An Evening with Henry David Thoreau

Henry David ThoreauThis year is the bicentennial of Henry David Thoreau’s birth, and to celebrate, Mattabeseck Audubon Society, the Rockfall Foundation, and the Jonah Center are co-sponsoring a program, “An Evening with Henry David Thoreau”, with Thoreau impersonator Richard Smith, a historian and staff member of the Thoreau Society in Concord, MA. The program is scheduled to be held on Thursday, September 28 at 7:00 pm at the deKoven House in Middletown.

 

A Victory For Natural Turf Care, Children’s Health, and the Environment

The Jonah Center, along with Ecoin, Project Green Lawn, and other environmental organizations successfully pursued adoption of a City of Middletown ordinance  to protect children from toxic lawn chemicals. The Common Council voted 11-1 in favor of the ordinance amendment at its meeting on July 3, 2017.  Many Council members also voiced strong support for whatever funds and staff training will be necessary to implement the “non-toxic” field maintenance practices similar to those used by the Town of Branford. Reducing the use of fertilizers and herbicides helps the environment, since these chemicals pollute local streams, rivers, and Long Island Sound.

While the immediate goal of ordinance passage has been achieved, we need to remain vigilant and supportive of full implementation of the new practices.  We also need to convince the wider community to avoid using lawn chemicals. The Project Green Lawn Brochure is our best local resource on lawn care without chemicals.

If you wish to stay involved in the campaign against pesticides and other harmful lawn chemicals, please sign the petition below. This will enable us to add your email address to  our “lawn chemical action network” so you will receive any action alerts or important news on this topic.

I support the Amendment Regarding Natural Turf Care to Protect Human Health and the Environment, and its specific goal: Protecting children from exposure to toxic pesticides by avoiding use of such chemicals not only on K-8 school grounds (as state law now requires) but on all city-owned recreational fields, regardless of the age of the persons using the fields.

Sign Petition:

Resolution On Natural Turf Care and Children's Health

I support the Amendment Regarding Natural Turf Care to Protect Human Health and the Environment, and its specific goal: Protecting children from exposure to toxic pesticides by avoiding use of such chemicals not only on K-8 school grounds (as state law now requires) but on all city-owned fields, regardless of the age of the persons using the fields.

[your signature]

173 signatures

Share this with your friends:

   

 

Latest Signers
173 Kim Konte Non Toxic Irvine Irvine
172 Suzy Taraba Middletown
171 Patricia Hill Middletown
170 Sue Riedeman Middletown
169 Charles Solomon Middletown
168 Sheeja Thomas Middletown
167 Mary-Jane Rubenstein Middletown
166 Sandy Adelstein Middletown
165 Richard Adelstein Middletown
164 Yoshiko Samuel Middletown
163 Duffield White Middletown
162 Steven Machuga Middletown
161 Ericka Barnes Middletown
160 Sarah Wiliarty Middletown
159 suzanne oconnell Middletown

 

Paddle With A Purpose – July 8 at 9 a.m. (rain date Sun. 7/9, 9 a.m.)

The aquatic plant known as water chestnut (trapa natans) showed its invasive potential last summer at many points along the Connecticut River and its tributaries. In our own Floating Meadows, the freshwater, tidal marshland formed where the lower Coginchaug and Mattabesset Rivers converge, the presence of these plants was first recorded in 2009.  The Jonah Center has been monitoring the area closely since 2013, pulling out a few plants each year through 2015.

The summer of 2016 was different! Water chestnut proliferated as we have never seen before, forming expansive, dense patches at multiple locations. Left unchecked, these plants can choke off sunlight and oxygen, threatening native plants, fish, fish-eating birds and other aquatic species. Some waterways, including local ones, have become impassible by water chestnut infestations.

For the coming season, paddles were held on June 10, June 24, and the third is planned for Saturday, July 8, 9-11  a.m. (The time of the July 8 paddled has been changed to 9 a.m. because wind conditions on the earlier afternoon paddles were a major obstacle to progress. In case of bad weather on July, we will attempt to go out on Sunday, July 9, at 9 a.m.) Canoes and kayaks will start and finish at the launch site at 181 Johnson Street, adjacent to Middletown’s recycling center. For each of these outings, we need many volunteers, including those with access to motorboats. Here’s why.

Continue reading

Traprock Field Trip

On April 29, 2017, Mattabeseck Audubon Society, with the Jonah Center for Earth and Art and the Connecticut Forest and Park Association (CFPA), is pleased to offer a special trip to a variety of significant nearby geological sites. Leading the event will be Dr. Peter M. LeTourneau, author of the recently published book, The Traprock Landscapes of New England: Environment, History, and Culture, and Robert Pagini, whose photographs are featured in this work. The field trip, like the book, tells the story of the hard rock ridges that form the backbone that runs through the center of our state. Topics will include the geology, ecology, and human history of the area, beginning 200 million years ago and concluding with the present crisis to preserve the rocks and protect the unique plants and animals that exist only in the crags and talus of this ancient place.

Participants will meet at CFPA at 16 Meriden Road (Route 66) in Middlefield at 9 a.m. and end @ 2 p.m. Bring lunch. We will carpool to the various stops:

Stop 1: Black Pond state boat launch, Middlefield (Off route 66 near Meriden-Middlefield town boundary). Walking difficulty is moderate, about 1/4 mile on level but irregular and rocky terrain.

Stop 2: Giuffrida Park/Chauncey Peak, Meriden. Participants may split into two groups, one up a steep, challenging trail to the summit (<1/2 mile), one easy to lakeside vista and points of geologic and biologic interest (1/2 mile on level but irregular terrain).

Stop 3: East Peak/Castle Craig in Hubbard Park, West Peak, Hubbard Park (drive to summit). Easy walking, no access issues, some irregular, rocky terrain

There is no fee, but please email Alison Guinness at wjguinness@snet.net to register so that we have an idea of the number of participants.

More Trees, Nicer Streets

tree-lined-streetThe Jonah Center for Earth and Art and The Rockfall Foundation invite the public to learn about plans to increase the number of trees in Middletown and to make streets safer and more inviting for walking and bicycling. The program will take place on Tuesday, April 11, 7- 8:30 p.m. at the deKoven House, 27 Washington Street, in Middletown.  Presenters will be Jane Harris, chair of Middletown’s Urban Forestry Commission, and John Hall, co-chair of Middletown’s Complete Streets Committee.

What makes a place nice to live in? Trees and safe places to walk are key to a city’s attractiveness. We like the softening effect of shade trees and the birds that sing in those overhead branches. Neighborhoods become more desirable and businesses thrive when there is plenty of foot traffic, with clean air and low noise levels. Planning departments, educators, and health advocates increasingly recognize the many benefits that follow when shops, schools, and restaurants can be reached on foot. Continue reading

Air Line Trail Update & Upcoming Walk

Air Line Trail 1The Air Line Trail Steering Committee in Portland had a successful year in 2016, bringing the vision to extend the trail from East Hampton into Portland closer to reality.  Now that the major funding and permission obstacles have been overcome, we can foresee the day when construction will begin. Here is their 2016  progress report.

  • We received a license from Eversource for use of the Air Line Trail property.
  • The Town of Portland received a State of CT Grant to fund the Air Line Trail ($686k).
  • The Town of Portland purchased the Keegan Property (a significant parcel off Middle Haddam Road, east of the YMCA Camp Ingersoll, and adjacent to the trail) for use as a trail head and additional open space, thereby completing our required match for the state grant.
  • Jeff Sanborn & Associates completed a survey for the new trail in November and submitted results to the engineering firm, Nathan L Jacobson & Associates. Kati Mercier of Jacobson and Associates presented a preliminary design to our committee. We provided additional input and expect multiple additional meetings to finalize the design. We anticipate presenting the final design to the Board of Selectmen for review and final approval so that the project can go out to bid for construction.

The third annual “Freezin’ For A Reason” walk will be held (weather permitting) on Saturday, January 14, 2017 starting at 10am from the upper parking lot of the Portland YMCA Camp Ingersoll (follow signage). Adults and children invited (and dogs on leash) to participate. Please arrive 15 minutes early to register. Contact is Lou Pear at (860) 262-2745

Additional information on the Portland Air Line Trail can always be found on our Facebook Page. Committee meetings are usually held the last Wednesday of the month in the Portland Library.

Public Input Sought For Wilcox Preserve

Wilcox PropertyThe Wilcox Conservation Area is a 126-acre forested, City open-space property located off Atkins Street and Footit Drive. The City is in the process of developing a management plan for the area and is looking to engage residents on their use (or lack thereof), concerns, and thoughts about the property.

On Wednesday June 15 at 6:30 pm, the City’s Department of Planning, Conservation and Development in conjunction with the Conservation Commission and the Connecticut Forest and Parks Association (CFPA) will hold a public forum at CFPA, located at 16 Meriden Road (Route 66) in Rockfall, to discuss the conditions and future vision for the Wilcox Conservation Property.

Residents are strongly encouraged to attend to share their views on the property and to provide input on future management activities. Citizen hopes and concerns will shape and support forest and trail management efforts at the property.