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‘Green Night’ sessions relocate, get new leadership

ABRAH DRESDALE

ABRAH DRESDALE

After four years of sessions at the Northampton Brewery, the consortium will start again Feb. 13 at 4 p.m. at the Clarion Hotel and Conference Center in Northampton on the second Wednesday of each month.

Green Night draws builders, designers, architects, homeowners — anyone interested in sustainability.

“We want to help organize the fun in green learning, as well as the learning,” said Andrew Baker, the group’s president. “All movements need to have fun.”

Baker said he he hopes to create an informal space where people can have a beer, chat and learn. Each event includes a presentation and time for discussion and networking. Sessions have drawn as many as 60 people.

Nancy Bair, vice president of the group’s board, describes the atmosphere at its events as “electric.”

Together, she said, particpants get “that feeling that we are all helping make a difference towards sustainability and the reduced burning of carbon in our atmosphere.”

The Feb. 13 Green Night will include a half-hour presentation by Abrah Dresdale, coordinator for the Farm & Food Systems program at Greenfield Community College. She will share what she has learned from her first year with the program, in which students take courses and learn through internships about ecological, economic, political and social systems related to food and farming.

Since its last event, the organization created a new board and became a nonprofit, tax-exempt corporation. At the Feb. 13 meeting, Baker will introduce the new board and comment on the four years that Sean Jeffords dedicated to the group.

Jeffords, founder of Beyond Green Construction in Easthampton, started the consortium with friends four years ago.

In its four years, the group has grown into a network of 3,500 individuals and businesses across western Massachusetts. In addition to Green Night, it runs Project Retrofit a few times a year. Project Retrofit presents longer, more in-depth workshops for people looking to retrofit their homes.

Baker said he became involved with the consortium in part because he was working to retrofit his drafty, 150-year-old house in Shelburne Falls.

To combat climate change, he said, work has to be done “person by person, house by house.”

People who attend Feb. 13 are invited to identify topics they’d like to discuss in the future. “We are a grassroots effort with plenty of room on the ground for folks to join in,” Baker said.

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