While planning tributes to Kensington’s past during the neighborhood’s 100th anniversary this year, Tom Evons, a volunteer on the centennial committee, thought this would be a great time to also look forward to the future of one of San Diego’s oldest communities. From that idea has grown a day promoting sustainable living called the Kensington Clean Energy Festival to be held Saturday, June 26.
Tom explains that Kensington was an innovative community from its beginnings and that it continues to set trends today. Many of his neighbors, Tom says, have upgraded and retrofitted their homes with all manner of conservation and efficiency measures. He is especially proud of the Kensington residents who have agreed to open their homes, outfitted with energy- and water-saving devices, for a walking tour during the festival.
Tom had taken several workshops at CCSE on solar for homeowners and other topics during the past few years and was familiar with the center’s community education work, so he approached CCSE to partner in his event. A successful linkup got planning under way with CCSE special event coordinator Drew Henley and Siobhan Foley, director of education and outreach. Before long, CCSE staff members were engaged in the project along with Tom’s community connections – the Kensington-Talmadge Business Association, realtor Rex Downing, businessman Chance Billmyer, historical architect Curtis Drake, librarians Kathy Askins and Kathleen Thompson and many others.
With the festival just a few days away, Tom is already making plans to keep the discussions about sustainability and clean energy going by continuing neighborhood education programs and networking to share information and experiences – “this is not just a one-day affair,” he said. He’s even thinking about how he could help establish similar programs in other San Diego neighborhoods.
Tom Evons is turning his visions of a sustainable lifestyle into a reality, and he very much wants to bring others along. For that spirit and enthusiasm, CCSE salutes Tom as this month’s Community Energy Action Hero.
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