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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Where's your VOICE?

Every week my blog topic changes, this week a rather cool personal story connected with ECHO in such a way that I felt the need to write about it for this week’s entry! My hope is that it can inspire you, the reader, to try out what I did on my own! (Keep reading to find out just what I am talking about...)

My “Personal Story”- This past weekend I found myself at North Beach, a little ways away from the Burlington Waterfront and ECHO. I was at a barbecue with friends enjoying my chicken kabob when in the distance I noticed you could no longer see the Adirondack Mountains… It didn’t take long to realize that far off there was a summer storm encroaching on the lake. The sky was changing all sorts of colors, from the blue it originally was to a deep, vivid yellow as the light reflected in fascinating ways over the new rainclouds. It was a brilliant site! The wind suddenly picked up, and most observers got the hint that the curtain of water hiding the Adirondacks was headed our way, and quickly! I grabbed the plate of kabobs without thinking twice (partly to have more for myself) and took cover under the pavilion. The storm continued its way, engulfing Shelburne point directly across from us, and making the trees whip in the wind…luckily we (and the food) were all safe and dry under the shelter! It didn’t take long for the storm to dissipate from the area and move on, and when it did it left the most amazing gift- a huge double rainbow, brighter than any I have seen in my 20 years in VT, and it was right above us. My friend was quick to joke we should swim to the other end and dive for treasure… My treasure was the excellent chicken kabobs I keep thinking about, so I was all set! I grabbed my phone and took a picture, I only was able to capture one rainbow, but one is in-fact better than none! I loved this moment, witnessing the hidden power of nature, its beauty unleashed; all with friends on beautiful Lake Champlain- times like these are rare…

Its “Connection” to ECHO: Ironically, the Monday after that weekend I met with Bridget Butler who is the mastermind behind VoicesForTheLake.org- I showed her the picture I had taken and she said how perfect a photo like that could be for the Voices for the Lake project! I had heard a lot, and seen a lot about Voices for the Lake, but for some reason it never occurred to me that my stories and pictures were wanted as well- so, I decided to share the photo! It took less than 5 minutes to log on to the website, upload the picture and write a brief description, and within 15 minutes of posting it was already on the website, twitter and Facebook for all of you to enjoy! Something so simple accomplished the goal of Voices for the Lake- a story about my experience enjoying my home… We all have these stories, and this project makes it possible to help these memories last a lifetime (literally!)… I’ll note that my picture directly got the attention of another user who then shared a picture and story of her own!
The Ultimate GOAL for Voices for the Lake! Bridget has created an amazing way for technology to play an integral role in stewardship for Lake Champlain- she fully utilizes twitter Facebook and blogging to keep the public informed of events and happenings, and the Voices website is always packed with fresh content, so every visit to the site is a new and exciting experience!

Here are some snippets from the websites “about” page…

“Voices for the Lake takes the perspective that we have much to learn from the voices of the public. ECHO draws from VFL to understand the interests and needs of the community and provide opportunities for individuals to take action in support of lake stewardship…VFL believes that technology can be a tool to connect individuals with similar values, collect diverse perspectives and questions, and to broker relationships among residents, experts and resources in the field…”

Its excellent that we have a website like this! I know for a fact Bridget would love to see, hear and watch all of your stories about the lake… Good thing you are on your computer now- here is the link, don’t waste any time- make your voice heard!
OH!!... Stay updated with Facebook and voicesforthelake.org for info on the summer sunset cocktail party to officially present the collage of ideas this project has brought forth- officially celebrate Voices coming to the floor at ECHO as a permanent exhibit!

Can’t wait to see your entries-

Until next week,
-Derek

http://www.voicesforthelake.org/
**To share your Lake related story, picture or more, click the above link and then click “share” to get started!I know for a fact that she would love to see, hear and watch all of your stories about the lake… Good thing you are on your computer now- here is the link, don’t waste any time- make your voice heard!

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