Producer/Host: Ron Beard, University of Maine Cooperative Extension
Engineer: Amy Browne
Issue: Community concerns and opportunities
Program Topic: Collaboration and Conservation: Stories from Maine and the Middle East
Key Discussion Points:
a) You have described yourself as “a serial collaborator”… what led you down that dark path? Trace some of the elements of your own path, (experiences from childhood? Education?) then as Director of Portland Trails, and your work a facilitator of cultural and environmental exchanges in the Middle East through the Quebec Labrador Foundation, etc. (Give listeners the overview, then we will go back and go deeper)
b) Portland Trails- how did that project begin, who was involved, what did you accomplish, what did you learn about collaboration?
c) That and other experiences led you to write your first book: Groundswell, in which you tell the story of Portland Trails and several other community based conservation collaborations.
• Highlight one of those other stories…
• If there are key lessons from the stories in Groundswell, what would current community and conservation leaders take away, either to adapt and put into practice, or just to ponder?
d) You are currently at work on a second book, stemming from your work with Quebec Labrador Foundation in the Middle East (Egypt, Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, Jordan and Oman) and the people and communities you encountered.
• What did you learn about the people of that region, their values, their communities? Tell a story or two to share with listeners.
• What are some of the misconceptions we in the US have about the region? Did the people you worked with from those communities have misconceptions about the people of the US? How did the exchange process bridge them?
• What are the values you sense we hold in common, about our communities and the land, the local environment?
e) As you work on the book, you have said you stay grounded in your work in Biddeford, a project that links the rive and the main street… tell us about that project… who are the partners, what are the goals, what results are you seeing?
f) Imagine you are around the campfire with a mix of community folks interested in saving their favorite places, some young, just starting out, others with more experience. Are there two or three lessons or stories you might share?
g) What is still to do, for you? Where do you see your work and your own values taking you?
Alix Hopkins, consultant, project director, Riverwalk, Biddeford, author of Groundswell: Stories of Saving Places, Finding Community
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