of what can be done to lower our dependence on fossil fuels in almost every area of our lives. Not just thinking, but how to put creative solutions into action. How did the Transition concept come to Bolton Landing? Bill Campbell, a twenty-year resident, was familiar with the beauty of the area since childhood. He was drawn to settle here because the land and water are protected by statute, and the quality of both are highly valued by the people who live here. A couple of years ago Bill heard about Transition Initiatives from a friend who had taken the training. The concepts sounded very interesting, so Bill invested $200 and took the training for himself. What really got his attention were the various possibilities for local actions that could be taken to address small_372789099 shipvery real and fast-growing energy issues. A former transportation broker, Bill understood just how dependent we all are on goods from afar, and how that “just ship it” method is simply not a sustainable option in view of today’s energy realities. When Bill came home from the training he called a few friends. That core group called a community meeting to talk about the Transition model and the local possibilities. “Transition Initiative is about each community taking on projects that would serve that locale – address the issues that make sense for them – and most of all, people taking on projects they are passionate about.” Several initiatives were born at that fist meeting – Eva Bird really wanted a Farmers’ Market (, Jane Caldwell had already started a Community Garden, (; Laura Breakenridge began work on a local food co-op, and I offered my services to create a web site: That spring and summer were spent bringing in films, speakers, and holding lots of potluck dinners to raise awareness and connect with like-minded people in the community. At one of the group meetings Justin Warren and Brian Allen began pursuing possibilities for energy and fuel purchasing co-ops, as well as residential solar grants and home efficiency programs. Different groups started discussions about shared rides and public transportation, computer training, an hour bank (work traded hour for hour), a community help list, free trades (if you want it, come pick it up), and the seeds were planted for the first Transition Harvest Fest – including the return of the Bolton bed races, canoe races, lots of food, and music, of course. The Second Annual Fall Festival is happening on September 22, 2012, details below – don’t miss it! The Transition Initiative model firmly believes in having fun while doing something positive. For example, the work day at the community garden: people got dirty, sweated, swatted bugs, made new friends, and enjoyed themselves thoroughly. Jane Caldwell spearheaded the garden effort, and coordinated a community dinner shared by all the workers at the end of the day. It was a wonderful community experience, and the gardens are open for community use. Positive community efforts have been emphasized from the first meeting. What serves Bolton Landing? What makes sense for us? What can we do here, in our own area, to help ourselves now and in the future? What are our strengths, weaknesses, and how can we be resilient through turbulent times?  Shop and buy locally, share resources, help our neighbors, come together for larger efforts and projects, like building the Community Gardens that are now alive and well and sharing their harvest. There are so many possibilities. The Transition group really supports “envisioning smart and innovative alternatives that offer an improved quality of life: long-term, low impact solutions that use renewable and sustainable resources…building a better future with our neighbors – programs for sharing efforts and resources, reducing waste, recycling, reusing, addressing the needs of our seniors and youth….” and so much more. One of the main concepts is very exciting: “to provide a place for the ‘community genius’ to emerge, where people can consider and implement positive solutions, raising awareness of new possibilities for local responses… we have barely scratched the surface, new ideas are arising every day.” Want to know more? there is a two day training, a total immersion in all things Transition, October 20-21 at the Bolton Community Center, Edgecomb Pond Road. Go to the Transition Bolton Landing web site,, or contact [email protected] 518-744-0341 for more information. There are some phrases that are used in the Transition concept that sound familiar, but what do they actually mean? Peak Oil: is the point in time when the maximum rate of global petroleum extraction is reached, after which the rate of production enters terminal decline. In English: Fossil fuel reserves are not infinite, or renewable. “Fifty ears ago the world was consuming 4 billion barrels of oil per year, and the average discovery was around 30 billion. Today we consume 30 billion barrels per year, and the discovery rate is approaching 4 billion barrels of crude per year.” Asian newspaper, 4 May 2005 Energy Descent Planning: “Unhook” – build local resilience and cut carbon emissions – reduce energy use while maintaining a vibrant, healthy life and economy. Climate Change: a long-term change in the statistical distribution of weather patterns over periods ranging from decades to millions of ears. Global Warming: is the current rise in the average temperature of Earth’s oceans and atmosphere and its projected continuation. For decades our society has not thought much about the cost of oil, or how our use of fossil fuels touches almost every aspect of our lives. We are now beginning to feel the pinch of higher gas and home heating prices, and the added store costs of shipping just about everything we buy and use everyday. If you think gas prices are high here, try driving a car in England or Europe. This is not merely a passing inconvenience, or a local one. But local efforts are what can change our habitual dependence. Just a few things we use made of oil: Aspirin, computers, printers, candles, sticky tape, credit cards, lipstick, sneakers, glue, paints, varnish, foam mattresses, carpets, nylon, polyester, CD’s, DVD’s, plastic bottles and dishes, hair gel, furniture wax, brushes, rubber gloves, shoe polish, coats, bubble wrap, attic insulation – all made directly from oil, not counting those that need fossil fuels and the energy they consume in their manufacture, which is pretty much everything. [caption id="attachment_324" align="alignleft" width="300"] The Bolton Bed Race[/caption] Bolton Harvest Fest    22 September 2012    2 pm to Midnight Festival includes: Music and Kids Events all day long, cider pressing with Ted Caldwell, Canoe Races, the Return of the Bolton Bed Race, Stone Soup (created with whatever people bring that day), a pot luck dinner, an apple desert cook off, square dancing with a a caller and rock and roll till the end! The event is sponsored by the Bolton Conservation Committee, the Town of Bolton Recreation Commission, and Transition Bolton Landing. Check out ( or contact [email protected] (518-744-0341) for more information on the Harvest Fest, and for Transition Training 20-21 October 2012. Have you ever heard of the Transition Initiative? Do you have any stories about community based conservation efforts? Please share – Penelope Jewell      ]]>