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Neighbors: Let’s all help make Franklin County sustainable for future generations

Hello neighbor.

We hear the word “sustainability” a lot lately, but what does it really mean?

There are many definitions, including “to keep in existence; maintain,” or “to supply with necessities or nourishment; provide for.”

Another definition is “to support the spirits, vitality, or resolution of; encourage.”

Some people aren’t crazy about the word — maybe because they feel it has been overused.

Actress Daryl Hannah says she doesn’t particularly like the word, because to her it infers that “things stay the same.” She would prefer using a word to describe the idea of things thriving and moving forward; getting better.

What images does the word conjure up for you?

Whatever you want to call it, we have to take care of our home, our towns, our country, our world.

We should not only be thinking about the needs of this current generation, but how it will live so as not to endanger future generations and how they live.

And when I say the needs of current and future generations, I don’t just mean human, I also mean animal, plant, all that lives on Earth.

Many of our Franklin County towns have been spending a lot of time on this subject.

Greenfield, for instance, has spent the last six months defining sustainability and then trying to answer some of its more important questions. It has actually spent much more than six months, but this year it formed a committee to really look at what the town will need going into the future.

A sustainable master plan advisory committee has spent countless hours talking about the environment, transportation, historical and cultural resources, economic development — everything you can think of.

The group has reviewed many of the key concepts of sustainability, including how to be wise stewards of the town, the county, and the earth, as well as natural resources, how to raise plants and animals to produce fresh, locally grown food, and how to sensibly use or replace fossil fuels. It has also taken a look at how we can individually, and together as a community, downsize.

The group plans to meet with the community on Thursday evening from 4 to 7 p.m. on the Town Common, where it will solicit more ideas and share the ones it has come up with to date.

All I’m saying is that we should take a little more interest than we sometimes do — and I’m certainly included in that statement. It’s just too easy to let someone else figure it out for the rest of us.

I know I want to make things better for grandsons Justin, Owen and Travis, and I know you want to do the same for your children and grandchildren.

So on Thursday, lend this Greenfield group your ear and your ideas and then we can all benefit.

See you there!

DID YOU KNOW THAT THERE’S a new musical group that has just formed? It’s the Franklin County Community Chorus.

As a result of the Greenfield High School Alumni Reunion Concert back in May, interested singers 14 and older now have a place to participate in a musical endeavor outside of school.

Retired GHS Music Director Paul J. Calcari is directing the group.

The chorus is open to all members of Greenfield and the surrounding communities.

The first rehearsal will be Oct. 6 from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at the Guiding Star Grange, 401 Chapman St. in Greenfield. The chorus, I’m told, will be an enjoyable, high-quality group, that will sing a wide variety of music, from classical to show tunes to folk music.

“I promise to bring back some of the favorites from across the years,” says Calcari.

For more information, reach Paul at:

A CAR SHOW will be held at West Northfield Playground on Route 142 today at 4 p.m. (until dark) to benefit the Playground Association.

WOULD YOU LIKE TO PUT A DENT in identity theft here in the county? There will be a free community shredding event on Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon in the Guiding Star Grange parking lot at 401 Chapman St. in Greenfield. The event, sponsored by S.A.L.T./TRIAD is for Franklin County residents, not for businesses.

For more information, call Chris Geffin at the Northwestern District Attorney’s Office at 413-437-5747 or Karen McCormick at Greenfield TRIAD at 413-772-0306.

GREENFIELD PUBLIC LIBRARY is offering an eight-week memoir writing workshop on Tuesday evenings from 6 to 8 p.m. at the library. The first class will be held Oct. 1 and will run through Nov. 18.

The workshop will be led by Joannah Whitney.

There is a limit of 12 participants and registration is required, so register now.

For more information, call Jane Buchanan at the library at 413-772-1544, ext. 110. To register, call the circulation desk at 413-772-1544.

FOR ALL YOU TEACHERS OUT THERE — Historic Deerfield will hold a “free teacher day” at Historic Deerfield on Oct. 5 from noon to 4:30 p.m.

Historic Deerfield invites all pre-school through Grade 12 teachers to visit the museum at that time. You can meet members of the museum’s education staff to find out more about social studies resources and use the complimentary “general admission” ticket to enjoy a lovely fall day at the museum.

For more information, contact Claire Carlson, education program coordinator, at 413-775-7217 or email her at:

THE 11TH ANNUAL DOUG TURNER Memorial Benefit at Mohawk Trail Regional School will be held on Oct. 5 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. this year. The event was designed to continue Doug’s legacy — Mohawk athletics was a very important part of his life and his children’s lives.

All proceeds will go to the Athletic Association and Doug Turner Scholarship Fund.

There will be raffles, silent auctions, sporting events, a bake sale and a chicken barbecue.

This year, for the first time, there will also be an all-night walk on the track at the school. Anyone may participate.

The walk will start at about 6 p.m. on Oct. 5 and end 6 a.m. on Oct. 6 with a pancake breakfast.

Participants should get pledges, which will be added to the proceeds.

For more information, contact Joni Sessions at 413-834-5371.


Well, then visit Wilder Homestead in Buckland on Oct. 13 from 2 to 5 p.m. The Wilder Homestead Colonial Sampler, presented by Buckland Historical Society, will offer many activities from the Colonial era, including open hearth cooking, oxen, basket making, weaving, spinning, quilting, chair caning, shoe making demonstrations, music of the 1700s, cider pressing, Morris Dancers and more.

Admission is $3 for adults and $1 for children.

Wilder Homestead is located at 129 Route 112 in Buckland.


The Historic Railroad Scenes (of Franklin County) 2014 calendar is out and ready for purchase. There are scenes from the East Deerfield freight yard (circa 1890), the Conway Station (circa 1910), the Greenfield Russell Street area (1966), and the Orange flood on Valentine’s Day 1900, as well as many others.

You can find the calendar at Wilson’s Department Store, World Eye Bookshop and Copycat Print shop, all in Greenfield, Hager’s Farm on the Mohawk Trail, Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum, Sawyer News and Boswell’s Books, all in Shelburne Falls, Historic Deerfield Museum Store in Old Deerfield, and Roberge Associates, 21 Mohawk Trail in Greenfield.

For more information, call Peter Miller at 413-774-5363.

To contact Anita Fritz, a staff reporter at The Recorder, send an email to: or call 413-772-0261, ext. 280. You can also reach Anita on Facebook at Anita’s Neighbors. Information to be included in Neighbors may also be sent to: up to noon two days before you want it to run.

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