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Lopez Island

MISSION STATEMENT
Transition Lopez Island is committed to bringing to life a vision of a resilient, sustainable community for our island.
In uncertain times, resilience is the capacity to bounce back and thrive. Our group is finding ways to harness our island-grown community activism and collective wisdom to create a new paradigm around issues of local economy, labor share, energy use, movement of goods and people, and food and water security that sustains life for us all.

As part of a worldwide movement of community-scale initiatives, Transition Lopez Island also partners locally with like-minded groups, including the Lopez Community Land Trust, Islands Energy Coalition, Lopez Locavores, and Lopez Community Trails Network.  We invite our fellow islanders to join us in creating a bold future for our rock that promotes health, creativity, and equality for everyone, in balance with nature.

WE ARE ORGANIZED THROUGH THE FOLLOWING GUILDS:
• Barnraising Guild promotes community labor share through neighbors helping one another with homesteading projects in the manner of old-timey community barn raisings. Improvements made in various areas- installing fencing for pasturing animals, gardening, reclaiming overgrown ponds, planting and harvesting, clearing brush, setting up irrigation systems, putting up firewood, farm and building projects – help the whole community as individual families become more resilient and land use island-wide becomes more productive. A tool lending library is in the planning stages under the umbrella of this guild.

• Local Finance Guild focuses on ways to transition from an economic system which contributes to alienation, competition and an illusion of scarcity, destroys community, and demands endless growth to one that supports sustainability, wholeness, and connection of human gifts with human needs. Ways to revitalize our local economy include pairing local investors with local businesses that need capital, creating a Lopez Foundation for grants, promoting credit unions, and looking for opportunities to set up equity investing such as a community solar project.

• Transportation Guild works to identify and implement improvements to increase the efficiency and community benefit to the ways that we move people and materials to, around, and from the island. This guild works closely with the Lopez Community Trails Network and has sponsored two annual Electric Car Shows.

• Energy Guild sponsors activities to bring awareness to issues of climate change and greater resiliency through promotion of energy efficiency and more widespread use of sources of renewable energy. Members of this guild are also active in the Islands Energy Coalition and helped organize and co-sponsor the Lopez Energy Fair.

• Education Guild seeks to promote community conversation on topics that relate to our mission of resilience and sustainability through our monthly Potlucks with a Purpose and other programs at the Lopez School, the weekly Farmers Market, and our partner organizations.

• Asset Mapping Guild strives to catalog our island’s current resources — broadly defined to include not only physical assets such as fertile land and tools, but also individual and collective skills and passions – to promote personal and community development and connections and to determine how we can work toward filling in any strategic or critical gaps. To date, information has been gleaned through the recent survey commissioned by the Lopez Community Land Trust.

• Food/Water Security Guild advocates for a local self-sustaining food economy, thoughtful land stewardship, and protecting and conserving our aquifers and public waters. It is vital that we put our efforts into ensuring that our food and water continue to nourish us and are tied to convivial, balanced livelihoods. Currently, membership in this guild is working primarily through the efforts of the Lopez Locavores and Lopez Community Land Trust.

ONGOING ACTIVITIES

• Potlucks with a Purpose are scheduled monthly on Wednesdays, usually at centrally-located Sunnyfield Farm, 5:30pm to 8:00pm, featuring topics of interest. Recent programs included “Voluntary Simplicity/Your Money or Your Life,” “Efficiency First,” “Alternative Island Transportation,” “Energy Resiliency,” “Farm Studio,” and “Medical Marijuana & the Future of Medicine.”

• Lopez Economic Group Underwriting Prosperity (LEG UP) meets to discuss the revitalization of the island’s economy over wine & cheese with presentations by current or prospective business owners on achievements, challenges and potential future projects.

• Barnraisings rotate on a monthly basis, usually on Saturdays, 11:00am to 4:00pm through participating members’ properties. Work always includes a wide range of activities from projects requiring special skills and muscle power to lighter and more general tasks. Lunch is provided by the hosting household and a potluck to celebrate the day’s accomplishments follows.

• Steering Committee Meetings are scheduled monthly, on Wednesdays at the Library Conference Room, 5:00pm to 6:30pm, to debrief past events, plan future activities, and make policy decisions for the larger group by consensus if possible. Anyone interested in joining the committee and playing a more central role in Transition Lopez Island’s leadership is welcome to attend.