Thursday April 18, 2013

BENNINGTON -- Friday, April 26 from 7 to 9 p.m. the Unitarian Universalistc Fellowship of Bennington at 108 School St.will be honoring Earth Day and Arbor Day with three special presentations. The public is invited, admission is free, and refreshments will be available. The first presentation will take place at 7 p.m. with Bennington County’s Vermont State Forester, Kyle Mason speaking on "The Health of Our Trees". At 7:40 p.m. Karen Lee of Solar Pro will talk about "Sun Power" and at 8:20 p.m. Dianna Leazer of Neighborworks will explain the "Weatherization-Energy Challenge."

Kyle Mason received his Associate degree in forest technology from the University of New Hampshire and his Bachelor of Science from Paul Smith College. He has held various positions with the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks, and Recreation since he was a Junior in high school. He has managed state parks, assisted in management of state forested lands, and worked as the Southern NRCS forester on private projects of timber stand improvement and wildlife habitat enhancement. Mason said he had a great appreciation for the natural world and loves sharing his passion with others. Kyle will speak of the problems presently threatening our forests and tree as well as the positive aspects of Vermont forestry practices.

Karen Lee and her husband own and operate Solar Pro, a Bennington County energy company located in Arlington. Solar Pro is recognized as a partner with the state of Vermont’s Renewable Energy incentive program. Over the past five years the Lees have installed more than 50 solar thermal and photovoltaic systems for residential and commercial customers throughout the region. They are currently specializing in the installation of highly innovative, efficient, and Vermont-manufactured AllSun Tracker systems. Solar Pro’s company motto is to "Help Vermonters save money on the energy bills and reduce carbon emissions, one carbon footprint at a time."

Dianna Leazer, a native Benningtonian, works as the Bennington County Outreach Coordinator for 501C3 NeighborWorks of Western Vermont. NeighborWorks America is a nationwide organization that creates opportunities for people to live in affordable homes, improve their lives, and strengthen their communities. The NeighborWorks of

Western Vermont H.E.A.T. Squad (Home Efficiency Assistance team) can help homeowners save money through efficient retrofitting of their home, saving on heating fuel and making their homes healthy, comfortable, and energy efficient. Homeowners that have worked with their H.E.A.T. Squad save an estimated average of 389 gallons of fuel per year and over $900 dollars due to the energy efficient improvements.