Categorized | IN OUR COMMUNITY

Transition Longfellow visioning its future

Posted on 27 January 2019 by calvin

After eight years at the helm of Transition Longfellow, co-founders Leslie MacKenzie and Peter Foster—the last members of the initial organizing group—are stepping back from the leadership team and moving out of the area. In preparation for the change, the group has been hosting small-group brainstorming sessions.

On Sat., Feb. 9, starting at 9am, the group will host a community meeting to vision its future. (The meeting is tentatively scheduled for Hiawatha School Park building. Check the website for confirmation.)

Fruit, coffee, and bagels will be served from 9 to 9:30am; then attendees will hear what was shared at the brainstorming sessions before engaging in a facilitated World Café exercise and committing to how the group will operate moving forward.

“I’m not sure people recognize how amazing this all-volunteer group has been,” MacKenzie said. “We’ve done so many different programs and participated in so many events, all with volunteers and very little money. For a small community group, we’ve been able to work with the City of Minneapolis, with the national Transition organization, and even with international organizations.”

Whether and how the group continues to operate will depend upon the community response on Feb. 9. “I certainly hope this group continues,” said MacKenzie. “As we move deeper into climate change, the need for communities to come together in learning and mutual aid is more important than ever! And the opportunities to positively engage with the most critical issues of our time are huge.”

Reflecting on eight years of action
“It has been an amazing 8-plus years of involvement with Transition Towns here in Longfellow,” MacKenzie said. “In that time, we learned a lot about the inter-related challenges our community, our country, and our planet face. Because of that, our household took dramatic action to reduce our carbon footprint and to learn more about resilience and climate preparedness.”

“We became a one-car family—and most of the time that car was parked, and we biked and took mass transit,” Mac­Kenzie added.
She added, “We put solar electric and hot air panels on our home and worked bit by bit to make it more energy efficient. After 25 years of weatherization and efficiency projects, we recently received Energy Fit Home certification through the Center for Energy and Environment.

“We created an edible landscape in our yard,” MacKenzie said, “and participated in every Chard Your Yard garden-build project to help many of our neighbors start growing vegetables, too.

“At the Days of Garden Skillshare events, we learned, along with everyone else, how to save seeds, prune trees, set up a compost bin and a hydroponic system, and more. At the Days of Food Skillshares, we learned to make jam and kombucha and what cilantro is and how to use it.

“There are so many generous and skillful neighbors willing to share what they know: Cherylline Vaz and her Indian cooking, Annette Rondano and her jams and jellies, Quantina Beck Jones and her kombucha and chickens, Theresa Rooney and her master gardening skills. Jason Holtz helped us build Little Free Libraries. Bruce Stahlberg helped us make rocket stoves and solar cookers.

MacKenzie concluded, “We’ve met so many people—probably several hundred in the neighborhood, but also across the country and the world in the time we’ve been involved. That is certainly one of the big benefits of being in a Transition group. We hope we can find, or create, a group in the St. Croix Valley where we’ll be living. And we’ll stay involved with Transition Twin Cities and the Transition Longfellow Facebook community, which is extensive.”