The University of New England's Premier Student News Publication

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The University of New England's Premier Student News Publication

Nor'easter News

The University of New England's Premier Student News Publication

Nor'easter News

Save the Date: Climate Advocacy Town Gathering to be held by Local Climate Action Team

The Biddeford-Saco Climate Action Team has announced plans to host their first-ever Climate Town Hall, where they will introduce a local action plan advocating for the conservation of Clifford Park.

On Tuesday, April 23rd, the Team will host the meeting at the McArthur Public Library in Biddeford from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. This event will allow guests to voice their comments, questions, and concerns regarding climate change in the local community, as well as at a state and regional scale. Anna McGinn, a policy director at the Environmental and Energy Study Institute, will be the moderator for the evening. Three panelists will additionally be speaking at the event, including polar scientist Susana Hancock, Peter Dugas, who serves as a coordinator for citizens’ climate lobby and climate liaison to Senator Angus King, and Loren McCready, a local conservation advocate. 

The Biddeford-Saco Climate Action team was created by locals in December of 2023, and exists under the Sierra Club Maine Chapter, one of the earliest existing environmental advocacy groups. 

The group plans to discuss local climate action and propose a plan to support Clifford Park in Biddeford, which has become a significant part of the local community, possessing multiple trails, beautiful scenery, and amenities. 

Clifford Park is currently only partially protected in terms of its land area; however, a substantial area of it is not conserved and could be at risk of becoming developed in the future. Its development was recently put on hold by a petition signed by community members, including Loren McCready, a speaker at the upcoming event. 

The team’s proposed plan is to put a conservation easement on the land, which will limit its use to help conserve it. 

Parks serve as very important natural areas for biodiversity and they help to absorb excess carbon in the atmosphere, a leading cause of climate change. Although a localized, small step, the proposed Clifford Park Conservation easement, is a step in the right direction. 

A member of the Climate Action Team, Virginia May, expressed high hopes for the group’s initiatives. May stated, “A lot more awareness is something that is going to be facilitated by this, especially when it comes to our city council recently passing the Climate Action Plan,” said Virginia May, a Senior Environmental Science major at the University of New England. 

May also mentioned in regards to the Climate Town Hall, “It is a focal point; we can move forward with everybody together and show that we’re all on the same page with the fact that we care about climate change, and we can see how it is impacting us right now.” 

With the passing of this recent plan, the team is hopeful that when presented with the conservation easement proposal, the city council will approve it, said May.

The event will  have food and drink courtesy of local businesses, Reilly’s Bakery and Elements Cafe. It is free to anyone and open to the public. 

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