Founded at the first Commonomics Summit in November of 2013, MASC (Manchester Area Sustainability Cooperative) is a group of individuals who have come together to empower and educate the Manchester community in economical and ecological sustainability practices. Projects include community gardens, compost collection, movie nights, and a partnership with the Windham Hour Exchange.
In early May, MASC debuted at Imagine Main Street, a small arts fair on the first Thursday of the month in the business district of Manchester, CT on Main Street. There was a sign-up sheet for a monthly newsletter, brochures about MASC, a map of Manchester with our gardens marked, and Bettylou’s gardening tips on a half sheet of double-sided paper. Demostrations included compost bins with different stages of compost from unprocessed to completed dirt, and cut-in-half cardboard egg cartons where participants planted soaked-beans in dirt that they could take home.
As the most successful of the Commonomics Action Groups, MASC has identified the following tips for other groups: being from the same town/community, finding common interests among the members while still allowing diversity from their varied backgrounds and strengths, meeting consistently but not getting discouraged by drop-outs or others not making all meetings, finding and collaborating with already existing projects in the community, taking minutes at each meeting to reflect and refer back to, and having brochures to hand out in the community.