The Spaces Worth Saving
Gloria Parkinson, Rauscher Farm
Photo used with permission Gloria Parkinson
Gloria Parkinson knows what it takes to make change from the bottom up. Along with many of her neighbors, their grassroots efforts lead to Rauscher Farm, an important rural space in the mill town of Clinton, MA.
Our guest Gloria Parkinson started off in farmland preservation the way so many do….unintentionally. She ties her desire for making her muse Rauscher Farm an accessible and immersive experience to the work she performs as trustee to the Clinton Library.
Gloria got her start in the theatre. With the help of numerous neighbors in this New England mill town they embarked on a grassroots campaign nearly fifteen years ago that culminated in a majority of Clintonians voting to preserve the 60+ acres of Rauscher Farm from the development of single family homes.
Take note. Not only did they do this the ‘old-fashioned way’ through democratic means. They did so by articulating the potential economics that come with suburban sprawl: A single-family home development requiring much in new infrastructure that will never be able to pay for said infrastructure.
What was saved? Habitat in transition. the remnants of a farm and way of life that was THE way of life in New England not so long ago. A Dairy that was operational until very recently.
Their conservation work since designation as a conservation land has included habitat improvement, research and tacking major issues of physical and intellectual accessibility. Some of this means lots of hands and knees, digging out invasive species….and asking important questions with rigor.
Learn from our episode what it takes to accomplish a similar long-term project in your community. What it really takes to go the long game and why it can be one of the most remarkable and meaningful things you can do with your time.
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Scott M. Graves is the founder of SMGraves Creative Enterprises. Most recently he was executive director of the Wachusett Business Incubator where the SMG team experimented with various programming to overcome the meaningless ‘ribbon cutting’ experiences so synonymous with much of our nation’s well-intentioned economic development. He is known for a steadfast resolve for intellectual rigor and business strategy. Nothing makes Scott feel more fulfilled than to help other develop their own unique creativity which leads to fulfillment in work and life. His team is currently partnering with The Worcshop, the east coasts largest industrial makerspace to develop the Worc-It Business Lab for incubating new business.
An entrepreneur in his own right, Scott previously operated the former Smash Music. Along with ImageIdentity’s David Lubelczyk their team developed Leadership Candidates Program for immersive support of new enterprise and Business Triage, a direct response to the issues now exacerbated for small businesses since the spread of Covid-19.
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