Local Living Festival gratifying, educational
Thursday, October 14, 2010 - 12:39 pm

To the Editor:

What a wonderful day! The first-ever Local Living Festival was a wonderful, gratifying and very fun educational event for over a thousand attendees. We hope you were one of them! Many, many thanks to the over 50 volunteers who helped us make this happen! The Sustainable Living Project is staffed entirely by dedicated volunteers and is coordinated by the four of us, but the Local Living Festival itself came about because of the efforts of several other serious contributors for months in advance: Bali MacKentley, Raamitha Pillay, Rajiv Narula, Jacob Reid, Patti Hogle, Audry Duncan and Betsy Hodge most notably.

Aside from those special people on the Coordinating Committee, Miles Manchester went above and beyond as did Jackie DeGraw, Jayne George, Dale Pondysh, and Laurie, Eric and son Leo who came down from Montreal -- they were all our top volunteers on Festival Day! The crew of six students from the Community Based Learning program of the Center for Civic Engagement at St. Lawrence University really came through for us in the final stretch, as did the whole troupe of students from the Little River Community School, plus the BOCES Community Connections Program and SUNY Canton Work Studies.

Also, Shava Kendrick, Intern at the Office for the Aging who coordinated the wonderful free shuttle bus service through St. Lawrence County Public Transportation, was stellar -- they are lucky to have her! And special thanks to Farm Manager Charlie Hitchman, with the help of Ron Rogers, for all they did to prepare and oversee the Learning Farm site for the Festival. Patricia Greene, former Sustainable Energy Fair coordinator stepped in and helped with some key items in timely fashion as well. We appreciate them and ALL of the wonderful volunteers, too numerous to mention by name.

Do you know, not one of our Workshop Presenters was paid to be there? For many, it cost them for the privilege. We presented 49 diverse Workshops on topics that ran the gamut from simple living skills to high-tech. That is amazing and wonderful that they did that for you. We appreciate them tremendously! See who they are and what they talked about at our website, www.SustainableLivingProject.net. And while you’re there, drop us a line about future workshops you’d like to attend! We have already begun the Autumnal Wonders series (see the year round events webpage) with sandstone laying and honey harvesting.

For anyone interested there is a list, including websites, of the 63 exhibitors who graced the Festival with their demonstrations, products and services (not to mention some darn good food -- all locally sourced!).

If you weren’t able to be at the Local Living Festival this year, please join us next year -- or sooner, for one of our ongoing Workshops and events. The Sustainable Living Project facilitates skills-building for self-reliance, appropriate technology, environmental awareness, energy independence and small scale local agriculture. We do this by sharing low-impact and low-cost solutions people can incorporate into their lives to reduce their ecological footprint. And we do it with your help. Thanks to all who contributed and attended the first ever Local Living Festival!

Sustainable Living Project Team

Chelle Lindahl, Melinda Ely, Vanessa Bittner and Rosalind Ilett