My Turn: In appreciation of the Recorder 


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Published: 11-25-2023 7:00 AM

The Saturday, Nov. 18 edition was an excellent example of what I love most about the Greenfield Recorder — in-depth reporting with exploration of solutions to the challenges we face, uplifting local actions, listings of coming events, and an opportunity for everyone to share their thoughts on the way forward so we can all participate in local and regional democracy and take meaningful person action.

On the front page was a Climate Change@Home article about “Farms on the front lines,” the first of a three-part series that aims to help us all understand how climate is affecting our local farmers, and what they are doing about it.

We learn that while changing practices to grow food for us, many are exploring how they can be part of addressing the climate crisis and support biodiversity. Many are changing how they farm to not only reduce climate emissions from their operations, but also how they can use their farms to be proactive and draw carbon out of the atmosphere and put it back in the soil where it belongs!

I look forward to the next two articles, to learn more not only about what they are doing, but what we non-farmers can do to support them in their efforts to produce food for us locally as they help restore our climate.

Another front-page article was about our forests, and how local groups are seeking solutions to economic challenges. In particular, the group is exploring how the local timber industry can keep more of the economic benefits of this important industry at home. They explain that if regulations are supportive, we could keep logs local and supply the wood we need to build our homes instead of purchasing it from far-off sources.

While not mentioned in this article, if managed well, our forests can simultaneously support biodiversity and reduce climate risks by drawing carbon out of the atmosphere.

On Page 5 was a story about students planting trees at the Franklin Regional School, which the Franklin County Tech School grew in their tree nursery. As noted by Kurt Gilbert-Keith, who sits on the Deerfield Energy Resources Committee, this is a positive, solutions-oriented thing that we can all do to restore our climate. The students expressed their appreciation for an opportunity to do something positive today and expressed interest in watching the outcome of their work as the trees grow.

Other articles in the paper that I appreciated were reports on possible solutions our municipalities, regional government, and nonprofits are exploring to the challenges that we all face. Additionally, I enjoyed learning about coming cultural and informational events, and I learned what legislation is moving forward on Beacon Hill, and the role that our representatives are playing.

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I also look forward to weekly specials on business, Life & Times, and appreciate daily reports on local sports for sports fans.

Finally, I read the 0pinion page every day to learn what fellow residents are thinking. I especially appreciate their insights and ideas on how we can improve our lives, and especially how we can restore our climate and improve biodiversity, not only through policy decisions but by taking personal action such as planting a native trees and flowers (FYI volunteers planted over 125 trees in Greenfield and Deerfield this year), using less fossil fuels, or installing solar if we own our home.

I value the Recorder for all these things, because it enables me to participate in local and regional decisions — this is democracy at its best. News media is our only source of accurate information and a broad spectrum of opinion, all of which enables us to participate in making informed decisions on how to move forward.

Gathering information and reporting to us is time-consuming, and I want to support their efforts not only with my subscription, but with a donation.

Two years ago, when the Recorder started the Climate Change@Home series, they offered us a way to financially support them. I urge the Recorder to offer us this opportunity again.

I invite everyone to join me in thanking the Recorder staff for what they do every day. Their work helps us all have the information we need to make Franklin County and beyond a better place to live.

Nancy Hazard is a member of Greening Greenfield, the Greenfield Tree Committee and the city’s Sustainable Greenfield Implementation Committee, and the retired director of the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association. She can be reached at