Having trouble reading this Atlas? Try here - http://sustainabilityalmanac.org/issues/2009_04_08.htm.

Sustainability Logo
April 8 - April 15, 2009

In This Issue

News:

Westport Community Farm

Scott Soares New State Agricultural Commissioner

This week:

Aha! Night: Emergence

Public Health and Medicine at the End of the Oil Age

Global Warming Solutions Panel

Southcoast Rail...the Day After

More

Save The Date:

Monthly Film Series

Bioneers by the Bay Community Input Meeting

More

Announcement:

Young Farmers Specialty Camp at Dartmouth YMCA

More

Ongoing:

Know Your Vegetables

Roots Down New Bedford

Volunteer Opportunities

Sustainability Courses

More

Weekly Green Tip:

Switch to "Green" Nailpolish

Weekly Quote:

"The nation behaves well if it treats the natural resources as assets which it must turn over to the next generation increased, and not impaired, in value."
- Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of the United States

 

Leaf Bullet News

Westport Poor Farm a Farm for the Poor Once Again

By:Peggy Aulisio, The Standard Times

WESTPORT — The town's poor farm is reaching back to its roots with the creation of a community garden this spring. The produce will be given to local food agencies to help meet the growing demand for assistance in today's declining economy. The Trustees for Reservations, which is leasing the property on Drift Road from the town, needs volunteers to help from 8 a.m. to noon on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. All skill levels are welcome and there is no fixed time commitment. Read more.

Locally Grown Food Priority of New State Agricultural Chief

By:Don Cuddy, The Standard Times

DARTMOUTH — Scott Soares, who grew up on his family's farm in Dartmouth, said supporting the burgeoning demand for locally grown food will be his primary mission as commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources.Read more.


Leaf Bullet This Week in Sustainability

Aha! Night: Emergence

Thursday April 9, 5-9pm Downtown New Bedford, MA.

This month's Aha! Night theme is Emergence. For a full listing of events visit: www.ahanewbedford.org

Some sustainability-related highlights to check-out:

Eco Float Procession at 5:30pm check out the parade of fossil fuel-free parade floats created by community members

Brick by Brick Youth Performance: "I Thrive Green Alive" at 6:00 and 7:30pm at the Whaling Museum be wowed by original poems, songs, and theater focused on the environment, sustainability, and the future of New Bedford and the "green movement" by youth for youth

Rhonda Fazio: "Environmental Alchemy" 5-7pm at Dyermaker Studio (96 William St, 2nd Fl) for sustainable textile design demo and discussion

The Elm Dance 7:30-9:00pm at The Unitarian Church (corner of Union and 8th St) join in an easy to learn Russian folk dance to honor the earth and those living in areas where large levels of radiation from nuclear events force them to be apart from their forests. Begun in Chernoble, it is a dance of intention to build a better world.

Fisherpoets 8:00pm at the Seaman's Bethel (15 Johnny Cake Hill) glimpse fishermen's perspective on life and sea by listening to original poetry by fishermen and women.

Regional Sustainability Exchange: Sustainable Health Care

Tuesday, April 14th, 9am-5pm, Bristol Community College, 777 Elsbree St, Fall River, MA.

“Public Health and Medicine at the End of the Oil Age: Challenges and Opportunities”

Public health and medicine systems will face significant challenges in the face of the world-wide energy emergency. This day-long conference will address the threats to medicine and public health, which will affect us all.

Featured speakers include: Richard Heinberg, Dan Bednarz, Ph.D., and Dr. Jill Stein.

(Hosted by BCC Center for Sustainability) for information or to register please visit: http://www.bristolcc.edu/events/postcarbon/

Ocean Voice Speaker Series

Tuesday, April 14, 7pm. Ocean Explorium, 174 Union Street, New Bedford.

150 Years on Darwin's Origin of the Species... and his visit to the Galapagos in 1835
Charles Darwin's journey around the Globe on board of HMS The Beagle transformed him deeply both as naturalist and rationalist; he would no longer accept the immutability of the organisms around us. With the publication of the Origin of the Species and The Descent of Man  Darwin transformed the world with his theory of evolution by means of natural selection.

Admission is free for members. $2 Adult, $1 Child & Senior.

Global Warming Solutions Panel

Wednesday, April 15, 12-1pm. Library Browsing Area, Claire T. Carney Library, UMass Dartmouth.

MASS PIRG will host a Global Warming Solutions Panel: Global Warming is a huge problem, but we have the solutions at our fingertips to solve it. Not only that, we also have great leadership in Massachusetts who want to make these changes. Join us to find out what we can do!

Speakers:

Congressman Barney Frank: In 2008 the League of Conservation Voters gave Frank a 100% rating for voting in favor of 13 environmental votes in the US House of Representative. In 2009 he co-sponsored Congressman Ed Markey's The American Renewable Energy Act.

State Senator Marc Pacheco: Head of the Massachusetts Senate Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change. In 2006 he wrote and sponsored the Global Warming Solutions Act, the strongest piece of global warming legislation in the country that passed this July.

Dr. Robert Ballard: Has a scientific expertise in geologic oceanography and marine archaeology, he currently works in Woods Hole. He is best known for his discoveries of the Titanic and the Battleship Bismarck.

Moderated by Susan Jennings, head of the UMass Dartmouth Office of Campus and Community Sustainability

Regional Sustainability Exchange: SouthCoast Rail...The Day After

April 15th, 1:00-3:30, ATMC, 151 Martine Street, Fall River, MA, 02723.     

"South Coast Rail...The Day After"

Agenda:
1:00 PM Mayor Robert Correia – Welcome to Fall River
1:15 PM Kristina Egan, South Coast Rail Project Manager
Planning for South Coast Rail and Future Opportunities
1:45 PM Panel Discussion:
Greg Guimond, SRPEDD Program Manager, The Day After – What's Possible
Kristin Decas, Executive Director of New Bedford Harbor Development Commission – Linkages to the Sea
SRTA Representative, A Vision for Regional Transit
2:45 PM Open Discussion

Transportation investments always influence patterns of development because they create opportunity around them.  How that development occurs in southeastern Massachusetts is up to us.  The South Coast Rail project allow us to rethink our transportation network, shape our patterns of land use, protect our ecosystems, enhance our green infrastructure, reduce auto dependency, and cut carbon emissions.  Join a conversation about using the energy from the South Coast Rail investment to get to where we want to go.

To register please contact Kathleen Christianson, 508-910-6484 or kchristianson@umassd.edu

The Sustainability Regional Exchanges are cosponsored by UMASS Dartmouth and SRPEDD.

Southeastern Massachusetts Commuter Rail Task Force Meeting

April 15, 4-6pm, ATMC, 151 Martine St., Fall River, MA.

The regular meeting of the Southeastern Massachusetts Commuter Rail Task Force will take place following the Regional Sustainability Exchange "Southcoast Rail...the Day After." This meeting is open to the public.

Maxfield City Garden: Community Workshop on New Garden Design & Soil Testing

April 15, 4-5pm, Peaceworks! Maxfield City Garden, 22 Maxfield St,New Bedford

Do you have any questions about how to start your own garden in your own backyard? Are you a seasoned gardener that would like a place to grow your own vegetables and flowers? Maybe you would like to adopt a plot in your own community garden right in your own neighborhood. Imagine getting more food for your money or beautiful cut flowers all summer long? Whatever your gardening interests may be we have the answer for you!

For more information please contact:

Email: nbpeaceworks@yahoo.org  website: www.nbpeaceworks.org  Boys & Girls Club 508-992-8011

Join the Marion Natural History Book Club

The Marion Natural History Book Club welcomes you to join them in 2009! Meetings typically are held on the 3rd Wednesday of the month.

Marion Museum of Natural History, 2nd Floor of Elizabeth Taber Library, 8 Spring Street, Marion

Past readings of the group include: When the Rivers Run Dry, Water-the Defining Crisis of the 21st Century (Fred Pearce). Crab Wars, A Tale of Horseshoe Crabs, Bioterrorism, and Human Health(Wm. Sargent), Animal Vegetable, Miracle, a Year of Food Life (Barbara Kingsolver), Grand Canyon, Today and its Yesderdays (Joseph Wood Krutch), & The Abstract Wild (Jack Turner)

For more information please email: cederholm@comcast.net

First Massachusetts Farm to School Convention

April 15, 12:30-6:30 Old Sturbridge Village

Excellent opportunity to hear from dynamic individuals working on all aspects of farm-to-school initiatives including school gardens.

Registration Cost: $20, or $10 for students

For more information please contact Kaitlin Doherty, at the Mass. Farm to School Project office. 413-253-3844 or kaitlin@seedsofsolidarity.org.  

Farm to School website: www.mass.gov/agr/markets/Farm_to_school/index.htm


Leaf Bullet Save The Date

Monthly Film Series Focuses on Eco-Justice, Sustainability, and Social Justice

3rd Fridays of the month, February-May. 6:00pm vegetarian potluck, 7:00pm film. Fairhaven Memorial Unitarian Church Parish House, Fairhaven, MA.

The Green Sanctuary Vision Group Of the Fairhaven Memorial Unitarian Church is Sponsoring a monthly series of films whose content relates to eco-justice, sustainability, and social justice issues.  The films are shown on the third Friday of each month through May.   The films are shown in the Parish House located at the corner of Center and Green Streets in Fairhaven.  Each film starts at 7:00 preceded by a vegetarian pot luck supper at 6:00.  The public is invited to both or either of the events. 

Next Film: "Urban Cottage Gardens of the Portuguese Community" Friday April 17th

For more information you may call the church office at (508)992-7081.

Operation Clean Sweep: The Great American Clean-Up

4/18, 8am-12:00, Ward 2 Sawyer Street and N. Front St, New Bedford

Spring is a great time for cleaning and pitching in with the Operation Clean Sweep plans for Keep America Beautiful’s Great American Cleanup. The event, organized locally by Operation Clean Sweep, is part of a nation’s largest cleanup, beautification and community improvement program. Everyone is invited to join in the activities and help make New Bedford a more beautiful and safer place to live.

How to Volunteer: Pre-Register before the clean up – Call: 508.979.1493 Visit: www.operationcleansweep.net and go to the volunteer page Day of the clean up – sign up/ check in at the Operation Clean Sweep Headquarters E-mail Info@operationcleansweep.net

Future Clean-ups: May 16 – Ward 5, June 20 – Ward 6, July 18 – Ward 3, August 15 – Ward 1, Sept. 19 – Ward 4

Bird Outings with Guest Ornithologist Paul Champlin

4/18, 9am-10:30am.

Join ornithologist Paul Champlin, an internationally traveled bird guide, for a bird walk at Allens Pond Wildlife Sanctuary. Birdwatchers and nature lovers will amble through thickets and shoreline looking for over-wintering shrubland birds, sea ducks, marsh birds, and other winter visitors. Whether you're an experienced birder, a curious beginner or just a nature enthusiast, you will enjoy these programs. Mass Audubon members $4, nonmembers $6. Call (508) 636-2437 for more information or to register.

Community Garden Volunteer Day

4/18, 9am-12:00pm, Westport Town Farm.

Inch by inch, row by row, help us make this garden grow! Cultivate a stronger community along with delicious fresh veggies by joining us in our first community garden volunteer day.

Fees: FREE. Please pre-register.
Notes:
Telephone: 508-679-2115
E-mail: seregion@ttor.org

Massachusetts Organic Gardening Workshop Day

April 18

NOFA/Mass presents our second annual Statewide Spring Organic Gardening Day. On April 18, there will be organic gardening workshops in every region of the state (see map and full details here). Growing our own food is an excellent way to save money, lessen our carbon footprint, improve our health, and connect with neighbors and nature. Isn’t now a good time to learn skills that will help you plant a garden and make it productive throughout the year?

Topics that will be covered at these workshops:

  • Starting garden beds
  • Seed starting
  • Organic soil fertility
  • Organic soil amendments
  • Mulches and cover crops
  • Weeds, disease and pests
  • What to plant when
  • Crop spacing
  • Succession croppings

These workshops are all being led by experienced gardening educators, and they are intended to meet the tremendous resurgence of energy and action for backyard and community gardening. In addition to explaining and demonstrating some key steps that can empower to you start your own garden, these workshops provide a great opportunity for you to come forth with your questions about beginning the process of gardening. Whether you are a complete newcomer to gardening or you just feel that you could use some brushing up on growing skills and concepts, these workshops are for you.

Workshops are being held in the following regions and towns:

Boston/North Shore – Mattapan, South Natick and Newbury

Southeast Mass – Middleboro and Cohasset

Central Mass – Worcester, Barre and Winchendon Springs

Western Mass - West Springfield, Wendell, Chesterfield, Sheffield, Pittsfield

Download and Print Registration Form to mail in with check or money order.

Register online for any one of these workshops with Credit Card or ECheck.  For questions or more information contact Ben Grosscup at ben.grosscup@nofamass.org or visit the NOFA/Mass website http://www.nofamass.org/programs/practicalskills/workshopday.php

How to Create a Therapeutic Garden Activity Program: ONE DAY INTENSIVE

April 24, 2009, 8:00-4:30pm, Westport Council on Aging, 75 Reed Road, Westport, MA.

Gardening for Good will offer a one-day intensive workshop in Westport focused on how to create a therapeutic garden activity program. Learn how to create a therapeutic garden activity program to achieve goals and improve wellness and quality of life for children and adults you serve. Whether you are a healthcare or human services professional, educator, volunteer or caregiver, you'll gain beneficial hands-on information regarding the best methods and activities to use to enhance a person's abilities. Valuable reference materials will be provided.

EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT AVAILABLE UNTIL APRIL 3rd!

For information on cost and registration please visit: www.gardening4good.org

Bioneers by the Bay Community Input Meeting

April 28, 6:00 pm, 3rd Floor Meeting Room, Downtown New Bedford Free Public Library, 613 Pleasant St, New Bedford, MA.

Bioneers by the Bay is looking for suggestions, support, comments, etc. on how we can better support and serve the community of New Bedford and how the conference can better help to create deep and positive change. This will be an open dialogue, all are welcome.

Sustainability Film Series

6:30 pm, Library Browsing Area, Claire T. Carney Library, UMASS Dartmouth, 285 Old Westport Rd, Dartmouth

Richard Legault announces the Spring Schedule for the Sustainability Film Series. Most films are followed by panel discussions. Films are shown at 6:30pm in the Library Browsing Area at UMASS Dartmouth.

Tuesday, April 28th
Flow (2008, 84 minutes)
Irena Salina's award-winning documentary investigation into The World Water Crisis. Salina builds a case against the growing privatization of the world s dwindling fresh water supply with an unflinching focus on politics, pollution, human rights, and the emergence of a domineering world water cartel.
http://www.flowthefilm.com/

Civic Engagement Summit

May 6, 2009, Hosted by the Center for Civic Engagement, UMass Dartmouth.

Anticipated Keynote Speakers include: Governor Deval Patrick and Professor Tom Sander from Harvard University.

For more information please visit here or contact Matthew Roy at mroy@umassd.edu

Sustainability Summer Camp for Middleschoolers

July 13 - July17, 2009, UMASS Dartmouth main campus.

Please contact Kathleen Christianson at 508-910-6484 or kchristianson@umassd.edu for more information on registering your child for this summers Sustainability Camp.

 

Leaf Bullet Announcements

Young Farmers Specialty Camp at Dartmouth YMCA

Young Farmers Specialty Camp at Camp Metacomet, Dartmouth YMCA - 1 and 2 week sessions throughout summer 2009.

Do you have a passion for science and the growth of healthy fruits and vegetables? Join us for the first ever Camp Metacomet Specialty Camp that will look at our world's growing issue of food production and healthy eating. Working alongside a seasoned farmer, campers will gain the skills and talents to begin growing his or her own garden right in the back yard. Campers will experience the nurturing food from seed to harvest, while also participating in traditional camp activities. This program is perfect for campers ages 6-15. We guarantee that this camp will allow campers to explore another side of science and discover the fruitful labors of their hard work. Campers will help to develop our working farm and learn about leadership and community service.

For more information visit www.ymcasouthcoast.org or check out the 2009 Camp Brochure (info on young farmers camp on page 17);  interested?  Here's the 2009 YMCA Camp Registration Form. (Ages 6–15)

Call to Women Scientists: Submit Your Story

UnderTheMicroscope is a new website of the Feminist Press NSF Women Writing Science project developed by IBM. UnderTheMicroscope collects stories from women involved in science, interested in science, and those who are maintaining or pursuing science in science fields. The most interesting stories will be compiled and published as a survival guide. Check out the site and submit your story!

National Women's History Project: Women Taking the Lead to Save Our Planet

In 2009, the National Women's History Project honors women who have taken the lead in the environmental or "green" movement. This year we are recognizing one-hundred 2009 Honorees who demonstrate women's leadership in protecting the environment on a local, state, or national level. The 2009 Honorees are representative of women from across the country who have taken or are taking the lead to save our planet.

Visit: www.nwhp.org to view the list of honorees and read their inspiring bios.

2009 Sculpture Park Call to Artists: "Interpretations of Functional Bicycle Racks"

Idea Submission Due By April 15th.

Four Corners Art Center in Tiverton, RI is looking for sculptures for the 12th Annual Outdoor Sculpture Park. This year we are looking for artist interpretations of bike racks.

For all information and submission requirements please visit: www.FourCornersArts.org


Leaf Bullet Ongoing

Roots Down New Bedford: Gardening Workshops

1st Tuesday of every month, 4pm, Lawler Branch Public Library, 745 Rockdale (NE Corner of Buttonwood Park). Accessible by SRTA bus routes #6 and #10.

What: A free monthly series focusing on sustainable gardening techniques.

Why: To help new and experienced gardeners gain a deeper understanding of methods used in healthy food production. To help build local food security for our community.

May 5: Starting Your Own Seedlings and using transplanting and crop succession to increase production.

*Neighborhood-based workshops now scheduled! Visit the Farm blog for locations and schedule

Roots Down - New Bedford is part of the Safe Soils for Healthy Food Project presented by Brix Bounty Farm and the Rotch-Jones- Duff House&Garden Museum and is made possible by the Community Foundation of Southeastern Massachusetts - SEEAL Fund.

For more information please contact Brix Bounty Farm at 508-992-1868 or visit the farm blog at http://brixbounty.blogspot.com/

Know Your Vegetables: A Monthly Conversation Series Focusing on Small-Scale Vegetable Production. 

We invite you (home gardeners, foodies, farmers, anybody who enjoys vegetables… young and old) to join us in a free discussion series on a range of topics related to vegetable production.

April 20, 2009 - Season Extension Strategies: Microclimates, Plastic Mulch, Row Covers, and Transplanting
May 18, 2009 – Weed Control on Organic Farms/Gardens: Stale Bedding, Cultivation Tools, and Mulching

Conversations will continue into summer 2009:  topics to be determined.

Discussions are held at Brix Bounty Farm.  Usually 3rd Monday of the Month, 6:30 PM

For more information or to RSVP please contact us:  
Derek Christianson, Brix Bounty Farm, 858 Tucker Road, Dartmouth, MA 02747   
Ph:  508.992.1868                  
http://brixbounty.blogspot.com/

Volunteers Needed for The Coalition for Buzzards Bay

Although Jack Frost doesn't seem to be loosening his grip, we know Spring has to be just around the corner. And that means it's time to sign up to be a Baywatcher volunteer!
   
Now in its 18th year, Baywatchers is Massachusetts' largest volunteer-based coastal water monitoring effort. From May through September, more than 100 dedicated volunteers help us to monitor the health of Buzzards Bay by testing water samples from more than 30 harbors and coves from the Westport River to Woods Hole and the Elizabeth Islands.

And the Coalition needs more than 100 volunteers to help again this year!

A strong science background is not necessary. A good Baywatcher is someone who can consistently commit one hour between 6-9 a.m. each week from May-September and follow scientific instructions on how to test the water using a Baywatchers test kit.  A Baywatcher should also be agile enough to work on docks and piers along the waters edge.  All volunteer Baywatchers participate in a training session to learn the proper sampling techniques and receive a sampling test kit, a handbook of procedures/protocols, and data sheets.

To Sign Up:

Contact Tony Williams, Director of Monitoring Programs, at 508-999-6363 x203 or e-mail williams@savebuzzardsbay.org and provide a message with your name, e-mail and contact information.

Volunteers Needed for Friends of Buttonwood Park

The Friends of Buttonwood Park need enthusiastic volunteers to introduce the Buttonwood Park Arboretum and its unique trees to local K-4 school groups.

The Friends provide all the necessary information about the 13 trees and volunteers take small groups of students and their teacher around the Arboretum while chatting about each tree. Each walk takes approximately 45 minutes and two are scheduled daily from 9 to 11am.

This popular educational program runs for 3 weeks each fall and spring and requires 2 hours of your time several mornings during its duration.

If this sounds like something you might be interested in joining please call for more information.

Ann Beaumont: 508-993-8458

Anne Eades: 508-996-1299

Volunteers Needed for Sharing the Harvest Community Farm at the Dartmouth YMCA

Sharing the Harvest Community Farm at the Dartmouth YMCA (276 Gulf Road, Dartmouth, MA) is looking for volunteers to work on our 2-acre farm. Volunteers will plant, transplant, cultivate and harvest on the farm. All produce is donated to the Hunger Commission of Southeastern Massachusetts (a United Way Program).

We will have volunteer drop-in hours starting April 1st on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 9-11 and Thursdays from 3-5. The 2009 season runs from April until October.

For more information please contact Volunteer Coordinator Donna Edberg at 508-993-3361 x13 or by email at sharingtheharvest@ymcasouthcoast.org

Online Sustainability Courses

Classes run March 25-May 9th

UMASS Dartmouth Online

Two fully online sustainability courses available for the second Spring session beginning March 25th:

SUS 347 Environmental Law 3 credits. An introduction to basic concepts of environmental law. The emphasis is on broad introductory themes.

PSC 235 - Environmental Policy 3 credits. Environmental Policy will explore the decision making process that underlies most of our current environmental laws and regulations in the U.S. Students will learn about the process of environmental decision-making from an "incentive-based" approach and alternatives analysis. Topics such as air, water, hazardous substances, climate change, and environmental justice will be discussed. Students will interpret a current proposal to use charge systems to implement environmental policies. The course is meant as an introductory theme into environmental policy. There is no course pre-requisite.

BCC Non-credit Organic Farming Courses Offered

Spring 2009, Fall River campus.

Introduction to Herbs and Herb Gardening: this course is an introduction to herbs and herb gardening, it is meant for those interested in herb plants, their properties, uses, and propagation. Course will cover three major areas: Introduction to herbs, herb gardening, and application of herbs. [7 sessions]
17513 XHG 10 03 Fall River $120 W 6:00-8:00pm 4/1-5/13

Water Availability, Quality, and Conservation: this course will give students an introduction to the chemistry of water; its hydrologic cycle, the effects of Man's activities and ways that water can be conserved from the viewpoint of sustainability. [5 sessions]
17514 XHG 11 01 Fall River $95 M 4:00-6:00pm 4/27-5/25

Beekeeping Course: the BCC beekeeping course introduces the basic principles and practices of organic beekeeping. The course prepares new beekeepers to understand the basics well enough to begin their own beekeeping as a hobby or small enterprise. [6 sessions]
17515 XHG 12 01 Fall River $65 M 6:00-8:00pm 3/23-4/27

The End of Oil: Farming and the Future of Food:this course focuses on the social and structural forces that shape the current global food system with particular emphasis on societal problems and changes anticipated for this fossil-fuel based, industrial agribusiness model. [7 sessions]
17516 XHG 13 02 Fall River $95 T 5:00-7:00pm 4/14-5/26

New! Bristol Community College will offer credit courses leading to a certificate in Organic
Farming starting in Fall 2009. To learn more, contact Admissions at 508.678.2811, ext. 2590.


Leaf Bullet Weekly Green Tip

Switch to "Green" Nailpolish
Tip from thedailygreen.com

You may not have realized it, but your nails are porous and can allow toxins to enter your bloodstream.Conventional nail polish often contains the solvents toluene and amyl, butyl and ethyl acetate, which are known neurotoxins. Sometimes the toxic heavy metal lead acetate is included. The common ingredient formaldehyde is also a suspected carcinogen.A number of companies now offer more natural alternatives to conventional nail polish that are gorgeous and fun, as well as safer for you and the planet. Read more.

Have information you'd like to add to the Almanac? Send an email and we'll add it to the list.

Subscribe or Unsubscribe to the Sustainability Almanac.