Let’s Be Shore, the Maryland Humanities Council’s Eastern Shore public engagement project, is on a grassroots mission. They’ve created “sharing stations” that have been spotted in all kinds of local Shore venues recently, like festivals, farmers markets and town events.
Maybe you saw them last Saturday at the Easton Farmer’s Market…..or a few weeks back in Chestertown, or at the Nanticoke River Jamboree, or at the Delmarva Chicken Festival in Salisbury…..they’re everywhere.
Their goal is engagement with Shore citizens. They’re looking to have conversations, and generate public discussions – about issues relevant to the Shore like land use, agriculture, water quality, growth and more.
As each County is forced to develop and implement Watershed Implementation Plans to address water quality, we’ll need to have conversations that are based on understanding all kinds of different points of view. It’s the intention of the project to move our public conversations forward – through and past the easy stuff (yes, every sector has contributed to the problem)), and on to the hard stuff (which strategies will we choose to reduce TMDLs?)
Each sharing station has a large poster with quotes from locals of the region, talking about what matters to them. Walking past, it’s likely that you’ll recognize the face of a neighbor or co-worker – and stop to read and understand their perspective. Let’s Be Shore wants you to consider these quotes, and the video portraits on their website – as starting points. Listen, watch, think and share your thoughts.
To that end, each sharing station is equipped with postcards depicting Shore landscapes. You’ve invited to grab a postcard and write your comments about the issue. Later this fall, a series of public forums will help move these conversations to that next step. Right now, the goal is to bring everyone to the table.
So go ahead. Stop at a sharing station, read the quotes, look at the postcards and choose one. Ask your questions, or make your comments – it doesn’t matter. What matters is that you engage.
One great way to engage is by spending some time on the Let’s Be Shore website – looking at the work accumulated so far. At present, there are 7 video portraits of Shore citizens – each some 3-5 minutes long.
The video portraits represent a broad range of viewpoints – from Riverkeepers to golf course developers, poultry farmers to watermen. Watch the video, and share your perspective – do you agree? Did you learn something? What questions would you ask that person about their perspective? Sign up for their email newsletter here and join in the conversation on facebook.
Upcoming sharing stations can be found at:
July 20 Kent County Fair, Chestertown
all day | Kent Agriculture Center, Tolchester 21620
July 28 Chesapeake Folklife Festival, St Michaels
10:00am – 5:00pm | Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum
**Attend a panel discussion at 3pm with special guests and video portrait subjects.