Monday, March 29, 2010

Be a voice in saving the woods of Salem

The public lands of recreation and wildlife of the woods of Salem is on the turn of endangerment.  A residential development and a new Lowes/Walmart is slated to clear the woods, blasting glaciers and ending bike trails in the area north of Highland Ave, east of Lynn, reaching from Spring Pond to Marlborough Road.   Lowes will be situated near Walmart, on the same street as One Way Lumber, Home Depot, and Target where these types of stores already exist.  This new development effects nearby residents of Lynn, Salem and Peabody.  Bicyclists, Nature Hikers, nearby residents and kids from these camps will no longer be able to enjoy the woods:  from Camp Lions, Camp Fire and the Boys and Girls Camp.  The wildlife will no longer exist in this green space.   We've spotted deer, vultures, bats, fox... heard the sounds of coyote, woodpeckers, owls, different types of little birds and see many little animals roam the woods.   City woods also provide a healthy supply of oxygen to breath from, circulating clean air into congested polluted city grids.  We will not have public green land left anymore in these congested cities.     For many years people have petitioned and constantly been fighting to saving these woods and the Salem/Highland Woods on the other side of Highland Ave.  

Be free and advocate for the conservation of public lands.  Your voice can make a difference. Send a letter to these reps below, asking them to enforce the  
Senator Fred Barry -
State Representative John D. Keenan - Rep.JohnDKeenan@Hou.State.MA.US
Department of Planning and Community Development of Salem.....and don't forget to thank them too.  
Feel Free to copy this message with your added thoughts.


Public Meeting April 15th - Salem

All members of the public are encouraged to attend Salem's public meeting 
on April 15th - 7 PM
120 Washington St. (third floor)
The evening’s agenda is attached. (Click on Image below to enlarge)
If you are unable to attend, please feel free to mail or email comments you would like to pass along to the Board members, at this email, or mailing address below.

Danielle McKnight
Staff Planner
Department of Planning and Community Development
City Hall Annex
120 Washington Street
SalemMA 01970

And maybe this is something The Historical Commission of Salem may have interest in overseeing sustaining the historical view from the top of the hills looking over Spring Pond and the woods.


Saturday, March 27, 2010

Earth Fest 2010, April 24th - Lynn Woods

On Saturday April 24, 2010  
North Shore Community College will celebrate Earth Fest
at Lynn Woods.
9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Pennybrook Road Parking Lot

Between two and three hundred people participated in this annual event last year; including NSCC faculty, students, and staff in addition to residents of Lynn and the surrounding the communities.  Selected areas of the Lynn Woods were cleaned of trash.

This was the ninth year that North Shore Community College has joined in with the Friends of Lynn Woods and the Lynn Water & Sewer Commission in celebrating Earth Day. Over the years this event has resulted in tons of trash and other debris being removed from the Woods. The importance of holding the Earth Fest cannot be over stated, as the water supply for the City of
Lynn is located in the Lynn Woods.  This event takes a substantial amount of resources and materials. Thank you so much to those who helped out donated or spread the word. You were a huge help in making this event a success and it was greatly appreciated.

AS YOU WILL SEE, DOING OUR PART OF CLEANING UP OUR EARTH IS A LOT OF FUN!... (click on article below to enlarge)

Iron Pots

Cooking healthy again, like thee old times, is the new way of living.

We need to find alternative ways cook our foods and not use manufactured clad/ aluminum/ tephlon/ caphlon/ who-knows-what-type material pots, as the chemicals from these seep into foods when cooking.

Cooking in a cast iron Dutch Oven, Fryer, Skillet, Grill Pan, Biscuit and Muffin pan is a healthy way to prepare food and can add significant amounts of iron to your food and into your body.  This has been shown in various studies, published in the Journal of Food Science. In addition to eating more iron-rich foods like meats, beans, and spinach, cooking in a cast iron pot is an easy way to boost your iron intake.

Iron is an essential nutrient for all the cells in our body. Iron's main job is to help transport oxygen through hemoglobin in the blood and myoglobin in muscles. In order to function well, your body needs just the right amount of iron, which depends on your age and gender. A lack of iron in red blood cells leads to a condition known as iron deficiency or anemia. On the other hand, too much iron can lead to a dangerous condition called iron toxicity. Children under age three are particularly susceptible to iron toxicity. To be on the safe side, avoid cooking foods for young children in iron pots.

Researchers have found that cooking in an iron skillet greatly increases the iron content of many foods. Acidic foods that have a higher moisture content, such as applesauce and spaghetti sauce, absorb the most iron. For example, one study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association found that the iron content in 100 grams of spaghetti sauce jumped from 0.6 mg to 5.7 mg after being cooked in a cast iron pot. Other factors that boost the iron content of foods include longer cooking time, frequent stirring, and using a newer iron skillet.  However, not all foods increase this much in iron; For example, hamburger, corn tortillas, cornbread, and liver with onions didn't absorb as much iron, probably due to shorter cooking times, and the fact that they were turned once, resulting in less contact with the iron.  Also instead of deep frying, try a healthier cooking method that still packs a lot of flavor like roasting, grilling, or using a marinade.  Look for these pots in every store... there everywhere now.

Another healthy way to cook; the natural iron in the cookware is no different from the iron in our bodies.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Support sustainable agriculture

Click here to support sustainable agriculture, free from genetic engineering and chemical additives, by signing the petition on Greenpeace.

I support a global food system that feeds people, enables the small farmer to thrive, protects the soil, water and climate, and promotes biodiversity. This is a system free from genetic engineering and chemical-intensive agriculture. 

A candy bar that comes from the Rain Forest

Nestlé products taking a bite out of rainforests

When you’re biting into some of Nestlé’s most popular products - like PowerBar, Butterfinger, and Nestlé Crunch Crisp you could be taking a bite out of precious rainforests. A new report we released shows that Nestlé has purchased palm oil linked to Paradise Forest destruction in Southeast Asia.

Growing global demand for palm oil is fueling the destruction of rainforests in Indonesia to make way for expanding palm plantations. Fire is often used to clear forests, causing massive, polluting blazes. Illegal canals are cut into ancient peatlands, draining water and releasing methane and other potent greenhouse gases.

Greenpeace needs your help to tell Nestlé to stop destroying rainforests for palm oil. 

No yard... no problem tomatoes...

Gardener's Revolutionary Planter

Don't have a back yard, or even a deck? This upside-down planting solution is not only fun to have inside or outside ...  there's no weeding or pests!

This sturdy, reusable planter is designed to grow tomatoes anywhere. Simply hang in a convenient, sunny spot and you'll soon be harvesting juicy tomatoes from your condo or apartment!
Order one of these from the East Lynn Community Association Fundraiser (click here to find this and other plants).  Help support this neighborhood group's mission - promote pride in Lynn.

(oh yes.. they did have an example of one of these at the Sustainability Fair too :)

Monday, March 22, 2010

a Lynn Neighborhood Flower Power Fundraiser

Want to order flowers for your garden this spring or give the gift of flowers to someone?  Consider ordering from the Flower Power Fundraiser for the East Lynn Community Association, supporting our Lynn neighborhoods.

Here is the link to order flowers for this campaign...  
Supporting Lynn's neighborhoods while Lynn blossoms!

I just purchased Peonies as a gift for my mother! 
and Strawberry plants for me :) Check out the other plants too!  
They even sell blue berries (my next order)!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Ag Tag

(a tid bit of info from one of the handouts from the Sustainability Fair 2010 at NSCC, Lynn)

Agricultural Officials Urge Residents to Support the Massachusetts Farming Community by Purchasing an "Ag Tag"

Specialty license plate raises money to support the agricultural industry.  With the planting and growing season in full swing, state agricultural officials are encouraging Massachusetts residents to support the Commonwealth’s farming industry by purchasing a specialty agriculture license plate.

The Department of Agricultural Resources (DAR) is promoting the agricultural specialty license plate, known as the Ag Tag, at a host of venues this summer, including farmers’ markets, state fairs, and agricultural workshops. Launched in 2007, the Ag Tag creates a guaranteed source of funds for agricultural organizations. Proceeds from plate sales go to the Agricultural Trust Fund, which finances farm-related projects such as efforts to modernize milk processing facilities at dairy farms, provide business plans to farmers interested in extending their growing season, and help flower growers save energy in their greenhouses.
The license plate features a colorful picture of a cow surrounded by produce and reads “Go locally grown!” The DAR’s goal is to meet the requisite number of registrations – 1,500 – by the end of 2009 to insure that the plate will go into production and be available for residents for years to come.
“This specialty plate is a valuable funding resource for the agricultural community and a moving billboard designed to increase awareness for the importance of maintaining a strong agricultural presence in Massachusetts,” DAR Commissioner Scott Soares said. “Supporting agriculture in this way helps ensure that the Commonwealth’s agricultural future remains vibrant for generations."

The cost for an Ag Tag is $40, plus a $20 fee when residents swap their existing plates at the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles.  $28 of this is tax deductible.

Questions?  Contact  or 617-626-1703

Benefits of Purchasing this plate:
- preservation of 520,000 acres of open space and beauty
- 13,545 jobs and the value of local agriculture has on our economy
- shrinking our carbon footprint by reducing the distance of food travel to markets
- fresther and better tasting food!

Just Do One

Here's a tid bit of info from one of the handouts
at the Sustainability Fair at NSCC, Lynn.
I'm sure many of us already follow more than Just One of these tips.  It's interesting to know how many things we do matter in living a 'Simple, Free and Sustainable' Life.


While we likely all understand how critical water is to all plant and animal life and many of us have worked to up our H2O intake, not everyone is aware that if we’ve switched to drinking bottled water, it can cost up to 1,000 times as much as tap water. It’s sadly ironic that this switch ended up being bad for our bodies and the environment. Those plastic bottles release harmful phthalates (which act like endocrine disrupters in the body) into your water. And phthalates aren’t shy—they’re busy impacting your health and are linked to lower energy, possible cancers, early-onset puberty, decreased sex drive, and other reproductive impacts. A stunning amount of energy is used transporting those bottles of water—1.5 billion gallons of fuel oil annually—enough to fuel 10,000 cars for an entire year! In-home (and in-office) water filtration is an inexpensive, ideal alternative—and you can quickly fill your own stainless steel or glass bottles.

Americans purchase nearly 3 billion dry-cell batteries every year to power radios, toys, cellular phones, watches, laptop computers, and portable power tools—and batteries are a leading source of heavy-metal contamination in our landfills. Help protect the environment and your pocketbook by using rechargeable batteries, which are easy and inexpensive to recharge. Nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) batteries cost a bit more and take a bit longer to charge than nickel cadmium (NiCd) batteries, but they last longer. While rechargeable alkaline batteries are available, they are more expensive and have a shorter life span than other alternatives. All batteries will eventually wear out, even rechargeable batteries. Dispose of them properly at a local collection.

Skip the dryer! Air-drying some or all of your wet laundry could save you more than $135 in energy costs every year or approximately 6% on a home electricity bill. And you’ll not only save on energy costs—your clothes will last longer as many fabrics fare better when not exposed to heat. Air-drying can be done indoors or outside, though outdoor clotheslines are subject to weather issues and possible exposure to pollen and other allergens, which can impact sensitive individuals. In a warm, dry climate, outdoor drying can work very well as allergens become less of an issue. You can also minimize heat impact from laundry appliances in your home by running them at night so they don’t create make your air conditioner work overtime to keep the house cool, and you reduce strain on the electrical grid during peak hours.
The numbers are pretty daunting: worldwide, up to a trillion plastic bags are used and discarded every year—more than a million per minute. Of the 380 billion disposable plastic bags used each year in the United States, only 1 percent of them are recycled. The rest go to landfills, where they take ages to decompose. Most plastic bags are mainly made from polyethylene, a by-product of the petroleum industry. If buried, plastic bags block the natural flow of oxygen and water through the soil. If burned, they release dangerous toxins and carcinogens into the air. The damage is even more severe when the bags end up in the ocean, where thousands of sea turtles and other marine life die each year after mistaking plastic bags for food. Switching to a reusable shopping bag is getting easier than ever. They’re convenient and come in a variety of sizes and styles. Bringing your own tote will allow you to answer that age-old “Paper or plastic?” question with a resounding and proud “Neither, I brought my own!”

We should all be lit up about switching our incandescent bulbs to light-emitting diodes (LEDs), which put out more light with less power. They are bright, energy efficient, long lasting, and fit in standard lighting-fixture bases—making it even easier to make the switch! They also do not contain mercury as compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) do. LEDs are also ideal for many business and artistic applications (even small ones!) because they create virtually no heat in displays. If every American replaced just one light bulb in with an energy-efficient bulb, we would prevent as much greenhouse gas as if we had pulled 800,000 cars from the roads. The advantages are brilliant!
A perfect case of where a little means a lot! Home heating and cooling is one of the most common activities that contributes to your “carbon footprint,” the sum total of all the greenhouse gases you personally are responsible for putting in the atmosphere. Turning your thermostat down just two degrees in winter and up two degrees in summer can go a long way toward lowering your power consumption. The Department of Energy recommends keeping your indoor temperatures at 78 degrees in summer and 68 degrees in winter for a savings of up to 20% in heating costs compared to where most Americans set their thermostats. These energy savings can be easily and relatively inexpensively integrated into your life by installing a programmable thermostat to adjust temperatures when you're asleep or not at home. The new ones are intuitively designed and easy to deal with—many have very user-friendly touch screens. This one-time investment, which costs as little as $100, can save you thousands of dollars in energy costs over the years and do much good for the environment.

Your home is likely full of electric appliances, such as televisions, CD players, DVD players, phone chargers, and lots of other things that you plug in and forget about. Most of us leave our computers on all of the time, making them “energy vampires” that are easiest to tackle. You may think they're "off," but they're not. Appliances can draw 2 to 10 watts of power while they are plugged in, even when they're turned off. And, when your computer is on, it consumes electricity equal to three 100-watt light bulbs. Turning off all computers (and lights) when not in use is a simple way to reduce total energy consumption and save on power bills.

Each time you leave your car at home, you commit to reducing air pollution, improving your health, and saving money. Walk or ride your bike for short trips or take public transportation, if possible, for longer ones. Most people can knock out a mile or more walking at a comfortable pace in 30 minutes—and, of course, bicycling or using public transit will get you much farther in the same time while helping to minimize greenhouse gases. And it’s not just the environment that benefits! New full-time bicycle commuters can expect to lose an average of 13 pounds their first year of bicycle commuting if they maintain the same eating habits and considerably more if they modify them. Our towns and cities are healthier and more vibrant when filled with pedestrians, cyclists, transit vehicles, and trees.

As the average car pumps twice its weight in carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each year, driving alone is a major factor in greenhouse gas buildup—and the numbers are staggering. The EPA estimates that cars emit 19.4 pounds of CO2 for every gallon of gasoline burned. Employees who carpool can easily save $1,500 a year in gasoline, insurance, and car maintenance—and carpoolers can choose to read, sleep, or chat when they're not behind the wheel. In some cities, carpool commuters save considerable time by taking advantage of special high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes. It doesn’t take much: If each commuter car carried just one more passenger once a week, we could cut America's gasoline consumption by more than 50 million gallons each week. Drive smart. Drive less.

Do-gooders look good, too! Organic cotton is by far the fabric of choice for most hip, green clothing designers—and even some of the previously traditional “big players,” such as Levi Strauss and even Victoria’s Secret, have incorporated it into their lines. So no worries… you can be stylin’, comfortable, and sport a clear conscience, too. All nine of the top pesticides used on cotton crops in the U.S. are classified by the EPA as Category 1, the most dangerous category of chemicals, and these pesticides are right next to the wearer’s skin. Need proof of how vulnerable you to what touches your porous skin? Try rubbing a cut clove of garlic on the sole of your foot… you’ll taste garlic in your mouth within 15 minutes! Clothing made from synthetic fibers, such as acrylic, nylon, and polyester are coated with formaldehyde finishes that can give off minute plastic vapors as they warm against your skin, which can cause allergies and other respiratory troubles.

My daughter's school recycles plastic bags through a program with WalMart to raise money for the school. They take any bag except black. The school and the environment both win. Contact your local WalMart for details on this program.

There are lots of ways to conserve water, and they are all painless. Set your sprinklers to water in the early morning, when it is cooler and your landscaping can benefit more. Watering during the heat of the day results in wasted water due to evaporation. Don't let the water run when brushing your teeth. Showers use much less water than baths.

The local hardware store has retractable clotheslines - they are not expensive and come in a variety of lengths. It was easy to install, and it's great because I can have an instant clothesline whenever I want, and when not needed it retracts up neatly and out of sight. There's something really satisfying about having clothes fluttering in the sunshine, not to mention how good they smell!

It's great to have reusable grocery bags, but they really only help if you have them with you at the store. When I first started using canvas bags, I can't tell you how many times I couldn't use them just because they were sitting at home in my pantry. Now, I make sure I bring the bags back to my car. That way, they're available even for unexpected trips. I also use them when shopping at stores other than the grocery store. Sure, I may still get a few strange looks at the office store or if I'm buying a shirt--but I know I'm making a contribution to less pollution. People are catching on that eliminating needless waste is a good idea anywhere.

Instead of tossing out dryer sheets after each use - consider using the wrinkled up sheet as a dusting cloth, which seems to be a dust magnet

Each member of our family has their own cloth napkin that they designed themselves. They use this napkin throughout the day to stop wasting napkins and paper towels.

Refill your inkjet cartridge for your printer. It's is beneficial to your pocket because it is less expensive than buuying an OEM part and it keeps your cartridge off the landfills!
Anytime that you cook pasta or steam vegetables you'll have a lot of extra water. Instead of pouring the water down the drain let it cool off and then use it to water your indoor and outdoor plants! The nutrients from the food that you boil will still be in the food, so it's extra healthy for your plants!
By choosing responsible travel, you can have the fabulous vacation that you've dreamed of, while ensuring that your dollars are benefiting the environment and the local people at your destination. When choosing destinations, accommodations, and tour operators, consider which ones work to protect the environment and benefit local cultures and communities. Choose wisely and ask questions - before you go, while you are there and after you come back. Learn more -
Used coffee grounds are an excellent plant food and soil conditioner; they attract earthworms, which do all kinds of good things for the soil, including providing worm castings, bags of which are ridiculously expensive if you have to buy them. You can toss the grounds directly onto a planting bed; in no time at all, the worms will have worked them into "black gold" for your garden and loosened your soil at the same time. (P.S. Get a reusable filter; I can't vouch for the biodegradability of the paper kind as I've not used them for a decade.)

All of those appliances and electronics use energy even when they are off. Unplug them when they are not in use and you will not only help the planet by saving energy, but you will also help yourself by reducing your electricity bills.

Hosting or purchasing things from a garage sale is not only easy on your pocketbook, but a great way to reduce waste and reuse items. I look online each week to find local sales that may have things I need...and I always find the cutest things for my 2-year-old daughter! She loves seeing the other children (and the pets, of course). It's fun for both of us!

Plant raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, gooseberries, etc. and share the bounty with neighbors and wildlife.
Carry re-usable bags for ALL your purchases, not just the grocery store. I take them into the hardware store, pharmacy, Home Depot, Costco, even fast food and take out places! You would not believve how many OTHER places you can accumulate plastic bags, and how many are surprised when you have your own. You have to stop the store clerks before they pack though, or they automaticlly grab plastic.

Kleenex tissues are made using virgin wood pulp, which they claim makes the tissues softer. You could buy tissues made from recycled material ("green" tissues). Instead, how about REDUCING CONSUMPTION and stop using kleenex or other paper products to blow your nose. Buy a pack of handkerchiefs instead. But wait, that's still consumption. Better yet, take an old shirt or sheet and make your own.

Put all of your applicances, computers, tvs, etc on to power strips. Instead of clicking the remote, switch off the power switch on the power strip. This will turn off all of those little red lights that suck off energy through the outlet -- a.k.a. vampire electricity. Your savings could be up to $60-75 annually.

Conserve water and still have a clean car! Next time you notice dew drops glistening on the morning grass, leave your car outside overnight so that it collects moisture. Before driving off to work or school, towel dry your car. Presto - you have a clean car without wasting water or polluting storm drains with soap residues! For extra squeaky clean windows, spray a bit of vinegar and wipe dry for extra sparkly windshields. If you do this on a weekly basis, you'll never have to waste water!

I am getting rid of all my plastic containers and switching to glass containers for storage, cooking, freezing, etc.

Composting keeps methane producing organics out of landfills. (Methane is 23 times worse than CO2!)
TOLBY: Turn Off Lights Behind You! This is what we remind each other to do in our family.
Wear light means lesser cloth to wash, less washing powder needed, less water.

Public transportation is one of the greenest ways to travel. Although it does take a significant amount of energy to power our trains and buses, if you divide the output of energy by the number of people riding, the amount of energy used by each person is very low. Also, many cities are revamping their transportation systems to include electric buses that reduce the amount of greenhouse gases and eliminate our reliance on gasoline.

Only 4-7% of soil's make-up is organic matter, (the rest being minerals, air and water) but without that small amount of organic matter(used to be alive -now it's dead) life on this planet would not exist. It's the nutrient cycle and we can all pitch in...literally! Compost! Another advantage...if we all compost our food and yard waste we can reduce the amount of material going to those nasty landfills by 25% -and end up with a nutrient rich, soil-like material called compost. great for gardening or just tossing on the lawn or under a bush. Put it back!

Create a community garden with your neighbors that you can all enjoy!

Use cloth diapers! They are fun, easy to use, cute, and good for the environment! Did you know that one disposable diaper can take over 500 years to decompose? Take that and the fact that the average baby in disposables will send about 1 ton of stinky garbage to the landfill! Go cloth:) don't be afraid!

My family doesn't do carry out anymore. Ever look at how much more waste your meal contains when you do carry out? Whenever possible eat at the restaurant. Even if they don't have real dishes the waste created is usually substantially less than if you take it home in all that styrofoam and foil.

During the summer count how many bags of grass clipping you see lined up at the curb on trash day. In most communities that goes straight to the landfill. Use a mulching mower and let the clippings fall; your grass will be healthier for it and so will the planet. (Better yet, get rid of the grass and plant a garden, Americans use tons of chemicals to get that perfect green grass.)
I am happy to have found your site, and look forward to sharing the success we are having in Portland with the community converting lawns into food gardens, swapping, sharing stuff, and really going hyper-local for everything.
Instead of throwing away uneaten food and newspaper, resuse it. By purchasing a few dozen red worms and keeping them in a container in your garage you greatly reduce your trash output. You place your leftover food in the container full of worms to be turned into compost. Along with saving newspaper and food, you are also creating a valuable fertilizer that can be used for gardening.
Collect hundreds of gallans of water from your gutter downspouts and use it in the heat of the summer. Look it up on the web. Its easy!
If your are still using water bottles (stop) drain any leftover water from the bottle onto your plants.
In all of the large cities of the world the overcrowding problem in subways deters people from their use. A simple solution would be to create double decker subway cars and double decker platforms, thereby with one simple design move doubling transport capacity, cutting platform congestion by 50% and making this method of green transport more appealing to the average citizen. Heck, let's make them Triple deckers!
Do you want to save energy? Well here is a good tip. Instead of playing on your computer, watching TV or even playing video games, just go outside and try to pick trash up or volunteer at recycle committees around your neighborhood.
We pack empty refillable stainless steel water bottles whenever we travel, by doing so we are always well hydrated, we save money and reduce single-use container trash.

NSCC Environmental Studies

(a tid bit of info, from one of the handouts from the Sustainability Fair)

A Green Curriculum of courses at North Shore Community College, Lynn


Introduction to Sustainable Living
Biology 1: Basics of Life
Biology 2; Diversity of Life
Environmental Science
Composition 1 & 2
Materials Science
Understanding Nutrition
Artistic Vision OL
Music and Healing
Exploring the Landscape of Sustainability
General Chemistry

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Earth Hour 2010

Lights Out Boston Set for Spring
Mass Audubon and the City of Boston again encourage commercial building owners to participate in the spring Lights Out Boston! program. Since the fall of 2008, over 43 buildings in downtown Boston have participated in Lights Out by turning off or dimming all outdoor architectural and indoor lighting between 11:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. during fall and spring bird migration seasons.  For spring it's lights out till until May 31st. The program saves energy, saves birds, reduces light pollution and sets an example for more efficient energy use. Read the Mass Audubon and City of Boston’s invitation letter to Boston building owners and managers here.

Earth Hour 2010

Land Protection Conference

Attend the Massachusetts Land Conservation Conference, which will feature over 30 workshops on topics ranging from community farming to fundraising. Mass Audubon’s Jennifer Ryan, Christy Foote-Smith, and Charlie Wyman will be among the presenters. A complete list of workshops and registration information is available at

*Update: It has just been announced that Governor Patrick will be the featured speaker at this year's conference.

Event details:
Saturday, March 27, 2010
8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Worcester Technical High School
Worcester, MA
Registration required.

The Massachusetts Land Conservation Conference is an annual event co-sponsored by the MA Land Trust Coalition (MLTC), chaired by Mass Audubon’s Bob Wilber, and The Trustees of Reservations’ Putnam Conservation Institute.

Sustainability Fair 2010

Sustainability Fair 2010

Tuesday, March 16, 2010
9 AM - 1 PM, North Shore Community College, Lynn Campus Gym
Our choices of local food and agricultural practices can impact the planet as much as driving our cars! This year we propose to focus on and promote local and organic growers, food production, sustainable gardening practices, nutrition etc. Everyone is invited, including staff, faculty, students and the public!

Speakers include:
The Food Project: Youth Program & Urban Gardening, Heifer International:Sustainable Agriculture Globally, 
Farmers' Market of Marblehead: The Inside Story, 
Zumi’s Umesh Bhuju/Gordon College: Fair Trade Movement
, First Light Farm: Sustainable Agriculture Locally
Some of the tables and exhibits include:
Northeast Harvest, Valley View Farm (Goat cheese making), 
Community Gardening, 
Local restaurants using local foods, 
Container Gardening
Rain Barrels
, Alfalfa Farm Wines, 
, Lynn Time Bank, 
Carbon Footprint of meals, 
The Natural Step, 
Ford School Organic Gardens, 
Mass. Department of Agriculture
, NSCC Horticulture Department, 
NSCC Culinary Arts Department, 
NSCC Green Curriculum
, NSCC Green Jobs Training Information
“Food for Thought:  Strawberries in December”

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Rain Catchers

Blogerised :)...  Article better written on City of Lynn Concepts...
We can help reduce the amount of energy being used in filtering tap water, and reduce the amount of chemicals introduced and repeated into the water cycle, by using Rain collectors on roof tops or under downspouts for utility needs.  

We can use rain barrels for:   
.  Utility use for washing cars and other things
.  For use in art/ garden and utility sinks
.  Watering our plants and gardens

Rain Barrels are nothing new... just making the step is.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

ACTION ALERT - Protecting Sensitive Ecosystems

Help save trails around Lynn's Ponds and Woods....

On Monday, Mass Audubon hand-delivered a letter to all 160 members of the Massachusetts House of Representatives asking them to support An Act to Regulate the use of Off Highway and Recreation Vehicles (SB 2257.) Signed by 9 major conservation organizations, the letter requests that they help move the bill out of the House Committee on Ways & Means and to the floor for a final vote.  The bill passed the Senate in January. 
Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) use is growing in Massachusetts with sales of all terrain vehicles increasing by more than 300% over the past decade.  The lack of enforcement is well documented in the state and was the focus of the 2007 Department of Conservation and Recreation Off Highway Vehicle Enforcement Working Group.  Lack of enforcement leads to extensive and long-term environmental damage on private and public land and unsafe conditions; on the 160,000 acres owned by the Department of Fish and Game alone there are close to 300 miles of illegal trails. 
Illegal riding on public lands, often unique and sensitive areas protected with public dollars for wildlife and sensitive ecosystems, damages public property and degrades the public trust.  It is expensive to restore sites, and may be impossible as damage to wetlands, wildlife, and endangered species can be permanent.
Read the full letter for more information.
Please contact your state Representative and ask them to speak to House Ways & Means Chairman Charles Murphy expressing support for S.2257!   To find out who your state Representative is, enter your address at and scroll down to "Rep in General Court." If you know your Representative's name, you can just call the House switchboard and be put through: 617-722-2000.  You can also email.  Email addresses can be found here
Sample Message:
State your name and where you live and ask to speak to the Representative.  If they are not there, you can speak to staff.
Tell them that you are calling in support of Senate Bill 2257, which has passed the Senate and is currently before House Ways & Means.
Say that you hope your Representative will speak to the House Ways & Means Chairman soon and let him know that it is an important bill to you.
Bill description
Gives enforcement officers the tools they need to stop illegal and destructive riding on public and private lands and provide funding for the development of public trails in appropriate places.  The bill will:
  • Simplify the registration process and require registration for most OHVs with revenues directed to increasing enforcement capabilities, rider safety education, and the development, maintenance and restoration of OHV trails.
  • Fund enforcement - 25% of the fines collected from OHV violations will be split between the applicable law enforcement entities involved in the issuance of the fines.
  • Strengthen communication among riders, land managers, conservation organizations, enforcement agencies and other stakeholders by establishing an OHV Advisory Group similar to those in other states. 
Thank you for helping to protect the nature of Lynn and all of Massachusetts! 

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Owl Walk

Join the Ranger and others
for a walk in Lynn Woods to find Night Owls.
Meet at the Penny Brook Road Entrance

Wednesday, March 10
6:30 - 8:30 pm

Directions:  coming from Lynn's center...
Take Walnut Street towards Saugus
(5th street after Frey Playground)
Take a right onto Penny Brook Road (at Lights)
Follow road till the end, where you will see the parking lot entrance.

Hope to see you there!

recommended for ages 14 to Adult

Friday, March 5, 2010

BREAKING NEWS: "Active Community Transportation Act of 2010"

BREAKING NEWS: "Active Community Transportation Act of 2010" Introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives
Critical Legislation for Trails, Walking and Bicycling

After years of organizing supporters around the country, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC) is excited to announce that on Tuesday, March 2, 2010, U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer (Ore.) introduced H.R. 4722, the "Active Community Transportation Act of 2010" (ACT Act), on the floor of the House of Representatives!

The ACT Act is the direct result of Rails-to-Trails Conservancy’s (RTC) Campaign for Active Transportation. The Act would create a $2 billion program to fund dozens of communities around the country to improve their trail, walking and biking networks. If this bill is enacted, communities around the country will receive the resources to better allow Americans to walk and bike to the places you live, work, play, shop and learn.

Please encourage Congressman John Tierney (office Lynn City Hall)  to co-sponsor this very important legislation, and thank him for supporting this legislation.  

And check out  for conceptualizing the idea of pathways through the city which will not only serve to be recreational, but encourage transportation by walking and biking.  This idea might be up of the Pepsi challenge voting next month!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Wallymart does it again - 'Sustainable' Foood?

Wal-Mart has gone to great lengths recently to market locally-produced food, most likely in an effort to blunt its reputation for destroying Mom and Pop stores and treating its workers badly.
Some say this new focus on buying fruits and vegetables grown closer to Wal-Mart stores may actually help save America's small farmers. However, what they fail to acknowledge is that the movement to re-localize our food consumption was born out of more than just wanting to decrease how far food travels.
Sadly, "local" seems to being going the way of "organic" in terms of marketing use. Since consumers are willing to pay a premium price for local food -- that is, food they perceive comes from local sources and is grown in an environmentally sustainable manner -- many companies like Wal-Mart (and of course, Whole Foods) have started to amp up their marketing around these types of products.
Even though Wal-Mart claims this is part of its new sustainability plan, a spokeswoman also said the company's focus on local food will also save millions of dollars in fuel costs by cutting down on the transportation distance their food travels from supplier to store. Which is great for Wal-Mart, but not necessarily better for farmers or consumers.
If you're really concerned with where your food comes from, don't simply fall for buzz words like localand organic when you're at the grocery store. Instead, do the legwork and get to know the farmers in your area that grow food for local consumption.  Like the Food Project for example.
I guarantee you, the relationship you build with your local farmer will be much more rewarding than the one you'll develop with your local Wal-Mart clerk.