This post is from Paula Mirk, a member of the Islesboro Community Energy Action Team (CEAT), one of five teams pioneering intergenerational education and leadership around energy issues in seven year round island communities in Maine. Read more about the CEAT program here.
We formed the Islesboro Community Energy Action Team back in January, 2015. Our team consists of CJ, a senior in high school and our cartoon artist extraordinaire; Tres, also a teenager, homeschooler and an expert seaman; Kendra, our fantastic Island Institute Fellow; and the two wise elders, Paula Mirk and Toby Martin. Islesboro is the long (it used to be called “Long Island”) narrow island just below Verona Island at the mouth of the Penobscot River. We have a year-round population of less than 1,000, and a summer population of more than 2,000.
The Islesboro Energy Team got training from the Island Institute using tools to check home energy efficiency. We began practicing late last winter by visiting and checking public buildings around town. We have more to do, but have since moved on to two other related projects: a community-wide Energy Conversation to explore Islesboro's energy opportunities now and in the future, and a Weatherization Week.
Our community conversation will take place on Saturday, September 19th, 2015. We plan to have presentations from locals well versed in both solar energy opportunities for the island and in other more accessible and “doable” opportunities for individual homeowners. We see this event as a way of receiving guidance from our community about our path forward, an opportunity to establish and grow an interest in energy, renewables, and responsible sustainability for our island, and a venue for finding new members in order to expand our team.
We hope to have ten homes signed up for Weatherization by the time it takes place the first week of December. We have a steady promotional effort going on through two communication streams. We send out an informative one or two-pager each month as part of the island-wide “boxholder mailing”. We also contribute articles and cartoons to our local newspaper, like the one above.