On June 16, 2016, Manomet Trustees, Councilors, special supporters, and staff gathered for a festive evening of stories from Manomet’s next generation of program leaders. We also broke ground on our accessibility project and launched Bird-a-Thon.
Upon arrival, guests were greeted with locally-sourced appetizers and spirits, featuring our partner Cabot Creamery’s cheese, as well as wine from Westport Rivers and Root 360 brewery members: Maine Beer Company, Rising Tide Brewery, and Allagash Brewing Company. We enjoyed music from Barry Gross on the upright bass and Neal McCarthy on guitar and vocals. Kate’s Table wowed with mini-margaritas served in Patron nip bottles, grass fed beef served on a bed of grass, and a cauliflower dish that had people who say they don’t eat cauliflower simply in love. However, the real meat and potatoes of the night happened after dinner, when our next generation of program leaders shared their first-hand experiences of Manomet’s mission in action.
Catrina Damrell, Field Manager of Manomet’s Grocery Stewardship Certification (GSC), shared her “Manomet Moment.” An employee of a Weis grocery store was in the midst of a training with Catrina when the employee’s daughter phoned. After the call, the woman turned to Catrina and said, “So, I have a question for you. What is this sustainability thing anyways?” For a moment, Catrina froze as she realized that moments like this were the reason why Manomet’s GSC exists. And that this woman’s daughter, waiting at home, would probably hear her answer, too.
Catrina’s answer: “Sustainability is when we use the resources today with the next generation in mind, who need those same resources for tomorrow. So, you can think of what you do today will ultimately impact the quality of life for your daughter.”
Catrina left the grocery store that day feeling like the sustainability torch had been ignited in one more person.
Next to take the podium was Jennifer Hushaw, our Applied Forest Scientist for Manomet’s Climate Services Program. Jennifer recited the program’s mantra: To be comprehensive and accurate, but concise and accessible—tailored for busy professionals. “This resonates across many Manomet programs because we’re attuned to working with the people who manage these systems [natural, forest, food, and economic],” she continued.
Jennifer introduced us to the Small Woodland Owners Association of Maine and their journey from reluctance to take on climate change, to a greater command of the subject and willingness to engage with their members on this topic—a shift they attributed to our program.
Lora Winslow, Program Associate for our Sustainable Economies Program, followed and spoke with great pride of the interns she just graduated from U360. In late 2015, she developed an internship model that supports the growth of Root 360, Manomet’s small business sustainability tool. The first U360 pilot was with the University of Southern Maine (USM) and consisted of a team of three students. U360 gives college students an opportunity to learn about sustainability through engagement with small businesses nationwide.
She went on to talk about one of her students: Brook Tracey, a sophomore at USM. Lora shared how Brook’s understanding of sustainability increased considerably over the course of the semester. Brook exhibited creativity, proficiency, and analytical thinking during their Capstone event, when each student presented a case study and Sustainability Action Plan to a panel of small business leaders.
After the Capstone event Brook told Lora that, “At first I was really nervous to present to these important business leaders. But then I could see they were actually interested in what I had to say, and it was so cool to realize there were things they could learn from me too.”
Lora concluded her story by saying, ‘While I’m considered to be part of the “next generation at Manomet,” there is truly a next generation coming into the real world behind me.”
Monica Iglecia, Assistant Director of Shorebird Habitat Management within our Shorebird Recovery Program, graced the stage next. She explained how Habitats for Shorebirds is improving conditions for shorebirds through information sharing, technical advisement, and partnerships with wetlands managers—leading directly to improved habitat management.
Habitats for Shorebirds brings the best available science to the managers through workshops at important sites. Collaboration continues through technical advisement long after the workshops are over.
Partners like Nancy Hoffman at Stillwater National Wildlife Refuge in Nevada and their wetland habitat improvement work have brought enthusiasm and momentum to Manomet’s work—improving habitats for shorebirds across flyways by engaging people, applying science, and taking action.
After these very special presentations, the night took a turn to the fun side, where our Trustees and Councilors challenged each other to see more birds and raise more money as we launched Manomet’s 38th Annual Bird-a-Thon. You too can join the competition: Get Your Bird On!
Before we even sat down to dinner, we held a ground breaking ceremony, launching the beginning of construction on our Accessibility Improvement Project, funding for which began at last year’s Summerfest. The goal of the project is to make Manomet Headquarters accessible to all visitors. Our need was to create an accessible Outdoor Classroom and make Manomet Headquarters accessible to all visitors. We were successful in raising just about $280,000—and construction should be completed before fall banding season in August.
Thank you to the Massachusetts Cultural Council’s Cultural Facilities Fund for awarding Manomet a $120,000 matching grant—and thank you to our supporters for donating $160,000, taking us beyond the matching requirement!
And a special, special THANK YOU to our amazing sponsors who made this event possible:
GOLD LEVEL SPONSORS
LDa Architecture & Interiors
Rogers & Gray
SILVER LEVEL SPONSORS
Coastal Heritage Bank
Recycled Paper Printing, Inc.
And thank you to the following businesses providing in-kind support for our Summerfest event
Island Creek Oysters
Powder Horn Printing
South Shore Shuttle Service
Westport Rivers Vineyard
Check out our Facebook Album for more photos from the event!