The Future is in Our Hands

Summer Series

The Future is in Our Hands is focused on bringing awareness to some of our planet’s most pressing challenges; from climate change and biodiversity loss to energy efficiency and social justice. Come and explore these topics through a range of engaging events that include our summer book club, hikes, documentaries, and much more!

Please register with Barbara Shatara at for meeting info and how to obtain the book.

Summer Environmental Book Club: Turning Over a New Leaf

Fire Weather by John Valliant

Tuesday, June 11th, 6:30pm--Local History Room

FFL's summer environmental book club is back!  Join Brooke Taber Lead Forecaster and Incident Meteorologist (IMET), National Weather Service for a discussion of Vaillant's award-winning book, Fire Weather: A True Story from a Hotter World.

In May 2016, Fort McMurray, the hub of Canada’s oil industry and America’s biggest foreign supplier, was overrun by wildfire. The multi-billion-dollar disaster melted vehicles, turned entire neighborhoods into firebombs, and drove 88,000 people from their homes in a single afternoon. Through the lens of this apocalyptic conflagration—the wildfire equivalent of Hurricane Katrina—John Vaillant warns that this was not a unique event, but a shocking preview of what we must prepare for in a hotter, more flammable world.


Gunflint Falling: Blowdown in the Boundary Waters by Cary J.Griffith

Tuesday, July 23rd, 6:30pm--Local History Room

On July 4, 1999, in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW), a bizarre confluence of meteorological events resulted in the most damaging blowdown in the region’s history. Originating over the Dakotas, the midsummer windstorm developed amid unusually high heat and water-saturated forests and moved steadily east, bearing down on Fargo, North Dakota, and damaging land as it crossed the Minnesota border. Gunflint Falling tells the story of this devastating storm from the perspectives of those who were on the ground before, during, and after the catastrophic event—from first-time visitors to the north woods to returning paddlers to Forest Service Rangers.

This book club session will be led by the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department’s Director of Outreach and Education Programs Coordinator, Alison Thomas. 


Climate Capitalism by Akshat Rathi

Tuesday, August 6th, 6:30pm--Local History Room

Our age will be defined by the climate emergency. Contrary to the doomist narrative that's taken hold about the climate emergency, the world has already begun deploying the solutions needed to deal with it. On a journey across five continents, Climate Capitalism tracks the unlikely heroes driving the fight against climate change. From the Chinese bureaucrat who did more to make electric cars a reality than Elon Musk, to the Danish students who helped to build the world's longest-operating wind turbine, or the American oil executive building the technology that can reverse climate damages, we meet the people working to scale technologies that are finally able to bend the emissions curve.


Led by Jennifer Green, Director of Sustainability and Workforce Development,  Burlington Electric 


More Future Is In Our Hands Programs!


Climate Fresk 

6/8, 7/13, 8/24 

Local History Room 

Want to help tackle climate change but don’t have the time to become a climate scientist?  In just 3 hours, the collaborative Climate Fresk workshop will teach you the fundamental science behind climate change and empower you to take action. 

Registration required and limited to 8 participants. Ages 17+ 

Contact Kate Belluche at for more information. 



Environmental Documentary: Thank You for the Rain

Tuesday, July 16, 6:00 PM | Pickering Room

Five years ago Kisilu, a Kenyan farmer, started to use his camera to capture the life of his family, his village and the damages of climate change. When a violent storm throws him and a Norwegian filmmaker together we see him transform from a father, to community leader to an activist on the global stage.

Thank You For The Rain addresses a range of issues linked to climate change, including climate justice, urbanization, gender equality, education, access to water, climate refugees, and adaptation.



Hike Like A Geologist with Joanne Garton

 Site TBD

Tuesday, July 9th, 5:30PM | Meet/Park at 

Join FFL and Joanne Garton for an informative hike.  Learn more about the underlying geology of the area.   Joanne Garton has a geology degree and worked as a geologist in Quebec and Vermont before transitioning into the UVM Field Naturalist Program for graduate school.  She now works with Vermont Forests, Parks & Recreation in the Urban & Community Forestry Program.

Register with Barbara at


Hike Like An Ecologist with Bob Zaino

Halfmoon Cove Wildlife Area

Thursday, August 8th, 5:30PM | Meet/Park at Heineburg Bridge Fishing Access

Join Vermont Fish and Wildlife's Natural Community Ecologist, Bob Zaino to learn about Vermont's natural communities and the many plants and animals that inhabit them.

Halfmoon Cove Wildlife Management Area (WMA) is located in the town of Colchester. This WMA is a mix of floodplain forest and emergent marsh framing an oxbow of the Winooski River. Its 294 acres stretch along the eastern/northern bank of the river west of Route 127. There is a parking lot and small boat access for the Winooski River on the west side of Route 127, just north of the Heineberg Bridge.  Register with Barbara at


Raptor Road Trip with VINS

Friday, July 26 at 11am 

Main Library Lawn or Library Youth Area (rain site) 

If you had wings like a hawk, where would you fly? Birds of prey are found all over the world, in all kinds of environments—so why don’t we follow them! Join us on an imagined journey across the United States, and encounter some resident raptors in their ecosystems. We’ll learn about the habitat needs of each species, as well as their range and behavior in the wild. Who knows whoooo we’ll encounter? 

Live birds included!  All ages. 


Cardboard to Costume Workshop

Saturday, August 10 at 1pm | Fletcher Room

Join 13-year-old local artist, Natalie Walton to transform a used cardboard box into a wearable work of art. This is a 2-hour long program and is curated for participants ages 12-18. This is a preregistered event as spaces are limited. Book your spot today!







Thank you to our partners on the Future Is In Our Hands series!

The Library will be closed on Wednesday, June 19 for Juneteenth.