Perhaps living in such a beautiful area has fed the commitment to preserving it for future generations. The property of biological systems to remain diverse and productive indefinitely is the essence of sustainability.
Locally, this is manifest in the conservation of the natural landscape by the Monadnock Conservancy (www.monadnockconservancy.org), the Harris Center for Conservation Education (www.harriscenter.org), and the extensive efforts to cultivate local agriculture yielding numerous farmers markets, Community Supported Agriculture farms, the Monadnock Food Co-op and innovative programs, such as Monadnock Menus (www.foodconnects.org/monadnockmenus.html), which connects farmers and institutional and commercial buyers. Our region is characterized by a spirit of cooperation and commitment to coming together to get things done. Proactive approaches to challenging issues from housing, jobs, education and transportation are signs of a society committed to sustainability.
The Monadnock Sustainability Hub (www.GreenMonadnock.org) educates and promotes electric vehicles (EVs) with regular Drive Electric events, the Fast Charge Monadnock campaign which supports the development of EV chargers, aka EV Supply Equipment (EVSE), along with initiatives for electric police cars and school busses. The Monadnock Alliance for Sustainable Transportation-MAST (www.mastnh.org) encourages more bicycle, pedestrian and mass transportation commuting through its Rack it Up! and Complete Streets programs.
Energy and Climate Change
Initiatives to conserve energy and generate clean power are essential to sustainability. The revitalization of hydropower in the repurposed 19th-century mill complex by Historic Harrisville (www.historicharrisville.org) is an iconic blend of resilience, economic prosperity and historic vitality. The NH Community Supported Solar initiative is just one element of the vibrant Monadnock Buy Local (www.monadnocklocal.org) commitment, The City of Keene and several towns have opted to pursue commitments to 100% clean energy and or Community Power.
Monadnock Region companies such as W.S. Badger Co. (www.badgerbalm.com), a pioneer in bringing the B-Corp to New Hampshire, and Bensonwood (www.bensonwood.com), a leading manufacturer of high quality, energy efficient timber frame buildings and homes, are examples of sustainability leaders in our diverse economy.
Keene State College relies on used vegetable oil for heating, composts food waste, has an innovative sustainability curriculum, and a student workforce supporting recycling and sustainability. Franklin Pierce University has a Center for Climate Action. Antioch University New England offers several related degree programs, including an increasingly valuable Center for Climate Preparedness and Community Resilience (www.communityresiliencecenter.org).