In connection with Earth Day, Mount Wachusett Community College’s Senator Robert D. Wetmore Center for Forest and Wood Products will host the first in a series of panel discussions of environmental issues as well as the forest and wood products industries in the Commonwealth. The event will be co-hosted by Massachusetts Senator Anne Gobi, a friend and colleague of Senator Wetmore.
“I am excited about this terrific partnership with Mount Wachusett Community College and grateful for the opportunity to participate and to honor the memory of Senator Bob Wetmore,” said Senator Anne Gobi. “Senator Wetmore had a deep appreciation for nature and the important role our forests play. He would be pleased to know that others are willing to share their knowledge and engage in meaningful discourse,” she added.
The first event titled “The Role of Forests in Carbon Sequestration” will be held virtually on Wednesday, April 27, 2022 from 10:00 am to 11:30 am and will be moderated by MWCC forestry professor and former wilderness firefighter George Locasio.
Joining Locasio are panelists Brian Hawthorn a Forester with the Department of Fish and Wildlife, Laura Marx, Climate Solutions Scientist with The Nature Conservancy, and Emma G. Ellsworth, Executive Director of the Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust.
“We rely on our forests for peaceful places to hike and relax, to build our homes, to clean our water and air, and even to sequester carbon and work to mitigate climate change. Healthy diverse aged forests are critical to maintaining the biodiversity of Massachusetts,” said Emma Ellsworth, Executive Director of the Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust. “I am thrilled to be part of this Wetmore Center Series where we get to learn from the experts and dig into a nuanced discussion of the many roles our forests play in the Commonwealth.”
Interested individuals are invited to submit questions prior to the event via the event website mwcc.edu/wetmore-series where they will also be able to register to attend.
“We deeply appreciate Senator Gobi’s leadership on this issue, and it is an honor to mark Earth Day at MWCC by lifting up the legacy of Senator Wetmore,” said MWCC President James Vander Hooven.
About Senator Wetmore
Senator Robert D. Wetmore served the Commonwealth for over thirty years as both a representative and senator. During his long and distinguished career, Senator Wetmore authored an amendment to the Massachusetts Constitution, which was adopted in 1972, known as the “Environmental Bill of Right.” As House chair and founder of the Growth Policy Commission, Wetmore promoted state and local planning to balance growth and development. As chair of the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee and the Special Commission on the Future of Mature Industries, Wetmore promoted economic development as well as measures to establish special programs for dislocated workers. Senator Wetmore was appointed Chair of the Forest & Wood Products Advisory Board by Massachusetts Senate President Thomas Birmingham. The MWCC Robert D. Wetmore Center for Innovation in Design, Technology and Resource Development is named in his honor.
About Sustainability at MWCC
MWCC was at the forefront of the national climate movement when it converted its all-electric campus to biomass heating in 2002. This successful initiative lead to additional renewable solutions at the college, including the installation of solar panels and two wind turbines. These renewable technologies are integrated into teaching and learning experiences, particularly in MWCC’s Natural Resources Technology program. The message of sustainability is incorporated throughout the campus community. Members of the student club, The Green Society, helped initiate an organic Community Garden, an organic kitchen garden, single-stream recycling and a composting program.
A charter signatory of the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), MWCC has been recognized nationally for its success in renewable energy and conservation by organizations such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, the ACUPCC, and the National Wildlife Federation.