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Almanac Archive for July 31, 2020

The Conservation Almanac
     New Sustainability Prize at the Ag Fair
          Meetinghouse Subdivision Denied
                For the Love of Buttercups and Fruit
Reimagine and Reduce Your Waste
VCS and IGI Partner to Sponsor New Prize for 2020 Ag Fair 
A brand new "Reimagine and Reduce" award along with a $50 prize is up for grabs at this year's Virtual Ag Fair, "Staying Home on the Farm." A partnership between VCS and Island Grown, the contest asks what changes you've made during the Covid-19 pandemic to help your family, business, or organization reduce waste and/or live more sustainability. Over the past few months, efforts to cope with these unprecedented challenges have pushed many of us to reimagine our daily habits. These changes have resulted in hardships, but also presented opportunities for learning new skills and other creative ways to move toward a more sustainable future in these difficult times.

To enter, submit a 100-word explanation (in .doc or .pdf format), along with three photographs visually depicting the positive change you’ve made that you will hold on to once this is all thankfully behind us. (Stumped? Look to the examples in the description in the Fair Book, page 5 for a jump start.) Entries may be made via the Fair's online system once it is up and running, but there's no reason not to get started today!

Meetinghouse Way Subdivision Denied by MV Commission 

Last night's 10 - 4 vote by the MV Commission to disapprove the Meetinghouse Way subdivision proposal is welcome news. VCS, along with so many others, spoke in opposition during this multi-year review at our Island's regional planning agency. In the end, most Commissioners agreed with the recommendation of its Land Use Planning Committee that the beneficial aspects of the proposal failed to outweigh its detriments. Impacts on the Edgartown Great Pond, the neighborhood, and the character of the Island community were of particular concern. Our hope now is that with the leadership and cooperation of the owners, a path can be found to bring about permanent protection for these 54 acres of open space, strategically located near other forever-wild properties.
It Was Fruit

It was fruit
that bound us
naturally on a vineyard island.
We talked first of thirst-quenching apples, Malus,
imported to New England in the beginning of the 17th century.
Did Gosnold or Mayhew carry the seeds?
Did they prefer round or angular?
. . .


Read the rest of Jesse Ausubel's inspirational homage to fruit and history. Jesse is Director of the Program for the Human Environment at Rockefeller University, and our long-serving Science Advisor. Among his many contributions to local conservation are his recent education and advocacy efforts toward expanding the use of environmental DNA sampling for monitoring marine wildlife. Thank you, Jesse!

Solace & Insight
The Art of Conservation 2020

"When I was young, as many kids probably experienced, people would always tell me to hold a buttercup up to my chin. If it reflected a yellow glow onto my chin, then I liked butter! I always thought it was a weird test, but even now when I see a buttercup flower in my yard I'm tempted to try. I picked one of the many flowers in my yard, held it up to the sun, and twisted my wrist around to reflect it's light back onto my arm. A bit of an awkward pose, but lo and behold, a yellow glow!"

Maddie Chronister, describing "Buttercup," her First-Place winning photograph in this year's Art of Conservation

View the Solace & Insight show
Take a Hike, Pal!

No, don't leave us! But do take a trip outdoors this weekend to enjoy the fresh air and connection with nature that comes from exploring the protected lands that sustain the environment of Martha's Vineyard. As always, a great starting point is Will Flender’s “Walking Trails of M.V.,” currently available at Bunch of Grapes, Edgartown Books, and the Fo'c'sle Locker in Menemsha. Other places that traditionally have carried the book include Alley's General Store, Morning Glory Farm, Polly Hill Arboretum, Cronig's, Felix Neck, the M.V. Museum, and the Allen Farm store. It can also be ordered (with $5 extra for shipping) on the VCS website. 

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