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Turtle crossings. Or “We care about turtles, but do turtles care about humans?”

Tessa, Hannah, and Ellie, three Richmond Consolidated School 8th grade social studies students are leading the way on an effort to protect Richmond’s turtles as they cross our roads. It’s part of their civics lessons and it is a great opportunity to learn the levers of local government and protect wildlife. The ConCom, the DPW, the Selectboard are all pitching in to make their project a success. Tomorrow, Suzie Fowle, one of Massachusetts’ leading experts on turtles will be leading a discussion at RCS, that our intrepid students and their teacher have organized. I’m excited to attend and hear all …

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Annual Town Meeting

UPDATE: The biggest ticket item, the new municipal building (which will include a new town hall, new library, new community space) needed a 2/3rds vote and passed with room to spare. My attempt to amend the $500 dollars for the land conservation fund up to $5,000, failed on a technicality. All other warrants were passed. May 19th, 7:30pm at RCS Richmond will come together to decide on its town warrant including $6M+ for the new municipal building and $500 for the land conservation fund. I think those priorities are backwards — but maybe that’s just me. Nonetheless, I would urge residents …

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Road Advisory Committee Cinco de Mayo at 5:30pm

  Update…   Rescheduled to May 5th, 5:30pm Rare meeting of the Road Advisory Committee. The public are welcome attend & to comment. I’ve personally heard several complaints regarding the condition of Richmond’s gravel roads, I am concerned about their condition myself,  and I hope for a robust discussion. The last Road Advisory committee agenda posted on the town website is from January of 2020 — fifteen months ago. That agenda mentions,” Presentation of current problems and plans for correction”, but no minutes are posted so there is no easy way to discover anything about who attended or the details of …

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Rest in Peace, Bruce Garlow

Bruce Garlow, who served 20 years as Richmond’s Town Administrator and as our first Conservation Agent for 15 years, passed away this past Friday. He was 72 years old. Holly Stover chaired the ConCom during those years and Bruce and Holly fought very hard to conserve Richmond’s character. For example, one huge battle was won when they helped fight off the Altresco pipeline. Listen in below!       I spoke with Bruce only once, several weeks ago, so I did not know him well. But, I’ve read a lot about his contributions to Richmond during my research for this …

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Restoration

“Restore the Earth!” That’s this year’s theme for Earth Day. Thinking back to the 1st Earth Day in 1970, many things were bleak. Our roadsides were full of litter. There was no EPA. No clean water act. No wetlands protection act. Corporations were spewing pollutants into our air and waters. Yet widespread optimism and activism in the following decade saw the rise of a vigorous, environmental movement that worked to counter the destructive forces of ignorance, developers and corporate malfeasance. In circa 1970 Richmond, it was already the 7th year for the ConCom and 100 acres of land had been …

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Who you gonna call? Con Com!! Agenda for 4/13

All persons and organizations about to work in a wetlands resource area need to have permission. Aren’t sure if it is a regulated area?? Just ask the Concom! They can help. For example, if you are looking at a stream from the seat of an excavator…you might pause for a second and not just start digging. What if it’s an emergency? Still call first, there is a defined emergency process that can get you started immediately! Emergencies are defined as only an immediate threat to life or health… Here’s the busy ConCom agenda for tomorrow and for Wednesday’s Board of …

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MACC at 60 Years.

The annual Massachusetts Association of Conservation Commisions (MACC) spring conference kicked off this week in a virtual, ‘zoom’ mode. That’s a first for MACC in its 60 year history. I was lucky enough to score free admission to any or all of the workshops when my name was drawn at the MACC’s 2021 business meeting. Yaaassss! The conference has so many great opportunities to learn from experts in all kinds of things helpful to folks like me who are learning the ropes of being a conservation commissioner. So far, I’ve learned about MassWildlife’s new Heritage Hub Reporting System that allow …

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Lenox Mountain Redux

This morning Dan Scorpa and I accompanied several DCR staff and Tom Lautzenheiser from MassAudubon on a site visit up the steep western slopes of Lenox Mountain. It was a breezy and sunny spring day, perfect for a walk. Late May and into mid-June of last year, un-permitted activity by contractors working for DCR, damaged areas of the forest in the Scenic Mountain Act regulated areas on land belonging to two Richmond homeowners and to Audubon’s Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary. Dan and I were present for the site visit to observe on behalf of Richmond’s ConCom. DCR is working towards …

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Richmond Consolidated School Pancake Breakfast and Town Clean-up

Tomorrow, Saturday, April 3rd is the date! The RCS Pancake Breakfast will be grab and go style from 7:30 – 10:00. Pancakes, Blueberry or Plain, Sausage, Juice and Coffee are just $5.00 with all the proceeds going to help the Richmond Emergency Fuel Fund. The Cleanup is 7:30 – 10:00  Maps, gloves and garbage bags will be available on the circle in the back of the school. Everyone is welcome to join in the Breakfast even if you cannot participate in the clean- up!

Finding Hope in Conservation History

Passing along this zoom link to an April 13th public lecture by Michelle Nijhuis, author of Beloved Beasts: Fighting for Life in an Age of Extinction.. Tue, April 13th, 2021 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm Michelle Nijhuis is the author of the new book Beloved Beasts: Fighting for Life in an Age of Extinction. A project editor for The Atlantic and a longtime contributing editor for High Country News, she writes about science and the environment for National Geographic and other publications. After 15 years off the electrical grid in rural Colorado, she and her family now live in White Salmon, Washington. Sponsored by the Center for Environmental Studies …

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