HARLEMVILLE — Bill McKibben, renowned environmental advocate, author and educator, will give a free public lecture in honor of the Columbia Land Conservancy’s 25th Anniversary this Tuesday, June 21 at Hawthorne Valley, 327 County Route 21C, Ghent.
This free celebratory event begins at 5:30 pm. Donations gladly accepted with net proceeds to support the ongoing efforts of the Columbia Land Conservancy to conserve the farmland, forests, wildlife habitat and rural character of Columbia County. It is co-sponsored by Hawthorne Valley Association and FarmAssist Productions in honor of the conservancy’s 25th Anniversary.
Mr. McKibben is the author of a dozen books about the environment, beginning with “The End of Nature” in 1989, which is regarded as the first book for a general audience on climate change. He is a founder of the grassroots climate campaign 350.org, which has coordinated 15,000 rallies in 189 countries since 2009. Time magazine called him “the planet’s best green journalist” and the Boston Globe said in 2010 that he was “probably the country’s most important environmentalist.”
Schumann Distinguished Scholar at Middlebury College, Mr. McKibben holds honorary degrees from a dozen colleges, including the Universities of Massachusetts and Maine, the State University of New York, and Whittier and Colgate colleges. In 2010, he was awarded the Puffin/Nation Prize for Creative Citizenship and in 2011 was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is a frequent contributor to various magazines including The New York Times, The Atlantic Monthly, Harper’s, Orion Magazine, Mother Jones, The New York Review of Books, Granta, Rolling Stone, Outside, and Grist Magazine. He currently resides with his wife, writer Sue Halpern, and his daughter, Sophie, in Ripton, Vermont. He is a scholar in residence at Middlebury College.
He will visit Columbia County in recognition of the Columbia Land Conservancy’s 25 years of service to the community. Incorporated in June of 1986, CLC has grown from a small group of concerned citizens meeting around a kitchen table into a fully staffed organization with 15 employees working throughout Columbia County. It is among less than 10% of land trusts nationwide to be accredited by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission. Its comprehensive strategy of land conservation includes working with landowners, municipalities, farmers and other not-for-profits and community organizations.
Columbia County has more than 100,000 acres of farmland, even greater contiguous forest land, rich wildlife habitat and sensitive ecosystems, water resources and scenic landscapes. To ensure that these qualities will endure, CLC has set forth a series of 25th Anniversary goals including working to increase its conserved land holdings to 25,000 acres, initiate 25 miles of new trails, add 2,500 acres of land to its public conservation areas, offer 25 new educational programs, and increase by 25% the number of people who support its vision for the county that embraces a vibrant agricultural economy and a healthy, accessible environment.
Hawthorne Valley Association was one of the first entities to place a major land parcel under protection through a CLC conservation easement. FarmAssist seeks to speed the relocalization of our culture through educating farmers, “reskilling” families, advocating for good, clean and fair food, and connecting people to the place where they live and to each other. For more information, call 518 672-5808.