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Almanac Archive for April 1, 2013

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Quote of the Week
You’ve never seen images like this before… It deserves to be seen and felt on the big screen.
- Robert Redford, on the film Chasing Ice

Conservation Calendar

Native Plant Nursery Volunteer Workday

Saturday, April 6, 10:00 am to noon, Lambert's Cove Rd, WT.
The Nature Conservancy seeks 5-10 volunteers to help remove last year’s old stems and debris from perennial plant beds in their Native Plant Nursery. The work is not strenuous, but requires repeated kneeling and standing. There will also be work planting trays with native seed that will be grown for TNC’s Vineyard Habitat Network. Snacks and beverages will be provided. Please RSVP to Liz Loucks via email or call 508 693-6287 ext. 15.
Electronics Disposal Day
Saturday, April 6, 9:00 am to 2:00 pm, M.V. Community Services (across from the High School).
Bring your old and tired computers, monitors, televisions, printers, notebooks, copiers, scanners, air conditioners, stereo equipment, dehumidifiers, cell phones, microwaves, fax machines, all refrigerators, washers, dryers and ranges. Fees range between $1 and $30. No charge for mice and keyboards. For more info, call 508 693-7900 ext. 229.

Book Drive

Saturday, April 6, 12:30 - 2:30 pm, at the Oak Bluffs Public Library.
Drop off your gently used books (all ages, all categories) at the second annual book drive sponsored by the Library Friends of Oak Bluffs. Also looking for DVDs, CDs and Audio Books on CD, as well as recent textbooks (last 3 years only). For more info, call the library at 508 693-9433.

Land Bank Walk

Sunday, April 7, 1:00 to 3:00 pm, Aquinnah.
Land Bank staff lead a guided walk at Toad Rock Preserve in Aquinnah. Rain or shine, dress for the weather and wear sturdy shoes or boots. For directions and more information call 508 627-7141; see website for property description.

Spring Walk at Felix Neck
Tuesday, April 9, 10:00 to 11:00 am, Edgartown.
Join Felix Neck staff for a guided walk on the Sanctuary to witness all of spring's offerings. $5, free for Mass Audubon members. See website of call 508 627-4850 for details.

Wee Farmers

Saturdays (April 6 and 13), 9:30 to 11:00 am, at the FARM Institute, Katama.
TFI welcomes 2-5 year olds to the farm for a morning of discovery. Pet a fiber goat, feed the chickens and help harvest fall veggies. Wee Farmers must be accompanied by a parent or caregiver. $15 per session. For more info, or to pre-register, call 508 627-7007

Wild Families at Sassafras
Sunday, April 7, 1:00 - 3:30 pm, Aquinnah.
Games, story time and nature activities for the whole family at Sassafras Earth Education in Aquinnah. $25. For more information on this and other programs, see website or call 508 645-2008.
Help Our Ponds
50 Gallons at a Time

With Earth Day approaching, the Lagoon Pond Association is putting a final push on their rain barrel program. LPA has secured a special price of $75 for the "Ivy" rain barrel and arranged for a convenient pickup and demonstration session at SBS on Earth Day, April 20, from 10 - 2. For more information on the benefits of collecting rainwater, and details on ordering and pickup, see their new flyer.

In Season Recipe

Easy Leftover Lamb Souvlaki
Continuing last week’s theme of holiday leftovers, here’s a flavorful way to refresh a leftover lamb roast. This stir-fry method will of course work with other leftover meats, or sliced chicken breast. These proportions are for about a pound of meat.

Thinly slice leftover lamb and a medium onion (if desired) and place in a Ziplock bag with 2 diced cloves of garlic, oregano and rosemary (½ teaspoon each if dried, 1 tbsp if fresh) and enough olive oil to cover. Saute the meat slices and onion in a few tbsp of the oil/marinade until heated through. Serve it up on pita with sliced tomatoes and this simple tzatziki-like cucumber sauce:

Cucumber sauce:
  • 1 cup Mermaid Farm yogurt
  • 1 cucumber, seeded and grated
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh dill or mint
  • 1 crushed garlic clove
  • salt and pepper to taste
Mix all ingredients together well, or use a food processor if available (which can also help with shredding the cucumber).
Monday, April 1, 2013

Local News

Good News from Flat Point

The new 12.9 acre parcel at Flat Point (area between the black line and Short Cove), now in process of being conserved (click to enlarge)

Congratulations are in order this week following the West Tisbury Selectmen’s assignment to the Land Bank of the town’s right to purchase 12.9 acres of the iconic Flat Point. Until recently, the odds of a favorable conservation outcome appeared slim. When initially approached last December, the Land Bank made it clear that it did not have the money to purchase the land. In response, the landowners – the Fischer family – wrote an open letter to the community urging conservation groups “to pursue protecting Flat Point in its entirety,” and to “please contact the Vineyard Conservation Society…to voice your opinion.”

In its familiar facilitation role, VCS joined with partners to try its best. The idea of finding one or more donors willing to extend a long-term loan to the Land Bank was favorably received, and revived hope for a Land Bank role. There were a few false starts, but after the critical intercession on the part of one Flat Point neighbor, VCS board member Sam Look, to another, Stephen Rattner, prospects brightened. Steve then initiated what proved to be fruitful discussions with the Land Bank.

The Land Bank now has 90 days to complete the transaction, but as of now the result looks tremendously hopeful! Thanks to the Land Bank and to the many partners who helped make this happen.

The 21st Annual Earth Day Beach Clean-Up

Penny Uhlendorf and Dave Nash serve up pizza from MV Flatbread Co. at last year's after-party. For more photos, click over to the VCS website.

Earth Day is every day, and where better to celebrate it than on a Vineyard beach? The 21st Annual Vineyard Conservation Society Earth Day Beach Clean-up will take place on Saturday, April 20th, from 10 am to noon. Please join us at your favorite Vineyard beach for a morning of fun and environmental service.

This year the after-party will be graciously hosted by the Harbor View Hotel, where you can enjoy delicious food and compare treasure hunting stories with other beach cleaners. While supplies last, kids will receive a free special edition T-shirt by ShirtsbyTed, created using custom artwork drawn by Jules Feiffer. Participants will also be entered in a raffle to take home Oceans, a beautiful book/DVD/Blu-ray set by Jacques Perrin.

For over twenty years VCS has sponsored this initiative to increase local support for Earth Day and, more broadly, to encourage a greater appreciation and respect for the natural beauty of our Island year-round. Together, we can take responsibility for our Island’s beaches, one of our most precious resources.
Chasing Ice: Green on Screen Presentation Brings the Arctic to the Vineyard

Icebergs from the Jakobshavn Glacier, Greenland. (Photo by James Balog)

Join VCS this Saturday at 4:00 pm for our next Green on Screen presentation: Chasing Ice, the critically-acclaimed documentary exploration of Arctic sea ice and the major changes underway in this beautiful, if imposing, environment. From the plot synopsis --

In the spring of 2005, acclaimed environmental photographer James Balog headed to the Arctic on a tricky assignment for National Geographic: to capture images to help tell the story of the Earth’s changing climate. . . . Chasing Ice is the story of one man’s mission to change the tide of history by gathering undeniable evidence of our changing planet. . . . With a band of young adventurers in tow, Balog began deploying revolutionary time-lapse cameras across the brutal Arctic to capture a multi-year record of the world’s changing glaciers.

The screening will be at the M.V. Film Society’s new Film Center, located at Tisbury Marketplace. Stick around afterward for an inclusive and interactive discussion of the film, melting ice and sea-level rise, and climate change issues in general.

Other News

Yet Another Idea for Carbon-Free Electricity:
Tall Tale, or the Height of Innovation?

The basic principle of a downdraft energy tower.

Solar Wind Energy, Inc., a clean energy developer, has proposed an ambitious project: the construction of two gargantuan "downdraft towers" in Arizona near the Mexican border. The skyscraper-sized cylinders (at 2,250 ft in height, they would stand below only the Burj Khalifa in Dubai) would -- as with a windmill -- generate electricity through the force of spinning turbines. Instead of wind, however, the rapid movement of air is a product of the pressure differential between the top and bottom of the structure. Read more about the project at Forbes; see Wikipedia for more on the technology itself.
Submit your conservation news to: almanac@vineyardconservation.org

Copyright (C) *2013* *Vineyard Conservation Society* All rights reserved.

Original content by Jeremy Houser unless otherwise noted.