Looking into the future is a scary thing these days.  It’s difficult to know how to plan with the economy, the environment, even our culture, in such a period of fluctuation.  So what do you really NEED to be safe in a year?  I’m not asking “What would be nice?”  that’s something that is unique to each of us.  But there are common threads to what we truly need.

Do you need safe food?  – Local farms abound here in Central New England, but keeping their products available year round is a challenge. That takes adding some value, which means licensed facilities to make them.  Do you need education about what the challenges are to growing your own? or buying the best you can?  Are you confused about labels like GMO, cage-free and others. You are not alone, but maybe you need to find those people with similar concerns.

Do you need a way to make some more money? Does that require more space, and access to clientele?  Do you have the skills, but you need more room to spread out, and way for customers to find you? Do you feel alone in your studio and need a place to bounce ideas off, or jam for a little inspiration?

Is it your family’s health you’re worried about?  With the rise in autism and Asperger’s and the decline of school budgets, is your challenge finding a sympathetic shoulder, or some guidance about what’s available? Do you have a soldier returning home who faces challenges of invisible wounds, or visible ones but lack of local support?

We all wear clothing, but the items found at the chain stores don’t seem to hold up the way they did when we were younger. Do you need to learn how to repair things?  make things?  Just need to find someone to help you when you’re “past your abilities?”

Those are things that everyone will need in the future.  Those “needs” can be combined with “wants” to enhance our local economy.  By creating a place where people can come to meet their “needs,” we enhance our own economic health, and people can meet others who have information to share.  If the “wants” of a dog trainer or dog breeder can meet the “needs” of a special needs child or a veteran readjusting to their home life, who loses?

By sharing facilities, connecting services and people, we can contribute to the other item we all need – a healthy environment.  Using alternative energy, collaboration and expanding current services, each of us can minimize “our footprint,” and still have a stronger, healthier future.

So what is needed to make that happen?  Mostly it comes down to space.  We, at North Country Sustainability Center, need a space where area farmers and chefs can develop new businesses in a collaborative facility. Our youth, farmers and other animal enthusiasts can share exhibition space, equipment, even cooperate in programming and feed requirements, if our space is large enough.  Area artists and consumers need a way to find each other that is affordable to both. Celebrating these different “needs” by offering seasonal special events brings in visitors from all over New England, feeding area restaurants, gas stations, hotels and B&B’s.

But for us to meet your needs, we NEED you to join the Revival of Local Sustainability.  Visit www.northcountrysustain.org/Revivor.html and give what you can.  Tell others about this program, too. If you don’t live in Central New England, join us in thinking “outside of the box,” and help us develop this multi-disciplinary approach to the future.  We’ll pave your way by showing it works, and will assist with information and support where we can in helping others create this “Hearth of Sustainability,” in their own area.

Give now, so when tomorrow comes, you’ll have what you need.  Wait, and it won’t be there.  Be a Revivor!