|Visit our Website
Support Vineyard Conservation
Find us on Facebook
Quote of the Week
--Supreme Court of the United States, regarding the request to review the decision of the Mass. Supreme Judicial Court.
See Vineyard Gazette for the story,
or, for a deeper dive into the 20-year legal defense effort to conserve
the globally rare Moshup Trail heathlands, pages 4-7 of the last VCS newsletter.
Scenes from Flat Point
(Click for full-size; or see here for all the shots from November's Winter Walk at Flat Point Farm)
Holiday Event at Sheriff's Meadow
Saturday, Dec. 10, 2:00 - 4:00 pm, Edgartown.
As a respite from this weekend's scene of Christmas chaos in downtown
Edgartown, stop by the Sheriff's Meadow Sanctuary to reconnect with
nature for a bit. There will be crafts, holiday decorations,
refreshments, and a scavenger hunt. See the SMF website for description of the property and directions; please note that there is no on-site parking.
Kids' Christmas Bird Count
Sunday, Dec. 11, 8:30 - 11:30 am, Long Point.
Calling all kids! Join BiodiversityWorks and other Island conservation
organizations for a fun introduction to birding at Long Point Wildlife
Refuge. We'll practice with binoculars and spotting scopes, then head
out to observe birds around the refuge. Afterward, we meet back at the
Visitor’s Center for a tally while we enjoy hot drinks and snacks.
This free event is primarily designed for kids 8 and up and their
parents, but there will be activities back in the Visitor's Center for
younger kids, so go ahead and bring the whole family! Please preregister
by email or call (508) 693-7662. Also, volunteers are needed -- please email Luanne to volunteer. For more info and directions see TTOR website; use the winter entrance off Deep Bottom Rd.
Guided Walk: Menemsha Hills
Sunday, Dec. 18, 1:00 to 3:00 pm, Chilmark.
staff lead a moderate-to-strenuous hike along Menemsha Hills to the 2nd
highest point on Martha's Vineyard. Learn about the geology of the area
and enjoy the fall colors and a view of the historic Chilmark
Brickyard. The route will include walking on rocky beach & some
moderately steep trails. $10, $6 for children (TTOR members $5/$3); for
more info see website or call (339) 927-8778.
Next Winter Walk: Morning Glory Farm
No cheating! We're walking this Sunday!
your VCS friends this Sunday (the 11th) at 1:00 for a holiday hike
around the fields of Morning Glory Farm and nearby conservation lands.
After about a two mile walk we'll gather around the fire at the farm
stand for cider, cookies, and hot chocolate.
walk will be lead by long-time owner and operator of the farm (and new
VCS president) Jim Athearn. The relationship between VCS and the
Athearns dates to the early 1980s partnership (also including the town,
the state, the Land Bank, and the previous owners) that succeeded in
preserving the land on which the farm now sits, guaranteeing its farming
future in perpetuity. Click here to read more about the conservation history of this iconic Island farm.
has been sponsoring free guided walks for thirty years; they are
traditionally from 1:00 to 3:00 pm on the second Sunday of the month
from November through March.
It's B.Y.O.B. Saturday in Vineyard Haven
On Saturday, Dec. 17th, VCS and the Vineyard Haven Business
Association are getting together to celebrate the Island’s first Bring
Your Own Bag event. So, bring that holiday shopping list on into town –
and don’t forget your reusable bag!
All customers who BYOB will qualify for a variety of promotions across
town: you may find a special discount, or the opportunity to “pay it
forward” with free gifts to the Red Stocking Fund and others (check out
our website next week for a list of promotions and participating
merchants). VCS will be on hand from 11 am to 3 pm, eager to provide
holiday cheer and free reusable bags. Look closely and you may even find
our Eco-Elves and their special sack of free gift cards.
In the spirit of the giving season, the BYOB event is a recognition of
the gift that Vineyard Haven and four other Island towns gave to the
Island at last spring’s town meetings, voting overwhelmingly to reduce
our use of disposable plastic bags. Prior to passage, our Island was
using about 5 million plastic shopping bags each year, many of which
find their way into the natural environment. But now that number is
already declining, thanks to voluntary switches by businesses, and this
New Year’s Day it becomes official. Thank you!
While we celebrate the upcoming change, we also hope to spread the
message that reusable bags are good for more than just grocery shopping.
We can all be part of the effort to realize the BYOB spirit of the
bylaw for all types of stores – retailers, markets, even take-out
restaurants – by bringing our own bag, not just taking a paper one
instead of plastic. As BYOB working group member Sam Look said, “We are
so grateful for the work businesses are undertaking to make this change
for our community, but as customers, we need to support their efforts.
Every time we bring our own bag, it is one less that they have to order,
pay for, ship, store, and stack on a checkout counter. They’ve been
meeting our needs – let’s change what those needs are.”
Bold Bottles, Glamorous Glass, and Creative Cardboard: Getting Crafty with Packaging Materials
The EPA estimates that 30% of the solid waste created by Americans comes
from packaging materials – a similar proportion as our organic material
(28%, of which half is yard trimmings!) and a larger amount than all
durable and non-durable goods combined (only about 20%). That’s just one
way of breaking down the waste (by product type, rather than by
material; see this EPA Fact Sheet
for tons, no pun intended, of waste statistics), but when looking at it
this way it certainly seems like the most important issues are 1)
organics, for which we will need much wider adoption of composting
and/or digesting technologies, and 2) packaging material. What to do
with all those bottles, cans, and cardboard boxes? Recycling is the
obvious answer on a municipal scale, but it’s not the best answer on a personal scale.
So, when “reduce” is not an option, the next thought should be “reuse”!
Check out this collection of crafty projects from the state Coastal Zone Management
office. Some are rather complicated (you have to see the octopus
costume made with plastic shopping bags), but there are also some simple
eco-friendly lifestyle ideas. If you keep a miniature trashcan made
from a tennis ball container in with your other beach stuff, then every
day can be beach clean-up day!
worlds: In the USA, per capita waste has stabilized in recent decades,
but the total continues to rise due to population growth. But the global
story is different, driven by rising standards of living elsewhere: the
UN Environment Programme finds that
“Humans are consuming resources and producing waste at a greater scale
than ever before and per capita consumption levels are projected to
increase with continued development.”