Keeping Nantucket Beautiful

There are few things more important to me in life than efforts to retain what is rare and beautiful on this earth.  Nantucket, a tiny island just three and a half miles wide and fourteen miles long, can only be reached by boat or plane, making it a world of its own.

Its distance from the mainland has helped it to retain its quaintness and its charm over the years since it first found itself drawn on a map in 1602.  Grey shingled buildings, roses tumbling over fences, sandy beaches, hundreds of historic homes, and boats bobbing in the harbor combine with the natural beauty of the island to make it a priceless treasure.

ReMain Nantucket

ReMain Nantucket is one organization dedicated to strengthening the vitality of downtown Nantucket, while preserving its unique character and spirit. ReMain is committed to supporting a healthy, year round community on the island, and a flourishing downtown.

In the past twelve months, they have sponsored workshops on seasonal parking issues, presented by transportation experts; held a conference about rising sea levels, in collaboration with the Egan Maritime Institute, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, The Nature Conservancy, Climate Central, and the Maria Mitchell Association; and hosted a presentation on sustainable downtowns, presented by the director for the National Trust Main Street Center.

They have been responsible for community initiatives, such as purchasing the Mitchell’s Book Corner property and leasing it to a local entrepreneur, Mary Jennings. With the goal of renovating an historic property in an environmentally thoughtful way, they sought the expertise of local engineers and architects.  The building renovation was awarded a silver LEED certification from the U.S Green Building Council.

ReMain Nantucket is a sponsor of Nantucket Race Week, August 13-21, 2011, the Nantucket Comedy Festival, July 28-30, 2011, and the Nantucket Garden Festival, July 20-23, 2011.  The organization only sponsors non-profits, and they ask for a pledge of sustainability for their events, as well as offering guidelines to help make that happen.

Learn more about this wonderful organization at www.remainnantucket.org.

Sustainable Nantucket

Sustainable Nantucket is working to build a more locally-based and self-reliant food system on-island, along with a strong local economy.  They are making efforts to expand agricultural production, promote local farmers’ markets, encourage local food use in Nantucket restaurants, schools, hospital and other venues, and educate the community about sustainability.

Islanders can support their good work at the annual Farm Fresh Feast, happening July 16 at Moors End Farm. The menu is all “Nantucket Grown,” and will include a Nantucket Bay Scallop Ceviche, Herb-Crusted Dayboat Cod with Tomato Basil Salsa, Grilled Seasonal Vegetables from Pumpkin Pond and HUmmock Pond Farms, and a selection of delicious desserts.  For more information and to purchase tickets, go to http://www.sustainablenantucket.org/events-2/upcoming-events/

Approximately 1/3 of our carbon footprint as a nation comes from industrialized agriculture, which also uses pesticides and herbicides, degrading our soil and water.  When you support local food production, you help to reduce the demand for food produced by this system, and at the same time, enjoy better taste, fresher foods, and a higher nutritional value.

Sustainable Nantucket operates a Farmers and Artisans Market on Saturdays on North Union and Cambridge Streets from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Enhancing the Nantucket feeling of community, vendors include growers, artisans and prepared food purveyors.  There are live music performances, kids’ activities, demonstrations and more.  July is Tomato, Tomato Month, with a “making salsa” demonstration on July 23rd.

Vendors include one of my very favorite places for fresh organic produce, Pumpkin Pond Farm (www.pumpkinpondfarm.com), as well as Bartlett’s Farm, Gourmet Gardens, Nantucket Coffee Roasters and more!

There is also a Mid-Island Market at 113 Pleasant Street on Tuesdays from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. that will run through August 30th, providing a second location and date for islanders who may not make it to the downtown market on Saturday, or who are ready to replenish their supplies.

Sustainable Nantucket also operates a Farm to School program to serve healthier meals in school cafeterias, builds school gardens and provides information to parents, teachers and students about healthy eating.  A Youth Council Program began in 2008 to help the island’s youth become leaders in implementing sustainable practices, and ongoing Outreach/Education efforts are made through classes, workshops and targeted campaigns.

Learn how you can help at www.sustainablenantucket.org.

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