Connecting Finnish and Adirondack Communities
By Anthony F. Hall
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Bolton summer resident Rayna Caldwell recently returned from Finland, where she was a member of a team of Adirondack officials and advocates participating in “Connecting Finnish and Adirondack Communities: Science Museums Facilitating Awareness and Action on Climate and Energy.”
The group of Americans, which consisted of members of the Adirondack Climate and Energy Action Plan (ADKCAP) Task Force and staff from the Wild Center, the natural history museum in Tupper Lake, traveled to Finland to meet with counterparts at the Heureka Science Center in Vantaa.
“We’re interested in addressing climate change by examining ways that people can conserve energy, develop better access to alternative fuels while also helping the local economies,” said Caldwell. “The purpose of this trip was to further the cultural and intellectual exchange that has already developed between the Wild Center and the Heureka Science Center.”
Caldwell traveled to Finland in her capacity as an advisor to ADKCAP, a network organized after a 2008 conference at the Wild Center titled “The American Response to Climate Change: the Adirondack Model: Using Climate Change Solutions to Restore a Rural American Economy.”
“Lapland is very similar to the Adirondacks, not only because of its forests, lakes and clean air, but because of similar issues, such as using biomass for energy without depleting natural resources and finding markets for locally-produced wood products,” she said.
Caldwell is a graduate of the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, where she earned a Master’s in Environmental Management. At the Wild Center, she organizes educational and training programs on green construction and renewable energy. Caldwell also works with local communities to promote energy efficiency.