When I made the jump from middle school to high school in the early 1990s, I honestly was not concerned with asking myself, “What do I want to be when I grow up?” Truth be told, I was fairly certain I was headed to the big-leagues to play the hot corner for the Red Sox, but beyond that, I hadn't really thought about it too much. I don’t know that many 13- or 14-year-olds do.

It’s a fair question to ask: Why would a group of relative strangers set off on a 250-mile, 16-day canoe trip through the heart of the Maine Woods eight days after “ice out” and right at the start of the infamous black fly season?

Northern Forest Center Board member Darby Bradley blogged about the future of wood pellet use in Vermont for the High Meadows Fund, which has supported the Center's biomass program, including the Model Neighborhood Project.

Read Darby's Blog

What does success look like in wood heat? Dots. Lots of colored dots. That’s what struck me as I mapped our wood heat projects and associated infrastructure as a way to literally see where our work has made a difference.  Even though my map was not comprehensive, it easily showed the growing density of the necessary ingredients for switching the region from oil to wood pellet heating. There are more pellet boiler manufacturers, more qualified installers, more bulk delivery services, and more boiler installations than ever before, especially in northern New Hampshire and western Maine where the Center has been most active. Here’s a deeper look at how we’re approaching this major shift to heating with a local, renewable resource.