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How can we prepare for the future in Arundel, ME?

By: Keelan Wackman

The irony was palpable as 400,000 Mainers lost power due to a storm of epic proportions on Cyber Monday. As it turns out, what most of us needed on that day wasn't on the internet. What we needed were neighbors that understood where the river banks were strong and where the riparian areas were washed out and the banks would break and flood. What we needed was neighbors who could dress appropriately and use a chainsaw. What we needed was people who knew how to regulate their emotions in a crisis and be steady as they were quickly and collaboratively developing solutions. Since then multiple storms have wreaked havoc in communities across Maine, causing neighbors to be in relationship with each other and nature in unprecedented ways. 

Flooding in Arundel, Maine in Jan 2024

Most counties in Maine were declared a state of emergency. As the rivers swelled and sump pumps failed many of us were forced to take stock of whether the people and places we love are ready for what's coming. We were reminded that community doesn't mean you have a shared Facebook group, it means you know where to find each other and who has what vulnerabilities, knowledge and tools when things are not going to plan. What does readiness mean in the current era? How do we come together proactively to prepare?

Damage in Kennebunk, ME from January 2024 flooding

The future has always been uncertain, but there's a tenor to it now that seems to have both an urgency and a hopelessness that many are feeling is only remedied through developing a deeper connection to your community and the land. 

Within the Arundel Conservation Trust we understand and believe in the power of a place and the people connected to that place to be ready together for whatever the future holds. So as we set our intentions for 2024 and align our public programming with our values and mission around the people and places of Arundel, we invite you to take a few minutes to fill out the preference survey linked below, which includes some ideas we've brainstormed of how to bring our neighbors together to develop a type of readiness that includes both soft and hard skills. We are iterating some new types of educational outreach that we co-create with you. Programming that supports each other through exploring and improving both the internal and external landscapes of our lives. If you are a practitioner, or a naturalist nerd, or have some skill you would like to share with Arundel we invite you to be in touch with us or add your ideas to the survey as we make our plans together for the year ahead. 

Flooding along the beach in Kennebunk, ME

As we go into this next year we hope everyone is graced with the ability to think beyond your own yard, recognizing that Arundel and the people who live here are a part of your life and it may just be time to opt in and get to know them more because it's quite likely the type of readiness that we need to be resilient in 2024 and beyond will not only be in our own hearts and households but will require that we have an understanding, acceptance, and camaraderie with the land and living beings on it. Whatever we're in for, we are in for together. Be a part of the conversation and community with ACT this year!

Click here to complete this short community programs survey and let us know how we can best serve our community when it comes to conserving our beautiful space for future generations!


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