Mad Marathon, a 1% for the Planet event, encourages participants to go carbon neutral through local, streamside tree plantings
Waitsfield, VT – This summer’s Mad Marathon, a 1% for the Planet event, in Vermont’s Mad River Valley is the first marathon in the nation to offer runners the option of defraying the carbon footprint of their travel through the nonprofit Clear Water Carbon Fund.
The race is described as the “the first marathon dedicated to sustainability” and will be held on July 7 in Waitsfield, Vermont.
The Clear Water Carbon Fund plants trees along deforested rivers and streams to reduce atmospheric carbon, protect clean water resources and create wildlife habitat. Mad Marathon runners can neutralize their travel emissions by purchasing trees to be planted and monitored by the Clear Water Carbon Fund. The Fund, which was launched by the nonprofit Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences, has planted nearly 1,800 trees since its inception last year.
“We are very excited to work with a forward-thinking race like the Mad Marathon,” said Ethel Wilkerson, a Manomet Center scientist who coordinates the Fund. “They are focused on sustainability and reducing their environmental footprint. Planting trees in local watersheds is a great way to achieve both of those goals.”
This year, the Fund is planting Central Vermont as well as in the Northeast Kingdom. In Maine, the Fund is reforesting areas near the Androscoggin River and Sebago Lake.
“We are so proud to have the 1% for the Planet New England nonprofit partner, Clean Water Carbon Fund, to be such an active participant in this event. Not only are they demonstrating what the do best, but they are also using this platform to raise money and awareness of their cause. It’s truly our model in action,” said Barbara Friedsam, Sr. Director of Marketing and New England.
Dori Ingalls, Mad Marathon Race Director explained, “The course highlights the beauty of Vermont’s fields, forests, and streams. We can think of no better way to achieve our mission of sustainability then by planting trees to keep our air and water healthy and clean.”
Students from Stockbridge Central School’s 3, 4, 5, and 6 grade reforest a functioning flood plain on Stony Brook, a tributary of the White River in central Vermont. Stony Brook is an important spawning stream for wild rainbow trout, native brook trout, and Atlantic salmon.
NorthWoods Stewardship Center staff plants a stream buffer along a tributary of the Pherrins River in Morgan, VT. The Pherrins River flows into the Clyde River, which feeds Lake Memphermagog, an international body of water spanning the US and Canadian border.
Why drive from the Adirondacks to northern Maine, when you can take a canoe! That’s right, because of the hard work of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail, you can now take a continuous paddling trail from Old Forge, through Vermont, Quebec, and New Hampshire to Fort Kent, ME. This 740 mile trail represents a world class model of recreation management for public access to waterways, trail stewardship, economic development, and rural youth outdoor education.
The Northern Forest Canoe Trail’s Northern Forest Explorers Program connects rural youth aged 10-14 to the natural wonders of their own backyards by taking these young people on five-day canoe-camping trips along the trail. The program completes roughly 20 trips a year, with 9-12 youth participating in each trip. These trips immerse kids in natural settings, planting the seeds of desire for future outdoor recreation opportunities and increased environmental awareness. NFCT makes this possible for as many children as possible by subsidizing the cost of these adventures.
- In 2011, named “Best Canoe Trail” by Outside Magazine
- In 2012, named “Best East Coast Adventure” by Outside Magazine
- Between 2011 and 2012 the program grew by 66%
- Through generous donations, NFCT supports 20 trips each year
- Partnerships with 70 communities along the 740-mile trail, enabling both education for the kids and economic development for the communities.
- Subsidizing the cost of participation for over 150 participants in 2013
- Forming partnerships with additional outdoor education/recreation organizations
NFCT is looking for support to keep the kid’s trip program in action.
Sponsorship is easy: At $600 you can sponsor a single child from Maine, New Hampshire or Vermont on a trip of a lifetime on their backyard waterways. Or sponsor a trip of 10 young people for $6,000.
The success of this program is gauged by the increasing demand from local communities for this program to touch the lives of their young people. As a result of this experience, the NFCT hopes to provide a growing awareness of the power of landscape and its ability to support healthy communities. Providing a trip such as this will help to create the environmental stewards of the future.
Across the world as development continues, small farms are at risk of extinction. Often they become unaffordable and this growth threatens some of our last remaining open places. We have one of these examples right here in our back yard, the Bragg Farm.
Luckily, the diligent work of land trusts are helping to protect these places and reenergize sustainable local agriculture. The Vermont Land Trust’s (VLT) conservation efforts change the lives of families, invigorate farms, launch new businesses, maintain scenic vistas, encourage outdoor recreation, and foster a renewed sense of community.
This spring, VLT is asking for you to help save Bragg Farm! The Bragg Farm has been an important part of the Mad River Valley’s agricultural landscape for more than 200 years. Perched high above the Mad River, the farm’s iconic barn, hay fields and incomparable views of the Green Mountains showcase the beauty and agricultural productivity of the Valley’s working landscape.
In 2012, the Vermont Land Trust worked with Mad River Watershed Conservation Partnership to purchase the 48-acre property. VLT then searched for a new farmer through through our Farmland Access Program, which helps experienced farmers gain access to productive, affordable farmland.
Marisa Mauro was selected to purchase the farm from VLT. In 2008, Marisa started Ploughgate Creamery, which produced award-winning cheese until a fire destroyed the place she was leasing. If VLT is successful in the fundraising effort, Marisa will restart Ploughgate Creamery’s operations and establish a grass-based dairy farm that produces artisanal butter, fresh cheeses, buttermilk and suckling hogs.
Contributions will help VLT to raise the last $85,000 to protect this special Mad River Valley farm, forever!
And if you’re local to the farm, Have glass a wine and help conserve the Bragg Farm! VLT and Cork Wine Bar invite the public to an evening fundraiser on Wednesday, April 10, starting at 6 pm. $1 of every glass of wine poured will go towards the remaining $85,000 needed for the property’s protection. http://www.vlt.org/initiatives/bragg
Protecting the Bragg Hill Farm will:
Permanently conserve scenic and productive farmland
Ensure the long-term affordability of the farm to Vermont’s farmers
Preserve the historic barn, a treasured community landmark
Revitalize the Bragg Farm with a new agricultural operation
Partners collaborating on the project
The Vermont Housing and Conservation Board (VHCB), local conservation commissions and local land trusts are vital to raising the funds needed to protect the more than 50 properties VLT conserves each year. VHCB, the Mad River Watershed Conservation Partnership, and the Town of Fayston are key partners in the Bragg Farm project.
Successes and Challenges
VLT purchased the farm using bridge financing for its appraised value of $760,000 and will sell the farm to Mauro at its appraised agricultural value of $175,000. VTL is raising money for the conservation easement, appraised at $585,000, as well as funds to preserve the historic barn. The total fundraising goal is $792,000.
With funds already raised and additional grant support from the VHCB, only $85,000 is left to go.
Call to Action
Make a tax-deducible gift until May 1, 2013 by sending a check to Vermont Land Trust with “Bragg Farm” in the memo line. To learn more about Bragg Farm and the Farmland Access Program, or to donate on line, go to http://www.vlt.org/initiatives/bragg
“As a farmer and Vermonter, I am so proud to be part of the Mad River Valley community. With this opportunity, I can’t wait to get to work at the Bragg Farm with my family, friends and neighbors and contribute to our working landscape.” – Marisa Mauro
Vermont Land Trust
Since 1977, VLT has permanently conserved more than 1,650 parcels of land covering more than 500,000 acres, or about eight percent of the private, undeveloped land in the state. The conserved land includes more than 700 working farms, hundreds of thousands of acres of productive forestland, and numerous parcels of community land. As a member-supported, nonprofit 501(c)(3) land conservation we provide technical and legal assistance to individuals, communities, and local land trusts to help them achieve their conservation objectives. We also have an ongoing stewardship relationship with landowners to ensure that conservation goals are upheld in perpetuity. Learn more about VLT here.
The following blog was written by Rob Thomas, the owner of Social(k), based in Springfield, MA. Social(k) joined 1% for the Planet in 2006 and recently completed their 2012 certification early with support of the Spikenard Farm and Honeybee Sanctuary. We appreciate Rob’s support of our network and would like to share the following blog post with the rest of our network, so they can learn how to add socially responsible investment (SRI) options to an employers retirement plan.
Download this valuable step by step guide on how to get your employer or organization to add Socially Responsible Investments to a retirement plan. Please download it and make use of it. Here’s what you’ll find:
-An outline of what a retirement plan involves.
-What the pieces of this sometimes confusing puzzle are.
-Who does what. How to add Socially Responsible Investing, and why.
-What the steps are to add a new employee benefit or change an existing one to better reflect your organizations DNA.
Green America went through this process and the employees decided to choose Social(k) as their 403(b) plan. With that experience we bring you this guide to use when beginning the discussion at your place of employment.
Thank you in advance for taking the time to download and read through the process and considering taking necessary steps to get screened funds added to the retirement plan for organization.
Whether you are an employer or an employee, you’ll want to understand the benefits of offering employees a retirement plan with investments aligned with the employer’s and/or employees’ mission or ethics and their investment goals. It is important to state the benefits of SRI in order to better support the business’s mission and to strengthen the case for SRI in your retirement plan.
Reasons for offering SRI retirement options include:
-Having a retirement plans that reflects the employer’s values or mission (for example, if you are a producer of solar panels, chances are you want to eliminate or reduce investments in fossil fuels).
-Helping to strengthen the employee’s long-term financial well-being by providing greater investment choice by adding SRI to an existing plan.
-Building employee morale and staff retention by expanding the benefits package.
-Providing an important employee benefit of enduring value since numerous studies have shown that SRI investment returns are competitive with conventional funds over the long term.
According to a September 2011 report by the US SIF Foundation and Mercer, US defined contribution retirement plans that offer SRI options could double in the next three years.2 The results of the survey indicate that four out of five plan sponsors respondents (84%) believe that demand for SRI retirement options will increase or remain steady during the next five years. It is clear that more and more employers are considering SRI, especially in response to employee demand. In fact, legislation has been introduced to make SRI options available to federal employees.
Did you know the largest 6% of US farms now produce 75% of the country’s agricultural products? Large-scale industrial agriculture is driving family farmers from their property, is reducing the connection between consumers and their food and are potentially unsustainable and could have severe consequences for the environment. There are also concerns that the food being produced is less nutritious.
Farm Aid Mission
Since 1985 Farm Aid has been at the forefront of protecting the nations family farms; family farms are essential components of the economy, providing good jobs, growing healthy food, and acting as stewards of the environment. Along with hosting the 1-800-FARM-AID hotline, they provide the most comprehensive national database of farmer resource referrals available.
Farm Aid also provides the Farmer Resource Network, an online space where new and established farmers can find the information and tools they need to thrive.
1% for the Planet Partners
Farm Aid works with a wide variety of partners including a number of 1% for the Planet partner. Some of these include:
- Willie Nelson, Neil Young and John Mellencamp organized the first Farm Aid concert in 1985.
“Shoppers! Buy with a conscience and save the family farm.”
– Neil Young
- Dave Matthews joined the Farm Aid Board of Directors in 2001
- Farm Aid has raised more than $40 million to promote a strong and resilient family farm system
- For over 27 years, Farm Aid has answered 1-800-FARM-AID to provide immediate and effective support services to farm families in crisis
- Fielded 800 farm contacts via the hotline in 2012 alone
- Provided drought assistance funds to 45 farm and ranch families in 2012
- Provided emergency support to 7 farm families in 2012
- Over the last 30 years, America has lost an average of 350 small and mid-sized farms each week
- According to the USDA Census of Agriculture, between 1982 and 2007, the US lost over 40 percent of its small and mid-sized farms - or 460,000 farms
- 93% of soybeans and 80% of corn grown in the US are under the control of one company
- The effects of climate change make running small and medium-sized farms even more challenging
Call to Action
1. Anyone can help to support Farm Aid’s cause by first and foremost, supporting your local farmers.
2. You can also check out, Farm Aid’s Action Center, where you can use a number of tools to make your voice heard for family farmers. Issues discussed include the US Farm Bill, mandatory labeling of GMO’s, fair markets for all farmers, and farm to school programs.
3. There are also a multitude of opportunities for volunteering at Farm Aid’s annual concert.
A Brighter Future for Farm Aid and America
Farm Aid’s longevity and commitment to the American family farm make them a unique and inviting resource for independent farmers. As new resources and new organizations spring forward to service the next generation of America’s family farmers, Farm Aid is committed to the task of mapping out and promoting these educational opportunities and tools. If Farm Aid is successful, it will meet these objectives:
- Farm Aid’s Farmer Resource Network is known, utilized and effective in getting farmers the resources they need.
- Family farmers are no longer driven off the land by corporate greed and outdated governmental programs.
- Fair farm policies are enacted to defend and bolster family farm agriculture.
- Strong markets exist to support more family farmers.
- Consumers prefer food from family farms, and reconnect with their local farmers.
- Everyone can afford good food from family farmers to feed their families.
- There is no longer a need for Farm Aid! Hopefully everyone who wants to grow can successfully make a living farming
Contact Kari Williams, Farm Aid’s Development Director, email@example.com, 617.354.2922 with any further questions.
By now you’ve probably heard about our big 10th Anniversary event coming up this summer. We’ve joined forces with the Mad Marathon here in our hometown of Waitsfield, VT to create the 1st ever 1% for the Planet Mad Marathon. Dedicated to sustainability and environmentalism in New England, this event will help us to provide awareness and funding for the nonprofits and partnerships that protect the places we play. Not only should all of our partners plan on attending, but we also want to help raise money for your important causes. How can we do this you ask?
Form a Team:
• Create a team for your organization and encourage people to sponsor your runners! Your organization’s tile will show up on our leaderboard and potentially attract additional donations.
• Ask participants on your team to spread the word about the race and your organization. People love supporting these types of fundraising activities.
• Ask individual supporters of your organization to participate in “The Most Beautiful Marathon in the World,” so they can raise funds by running on your behalf. Runners have the choice of running the full marathon, half, or creating a relay team. They will be sure to have a blast, while doing a good deed at the same time.
• Have you already received donations from 1% member businesses? Encourage these partners to form a team in support of your organization.
• 1% for the Planet will be supporting this event by providing numerous activities throughout the weekend and by publicizing it through our various marketing channels. We can’t wait!
Last year, one nonprofit who fundraised using this race earned $27,000! We’re looking for nonprofit partners who think they can blow this record away. With a little effort and our support, we’re sure you can.
• Please let us know if you are planning on participating. We’ll send you directions and help spread the word! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 802-496-5408
• Let us know if you are joining on our Facebook event page and invite others
• Stay tuned for additional ways to participate over that weekend
We’re looking forward to celebrating all that you do. Start your training!
Laury Hammel, the co-founder of the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE) was recently inducted into the Social Venture Network’s Hall of Fame for being a champion of successful business. We commend Laury on his devotion to the environment and for being a role model in the sustainable business world. He is living his values through his business, The Longfellow Club, which just became New England’s newest 1% for the Planet member!
We are thrilled to welcome The Longfellow Club to our network. Although I’ve never been to this Wayland, MA based athletic club, I hope to get down there soon to sharpen my tennis skills (and maybe we could have a network-wide round robin?!). Laury has created an impressive establishment that any business owner can learn a lot from.
The Club has eight indoor tennis courts, a full fitness facility, swimming pools and so much more- they have healthy fitness options for people of all ages and abilities. The Longfellow Club has eight core values which together create healthy minds, bodies and Planet. These values are: Community, Gratitude, Knowledge, Sparkle, Happiness, Health, Service and (our favorite) Sustainability. They have joined 1% for the Planet as a way to help share their giving story and to play a key role in New England, as one of our region’s largest members. We look forward to working with Laury and everyone at The Longfellow Club!
As you might have heard, this year we’re celebrating our 10th anniversary. One of our big anniversary events will take place right here in our home town. We have joined forces with the Mad Marathon in Waitsfield, VT to create the first ever 1% for the Planet Mad Marathon designed to support the nonprofits and partnerships that protect the places we play.
WE WANT YOUR COMPANY HERE. Come celebrate the planet with us!
Save the date:Sunday, July 7, 2013 - Race Day
July 6th, 2013 – Kids run and 1% for the Planet (1% FTP) network meet-up
The marathon is a way to:
-Grow our movement
-Celebrate your company’s commitment, and
-Raise funds for environmental organizations
There are three ways you can get involved:
1. Sponsor the race
There are various levels of sponsorship available. Your sponsorship is considered a donation and part of your 1% FTP commitment for 2013.
-be included in a virtual bag and a physical bag for participating runners
-be highlighted in the 10th Anniversary marketplace grand opening
2. Donate product
If sponsorship is not in your company’s budget for this year, product donations for prizes and raffles are a great option. Remember, 25% of your company’s 1% annual commitment can be in-kind donations and/or employee volunteer time.
3. Run for a cause
Your company can support a nonprofit team by either running for or donating to them. Last year one nonprofit earned over $27,000! 1% FTP will also have a team fundraising on behalf of high impact partnerships in the region.
-Email or call us at 802-496-5408. Please let us know if you have any questions and/or how you’d like to be involved
Imagine a more just and vibrant future that integrates vision, systems thinking, reflective conversation, and creative expression. This could mean working with coffee growers in Central America, providing farm apprenticeships in rural Vermont, or promoting green chemistry in the pharmaceutical industry.
Working on sustainability issues on a global level requires collaboration with a variety of partners. The Sustainability Leaders Network collaborates with a range of organizations including: Cobb Hill Ecovillage, Cedar Mountain Farm CSA, Sustainable Food Lab, Biomimicry 3.8, and Climate Interactive. Their key stakeholders are the members in their network and, by extension, members’ organizations and companies.
Photo Credit: Clemens Kalischer, 2009
Some of these include approved 1% for the Planet non-profit partners:
- American Rivers - Protects and restores U.S. rivers, and the variety of life they sustain, for the benefit of people, fish and wildlife.
- Center for Whole Communities - Leading a new movement for change – building healthy, whole communities by reweaving the connections among people, land and community.
- Ocean Foundation – Supports, strengthens, and promotes organizations dedicated to reversing the trend of destruction of ocean environments around the world.
Successes to Date
Creating a more sustainable world is challenging, but the SLN is making progress.
- The Fellows network consists of 80 professionals around the world, plus dozens of young leaders.
- 90% report that the network has been essential to their professional growth.
- 80% collaborate with other Fellows in their sustainability efforts.
- Fellows work with and directly influence over 170,000 people and indirectly reach over 2 million through publications, presentations, and videos related to their efforts.
Success for SLN is a well-trained and connected network of diverse professionals and young people who increase their impact and effectiveness – individually and collectively – in bringing about the transition to sustainability.
For example, Fellow Tse-Sung Wu is leading GreenBioPharma at Genentech. Drawing on his SLN training, he has helped lead a successful effort to reduce costs and benefit the environment in the research and development of medicines.
Here are just a few testimonials from SLN’s network of sustainability champions, participants:
“These practices have been phenomenal for me. This is probably the most caring, sensitive, deep thinking group I have experienced. The content regarding systems thinking, visioning, the area of coaching, and deep listening are my touch stones.”
“I still go back to the binder to look through and use the program material, both for my own learning and for training others. Mostly visioning, coaching, systems thinking and reflective conversation.”
“I see the fellowship as a continuing process, rather than something completed and over. I feel very appreciative of the ongoing learning, resources, and support in my professional life.”
Contact Edie Farwell, Executive Director, email@example.com, 802-291-2896, with any additional questions.