Transition Town Media would like to thank our Greater Media community for our greatest year yet! With your help and support, we’ve accomplished a lot in 2014 and are looking forward to an equally vibrant and successful 2015.
A volunteer butternut squash in a Yarden near you!
Let’s recap some of the highlights from this year. First, we had a Strategic Planning session in January with 32 enthusiastic and creative people joining us to envision scores of great projects we’d like to take on. The first of those projects was launched in February with our Foodscape Forum event at which we shared our dream of food growing all over Media with a Community Center full of people. This event kicked off what we later named our Yardens project to start food gardens in people’s yards, community spaces, schools, anywhere that had some land that would support a “yarden”. The project is enhanced by the Greater Media Yardens Facebook page where new and experienced gardens ask questions, give tips, and share their gardening experience (and produce!) with each other.
Design courtesy of Nick Agneta, Fabian Baber Communication, Inc.
Then there was Happiness Week! This was a big experiment for us – pulling together a week’s worth of activities, all centered around how to find true happiness by creating things, spending time with each other, making music and food together, being out in nature, sharing stories and stuff. We quickly learned there were loads of things already happening that fit our criteria that we could just publicize. We threw in a few of our own events – a potluck, a movie, some fun for kids, some talks about the nature of happiness… oh, and Media’s very first flash mob right on State St. That was fun, wasn’t it?
And then we opened up a Free Store, right on State St in the First United Methodist Church. After months of mentioning we’d like office space in Media, this place sort of fell in our laps. When we saw it, we realized that it could be much more than an office and the idea of a Free Store became to breathe life. We held a small fundraiser to make sure we could afford the rent and then took the plunge. We opened its doors on June 1st and it was an immediate success! People came in, a little confused about how a store where everything was free could work, but they soon caught on to the possibilities – the possibility of taking the stuff you don’t need or want to the store and having someone see it and treasure it, the possibility that you don’t have to buy everything you need or want, you could find it at the Free Store, and when you were done with it or didn’t want it anymore, you could just take it back! A whole new relationship with stuff has dawned.
That didn’t mean we couldn’t have our traditional Free Market as part of the Great Media Garage Sale weekend! So early September saw us out on the Providence Friends Meeting lawn putting on our 3rd annual swap meet where people could bring stuff, including whatever didn’t sell in their garage sales, and continue looking for great finds for free! The Free Market is the popular event that first gave us the itch to have a permanent place for swapping stuff, two years before the Free Store was born.
Also in September, we were pleased to host the Radical Mycology group who stopped in Media on their North American tour to give us two workshops on the wonderful world of mushrooms. Adults and kids learned about mushrooms’ many benefits, not just as easy-to-find or grow food, but in medicine and soil remediation.
We finished out the year with 2 more “3rd annual” events, our most popular events over the years which we love putting on. The first is our Gratitude Celebration, a candle-lit potluck where Media’s non-profits and civic organizations come to talk about what they’ve been doing and how the public can support them. It’s always inspiring and informative for the public and the organizations often learn from each other as well.
And last but not least is our famous Green Sunday Holiday Fair, where people can buy beautiful and creative holiday gifts, handmade by local artisans and crafters. This fun event also features craft tables where kids can make their own holiday gifts or just have fun making stuff, raffle baskets of items donated by local Media businesses and the vendors themselves, and food and beverages hosted by the Media Fair Trade Committee.
Not bad, right? And those were just the highlights! We also had monthly Reskilling workshops and potlucks, where attendees learned batch cooking, various sewing and other fabric projects, knot tying, bike repair, and several other skills. The Timebank group held a Gift Circle. We sponsored hikes and foraging walks. We had book groups and discussion groups. All towards the end of having a caring, sharing, and resilient community.
Come join us at our January Planning session to learn how you could get involved with this fun and dedicated group of people. We have lots of ideas for great projects in 2015. And we’d like to hear yours! More details later.