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Becoming a 'Transition Town'

The District 12 Community Council in St. Paul is looking to join the international Transition Town movement to “rebuild resilience and reduce CO2 emissions.”

As a starting point, the council is hosting a community meeting on Jan. 17 at the St. Anthony Park United Methodist Church, to discuss ways the community is already responding to this challenge.

Tim Wulling, a member of the council’s Environment Committee, which is heading this effort, says, “We want to pull people together to share what’s happening, to be inspired by each other.”

For those who want to learn more about the topic beforehand, the group’s energy resilience subcommittee will also be screening a movie titled “In Transition 2.0” on Jan. 9 at the Joy of the People Center and on Jan. 12 at the St. Anthony Park Branch Library.

The movie tells about what other Transition Towns around the world are doing to make a difference in this area.

It comes down to the fact that “The human species lives too large on earth, creating climate and environment disruption,” Wulling says, adding, “It’s a real concern for our children and grandchildren.”

That’s what motivated the District 12 Community Council's Environment Committee and its energy resilience subcommittee to tackle the problem.

The Transition Town movement, which originated in the U.K. a handful of years ago, emphasizes that problem solving should happen at the local level, he says. Today, the movement is at work in at least 400 communities around the world.

To help build awareness around the issues in St. Anthony Park, related movie screenings, speakers, and meetings will be planned throughout the year, he says. Later on, if the neighborhood group formally joins the Transition network, it will need to come up with a plan for reducing energy use and CO2 emissions, to be vetted by the network.

The initiative also poses big questions such as “Is there another way of living that would be better?” and “Where will we be in 20 or 30 years from now? What life do we want?”

In St. Anthony Park, “We’re fortunate here to have a community feeling,” Wulling says. “It’s a well-knit area. That’s the key. We want to build on that.”

Source: Tim Wulling, St. Anthony Park Community Council committee member
Writer: Anna Pratt
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