Barbara Lucas gets excited when talking about environmental issues. You’d expect nothing less from the host of Green Room, a monthly program available on CTN that specializes in all things green.
But, there’s more. She’s been the host and co-producer of Green Room for eight years, and she’s so dedicated to making the show successful that she’s taken an acting class, an Improv class and a Dale Carnegie class to get more comfortable in front of the camera.
All of this to get environmental news to the viewers of CTN, which is available on Comcast local-access channels 16, 17,18 and 19 and AT&T 99. Also, CTN is available on YouTube channel ctnannarbor.
“My background is not in broadcasting, rather my graduate degree is in Environmental policy,” says Lucas, who is contracted by Washtenaw County to offer community education on environmental topics. “I have a real passion for environmental issues and I wanted the concept to be a success.”
There is plenty of evidence that suggests her efforts have led to success. Lucas has been the host of more than 80 renditions of Green Room since 2010 and, as she says, “we’ve covered a lot of territory.”
“I have a passion for nature and environmental issues, and in about 2005 I began producing movies on environmental topics for Washtenaw County and other municipal governments and non-profits,” she said. “To reach more people, I asked CTN if they would like to air some of the pieces that I was producing. They were so receptive to the idea that I was inspired to see if they might like a regular show where we would air one of my movies in conjunction with interviewing a guest to further address the theme.”
Hence, the genesis of Green Room, CTN’s monthly environmental-education experience. Lucas says her primary goal is to spread awareness about environmental topics of relevance to citizens of Washtenaw County, but many of the topics are relevant anywhere. That’s why CTN links are available to be shared to anyone.
Lucas says she tries to make each show resonate with as many viewers as possible, but she understands that tastes vary.
“It’s hard to say what resonates, because everyone is different,” she said. “That’s why I like our topics to vary.”
She recalls with fondness an edition of Green Room on the environmental impact of a baby’s first year.
“I asked the guest about formula, and mentioned that some women need to use it because of problems with breastfeeding,” she said. “My guest interrupted and said mothers can use ‘donor milk’ instead. I’d never heard of that, so she explained.
“I love how my guests expand my horizons,” she said. “I’ve learned so much.”
Lucas looks for someone who is knowledgeable on the topic at hand, but she’s not necessarily looking for an “expert.”
“I’ve had teenagers, volunteers, anyone with a passion for the topic,” she said. “Truthfully, people that can relax and speak from the heart make for more engaging conversations than academic-sounding guests.”
It is the rare combination of expertise and passion from a guest that Lucas enjoys most.
“Dr. Douglas Tallamy, author of ‘Bringing Nature Home,’ was a great example,” Lucas said. “I’ve been lucky enough to interview him on two separate times. I managed to nab him when he was in town giving lectures.”
Lucas thoroughly enjoys her association with CTN, and she says she is a frequent CTN viewer herself.
“I often watch the CTN recordings of government meetings and candidate forums,” she said. “I rarely have time to attend them, so that is a great service that CTN provides. And all sorts of other information about the community is aired on their other channels.
“CTN helps the community be a community.”
For more information on CTN, and to find times for Green Room and other CTN programs, go to www.a2gov.org/ctn.