ABCD Final Presentation and Celebration
Tuesday, August 29th at 5:00 PM
Abbott Room at Belfast Free Library
Refreshments and mingling 5:00 - 5:45 PM
Followed by presentation & conversation 5:45 - 7:00 PM
On Tuesday August 29th please join the All of Belfast Climate Dialogues (ABCD) team, Sarah Kirn, Misty Mallar and librarian Brenda Harrington as they highlight their efforts of the past three years to engage the community in conversations about climate resiliency. The event will take place in Abbott Room of the Belfast Free Library; 5:00 - 5:45 PM reception with light refreshments, 5:45 - 7:00 PM presentation followed by time for conversation.
In 2020, the Belfast Free Library won a grant from the Institute for Museum and Library Services for the All of Belfast Climate Dialogues, a Community Memory project. The grant was to develop educational programs and facilitate conversations among a broad cross-section of the Belfast community about climate change. Part of the grant was to create an archive of Belfast area residents’ observations, concerns and hopes about climate change impacts in our region at this critical time.
To accomplish this the ABCD project designed informative web pages and hosted a series of educational programs on climate change. From 2020-2023, ABCD has held over 40 educational programs & community climate conversations. You can find these on our YouTube ABCD playlist, our event summaries, and highlighted in the ABCD archive. A tour of all of the archived resources on the website will be included in the presentation.
Although the funding for the ABCD grant is ending in August 2023, the Library will continue offering educational programs on the climate crisis and serve as a resource for climate change topics and issues.
Please join us to reflect and celebrate, and to recognize the many local organizations we have partnered with on education and climate action. For more information please contact Brenda Harrington at [email protected].
Introducing the Climate Action Plan for Belfast
Tuesday, August 8th, 2023 at 6:30 PM at Belfast Free Library
On Tuesday August 8, 2023 at 6:30 PM the All of Belfast Climate Dialogues project (ABCD) hosted former and current members of Belfast’s Climate Crisis Committee (CCC) to introduce the Climate Action Plan they wrote for Belfast. Their final plan was submitted to City Council on June 4, 2023.
Beginning in June 2022, ABCD hosted four Community Climate Conversations on topics to be considered in a climate action plan. The public had the opportunity to share their ideas and visions to create a resilient Belfast. Members of the CCC were present at each meeting and considered the community concerns in their final plan.
To learn more about these conversations, including audience input and video recordings please go to the ABCD Archived Collection of Community Climate Conversations.
Copies of the June 4, 2023 Climate Action Plan were available to pick up at the library in advance of the program.
For more information, please call Brenda Harrington at 207-338-3884 ext.30.
Community Resilience for the Climate Emergency
Wednesday, July 19th at 6:00 PM at Belfast Free Library with Zoom option
On Wednesday, July 19 at 6 PM, the Peace & Social Justice Forum/Waldo County, in coordination with ABCD and the Possibility Alliance, hosted Dr. Peter Kalmus, an award winning author and climate scientist from NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab in California. He has said that "Global Warming is happening with a rapidity that leaves me speechless" and is dismayed that our government is not placing this existential threat at the center of the challenges that we are facing. Moving beyond fossil fuels and how we as individuals can work toward this goal, while living fulfilled lives is the question he and his family have been grappling with.
Dr. Kalmus shared his personal journey in this essential work, and discussed how we can respond as individuals both locally, and in collective ways to move us toward a fossil free future. His award winning book is titled "Being the Change: Live Well and Spark a Climate Revolution."
Following the presentation on July 19, Dr. Kalmus will join other climate activists for two community circles to further the conversation about practical ways to support a just transition and increase community resilience in this time of climate crisis. Both circles are open to the public and will be held at the Possibility Alliance, 85 Edgecomb Road, Belfast on Sunday July23, and Saturday August 5, from 4-6 pm. All are invited.
Dr. Peter Kalmus, who speaks on his own behalf, is a climate scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He is the recipient of NASA’s Early Career Achievement Medal, and NASA’s Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal. Peter has a B.Sc. in physics from Harvard and a Ph.D. in physics from Columbia. His research interests include improving future projections of coral reef decline from increasing ocean heat and extreme humid heat. Peter is also a climate activist. He engages in climate civil disobedience, for which he has been arrested twice. He is co-founder of the Climate Ad Project and the climate app Earth Hero, and the author of numerous articles and the book Being the Change: Live Well and Spark a Climate Revolution. He lives in North Carolina.
Sustainable Communities Day
Thursday, June 1st, 2023 from 12:30 pm to 4:30 pm at the Belfast Boathouse
The Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition and the All of Belfast Climate Dialogues are co-sponsoring a series of talks and exhibits focused on how individuals and communities can integrate sustainability strategies into the development of buildings and landscapes. Come learn how you and your community can contribute to creating a more sustainable and climate resilient place to live.
Doors open to the public at 12:30. Starting at 1:00 PM we will hear about the City of Belfast Climate Action Plan and takeaways from ABCD's Community Climate Conversations. Efficiency Maine will provide an overview of opportunities for rebates associated with investments in home heating and energy efficiency solutions. Methods to create sustainable landscape in your yards and in our community will also be covered. Exhibits will be open from 2:30 – 3:30 and the afternoon will end with a “Call to Action” panel discussion on what individuals and the cities in which they live can strive for greater climate resilience.
When: Thursday, June 1st., 2023 from 12:30 pm to 4:30 pm
Where: The Belfast Boathouse - 34 Commercial St. in Belfast
1:00 – 2:30 PM - Climate Actions We Can Take
- Welcome and opening film clip on climate from TNC – Katharine Hayhoe.
- City of Belfast: Climate Action Plan – Fred Bowers, Belfast Climate Crisis Committee
- All of Belfast Climate Dialogues: Takeaways from our Community Climate Conversations – Brenda Harrington, Belfast Free Library
- Energy Efficiency and Rebates - Efficiency Maine – Andy Meyer
2:30 – 3:30 PM Break and Exhibition Time – Short talks schedule at individual exhibits
3:30 – 4:00 Working with Nature to Achieve Sustainable Communities – Greg Biddinger, Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition
4:00 – 4:30 PM Panel discussion and Q&A
4:30 PM – Thanks and goodbye
For more information, please contact Gregory Biddinger at [email protected].
Partial list of Exhibitors will include:
- Belfast Garden Club
- Penobscot Home Performance
- Dirtgoat Permaculture
- Revision Energy
- Efficiency Maine
- Scrap Dogs
- Green Store
- Waldo County Soil and Water District
- Passive Haus
- Window Dressers
Public Notice from the City of Belfast:
City of Belfast to hold Community Resilience Partnership Public Workshop on June 6th at 6:00pm
View the recording here.
The City of Belfast has interest in enrolling in the Governor's Office of Policy Innovation and the Future's Community Resilience Partnership. In order to enroll, the City of Belfast must hold a public workshop to review the results of the Community Resilience Self-Evaluation and the List of Community Actions, and prioritize projects for implementation through the development of a priority action list.
Once enrolled, a community is eligible to apply for Community Action Grants, which are offered twice a year, to be able to undertake additional planning efforts or to implement the priorities that were identified during the enrollment process. In addition, an enrolled community has access to a Regional Coordinator who can help with developing future project ideas and then aid researching and applying for grants, especially federal grants. Finally, an enrolled community may participate in training sessions hosted by the Regional Coordinators as well as peer-learning and networking opportunities regionally and statewide.
The required public workshop will be held as part of a scheduled work session between the Belfast City Council and the City of Belfast Climate Crisis Committee beginning at 6:00pm on Tuesday, June 6th. Members of the public who are neither part of the Belfast City Council nor are part of the City of Belfast Climate Crisis Committee are encouraged to attend and participate. Copies of the aforementioned Community Resilience Self-Evaluation and the List of Community Actions will be provided at this workshop, and can also be downloaded as a single document via the link to this News Flash.
Rx for a Chaotic Climate: Healthy Soils
Tuesday, March 28th, 2023 at at 6:30 pm on Zoom
This is is third installment in the winter Belfast Garden Club Evening Lecture Series co-sponsored by All of Belfast Climate Dialogues, a project of the Belfast Free Library, focusing on the effects of the Climate Crisis on local environments.
In recent years, Mainers have noticed chaotic weather patterns caused by climate change. In this program, state representative and soil scientist Laurie Osher will discuss the impact of climate change on our $3.6 billion agricultural industry, and describe how land management practices can be improved to decrease that impact.
Osher’s rare combination of scientific research and public leadership makes for a rich conversation. She’ll discuss practices that preserve and enhance soil organic matter to increase sequestration of carbon in soils. She’ll also describe the bills she’s introduced and co-sponsored with the aim of improving land management. Finally, she’ll speak about helping communities in Penobscot, Piscataquis and Aroostook counties obtain funding from the state so they can become more resilient to climate changes.
A former University of Maine faculty member, Osher has worked at the EPA’s Natural Exposure Research Lab in Athens, Georgia and several other federal agencies. She has represented Orono in the Maine legislature since 2020 and served as an Orono Town Councilor from 2017 to 2022.
A panel discussion with: Scott Hesse, Davis Saltonstall, and David Wessels
Tuesday, February 28th, 2023 at at 6:30 pm on Zoom
This is is second installment in the winter Belfast Garden Club Evening Lecture Series co-sponsored by All of Belfast Climate Dialogues, a project of the Belfast Free Library, focusing on the effects of the Climate Crisis on local environments.
The talk will be offered on Zoom.
Food waste is a major contributor to climate change in the U.S. Maine, to its credit, has led a national campaign to recycle food waste, and the state Climate Action Plan supports community composting. Belfast has considered piloting a community site, but has not succeeded long-term. Residents have proposed it to the BGC, but the club doesn’t have sufficient capacity. Food and garden waste is recycled locally by many home gardeners, but the food waste problem cannot be dealt with at scale by individuals.
This interactive program invites members and neighbors to learn about and discuss the options.
Scott Hesse is a BGC member and co-director of the Wales Park Community Garden in Belfast. WPCG strengthens food security by making garden plots available for Belfast residents and organizations. Currently, WPCG does not compost onsite.
Davis Saltonstall is a co-owner of ScrapDogs Community Compost, which works to divert food scraps from incinerators and landfills. He’s won several awards for his work exploring a renewable energy transition and entrepreneurial zero-waste efforts.
David Wessels is a science teacher and garden coordinator at Troy Howard Middle School in Belfast. Students supply ~2,000 pounds of produce annually to their cafeteria and maintain an extensive seed collection. Composting is part of the program—offering lessons in healthy soil—and of course recycling food waste from the cafeteria.
Community Climate Conversation: The Future of Transportation in Belfast & Waldo County
Thursday, February 9th, 6:00 PM in the Abbott Room of the Belfast Free Library (with Zoom option)
Did you know transportation accounts for 49% of greenhouse gas emissions, both in Belfast and statewide? Join us for this program in our series of community climate conversations that began on June 14th, 2022 seeking public input to develop a climate action plan for Belfast.
Electric vehicle use, transitioning buses and municipal fleets, reducing vehicle miles traveled through increased access to broadband, public transit, and opportunities to bike and walk… these are all part of Maine’s strategy to reduce transportation emissions.
What about Belfast and Waldo County? Come learn about what has already been accomplished and what opportunities are available, hear what others are doing, and share your questions, ideas, and priorities.
Co-sponsored by ABCD and the City of Belfast Climate Crisis Committee (CCC).
Rain Gardens and Other Water Management Techniques for Your Property
Thursday, February 2nd, 2023 at at 6:00 pm on ZOOM.
Do you have excess water on your property following a rain event? A rain garden could be an effective and attractive solution for helping to direct and infiltrate the runoff or pooling on your property. Learn the ins and outs of properly installing a rain garden as well as other water management techniques that could benefit your property.
At our second ABCD Community Climate Conversation event on October 18th, on the topic of “Creating Resilience to Big Storms and Flooding”, attracted an engaged audience of 40 citizens. Attendees were energized by brainstorming actions the community could take together - most particularly the idea of creating a rain garden in a public location in Belfast and using it as an educational model.
We are excited to have lined up this follow-up event about rain gardens on February 2, 2023, “Rain Gardens and Other Water Management Techniques for Your Property” with presenter Rebecca Jacobs of the Knox-Lincoln Soil & Water Conservation District. Mark your calendars for Thursday, February 2 at 6:00 PM on Zoom, and in the meantime, let’s get excited to plan a community rain garden!
The event is presented by All of Belfast Climate Dialogues (ABCD), a project of the Belfast Free Library.
Landscape of Change with Catherine Schmitt, Schoodic Institute
Tuesday, January 24th, 2023 at at 6:30 pm on Zoom
This winter the Belfast Garden Club Evening Lecture Series co-sponsored by All of Belfast Climate Dialogues, a project of the Belfast Free Library, will focus on the effects of the Climate Crisis on local environments.
The first program, Tuesday January 24 at 6:30 pm, Catherine Schmitt, Environmental Scientist from the Schoodic Institute will give a presentation about the “Landscape of Change” project on Mount Desert Island.
Back in the 1880s, a group of Harvard students, known as the Champlain Society, sparked conservation efforts that eventually led to the formation of Acadia National Park. Today their logbooks are serving a broader environmental purpose.
Schmitt will describe how the Landscape of Change project uses the Champlain Society logbooks as a baseline to measure the effects of climate change. She’ll speak on what’s been learned about MDI’s changing landscape so far, the value of collaboration for monitoring the climate crisis, and the ways everyone can participate in understanding landscapes of change.
Catherine Schmitt’s multi-faceted background includes directorship of the Maine Sea Grant College Program at the University of Maine. She has published two books, The President’s Salmon, a history of the wild Atlantic salmon and its Maine habitat, and Historic Acadia National Park. She is currently the Schoodic Institute’s Science Communication Specialist.
The Evening Lecture Series continues February 28th with a panel discussion on Community Composting; and on March 28th with a talk by Dr. Laura Osher titled, Rx for a Chaotic Climate: Healthy Soils.
These programs will be recorded and available on the Library's YouTube Channel.
Community Climate Conversation: Modernizing Our Homes & Buildings
Thursday December 8th, 2022 at 6:00 pm in the Abbott Room
Watch the full recording of this event and check out the full summary with resources, links and ideas from the community!
Thursday, December 8th the public is invited to a community climate conversation about modernizing Belfast’s homes & buildings for energy efficiency and cost savings and to help us reduce greenhouse gasses.
The conversation will take place in the Abbott Room with a zoom option. Register for the zoom here
According to Maine Won’t Wait, the state’s 4-year climate action plan, “Heating, cooling, and lighting of buildings are responsible for almost one-third of Maine’s greenhouse gas emissions. Maine can reduce greenhouse gasses by modernizing our buildings to use cleaner energy, increase energy efficiency, and utilize lower-carbon building materials.”
With two introductory speakers (see below), we will ground our conversation in the State of Maine’s goals and progress, as well as sharing examples of actions that are currently being undertaken by several Maine communities. We’ll present a brief summary of the actions Belfast is already taking to modernize buildings and increase energy efficiency. We will encourage audience participation to discuss ideas and actions property owners can take to save money and energy in heating, cooling and lighting their homes and businesses, and take part in planning what our community should do in coming years.
The event, co-sponsored by All of Belfast Climate Dialogues (ABCD), a project of the Belfast Free Library and the City of Belfast Climate Crisis Committee (CCC) will take place in the Abbott Room of the Library. A hybrid zoom option will be made available also (check back shortly for the link to register).
Ross Anthony, the Buildings and Energy Efficiency Analyst for the Maine Governor’s Energy Office, will provide an update on the energy landscape in Maine as it relates to buildings. He will share progress on the state's climate action plan, Maine Won't Wait; upcoming opportunities with the Bipartisan Infrastructure Act and IRA Inflation Reduction Act; and ways for communities to get involved.
Ross Anthony serves as the Buildings and Energy Efficiency Analyst for the Maine Governor’s Energy Office. In his previous role, Ross was a consultant for energy industry projects for commercial, industrial, and residential energy efficiency and market assessments, demand side management, climate change mitigation, and energy savings potential at the state and federal level for public and private clients. Ross was born and raised in Evansville, IN and holds a BSc in economics from the University of Evansville (Evansville, IN) and a MSc in resource economics and policy from the University of Maine (Orono, ME).
Naomi Albert, Project Manager of the soon-to-be-launched (January 2023) Comprehensive Building Solutions Program at A Climate To Thrive, Mount Desert, will speak about how ACTT saw the community need for a program to first educate about the benefits of an efficient, clean energy home and, second to provide guidance and support for a comprehensive approach to weatherization, heat pumps, solar, and other energy saving building upgrades.
Naomi has a Bachelor of Science in Natural Resource Planning. She is passionate about local climate action and has spent the past several years working on climate planning in California.
Community Climate Conversation: Building Resilience for Big Storms and Flooding.
Tuesday October 18th, 2022 at 6:00 pm in the Abbott Room
We had 40 engaged citizens attend this event in October. Thank you to all who attended and shared their thoughts! You can check out the recording of the event on the Library's YouTube channel, and see a summary and the meeting handouts here.
Synopsis of the June 14, 2022 Climate Action Plan Discussion
The community discussion on the initial draft of the Belfast Climate Action Plan held June 14th, 2022 (a hybrid Zoom and in-person with 50+ people attending) was an inspiring event. We began with a visioning exercise where audience members shared ideas to “paint a picture of a future we all want to live.” Visions included: a walkable/bikeable community, car-free lifestyle, better public transportation, electric vehicles & charging stations, net-zero homes for ALL, cleaned up industrial spaces, and vibrant ecosystems.
Another event was held by the Belfast Climate Crisis Committee on July 6, inviting shoreline property owners and the public to learn about sea level rise, storms, coastal impacts and what we might do about it. See the synopsis and video here.
We invite you to stay tuned for more upcoming topical meetings to share your input for Belfast's Climate Action Plan!
Ways to stay in touch and share your feedback:
- Email the Climate Crisis Committee
- Sign up for the ABCD monthly newsletter
- Follow the Belfast Free Library on Facebook and Instagram
- Check back on this ABCD events page for future events
- Read others local folks' experiences with climate change, and share yours.
Climate Film: “Reflection: A Walk with Water"
Tuesday September 27th, 2022 at 6:00 pm in the Abbott Room
Co-sponsored with the Peace and Social Justice Forum/Waldo County (formerly Peace and Justice Group of Waldo County).
Filmmaker Emmett Brennan embarks on a powerful journey to find stories of hope and healing as he walks 200 miles along the iconic Los Angeles aqueduct encountering cultural leaders, ecological activists, and indigenous wisdom keepers who are re-envisioning our relationship to water.
The water cycle is being broken, and the consequence is an increasingly erratic and uninhabitable planet. This award winning film highlights transformational stories from LA and other parts of California and makes widespread ecological healing seem well within reach. Providing deep insight into the inseparability of water and life, Reflection helps equip our minds and hearts for the important work ahead.
Help Staying Warm This Winter: How to Create an Energy Efficient Home
Tuesday September 20th, 2022 at 6:30 pm in the Abbott Room
A presentation by Bridget Gifford from Efficiency Maine
Some people would like to be as energy efficient as possible. Others simply wish their home was a little warmer or less drafty in the winter. Most would like to save money by cutting their electricity, heating, and fuel bills, but many don’t know where to start or are prevented by the expense of weatherization and other efficiency upgrades.
Efficiency Maine, a public benefits fund for energy efficiency programs, is here to help! Efficiency Maine provides rebates designed to save you money on weatherization, efficiency heating, and the purchase of electric vehicles. This talk will cover the rebates and financing programs offered, with a focus on how heat pumps and heat pump water heaters can set the stage for a more fuel efficient household. If you want to upgrade to a more fuel-efficient household, this program will help you become aware of, and able to access, the benefits available to you through your Efficiency Maine program.
Bridget Gifford has worked with Efficiency Maine for six years focusing on low income initiatives. Over that time investments in low income homes for efficiency measures has tripled. She has worked in NY and Maine with efficiency programs and utility providers. Bridget lives in Yarmouth with her family.
“Waldo County - Engaging the Community on Climate Action” Brown Bag Lunch Discussions
Tuesday September 20th, 2022 at 12 Noon in the Abbott Room of the Library. ( moved from the park pavilion)
Join Fred Bowers of the Belfast Climate Crisis Committee and Brenda Harrington of the ABCD project & Belfast Free Library, for a community conversation about local climate action.
This is part of the “Seasons of Creation: An invitation to Celebration & Community Conversations” series, sponsored by St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church & St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church, in collaboration with the Greater Bay Area Ministerium.
Other talks in the series include:
“Close to Home”: A discussion to inform and encourage individual participation to help our environment (Tuesday, Sept. 12th, 12 noon, Belfast City Park Pavilion)
Please come join the conversation, and bring a neighbor or friend!
Antarctic Whale Science: How Do Humpbacks Find Their Food?
Tuesday July 19th, 2022 at 6:30 pm in the Abbott Room
Humpback whales feed mainly on krill and small fish, but how these 25,000 – 30,000 kg baleen cetaceans find sufficient food for sustenance without echolocation remains a mystery. An ongoing, multi-year, science-industry collaboration is attempting to solve this conundrum by testing the hypothesis that an engimatic organ beneath the lower jaw of humpbacks senses chemicals associated with plankton consumption by krill. This presentation focuses on the inaugural collaborative expedition to the Antarctic Peninsula in March 2019, including a 30-minute film encompassing both scientific and tourism activities.
While this research project doesn’t specifically address the effects of climate change on the migrations or food resources of humpback whales, studies of Antarctic krill by Professor Coffin’s colleagues suggest that their habitats will be pushed south by climate change, which could affect the timing, concentrations, geographies, and migrations of humpbacks in the future.
Kids and teens particularly may enjoy this presentation, especially the film of Antarctic wildlife.
Marine geophysicist Mike Coffin investigates interactions between the oceanic environment and the solid Earth. After growing up in Bangor, he was educated Dartmouth College (AB) and Columbia University (MA, MPhil, PhD). Ever since, he has pursued an international career that reflects the boundless nature of the global ocean. He has worked in Australia (1985-1989; 2011-present), the US (1990-2001), Japan (2001-2007), and the UK (2008-2010). He has also held visiting positions in the US (1982, 2002, 2016-present), Norway (1992, 1996), Australia (2000), and France (2001). Mike has led or participated in 37 blue-water research expeditions, focused mainly in the Southern, Pacific, and Indian oceans.
Belfast Shoreline Property Owners Public Meeting
Wednesday, July 6th, 2022 from 4-6pm at the Belfast Boathouse
A public meeting will be held to present the coming challenges presented climate change to the owners of shoreline property ringing Belfast harbor within the Belfast City Limits. This public meeting is being facilitated by the City of Belfast Climate Crisis Committee (CCC), an advisory committee to the City Council, with the Council’s approval. The format will be brief initial presentations by guest experts and representatives of the City’s Planning office, all of whom have experience with the changing conditions around Belfast Bay. Pertinent Geographic Information Systems maps and website links will also be provided. Following the presentations, questions and thoughts will be welcome from the attendees in a general discussion of adaptation and the resources available. The purpose of the meeting is to begin a dialogue about future adaptations and equitable accommodations. The primary audience is the Shoreline Property Owners of record; others welcome!
Date/Time: July 6, 2022 4PM- 6PM
Location: Belfast Community Boathouse
34 Commercial Street
Belfast, Maine 04915
Public Discussion about the Belfast Climate Action Plan
Tuesday June 14th, 2022 from 6-8pm in the Abbott Room
Belfast’s Climate Action Plan draft is ready for community review:
The initial draft of Belfast’s Climate Action Plan (5/02/2022) has been created by the Belfast Climate Crisis Committee, and it is ready for your review and feedback!
Download the Climate Action Plan draft here: Climate Action Plan
If you cannot attend in person, register for the zoom link here.
"The Art of Re-Climation" Exhibit at the Kramer Gallery
April 5 - May 28, 2022 Exhibit
"The Art of Re-Climation” is a curated art exhibit shown in the Belfast Free Library's Kramer Gallery from April 5 - May 28, 2022. Pieces are also exhibited here in this online digital collection.
In response to the current climate crisis, the exhibit expresses climate change impacts, concerns and hopes for a future of reclaiming the earth’s climate balance. This exhibit, part of the All of Belfast: Climate Dialogues (ABCD) project of the Belfast Free Library, was curated by Belfast artist Mj Viano Crowe and Brenda Harrington, program librarian at the Library.
Once They’re Gone, They’re Gone for Good: Indigenous Shell Heaps, Climate Change, and Confronting Heritage Loss through Citizen Science
Thursday, May 19, 2022 at 6:30 PM on Zoom
Maine is home to roughly 2000 coastal Indigenous archaeological sites known as shell heaps or middens. These sites are rich heritage spaces that preserve a long record of past Indigenous lifeways and environments. In this presentation, Dr. Bonnie Newsom and Dr. Alice Kelley of the University of Maine will discuss these important places highlighting their cultural and research value. They will also discuss the University of Maine’s Midden Minders program—a citizen science initiative designed to monitor and record shell heaps threatened by climate change impacts.
During tonight's program Dr. Newsom referred to a talk, "The Archeology of Sears Island" with Paul Bock that the library co-sponsored with Friends of Sears Island in 2018.
The recording can be found on the FOSI Youtube Channel Here.
This program is co-sponsored by the Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition and All of Belfast Climate Dialogues.
Dr. Bonnie Newsom is a member of the Penobscot Nation and an archaeologist interested in the pre-contact lifeways of Maine’s Native peoples. She is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Associate Faculty in the Climate Change Institute at the University of Maine. Dr. Newsom’s professional history includes serving as the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for the Penobscot Indian Nation and as Assistant Director for UMaine’s Wabanaki Center. She and her husband Les are military veterans and they live in Eddington, Maine.
Dr. Alice Kelley is a geoarchaeologist and an Associate Research Professor in UM's Climate Change Institute. She has worked in a variety of international locations, and is one of the organizers of the Midden Minders project here in Maine. She lives in Orono Maine with her husband Joe, and enjoys birdwatching, outdoor sports, and family.
Living With Thin Ice: Past Perspectives on Climate Change in Belfast, Maine with Emma C. Moesswilde
Tuesday, May 10, 2022 at 6:30 PM on Zoom
How did Mainers experience climate change in the past? What might this history tell us about the present and future in light of the current climate crisis? This talk recounts the history of climate change and its impacts on Maine’s people and landscapes. Using historical records and recent data from climate scientists, it highlights the long and varied history of adaptations to extreme weather in Maine through stories of past experiences of climate change. Using the example of Belfast and mid-coast Maine, the talk outlines how and why climate history can offer valuable perspectives on climate change today, and what lessons the past might hold for current climate change conversations.
Emma C. Moesswilde is a doctoral candidate in the Department of History at Georgetown University. Her dissertation project investigates the relationships between climate change and agricultural practice by examining rural experiences seasonal variability across the British Northern Atlantic from 1540-1816. She is committed to incorporating multidisciplinary methods and evidence to understand how rural communities responded and adapted to climate change over the course of the early modern period.
Born and raised in midcoast Maine, Emma has lived and worked in rural communities and environments for much of her life, including projects with Maine Farmland Trust and Maine Conservation Voters. She graduated with a B.A. cum laude in History and Environmental Studies from Bowdoin College in 2018, and also holds an M.A. in History from Georgetown.
Her scholarly work has contributed to publications such as Nature and H-Environment and been featured in Active History and NiCHE. Emma also co-hosts the podcast Climate History. She lives in Washington, D.C.
Celebrating Our Adventures on Earth: Fireside Chat at Waterfall Arts with ABCD
Wednesday, April 20th, 2022 at 7:00 PM at Waterfall Arts in Belfast
Waterfall Arts' Fireside Chat this month will be hosted by All Belfast Climate Change Dialogues to help us celebrate Earth Day—come share a tale of your adventures on Earth. At last month's Fireside Chats, we shared sea stories with Come Boating; this month, ABCD is asking you to share your “earth stories.” Come share your tale of adventures or misadventures on land: encounters with wildlife or wild weather, camping or gardening gone well or awry, etc. How have you been transformed by your adventures on Earth?
Imagining Our Climate Future: A Policy Perspective
Tuesday, April 12th, 2022 at 6:30 PM on Zoom
Presented by the Belfast chapter of Citizens Climate Lobby, this talk will be divided into two parts. First, Peter Garrett, PhD will encourage attendees to participate in the En-ROADS interactive Climate Solutions Simulator. En-ROADS allows users to explore the impact of a wide range of climate-related policies, such as electrifying transport, pricing carbon, and/or improving agricultural practices. You can see how each would impact energy prices, temperature and sea level rise. Don’t worry, it’s easy. You can choose which policy you think would make the most difference, and we’ll evaluate it together. Developed by Climate Interactive, the MIT Sloan Sustainability Initiative, and Ventana Systems, En-ROADS uses the best available science, calibrated against a wide-range of existing climate models. It is intuitive and very user-friendly.
In the second part, Belfast CCL member Katrina Matheson will share an overview of CCL’s keystone policy initiative, the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (H.R. 2307), and some of the reasons that it is the most aggressive solution to a transition away from fossil fuels, as well as the most compassionate for average Americans.
Peter Garrett has a Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins in Earth Science. He has been interested in climate science since before coming to Maine 40 years ago. Soon after his arrival in 1979, he started writing a weekly column called “The Weatherlog” for the Central Maine Morning Sentinel, while building a passive solar home in Winslow. He is now with the Citizens Climate Lobby (CCL) in Maine, very much involved with both climate change science and the necessary political/economic solutions to climate change. He hopes that you can be, also.
Katrina Matheson received her B.A. in Science, Technology and Society (STS) from Stanford University and is currently completing an M.A. in STS from York University in Toronto, Canada. She will be pursuing her Ph.D. in the fall, planning to study public imaginaries of the future and how they are co-produced with technology policy. Originally from California but with a deep affection for Maine, Katrina has initiated the development of a community solar co-operative in Owl’s Head which, if implemented, would utilize public space to bring low-cost solar to households in Knox County.
Deep Woods: How Climate Change Impacts Forests & How Forests Slow Climate Change
Tuesday, March 22nd, 2022 at 6:30 PM on Zoom
This is the third and final program in the Belfast Garden Club’s Evening Lecture Series co-sponsored by the All of Belfast Climate Dialogues, a project of the Belfast Free Library that has focused on the effects of the climate crisis on our farms, gardens and forests.
Join Dr. Nicholas Fisichelli, President of Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park, and Mark Berry, Forest Program Director for The Nature Conservancy in Maine, for a presentation and discussion about the interactions between Maine forests and climate change. The discussion will cover the current and potential impacts of changing climate on our forests, including shifts in species’ distributions and the disturbances that impact forests, factors that help keep forests resilient, potential management responses, and the role of forests in capturing carbon from the atmosphere and storing it in forests, soils, and forest products.
Dr. Nicholas Fisichelli is the President and CEO with Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park. Nick’s work and that of Schoodic is to understand the consequences of environmental change and engage people in the science and solutions.
Mark Berry, the Forest Program Director for The Nature Conservancy in Maine, leads TNC’s work to conserve Maine’s forests.
Growing Food and Ornamentals in a Changing Climate
Tuesday, February 22nd, 2022 at 6:30 PM on Zoom
This program is the second in the Belfast Garden Club’s Evening Lecture Series co-sponsored by the All of Belfast Climate Dialogues, a project of the Belfast Free Library:
Presenters Haley Jean and Sara Keleman, M.S. students at the University of Maine School of Food and Agriculture. will give an overview of global climate change, with special attention to effects in Maine and the Northeast. They will discuss the local effects of global weather patterns and the challenges that they may pose to those who grow vegetables, fruit, and flowers in our region, and will suggest ways to mitigate some of the more confounding challenges. The talk will also showcase tools for learning about, understanding, and addressing climate change impacts.
The Maine Offshore Wind Initiative: How Maine is Charting Our Own Course
Thursday, February 17th, 2022 at 6:30 PM on Zoom
In this presentation, Stephanie Watson, Maine Offshore Wind Program Manager in the Governor’s Energy Office, will provide an overview of the Maine Offshore Wind Initiative established by Governor Mills in 2019, with a focus on the Maine Offshore Wind Roadmap. The Roadmap is an economic development plan currently underway with broad stakeholder engagement. The goal of the Roadmap is to identify the best course for Maine to maximize benefits of the rapidly growing offshore wind sector to meet clean energy and economic goals, while sustaining existing ocean users and the environment.
This program is co-sponsored by the Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition and the All of Belfast: Climate Dialogues (ABCD) project of the Belfast Free Library.
Browntail Moth and What You Need to Know
Tuesday, February 1st, 2022 at 6:30 PM on Zoom
Tuesday February 1st at 6:30 pm the Belfast Free Library and the Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition will host this virtual presentation with entomologist Tom Schmeelk.
Browntail moth is a non-native species that poses human health risks as well as concerns for forest health. This species is currently experiencing a population boom in Maine. This presentation will cover lifecycle, history, current situation and what to look for as well as management and mitigation strategies. Also covered will be emerald ash borer, one of the more recent threats to Maine’s forest.
Tom Schmeelk is an Entomologist with the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry and the program lead on the brown tail moth.
Maine’s Climate Future: The Role of Carbon Management in Farms and Forests with Dr. Ivan Fernandez
Tuesday, January 25, 2022 at 6:30 PM on Zoom
This winter the Belfast Garden Club Evening Lecture Series co-sponsored by the All of Belfast Climate Dialogues, a project of the Belfast Free Library, will focus on the effects of the Climate Crisis on our forests, farms, gardens and food supply.
This presentation will address three main topics. First Ivan Fernandez will summarize key findings from climate assessments focused on Maine, primarily the Maine’s Climate Future reports and the assessment report of the Maine Climate Council’s Scientific and Technical Subcommittee. Then he will discuss how farms and forests can contribute to what is often called ‘Natural Climate Solutions’. He will talk about soils and soil health, primarily considering soils on farms, and how enhancing soil organic carbon can promote both the resilience of the soil in light of climate risks as well as contribute to reducing atmospheric carbon concentrations. The presentation will also summarize forest management recommendations from the recent Governor’s Task Force on a Forest Carbon Program in Maine.
Dr. Fernandez is a Professor in the School of Forest Resources, Climate Change Institute, and School of Food and Agriculture at the University of Maine. He has served on various U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Science Advisory Board committees in Washington DC since 2000. He represents the University of Maine in the USDA Northeast Climate Hub and has been involved in leading the Maine’s Climate Future assessments in 2009, 2015, and 2020.
Call for Art: "The Art of Re-Climation"
April / May 2022 Exhibit
As part of the ABCD project, the Belfast Free Library is calling for submissions of art that responds to the current climate crisis for an exhibit in the Kramer Gallery titled “The Art of Re-Climation.”
We are looking for submissions that express climate change impacts, concerns or hopes for a future of reclaiming the earth’s climate balance.
The exhibit will be curated by Belfast artist Mj Viano Crowe and Brenda Harrington, program librarian at the Belfast Free Library. Submissions are due January 21, 2022. The exhibit will take place April through May 2022. We will also include pieces in an online digital collection dedicated to the exhibit.
Please submit digital pictures of your art to Brenda Harrington at [email protected] by January 21, 2022. Please include title, date and medium of the work. We will announce the selections by February 8, 2022.
Growing Resilience: Local Farmers Respond to Climate Change
Thursday January 20th, 2022 at 6:30PM
As outlined in Maine’s Climate Future report (UMaine Climate Change Institute 2009 and 2020), extreme weather events due to climate change pose particular challenges for Maine’s farms. Warmer temperatures harm vegetables, reduce fruit production and stress livestock. More intense rain events cause run-off and wash-outs and don’t replenish the water table. The longer and drier summers Maine is experiencing can require crops to need irrigation. These are but some of the issues our local food producers face.
Our panel of farmers will discuss how the effects of climate change - including droughts, floods, pests and extreme weather events - have challenged and changed their farming practices, and answer your questions.
Finding Hope in the Face of Climate Change
Tuesday, November 30th, 2021 at 6:30 PM on Zoom
Ordinary people have more power to change the world than they think they do. But it is hard to stay positive and motivated in the face of devastating weather and constant bad news about politics and the environment. Join us as we welcome author Susan B. Inches for a presentation on how to find your power and take action for the environment—as an advocate or within current daily activities. By working together, we can create a healthy future where all life is respected, revered and nurtured. This talk will show you how.
About the Speaker: Susan B. Inches is author of the newly released book, Advocating for the Environment: How to Gather Your Power and Take Action. Sue has worked in public policy for over 25 years. As Deputy Director of the State Planning Office, she conducted research, designed and led public engagement processes, and lobbied on behalf of the Governor. Prior to this Sue worked with the fishing, aquaculture and seafood processing industries as a Director at the Department of Marine Resources and chaired the Board of Coastal Enterprises, a Community Finance Development Corporation providing funding to low income areas in Maine and nationally. Sue now works as an author, consultant, teacher and advocate with a focus on the environment and climate change. She developed and teaches a course called Advocating for the Environment at several colleges, and offers public workshops on the same topic. Sue holds a BA in Human Ecology from College of the Atlantic and MBA from the University of New Hampshire.
This presentation is part of the ongoing series of programs for the All of Belfast Climate Dialogues project.
An Introduction to: “The Warming Sea” a symphony about Climate Change by Lucas Richman
Thursday November 4th, 2021 at 6:30 PM on Zoom
In January of 2019, Kate Dickerson, Founder & Director of the Maine Science Festival, commissioned Grammy award winning composer, Lucas Richman, to write a symphonic piece about climate change in the Gulf of Maine. The Maine Science Festival team arranged a series of discussions between Richman and climate experts up and down the coast of Maine. These conversations, as well as perspectives provided by middle school students throughout Maine, provided the foundation for “The Warming Sea.”
Join us for a discussion about the creation of The Warming Sea, a symphonic work to be debuted by the Bangor Symphony Orchestra in March of 2022. Lucas Richman has served as the Music Director of the Bangor Symphony Orchestra since 2010.
This presentation is part of the ongoing series of programs for the All of Belfast Climate Dialogues project.
Maine Won’t Wait: How Maine is Taking Action on Climate Change with Dr. Cassaundra Rose
Thursday October 21st, 2021 at 6:30 pm on Zoom :
Dr. Cassaundra Rose is a senior science analyst and the Maine Climate Council coordinator in the Governor’s Office of Policy Innovation and the Future. Dr. Rose will talk about how climate change is expected to affect Maine, the state climate action plan, Maine Won’t Wait, and how Governor Mills and the Legislature have advanced significant, bipartisan legislation and funding for climate action this year.
This program is also part of the ongoing series of programs for the All of Belfast Climate Dialogues.
Hosted by the Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition and All of Belfast: Climate Dialogues (ABCD), a project of the Belfast Free Library.
Belfast High Water Mark Project & New Tide Gauge Presentation
Friday October 8th, 2021 at 3:00 PM
Location: Belfast breakwater, adjacent to the City boat ramp and the Harbormaster’s office
The Belfast Climate Crisis Committee is pleased to announce that on Friday, 10/8/21at 3:00 p.m., there will be a gathering to introduce the High Water Mark project, a joint effort of the City of Belfast, the United States Army Corps of Engineers, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, Maine Geologic Service, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Representatives of these supporting organizations will discuss the origins and goals of the project; Belfast is one of several places on the Maine coast where historic high water events are being documented.
During this gathering, the Committee will also highlight other aspects of the City’s multiple projects, designed to provide accurate, long term data on the water and weather conditions on Belfast Bay.
US Harbors will describe the innovative GPS-based water level sensor system installed by Divirod on 9/29/21 at the end of the breakwater, and the Climate Crisis Committee, and staff and students from Belfast Area High School, will describe their tide gauges and the weather station, installed on the City pier with support from the Gulf of Maine Research Institute.
Storm Surge in the Penobscot Bay and River: Observations and Lessons Learned
Thursday September 16th, 2021 at 6:30 pm on Zoom
The Belfast Free Library and the Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition are once again co-sponsoring the upcoming fall and winter series of programs on Zoom.
Storm surges can be a threat to life and property in coastal regions during tropical and mid-latitude storm events. The State of Maine is most prone to storm surges resulting from mid-latitude winter storms, typically called “nor’easters”. When nor’easters track far enough inland, there is often a strong wind directed from the south over coastal Maine which enhances surge in Maine’s many estuaries.
We present observations of surge during two of these “windstorms” in one of the states largest estuaries: the Penobscot Bay and River system. We discuss the unique citizen scientist monitored water level network, which was created to capture these observations, as well as some interesting findings from each storm.
A presentation with Preston Spicer, PhD Candidate, Civil & Environmental Engineering, University of Maine
Hosted by the Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition and All of Belfast: Climate Dialogues (ABCD), a project of the Belfast Free Library.
Hot Enough For You? A community discussion on extreme heat
Thursday August 26th, 2021 at 6:00 pm on Zoom
Join us for a Climate Conversation about extreme heat:
HOT ENOUGH FOR YOU?
It’s going to get hotter.
We are hosting a public discussion on Thursday 8/26 to hear how you have gotten through the extreme heat this summer, and to hear your concerns and suggestions for the future.
- Do you or someone in your family suffer medically from the heat?
- Are you concerned about a neighbor or friend?
- Do you have air conditioning? Can you get to a cool place on very hot days?
- Should the Belfast community take any steps to prepare for future periods of extreme heat?
Join by Zoom at 6:00 pm on Thursday, August 26, 2021 to share your ideas and experiences.
Zoom link (there is no need to pre-register for this event):
Can't attend the discussion, but want to share your thoughts or concerns? Email us at [email protected].
Hosted by the Belfast Climate Crisis Committee and All of Belfast: Climate Dialogues (ABCD), a project of the Belfast Free Library.
Farmer's Market conversations: How is climate change impacting you?
Friday August 27th, 2021 from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm at the Belfast Farmer's Market (at Waterfall Arts)
The ABCD project will have a table at the Belfast Farmer's Market on Friday, August 27th. Come say hello, learn more about the project, and share how climate change is impacting you, your family and the Belfast area community. Bring your photos, videos, and stories to add to the ABCD website!
Concerned about extreme heat days? Worried about sea level rise? Afraid of ticks and brown tail moths? Confused about community solar? Curious about heat pumps? Wondering about impacts for farmers, fishermen, foresters, or others?
We invite you to share your concerns, observations, and hopes about the impacts of climate change in our region and our response to it.
Location: Belfast Farmer's Market, Waterfall Arts, 256 High Street, Belfast
Follow-up Conversation for "Sea Level Rise, Storms, and Citizen Science"
Thursday June 24, 2021 at 6:30 pm on Zoom
Join us for a Climate Conversation and to learn more about the ABCD project:
Register for the 6:30pm zoom link here.
“Sea Level Rise, Storms, and Citizen Science”
Tuesday, June 21st, 2021 at 6:30 pm on Zoom
The first ABCD program, “Sea Level Rise, Storms, and Citizen Science” was presented in collaboration with the Climate Crisis Committee on Tuesday, June 22, 2021. View the presentation here on YouTube.
Gayle Bowness, Coastal Resilience Program Manager at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute joined us to explain why sea level rise in the Gulf of Maine is causing more cities and towns along the coast to experience frequent flooding.
She also shared exciting updates to the Coastal Flooding Citizen Science Project that was launched in Belfast in 2020.
All of Belfast: Climate Dialogues began in 2020 as a grant-funded project to facilitate conversations among a broad cross-section of the Belfast community about climate change. The ABCD project became a presence in the community, establishing the Library as a source for information and a gathering place for conversation about the climate crisis and community response. From 2020-2023, ABCD held over 35 educational programs & community conversations engaging well over 1,000 people. The Library will continue to offer educational programming on topics around the climate crisis; and will continue supporting citizens to take action.