Franklin Countys First News

Public invited to storm window build workshop on Jan. 27 & 29

Vanessa Berry, UMF AmeriCorps energy efficiency coordinator, holds miniature sample window insert and pre-cut pieces for window insert build on UMF campus Saturday, Jan. 27 and Monday, Jan. 29.

FARMINGTON - With the recent bitter cold weather, Maine families are looking for affordable ways to stay warm and make their homes more energy efficient. Vanessa Berry, 2015 University of Maine at Farmington graduate, is working as UMF’s 2017 AmeriCorps energy efficiency coordinator to make that happen for local families in need.

To that end, she will be holding a storm window building workshop Saturday, Jan. 27, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Monday, Jan. 29, from 4 to 8 p.m., in the North Dining Halls in the UMF Olsen Student Center. Campus and community members are welcome to stop by and lend a hand. No previous experience is required.

Berry currently holds one of 38 AmeriCorps positions overseen by the Maine Campus Compact for its new program, Maine Partnerships for Environmental Stewardship. Along with Luke Kellett, UMF sustainability coordinator and part-time student and alumni volunteers, Berry is providing the campus and community with information on easy, low-cost energy efficiency solutions and best ways to implement them.

A major part of Berry’s work is to coordinate the building of energy efficient window inserts with the help of the United Way of the Tri-Valley Community Energy Challenge initiative.

Building a window involves covering a window-sized frame with a sheet of 4-mil vinyl and shrinking it to fit with a hair blow dryer. Properly installed, these panels reduce heat loss and save money on heating oil. Each square foot installed saves a gallon of oil each season.

The UMF workshop is supported by the Maine Campus Compact which over the course of a year hopes to provide at least 100 free or low cost window inserts for up to 20 families in need in the greater Farmington area.

In addition to her work on building storm windows, Berry and her team are also providing green certification audits on the UMF campus and in the community. These audits are a great way to receive information to identify how fast, easy, cost-effective changes, including upgrading to Energy Star appliances, can reduce your overall energy costs.

She is also coordinating a number of energy education events, including a Green Jobs Fair and Sustainability Carnival.

In total, Berry and her team members will volunteer more than 2,000 hours on behalf of the AmeriCorps program this year in the greater Farmington campus-community.

The Maine Campus Compact will host 12 Community Energy Education Events, build and install 600 interior storm windows in 120 homes, and conduct at least 375 behavioral change Green Certification Audits in homes and campuses. Not only does this program seek to improve conditions for community members, but to also build skills and knowledge among the AmeriCorps members.

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1 Responses »

  1. Can't make it today but would like info on future workshops, Thank, John