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Life and Work

Dummerston joins growing movement of Transition Towns

DUMMERSTON—Dummerston has recently joined a growing number of cities and towns across the country and around the world that have become Transition Towns.

The Transition movement is comprised of grassroots community initiatives that seek to build community resilience in the face of such challenges as peak oil, climate change, and economic crises. Thousands of communities around the world are becoming Transition Towns, exploring and using this positive, solutions-focused approach, finding innovative responses to the changes that lie ahead.

In Vermont, eight towns, including Putney, have started Transition initiatives to increase local resilience.

In early December, more than 40 people attended a “Training for Transition” at the Dummerston Congregational Church. In addition to providing history and background of the Transition movement, the weekend provided hands-on opportunities to experience the approach of Transition to developing community connections and resilience.

The Transition approach emphasizes partnering with existing organizations to find common ground and to help support them in the good work they’re already doing. Working with these groups, the goal is to deepen community connections and develop a vision for the future that can sustain towns through whatever challenges lie ahead.

Another key principle of Transition is that there’s no “one size fits all” approach and that each community has its own needs, resources, and inspired people. Together, these create the ground for new initiatives, unique to each community.

Transition Dummerston is planning a series of evening community events with potluck suppers during the next three months to raise awareness and begin introducing the community to Transition ideas.

The events will be held on the last Friday of each month 6-8:30 p.m. Here are the events so far:

• Friday, Jan. 27: Potluck supper and movie at the Dummerston Community Center in West Dummerston. The film Transition 1.0: From Peak Oil to Local Resilience will be shown. It briefly describes the intertwined problems of peak oil and climate change and gives a positive vision for how humanity can meet these challenges, telling stories of communities all over the world that have begun implementing Transition plans. Dinner will begin at 6; the film will be shown at 7, followed by a short discussion.

• Friday, Feb. 24: Potluck supper and community conversation at the Dummerston Congregational Church. The conversation will provide opportunities to explore the needs and resources of the community to develop local resilience and potential Transition projects.

• Friday, March 23: Potluck supper and movie at the Dummerston Community Center. The film The Power of Community will be shown. It tells the story of what happened in Cuba after the fall of the Soviet Union resulted in a drastic reduction in imports of oil and food. Cubans tell of their hardships and struggle as they transitioned from a highly mechanized, industrial agricultural system to one using organic methods of farming and local, urban gardens. Dinner will begin at 6; the film will be shown at 7, with a short discussion following the film.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #135 (Wednesday, January 18, 2012).

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