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Building Community: Lessons Learned From Small Islands

by Barb Tokarz
September/October 2010
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Article Link: https://www.childcareexchange.com/article/building-community-lessons-learned-from-small-islands/5019574/

Over the last several summers, my husband and I have been fortunate to be able to spend several weeks on the coast of Maine. Our travel destination has not been to some of the more popular seacoast towns frequented by tourists, but to some of the islands that dot the coast of Maine. Miles away from the coast, these remote islands can be reached only by boat or plane; they are populated by families who make their living fishing and lobstering in the cold North Atlantic waters. The islands' beauty lies not only in their pink granite shores framed by tall green pines, solitary light houses, and quaint fishing towns but in the character of the independent and self-reliant people who inhabit them.

The wildness and rugged beauty of these islands attract a sizable summer population who make a speedy retreat home as the long days of summer come to an end, leaving a year-round population of as few as 50 people on some islands and as many as 300 on others. Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, the inhabitants of these islands are not as isolated as they once were. However, when the cold winds and winter gales blow, the ...

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