Emily Ecker hikes Baxter State Park in 2020 Submitted

WOODSTOCK — Emily Ecker, an active member of the community, involved with forest conservation, Take Action Bethel, and the AFCI, took a strong interest in the outdoors at young age. Growing up with a community forest in her backyard, she spent every free hour outside of school hiking through the woods.

“So when people would ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I said I want to be a conservationist. That was my passion,” says Ecker. “I love being under a pine tree and listening to the sound of those needles in the wind. It’s just a very a distinct sound. I love learning everything I can about nature. When I was really young, I started learning about birds and bird songs.”

Now, Ecker and her husband, Marcel Polak, have spent the past 40 years in Maine where they do a lot of birding.

But Ecker does much more to help the birds. She has been heavily involved the purchase of Buck’s Ledge and 634 acres conserved to become a multi-use Community Forest. While Buck’s Ledge will be owned by the Town of Woodstock, the Mahoosuc Land Trust will have a conservation easement on the entire property, protecting it forever. Ecker is the co-chair of the local fundraising committee effort, with Jane Chandler.

“We’ve just gotten a lot of support, from all different types of people. That’s what’s been exciting,” says Ecker. “It’s really been a unifying experience and effort across political and economic spectrums.”

Ecker is a licensed social worker. Previously, she helped found and work for the Dempsey Center where she was a social worker helping patients, caregivers, and families.


“My heart went out a lot to the caregivers … if you’ve ever been around somebody who’s had cancer, the caregiver is exhausted. I had to keep saying, ‘You’ve got to take care of yourself. You can’t be there for him if you’re not taking care of yourself…,'” says Ecker. “I would often ask God, how can I be of service?”

On the other end of her psychological healing, Ecker also does Polarity Energy Balancing. In fact, she did a class on energy balancing with the AFCI.

“It’s called Polarity Energy Balancing and I learned it in 1990. It’s a form of working with the same energy currents/meridians that are used in acupuncture,” Ecker explains. “They help with channeling the life force. So when I did it with a few adult ed classes, I just gave them some basic information and then gave some demonstrations. It was fun.”

Ecker works with people on physical, mental, and emotional or spiritual issues.

“So it’s all holistic, addressing physical, emotional, or spiritual issues,” says Ecker. “And they can be interconnected. For an example, a woman came with deep chronic pain and it turns out that she had a severe trauma in her life. The trauma had concretized in her body in a certain place, causing the pain. She’s holding that story. And the work releases it.”

Ecker says she is going to be looking for a place to do her Polarity Energy Balancing in the spring, asking if anyone knows of one, to reach out.

Bringing together her work for Buck’s Ledge and Polarity Energy Balancing, there’s the commonality of a strong energy flow in both.

“We’re learning more and more, that the energy is flowing, it’s flowing through everything; it’s flowing through every tree, every bird. So all of nature is flowing through us. That is the unifying factor in us.”


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