Saturday, January 17, 2015

Connecting wth the Community and Exciting Things on the Horizon

Wow! My head is spinning. I to tell you about an amazing chain of events that took place over the last 6 months. Many of them took place in the past few weeks and will continue into 2015 and beyond.  Most took place outside Sherwood Glen, but will work to bring us and the community at large, closer together.   Here's the Reader's Digest version of what transpired.

Some of you may know that while researching the history of our conservation land, I had the help of folks from the Raymond Historical Society.  They needed a lot of help with their website, and in July I rebuilt the Raymond Historical Society website, and became the webmaster.

In August, I connected with Dave Hoelzel, another community volunteer.  He was managing the very active Raymond 250th Facebook page, which had over 1800 followers.  We agreed that once the 250th celebration was over, it would be a shame to see the activity end, so Dave worked with Facebook and arranged to turn it into the Raymond Historical Society Facebook page, which we both now manage.

In December, Dave was named Raymond's Volunteer of the Year   by This Week in The historical society asked me if I would speak on their behalf, which I did. At the ceremony, I met quite a few people around town, including Kevin Wood, who runs Raymond Community Television.

You already know, I make YouTube and Animoto videos with my cell phone and little Flip Mino camera.  Dave asked if I would be interested in volunteering with the TV station, and I jumped at the chance to get my hands on professional equipment.

Less than two weeks ago, he gave me a tour of the studio housed in the high school. I was blown away by the facilities.  Though they do a tremendous amount of work taping and airing government meetings, church events, and town celebrations, but creative programming was in short supply.

Incidentally, they will be having open house on January 24th and 25th, from 11AM to 5 PM. Please come over to the high school and check it out.  You'll be impressed!

I agreed to edit about 5 hours of video shot by three volunteers during the First Annual Ring it in Raymond, our town's version of First Night.  I made three videos from the footage.  Two were of performers at the Congregational Church and the Ray-Fre Senior Center, and the third, which you can see here, was footage from other venues around town.

Kevin liked the job I did and is encouraging me gave me to produce any kind of creative programming I like.  You know me.  It doesn't take much encouragement to play with digital toys.  Hell, you  have to hold me back!

We were discussing making a documentary about beavers, which led me to watch this week's Raymond Conservation Committee meeting where by coincidence, beaver deceivers were discussed. While there where were varying opinions of how to deal with them, I was pleased to see there was no contentiousness.

The committee was unaware we were already co-existing with beavers, have done the research, and walked the walk.  I contacted the vice-chair person Lorraine O'Connor asked for the opportunity to  present to the committee and let them know about the beavers of Sherwood, how they have helped our wildlife flourish, their positive impact on the environment and the cost effectiveness of co-existing.  We both feel the committee will be open to the opportunity.

If I present to the committee, I will invite them to watch the installation of a pond leveling device that will take place here as Sherwood this spring.  That installation will become part of the Sherwood Beaver documentary. Mike Callahan, the beaver expert who will be installing the device, is helping me with information he presents at national conferences.

I've also offered to take a look at an area near the fire house that has been a problem in the past.  I know that Mike will provide advice and with our experience here at Sherwood with the culvert cage we installed and the pond leveler that will be installed, we can build the necessary solution at a small fraction of the cost of bringing someone in to do the job.  It would be a great community project and be a win-win situation for the community, not to mention the beavers.

The snowball effect kept on building and in March I will  be working with Dave, the Historical Society, and the Library to help plan document scanning to turn their print archives into searchable digital format.

Kevin as also suggested contacting some of the more senior residents of Raymond to get some of their stories of  Raymond video while we still can, and editing them down the line. I guess that's a project for my free time.

Putting a professional camera in my hand and turning me loose could result in some serious insanity and I'm looking for others to join me in my trek. As I alluded to in today's email and the survey, I think the residents of Sherwood Glen can contribute a great deal.  We have a lot of creative, enthusiastic people here in Sherwood. I think we can have LOT of fun while connecting with the rest of the community and making a positive impact.

... and that's the Reader's Digest version.   Stay tuned for more!