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Climate Week enthusiasm is gaining steam

In second year, event offers marketplace, walks, and talks

 The New England Institute of Art display includes “External Weather/Internal Storm.”
The New England Institute of Art display includes “External Weather/Internal Storm.”

After last winter’s widely attended inaugural Climate Week, Brookline environmental activists started gearing up in the fall for an encore. They were surprised at the enthusiastic response they received - and from disciplines they had not expected.

“This year, people are calling us,’’ said Mary Dewart, cochairwoman of Climate Week.

The second annual Climate Week, slated to run Saturday through Jan. 29, will include fresh local produce at a much-talked-about Winter Marketplace, activities for children, an arts stroll, workshops on winterizing, a reading by Frances Moore Lappe, author of “Diet for a Small Planet,’’ and opportunities to recycle.


The week kicks off with skating to live music at the Kirrane rink in Larz Anderson Park, where the auto museum will provide free hot chocolate, an exhibition on bikes and green cars, and a scavenger hunt.

Art installations will be scattered around town, with one on water usage at Brookline Booksmith and the S.S. Pierce Building, and one on earth and climate science games at Eureka! Puzzles in Coolidge Corner.

Lappe will read from her new book, “Eco Mind,’’ about seven “thought traps’’ that prevent change in carbon-heavy habits, on Jan. 26 at the Brookline Booksmith.

There is a forum the afternoon of Jan. 28 for those interested in solar, wind, and thermal energy for homes and businesses. It will feature Clint Richmond, whose house generates solar electricity; Jim Batchelor, chairman of the town’s Preservation Commission; Eric Graber-Lopez, who develops municipal solar and wind projects; and Harold Simansky, who has built condominiums that use geothermal heating and cooling.

“It’s a funny coincidence that all of us have MBAs,’’ said Richmond, one of the forum’s organizers. “So I expect you’ll hear a lot about how to finance an installation.’’

The forum will also feature a slide-show tour of renewable sites around town.


What seems to be creating the most buzz is the Winter Marketplace, scheduled for Jan. 28 in the Health Department building on Pierce Street.

“People are so excited, they just can’t stop talking about it,’’ said Pat Maher, who is cochairing the Climate Week events.

Called Eat Local, Eat Smart, Move More, the market will include fresh produce from Stillman Farms and Boston Organics, and prepared foods like oatcakes from Effie’s Homemade. Registered dietitian Irana Hawkins will talk about the links between diet and carbon emissions, and Sue Levy, a professional chef from Savory Living, will demonstrate how to create nutritious dishes.

The Puppet Showplace Theatre will have Puppets for the Planet in its windows, and displays with a green theme will fill windows of the Children’s Book Shop and Henry Bear’s Park, both on Harvard Street in Brookline Village.

Some of the displays came together via serendipity.

Dewart met artist and curator Coni Porter, a New Hampshire native, while on vacation in Vermont this fall.

After discovering they had mutual concerns about climate change, Porter started a “whirlwind’’ of connecting “my contacts in the eco-art world and her contacts in Brookline,’’ according to Porter.

“I expect some very interesting things to happen during Climate Week, as the artists meet each other, and the Brookline community,’’ Porter said.

Porter, who teaches at the New England Institute of Art’s Brookline campus, has recruited eight artists for a show that will run through Feb. 21 at 10 Brookline Place, including award-winning photographer Tim Gaudreau and his installation piece, showing some of the 20,000 pictures he took of his own trash for a year.


Gaudreau will also be artist-in-residence for the institute, and will visit the public schools to work with students.

Porter’s work, including a humorous installation, “Step Away from the Car,’’ will be at Town Hall, where a forum will be held on jobs and investment in the “Clean Economy’’ Jan. 25 with Mindy Lubber of Ceres, Wanda Reindorf of Conservation Services Group, and Eric Emmons of Siemens Venture Capital.

On Jan. 28 there will be a workshop on fixing historic windows.

Even the Teen Center will be involved, with tours showing how energy conservation measures will be added to the former garage that will be its future home on Aspinwall Avenue. There will be a big block of ice there, for folks wanting to try their hand at ice sculpture.

The week wraps up with a walk along the Muddy River with the Brookline GreenSpace Alliance and Tom Brady, the town’s conservation administrator, to learn about the river’s restoration project and how trees reduce carbon in the atmosphere.