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What will Greenfield look like in 50 years?

Free film will help explore fate, potential  of small towns throughout United States

  • Town officials hope a new video of Greenfield will entice visitors, developers and people considering moving to town. It is now ready for viewing on the town's web site. Recorder file photo

    Town officials hope a new video of Greenfield will entice visitors, developers and people considering moving to town. It is now ready for viewing on the town's web site. Recorder file photo

  • Town officials hope a new video of Greenfield will entice visitors, developers and people considering moving to town. It is now ready for viewing on the town's web site. Recorder file photo

GREENFIELD – What will Greenfield look like in 20..50..100 years from now?

Through a free film called “Save Our Land, Save Our Future,” attendees will explore the fate and potential of small towns in the U.S. as Tom Hylton, a reporter and Pulitzer Prize winner, revisits small towns he grew up in. Attendees will travel with him to towns that have retained their heart and soul for centuries – and learn how to enhance quality of life and resilience in local communities, while keeping what residents value.

The free film and discussion is organized by Greening Greenfield. It will be held on Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the Second Congregational Church on the Greenfield Common. Refreshments will be served. Donations will be accepted.

Hylton, the film’s host, got impassioned about saving land and communities when he and his wife lost a building across from their home in Pottstown, Pa. That building was a brick Romanesque school built in 1923. Today, their home is across from a parking lot. “It broke my heart when they tore the school down,” says Hylton. “They tore down heritage, community, stability – everything that’s precious about a traditional town like Pottstown. My neighborhood has never been the same.”

His experience led him to write a Pulitzer Prize winning book and create an organization that offers assistance to citizens and municipalities who are trying to reverse the trend of urban decline and loss of farmland. Filmmaker Dirk Eitzen captures his personal journey in this film.

“This film is very timely for Greenfield,” said Nancy Hazard, a Greening Greenfield member. “It helped me understand how town planning shapes our future – and reinforced my excitement about launching into Greenfield’s sustainable master planning process in January.” Master planning is a community-wide participatory process, where all are invited to share their visions and ideas, and shape a community’s future.

This film is the first of four offered by Greening Greenfield this winter and spring, that aim to help shape the town’s future by building economic vitality and ecological resilience so that present and future generations can enjoy life in the valley. Each short film will be followed by discussion of what was learned. Additional films will be held the fourth Wednesday in January, February, and March.

Save Our Land, Save Our Future is co-sponsored by the Greenfield Department of Planning and Development, the Greenfield Garden Club, and the Greenfield Planning Board. For more information go to GreeningGreenfield.org or call 773-7004.

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