Last spring a small group of people in Payson learned about “Transition Town” — a movement that began in Totnes, England, to respond to the challenges of climate change, escalating prices, resource depletion, and economic instability.
Since the initial beginning in 2006, more than 1,000 communities have embraced its ideas and model, and Transition Town has become a worldwide movement. It has spread rapidly, and now there is a “Transition Town U.S.” parent organization to promote and assist communities in this country to become part of the environmental endeavor.
The small Payson group liked the idea. They gathered others with similar concerns and formed an “initiating group” to explore how the Transition model might work in our area. Discussion led to more ideas, research, and areas of focus and finally to a decision to become registered with Transition U.S.
Payson is now officially Transition Town Payson, #121 registered in the United States.
The key idea of “Transition Town Payson” is to create an “active and empowered community movement” throughout Rim Country, with as many people as possible working together “to create a local way of life that can withstand the shocks of rapidly shifting global systems.” It extends to schools, organizations, churches, neighborhoods, as well as to individuals of every political persuasion, religion, nationality or way of life.
TTP builds upon the sustainable efforts that have already begun on a grass-roots level. Participants share ideas, support, resources, experts, and funding, working in groups to accomplish what couldn’t be done by individuals, resulting in a stronger local community prepared for any event or crisis.
With a motto of “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” the TTP initiating group has identified various areas of focus. Projects have begun to unfold, particularly an informational presentation about TTP being offered to organizations and groups in our area. There eventually will be action groups — Renewable Energy, Water Conservation, Education, Transportation, Homemaking Arts, Communication, Food & Gardening, and others.
As an example, “Food & Gardening” would take on projects such as expanding public area gardens, providing classes in composting, water harvesting and food storage, and establishing community/neighborhood gardens. This action group would network and draw from already successful gardening endeavors, such as the summer Farmers Market, local garden clubs, and the newly established community garden. Various action groups would join together on larger community projects.
A comprehensive Transition Town Payson Web site is already up and running, and contains TTP information, environmental articles, and a blog. There you will also see a list of “What, Where and How to Recycle in Payson,” as well as a “Recommended Reading” list.
To learn more, go to www. transitiontownpayson.net. Also check out www.transitionus.org and learn what Transition Towns across the United States are doing.
For more information about Transition Town Payson or to schedule a presentation for your organization or group, call Rob Ingram, (928) 474-4849; John Hurlbert, (928) 468-6572; Dean Gooding or Vee, (928) 474-8005; or Monte McCord, (928) 468-1852.