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Quote of the Week". . . when we oversee the source of our food and other products, it is likely that we will apply greater care . . . We likely have real concerns seeing the Island mined for gravel, chickens and cattle slaughtered, trees felled in the State Forest, or manure applied to neighboring fields. But as these activities take place, we and local officials will pay close attention and ensure that they are undertaken in as sound a fashion as possible. Local production can therefore translate into better stewardship for the earth as a whole. Conversely, when resources are extracted on a larger, “more efficient” scale distant from consumers’ eyes, there may be overwhelming pressure to cut corners and accept externalities."–David Foster, A Meeting of Land and Sea
The product of two decades of research by Dr. Foster and Harvard Forest colleagues, the soon to be released book offers a compelling look at the past, present, and future of the ecology of Martha's Vineyard. Read more and pre-order your copy at the website.
Conservation CalendarVCS Film Event: A Plastic Ocean
Thursday, Jan. 19, 7:30 pm, Vineyard Haven.
In A Plastic Ocean, an international team of adventurers, researchers, and ocean ambassadors go on a mission around the globe to uncover the shocking truth about what is truly lurking beneath the surface of our seemingly pristine ocean. Hosted by the MV Film Society and co-sponsored by VCS and Norton Point, maker of sunglasses using recovered ocean plastics. $15 ($12 members, $7 children), more info at MV Film Society.
Full Moon Owl Prowl
Thursday, Jan. 12, 6:00 to 7:00 pm, Edgartown.
After dark, bats–Earth's only mammal capable of true, sustained flight–may be everywhere around us while remaining hard to notice. Join Felix Neck for a full moon walk to get a better look and listen to these amazing creatures. $10 (members $5), for more info see website or call (508) 627-4850.Tracking Animals in Winter
Friday, Jan. 13, 3:30 to 4:30 pm, Edgartown.
A presentation by Josey Kirkland from Felix Neck on tracking wildlife. A free talk at the Edgartown Library, call (508) 627-4221 for more info.
Arboretum Winter Tours
Saturday, Jan. 14, 10:00 to 11:00 am, West Tisbury.
Join Polly Hill staff for a look at plants of interest. At this time of year bark and tree structure stand out, along with fruits and berries. Meet at the Visitor Center and dress for the weather. $5 (free for members), for more info see website or call (508) 693-9426.
Happy New Year!
B.Y.O.B. Bylaw Takes Effect
It’s official: Starting this week, it is time to BYOB. Passed at the 2016 town meetings, the Bring Your Own Bag bylaw will prohibit the use of disposable plastic bags at checkout counters in five Island towns. Stores may choose to give out paper bags containing post-consumer recycled content, but, as the name loudly and rather pointedly states, the real goal is for customers to:
See the Cape Cod Times for more on the bylaw, and theVineyard Gazette for coverage of our recent BYOB Day event in Vineyard Haven, in partnership with the V.H. Business Association.
Conservation History and Winter Walk at the Woods Preserve
Following several years of heavy defoliation by caterpillars, a skeletal army greeted our 2012 Winter Walk. Since then, many standing dead oaks have fallen or been removed, and natural ecological succession has continued. (Photo by Brendan O'Neill)
Join VCS at 1:00 this Sunday (Jan. 8) for a return to theever-changing Frances Newhall Woods Preserve. Located across the towns of West Tisbury and Chilmark, the 512-acre property provides one of the largest intact ecosystems on our island, including at least eight distinct natural communities, ten different soil types, and more than 200 plant and animal species.
Tough footing: Walks at the Woods Preserve often traverse areas where shrubby vegetation, mowed or burned, stiffly pokes up from the ground. So wear strong-soled shoes or boots, and we suggest leaving dogs at home – in previous years, sore paws have led some to be carried out by their human companions!
The walk will last one to two hours, followed by cider and cookies. Parking is off North Rd., about one mile from the State Road end; look for VCS signs and flags on the south side of the road.
VCS has offered guided walks on the Woods Preserve since its protection in 1991, when the owners, Edwin Newhall Woods and Jeanne Woods donated a permanent Conservation Restriction (CR) to the Nature Conservancy (TNC). Upon the Woods’ death, the land was bequeathed to TNC and the CR was conveyed to VCS.