Have you noticed that the Town of Groton’s official seal, bearing the date of our founding in 1655, depicts a plow? After 355 years, most of our food comes from far away (over 1,500 miles, on average), but interest in agriculture, fresh food, and “earth-mindful” farming practices has resurged. Will this resurgence continue? What else will be changing between now and 2050? What will remain largely unchanged? What should we try to do about the emerging future, or, should we treat it like the weather and just talk about it?
Please join us for a public conversation and refreshments at our “Sustainability Café,” Wednesday, May 5, 7 to 9 p.m., at the Nashua River Watershed Association headquarters, 592 Main St. (Route 119), Groton. Pat Parker-Roach will lead the conversation, and his wife, Joni, a local artist-entrepreneur, will create a visual recording of the ideas being discussed. Others on hand for the evening’s discussion will include event steering committee members Mark Archambault, Michelle Collette, Chase Duffy, Elea Kemler, Leo Laverdure, Mike Roberts, and Tucker Smith.
We’ll start with the definition of sustainability adopted by the Commission: “Sustainability is the commitment to adopt practices that support and balance the social, economic and environmental aspects of our community, now and into the future.” Then, looking out to midcentury and beyond, the Café participants will discuss the following four questions:
1. What are the critical challenges facing our town?
2. What new opportunities are likely to be available to us?
3. What is essential about our community that we must preserve?
4. How can Groton best prepare for these challenges, seize these opportunities, and preserve what is essential?
This is more than an “imaginary exercise.” The ideas generated by the conversation will be part of the input to the town’s updated Community Master Plan. While the Master Plan focuses on plans for the next 10 years, what we choose to do in these years very much depends upon our understanding of the longer-term future (through 2050), which is the focus of the Sustainability Café conversation. (There is a separate meeting for community input on the overall Master Plan scheduled for May 13, 7 to 9 p.m., at the Groton-Dunstable Middle School North.)
In addition to the May 5 Sustainability Café event open to the public, several organizations will also be hosting Sustainability Café conversations for their members. Individuals can also provide answers to the sustainability futures questions via USPS mail directly to the Sustainability Commission, Groton Town Hall, 173 Main Street, Groton, MA 01450 — or as an attachment via e-mail to email@example.com.
In the coming weeks, look for more news articles on our sustainable future.