Earth Day 2020: 50th Anniversary Handprint Parties

Sponsored by the South Berwick Conservation Committee & the South Berwick Public Library

  • Handprint Party – A public program to help the community accelerate movement toward a sustainable future.

The South Berwick Conservation Committee & the South Berwick Public Library present four programs to celebrated and engage our community into taking meaningful action to make our town thrive.

What is a Footprint?

All the negative impacts of the processes needed to provide each of the inputs of goods and services needed to sustain an entity (a person or an organization) for a given period of time.

What is a Handprint?

Help everyone reduce footprints by engaging, informing and inspiring each of us to act positively for our environment and future generations, share innovations or research and grow demand for Net-Positive goods and services.

Earth Day photo

“Our Rivers Are Burning: A History of the Environmental Movement in the United States 1970 to present” a talk with slides by David Ramsay.

February 25, 2020 at 7:00 pm

Thousands protested the Vietnam War, riots broke out in cities in response to Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination, hippies celebrated Woodstock and amidst the political unrest of the late 1960’s, a river in Ohio caught on fire.  Emerging from this environmental challenge and the social chaos, a ray of hope: Earth Day 1970.  (read more)

Amidst the chaos in June 1969, an oil slick on the Cuyahoga River – a tributary to Lake Erie – polluted from decades of industrial waste – caught fire, causing $100,000 worth of damage to two railroad bridges. In Maine, the Androscoggin River was so badly polluted that local retailers in Lewiston and Auburn closed during the summer months.

During the late 1960s in the United States, social and political unrest rocked the country as thousands protested the Vietnam War, riots broke out in cities in response to Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination, while the Hippies celebrated Woodstock.

Then, emerging from this environmental challenge and the social chaos, a ray of hope: Earth Day 1970.

In the early 1970s, US Maine Senator Ed Muskie, who had gained a reputation for addressing pollution on the Androscoggin River, led Congress in creating a bold, comprehensive national environmental protection program. Equally important, nonprofit environmental groups were born, becoming the watchdog champions of these program. During the years that followed, the scope of the movement broadened to include environmental justice, urban open space, river restoration, and much more. Recently, a re-enlivened interest in environment, fueled by an existential fear of climate change signals a shift in public attitudes and possibly a breaking of the political logjam at the national level.


David Ramsay worked for 25 years on the field of environment, including river/watershed groups, consulting, staff for state legislature, and state government. In 1970, he helped organize the first Earth Day where he was teaching.

“Button Up: Tips to Save Money & Energy” March 24th 7:00 pm

A Maine family spends at least $2,200 per year on utility bills
The Bad News: a home with leaky windows, poor insulation, old appliances, or inefficient lighting and heating/cooling systems increases that cost and wastes money.
The Good News: there are low-cost, do-it-yourself actions you can take to start saving money and energy today!


Join Seacoast Area Renewable Energy Initiative (SEAREI) and members of your community to learn and discuss how you can commit to saving money and creating a more comfortable home and a sustainable planet in 2019!

A New Hampshire based, collaborative grassroots organization working to build sustainable communities. We bring individuals, businesses, service providers and policy makers together to address the inter-related issues of environmental sustainability; especially as it relates to renewable energy. This macro-level approach, combined with our belief that we are all environmental stakeholders, means our goal is to ultimately reach every member of a community.

Ann Bliss is a psychologist in her day job, running a private practice and guest lecturing with the Marriage and Family Therapy Program at UNH.  

 John [JB] Branagan has crafted a career in energy efficiency after decades of working in the “Outdoor Industry”.  He is currently at Affinity LED Lighting specializing in LED lighting solutions for municipalities and commercial business customers. John has also become active in energy related policy in ME and NH, having testified before the NH Senate and PUC as well as organizing dozens of Maine communities to submit position papers to the ME PUC regarding Streetlighting.  He is an advocate for renewable energy and ‘green’ practices professionally and personally and actively involved in the South Berwick community.  He Proudly serves on the Mt Agamenticus Steering Committee representing the Town Of South Berwick. He lives here in town with his wife, son, once good dog, and one bad dog. 

\John Carroll professor emeritus UNH Dept. of Natural Resources and the Environment.  

Tuesday April 14th 7 p.m.

Do you eat and live in Maine and New Hampshire? Join us for an evening of talk on our beloved but not especially self-sufficient Seacoast area. Maine produces enough food to feed 20 percent of our population.  What can we do to increase our sustainability? “We have a greater inability to feed ourselves than the rest of the nation,” says Carroll, a professor of natural resources and the environment. Author of “The Real Dirt” which follows Carroll’s “The Wisdom of Small Farms and Local Food” (2005) and “Pastures of Plenty” (2008) as the third in a trilogy of books looking at sustainable agriculture and food security in New England.

Local chef Ben Hasty will have some samples of plant-based cooking and there will be other tasty treats made by local cooks with local ingredients.

Explosion of Butterflies Celebration: a Children’s Handprint Party in honor of the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day Wednesday April 22 3:00 pm.

Join us in the children’s area of the South Berwick Public Library to celebrate Earth Day 2020!

monarch butterflies
Monarch migratioin

Experience the life cycle of Monarch butterflies as you move through the stages and transformations of a butterfly’s life in an installation created by local high school students this past winter under the supervision of children’s librarian Jane Cowen Fletcher. 

Learn about this species and what you can do to promote and sustain Monarch populations in Maine.  Make “Seed Bombs” loaded with native milkweed seeds and learn how to choose the best sites to plant them. The migration installation will be on display in the library through May.