Local volunteers will again build weatherizing window inserts as part of the Window Dressers program. ISLANDER FILE PHOTO

Window Dressers make homes cozy

BAR HARBOR — Volunteers are setting up shop in the Bar Harbor Congregational Church this month to make weatherizing window inserts. According to organizer Brad Stager, more volunteers are welcome.

The statewide organization Window Dressers is holding its fifth annual community workshop from Thursday, Jan. 9 through Saturday, Jan. 18. The workshop will be held daily except for Sunday, when the space is used for church, and Tuesday, when the community meal program Open Table MDI is held.

Over the course of the workshop, Stager said, “we’ll be building about 400 window inserts for approximately 40 local homes.”

About 20 percent of the homes receive their window inserts at little or no cost thanks to grant funding, according to Stager. “Other homes will pay only for materials, plus a small amount to cover the support received from headquarters in Rockland,” Stager said.

The project is to build interior window inserts to help keep homes warmer by adding insulation and reducing drafts. Windows are measured ahead of time, and then workshops are held to make inserts out of wood and clear plastic.

“The product is simple and inexpensive,” said Stager. “Very effective at allowing light in and keeping the cold out.”

Stager is looking for volunteers to help with construction, and bring food for other volunteers over the course of the workshop. In the first few days, Stager said he has “extra work for those with carpentry skills,” as the focus is mostly on assembling the wood frames.

Other than that, he said, “the individual tasks are relatively simple and fun, much like a giant craft project, and are suitable for people with a wide range of abilities.” He added that his 11-year-old daughter will be helping out this year, as she has in the past.

“Machias Savings Bank has been sending teams of people every year to help out. They also bring food and drinks, which is very much appreciated. College of the Atlantic has included us on their list of approved community service projects, so we are hoping for a group of wonderful students to again support the workshop. We welcome visitors and well-wishers, too.”

In addition to volunteer opportunities at the workshop itself, Stager also has year-round volunteer opportunities for people interested in public relations and measuring windows for next year.

Volunteers may sign up at https://windowdressers.org. Information on ordering window inserts for next winter can also be found on the website.

Becky Pritchard
Former Islander reporter Becky Pritchard covered the town of Bar Harbor and was a park ranger in Acadia for six seasons.
Becky Pritchard

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