What Have I Been Up to All Summer?

I’m at my desk, not working, in the warming sun – wearing a sweater again – enjoying a coffee and listening to Bach’s Matthew Passion (Emma Kirkby soprano) after what must be years, that particular piece of music, not the rest. Though, honestly, it feels like years since I’ve sat here not frantically writing emails, composing spreadsheets and posters, tinkering with sundry websites… Just relaxing, writing.

You’ve noticed, I’m sure!

Here’s what I’ve been up to.

A lot of my Summer went to  Moving Planet New England, with grass-roots and person-to-person outreach to many organizations, large and small, in some 20 communities in the Metrowest, trying to get them all to board the same train into Boston on 24 September. I have met many great people and learned a lot from them: how to motivate and support people, how to “work the press” and organize a big event.

Moving Planet is a regional effort for me as well as a local one, since Transition Wayland will make a (hopefully) big showing at the Rally after Walking to Walden and then hopping on that (hopefully) packed train. Now that the flurry of regional outreach is done, we’re working on banners and billboards.

Transition Wayland is taking off again after the Summer doldrums, during which many of our people were traveling. After Moving Planet and Walking to Walden we’re kicking off a big communal project called Wayland Walks – mm, anyone see a pattern here? Our town is big on conservation, and we have many woods, wetlands and trails  protected against development. But many of these trails have fallen off the map. No one walks these trails any longer, owners don’t even know a trail (and easement) runs through their property, and many have become impassable, forgotten. The plan is to put all of it back on the map. We will develop an online, interactive map where groups and individuals can record their walks. We’ll also help organize group tours with themes and experts: someone who can identify the birds or plants, connect us spiritually with our little piece of the Earth, help us do holistic science near the watershed, or regale us with local history.  That way we’ll locate these trails, assess their condition, and invite friendly conversations with the property owners. The idea is to light up the map by the 375th Anniversary of Wayland and build great community and sense of place.

There, that’s  the pitch.  You like it?

The idea is not for Transition Wayland to organize this, of course (the thought!) but to initiate the project and to  facilitate its organization. We’ll get all the conservation, trail, nature and community groups in Wayland together in a room and see what we can come up with.

We’re also showing the movie In Transition 1.0 – and people are *loving* it – and doing our Climate Change event, called Treading Water at different locations, speaking with the local Clergy, and in October we’ll actually be doing the sermon for a large congregation. People are recognizing us and the responses are always encouraging. I’ve many thoughts that I want to share about Transition….

The Green Team is school-related but that doesn’t mean we’re off in Summer. It runs all year long now that it has taken on some big projects. The biggest one at the moment is composting and deep recycling in the entire school district, a coup for Massachusetts. We spent one whole hot week in Summer building compost bins and now we’re training the kids and staff at one school to get the system down. Once that pilot is successful, we’ll quickly help the other schools do the same.

Here I am working on a bin

The Green Team was my “entry” in volunteering and the Wayland community at large, last year, and it was thanks to this passionate and encouraging group that I came to believe that Transition Wayland would be possible, and that I could do it.


Wait a moment! “At my desk, not working”?! My coffee’s cold, the music stopped a while ago…  I’ll sign off now, and go tend my garden.

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