Check your mailbox for the latest VCS newsletter, featuring a striking
drawing by Lucy Thompson, first-place winner in this year's Art of
Conservation contest. Click the image to view the artwork in full, and
then check out the rest of the winners
of our 3rd annual high school art contest.
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Quote of the Week
“I felt in the late 80s and early 90s a sense of urgency about
the Vineyard. Such rapid growth and building. I felt that areas unbuilt
should be photographed so there would be a record.”
Photographer Neal Rantoul, describing his work while drawing an analogy to that of Eugene Atget
in documenting the industrialization of Paris at the turn of the 20th
century. Neal will present at the VCS Annual Meeting (story at right).
Family Shellfish Day
Saturday, June 25, 9:00 am to noon, Tisbury.
Film: One Big Home
The Tisbury Shellfish Department hosts a family Shellfishing Day.
Learn about pond ecology, and how to harvest, handle, and prepare
shellfish. At the Lagoon boat launch, free but registration is required
). For more info contact Shellfish Constable Danielle Ewart at (508) 684-8304.
Wednesday, June 29 (also Aug. 8), 8:00 pm, Chilmark.
After the VCS Annual Meeting, head over to the Chilmark Community Center for a special screening of One Big Home
Directed by MV Film Festival founder Thomas Bena, the new documentary
explores the proliferation of massive trophy homes on the Vineyard and
the effort in Chilmark to reign them in. More info at TMVFF
Snakes & Turtles at Felix Neck
Tuesdays, 10:00 to 11:00 am, Edgartown.
Learn all about what makes a reptile a reptile at Felix Neck's Discovery
Room, and in their natural habitats. $9 ($6 for members), call (508)
627-4850 or see website
for more info.
Wednesday Farmers' Market Returns!
Wednesdays and Saturdays, 9:00 to noon
, West Tisbury.
Fresh picked produce from local farms, flowers, delicious baked goods
and prepared foods from Island kitchens and more. Outside of the Grange
Hall in West Tisbury. For more info, see website
In Season Recipe
The Simplest Smoothie
This is not so much a recipe as an appeal to freshness, whole food,
and the DIY spirit. If like most people you own a blender but never use
it, don't buy another smoothie until you try this once:
- Local strawberries
- Real yogurt from Mermaid Farm
- Bananas from somewhere far away
Put a roughly equal amount* of each in the blender, and there it is. It may not be the best
in the world, but it will be after you experiment and add your own
favorites. And even the Simplest Smoothie in the World has the advantage
of real, natural yogurt that you won't find at any smoothie shop.
For a first attempt, try one banana, 1 cup strawberries and 1 cup
yogurt. With the summer heat approaching, freeze the strawberries first
for a cooler treat.
VCS Annual Meeting
Martha's Vineyard: The View from Above
Aerial view of the Island's south shore by Neal Rantoul
The annual meeting of the board and membership of the Vineyard
Conservation Society will be held this year at the West Tisbury Library
on Wednesday, June 29 from 5:00 to 7:00 pm. The event is free and open
to the public.
The business portion of the meeting will be followed by a
presentation of Island photography by Neal Rantoul. Recently retired
(following 30 years as head of the Northeastern University Photo
Program), Neal is a life-long Vineyard resident who now devotes his
efforts full-time to making new work and bringing earlier work to a
national and international audience.
Our hope is that Neal’s photography will spark a discussion of how the
Island is continually changing – due to both the unpredictable power of
nature, as seen in our dynamic shoreline, and the rapid pace of
development and other human impacts.
Don't forget to renew your membership before the Annual Meeting!
If you're not a member yet, join today! New members receive a free copy of Edible Wild Plants of Martha's Vineyard,
a beautifully illustrated guide to the wild bounty of Martha's
Vineyard, complete with fascinating information about traditional
medicinal and folklore uses.
The Bugs & the Bees: An Appreciation of Pollinators
Gilbert of Native Earth shares the history of Island agriculture at
this year's Winter Walk, a celebration of the ten-year anniversary of
the collaborative effort to conserve the farm (photo by Richard Toole).
Celebrate and honor our pollinators this Sunday, June 26, with a fun day
of activities at Native Earth Teaching Farm. Learn all about the vital
little workers who keep the agricultural (and natural) world running
with activities, cooking demos, crafts, music and more from 10:00 to
3:00, and a pollinator parade at noon. See website for directions, and poster for more information.
Native pollinators – solitary bees, moths, and many, many others – are
not only important to agriculture and ecosystem functioning, but can
also serve as an indicator of broader diversity and ecological health.
At the 2013 VCS Annual Meeting, entomologist Paul Goldstein of the
Smithsonian Museum of Natural History explained what pollinators and
other insects can tell us about our local ecology, and why it matters to
conservation efforts. See the full presentation here, produced by Martha's Vineyard Productions.
Living Shoreline Project Seeks to Stabilize Salt Marsh
Ribbed mussels, propagated by the MV Shellfish Group, could be a future addition to the project (photo by Sandy Richard).
A major soft-stabilization project is now underway at Felix Neck. Named
the “Living Shoreline Project,” this collaborative effort of Felix
Neck/Mass Audubon, the Shellfish Departments of Oak Bluffs and
Edgartown, the University of Rhode Island, and the EPA involves the
installation of coconut fiber coir logs and bags of shell along the
eroding shoreline of Sengekontacket Pond.
The project is both a serious effort to stabilize the salt marsh and
improve water quality, as well as a real-world test of concepts that
conservation groups have long advocated, but have seen limited adoption
by local governments. As explained by Oak Bluffs Shellfish Constable
Dave Grunden, “Healthy salt marshes provide several ecological services
including nitrogen attenuation and absorption of storm surge during a
storm . . . This project could demonstrate that living shorelines can be
used as a tool to address both of these threats to our beloved coastal
ponds . . . (it’s) one of the first of its kind and may be the largest
to date in Massachusetts.”