Thursday, April 23, 2009
Earth Week in the Adirondacks
We arrived in Keene Valley, New York on Monday, April 20th, after the team's longest ride so far, and were welcomed like family. Robin and Jake of the Keene Valley Hostel put us up for the night, Karen Glass invited us and others over for a delicious dinner, and Mark at Leep Off Cyclery, made some repairs on Tyler's bike--all as donations to the tour. We continue to be so wonderfully hosted and cared for along the ride.
Tuesday the 21st, we spoke at the Keene Central School, to an all school assembly to kick off their Earth Week activities. We were absolutely inspired by the knowledge of the students about climate change (perhaps 2nd or third graders explained some of the intricacies of CO2 emissions and sinks!), and by the sustainability efforts at the school. They have an active all-school composting program, a school garden that provides food for lunches and a local food thanksgiving dinner. Go, Keene Central!!
After climbing the dredded Cascade Lakes pass to Lake Placid, Green Goddess Foods provided the team with yet another delicious free meal, while we spoke to shoppers, and Mike Lynch of the Adirondack Daily Enterprise (see his article, here). We then headed on to Saranac Lake, guided by local biker, Peter Seward, for the third and final event for the day at the Saranac Lake Free Libray. Here, yet another warm welcome, with plush housing provided by the Doctors Inn and Gail Brill. The Tri-Lakes Transition Town group (Gail Brill, in particular) organized the eventing event, with snacks and chatting, and the team's presentation. The Saranac Lake area seemed to us like a hub for sustainability in the Adirondacks: the Tri Lakes Transition Town group has been hosting a film series, the Wild Center in Tupper Lake organizes climate conferences, a summer farmers market(and much more), and Saranac Lake is growing a community garden on land offered free for use.
Earth Day, itself, April 22nd, (John Muir's birthday) started off with a sunrise ride to Eric and Nancy's house, about half way to Paul Smiths. Eric and Nancy made a scrumptious breakfast for us and other attendees of the previous evening event. We were impressed by their combination of photovoltaics and solar hot water, and were thankful for a warm respite from a drizzly day. Then on to Paul Smith's College, for a full day of Earth Day events. Here, we spoke at two classes, and Jim's gave his Radical Simplicity presentation to a packed hall of students and community members. We so enjoyed being part of this engaging community for the day: there were wood-fired dutch tubs running, a team of draft horses giving wagon rides, trade-a-palooza, and a trash clean-up. The dining hall here has been working hard to reduce waste. They stopped using trays which has significantly reduced the food waste, and for Earth Day had all the students weight the trash from meals--at the end of the day, a mere 130 pounds or so, for a campus of around 1000--not bad! Thanks to the many folks that made this day such a success, including Tom Huber, TRiO Student Support Services, the President's Office, and Students for Environmental Action.
Posted by Susan Cutting at 10:34 AM