• Localvore -- stressed the values of producing and consuming locally grown food. People signed up, restaurants and businesses participated along with school children.

• Localvolts -- challenging The Valley to become more energy independent. Building on the successes The Valley had in the '70s and '80s in relation to innovative solutions in energy usage.

• The appearance of Pulitzer Prize nominee and prolific author James Martin at the Big Picture, who introduced his newly released book, <MI>The Meaning of the 21st Century<D>, with emphasis on: Survivability is the primary challenge of the 21st century due to the affects of crushing overpopulation and over-utilization of the world's resources; and future changes made in the 21st century must be inherently sustainable and restorative in nature.

Survivability needs to be the most important subject taught in our schools. It is today's youth who will collectively determine whether civilization survives or not--namely those born between 1985 and 2020.

If one connects all the dots one sees that the awareness, energy, experience, knowledge and resources are already present in The Valley to make changes in how we inhabit this planet which will be inherently more sustainable and restorative. There really isn't a choice as to whether we do it or not because the train is already coming down the tracks.

The important point is to get our youth involved in the planning and execution of these projects. Our schools need to prepare our students for the challenges they will face. As a community we need to create a laboratory
for our youth that will give them the tools and knowledge to survive in the 21st century. A place founded on respect, renewal and sustainability of our environment. We owe it to them. So let's roll up our sleeves, combine our collective strengths and resources and get our kids involved.

Linda Olson,Waitsfield