Blackstone River Watershed Association
|TIP OF THE MONTH
Safe Disposal of Medicines
is estimated that each year, approximately 200 million pounds of
prescribed medicines go unused. In the home, these drugs present a
poison risk for children & teens. Improper disposal either by
flushing down the drain or depositing in the trash leads to pollution
of lakes & rivers and soil contamination posing a risk to our
drinking water supply and to the food chain.
But what to do?
The FDA has a website with a list of drugs that are considered safe for disposal by flushing.
The Federal Guidelines for the Proper Disposal of Prescription Drugs provides a simple disposal method for substances that can’t be flushed.
Avoid contact with the drugs (don’t crush tablets or open capsules).
Perhaps the best approach is to bring unused drugs to a drug take-back
program if one is available in your community. The National Community
Pharmacists Association has launched a “Dispose My Meds” campaign. They
provide a website, DisposeMyMeds.org, with information on the disposal issue and a list of participating pharmacies (somewhat limited in our area).
If in doubt, your pharmacist or local health agent should be able to answer any disposal questions.
Green Your Piece of the Earth
Join us on August 8, 1:30-3:00p, at River Bend Farm,
to learn about simple things you and your family can do to Green Your
Piece of the Earth! We’ll have a knowledgeable speakers, hands-on
demonstrations, and take-away literature available to show how you can
Topic details and times will be posted on the website soon. Come for one, come for all!
- Compost your food scraps and yard debris and get rich, organic soil – for free
- Use a rain barrel to capture rain water for landscaping – conserve water and save money
- Adjust downspouts to divert precious rain water back into the ground, not down the storm drain
- Attract butterflies to your yard by incorporating the right plants in your garden
- And lots more!
A Beauty and a Beast - By Dona Neely
swath of the exotic Purple Loosestrife plants is a beautiful sight to
behold. One can be awestruck by the sight of a sea of vibrant long
purple flowers shimmering in the sun.
Loosestrife is a hearty plant, with an extended flowering season from
June to September and an ability to spread widely and grow rapidly. One
plant can produce as many as three million seeds per year, which have a
survival rate of 60-70% and are easily dispersed. Its underground stems
grow an average of one foot per year and many new stems emerge from a
rootstock established the previous year.
Translation: The Purple Loosestrife plant can rapidly take over any
type of wetland area and displace native plant species. Its invasion
reduces biodiversity, eliminates food sources, degrades habitats, and
New establishments of the invasive plant can be managed by pulling the
plant and its root system out of the ground in late June or early July,
before the flowers go to seed. Cutting off flower spikes (this year’s
and last’s) will help minimize its spread and cutting the stem to the
ground can help to inhibit growth. Plants and seeds must be properly
disposed of – not composted – to prevent their spread elsewhere.
Established stands can be difficult if not impossible to eradicate.
Some success is being noted in areas using biological control with the
release of a beetle that is its natural enemy, but this process
typically requires new releases over multiple years before the Purple
Loosestrife starts to recede.
This is one of the plants the BRWA will be targeting with its new
invasive plants program. Want to help? Take note of where you see this
beast, as the organization will be collecting information to map
problem areas. Learn more about how to identify and manage the plants; www.seagrant.umn.edu/ais/purpleloosestrife_info is one of many great online resources.
You can also join us for our annual pull along the Mill River in Hopedale on Saturday, July 17 – call or email for more details and to RSVP. Don’t fall for this beauty!
Programs Announced - Blackstone River & Canal Heritage State Park
Blackstone River & Canal Heritage State Park has announced it's
Summer 2010 Interpretive Programs. Join Park Interpreter Janita
Ducharme at River Bend Farm for these fun, family-friendly events.
Henry Lappen (storyteller - "A Passion for Birds") July 18th @ 2:30 pm http://www.henrylappen.com/birdpage.html
Fridays 10:30-11:30 Kidleidoscope Kids Story Hour
Nature themed story and activity hour for ages 3-5, Siblings welcome!
Free program designed to connect young children and their guardians to
the great outdoors. Themed stories followed by an outdoor activity and
Fridays 3:00-4:00 Junior Naturalists
Through Stories, activities, and nature hikes, explore life along the Blackstone River and Canal. Ages 5-8.
Thursdays 2:00-3:30 Junior Rangers
Ages 8-12. Looking for a summer adventure? Join us each week as we
discover wildlife and take a look at the history in our own back yard!
Pre-registration is required and program numbers are limited. Programs
run rain or shine and be prepared to spend time outside! Earn your DCR
Junior Ranger Badge and certificate. Runs July 15-August 19. Call
508-278-7604 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to register. Free.
The July Calendar of Events and other information is posted here.
Gubernatorial Candidate Forum on Energy and the Environment
June 29, the Environmental League of Massachusetts hosted a
gubernatorial candidate forum on energy and the environment. The
candidates appeared sequentially offering opening remarks followed by
Q&A from a panel and the audience. If you want to hear what
Governor Patrick, Green-Rainbow candidate Jill Stein, Independent
candidate Tim Cahill, and House Minority Leader Brad Jones (serving as
a surrogate for Republican Candidate Charlie Baker) had to say about
environmental issues in Massachusetts, the video is available online at
Watch for Turtles & Other "Road Warriors"
Turtles can still be found crossing our area roads. If you encounter a turtle in the road and want to help:
Click here for more turtle information and conservation tips.
- Be sure that it is safe to do so without risking harm to yourself or others.
- Always move the turtle in the direction it was heading.
- Don't relocate turtles from the general area where you found them.
- Report rare species to the Massachusetts Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program
Click here to report turtle sightings, nesting areas and roadkill hotspots.
To report the demise of other wildlife “road warriors”, click here.
This data is critically important for the reduction of road impact on wildlife and improvement of public safety.
Blackstone Valley Adventure Pack
John H. Chaffee Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor is
offering Blackstone Valley Adventure Packs as a fun way to explore the
history, environment and cultural heritage of the valley. The packs are
available for rental of up to 5 days from several area organizations.
Click here for more information.
|CALENDAR OF EVENTS
Purple Loosestrife Pull - Hopedale info
Celtic Festival-Indian Ranch info
Harry Lappen-Storyteller, River Bend Farm
Concert-Small Planet Band, River Bend Farm 3:30PM
BRWA Member Paddle-River Bend Farm 12:30-4PM
Smokey the Bear Birthday Celebration-River Bend Farm
Green Your Piece of the Earth Talks & Demos-River Bend Farm 1:30-3PM
BRWA Board Meeting
BRC Water Quality Sampling
Concert-Worcester Men of Song, River Bend Farm 3:30PM
BRWA Member Paddle-River Bend Farm 12:30-4PM
|IN YOUR COMMUNITY
Blackstone Valley Heritage Markets
season has finally arrived for farmer's markets to return to the
Valley. Take the opportunity to "Buy Local" at the Douglas Farmer's
Market, the Grafton Farmer's Market, the Daniels Farmstead at Southwick
Hill, Blackstone, the Alternatives Heritage Market in Whitinsville and
other area locations. For more information, visit BlackstoneValleyHeritageMarkets.org
The BRWA will be participating at the Grafton Farmers Market on
Thursday July 29th and the Douglas Farmers Market on Saturday August
21st. Be sure to stop by and say hello.
Low Water Levels at Hopedale Pond
dispute has arisen in Hopedale over low water levels at Hopedale Pond.
Residents of the area reported extremely low water conditions to town
officials in late June. Upon investigation, the town concluded that
some issue related to the dam that controls the water level, either the
improper installation of the boards or a breach. The owner believes
lack of rain is the cause for the low water despite near average
rainfall in June. Here are three related articles from the Milford
Hopedale Pond running low
Dam owner: Lack of rain to blame for low water level
Diver may get to the bottom of Hopedale water mystery
We'll report any further developments. Hopedale Pond is a part of the Mill River Watershed.
Outdoor Water Restrictions
following Watershed communities have restrictions on outside watering.
The list may not be complete. Click on the town to see the details.
|OF GLOBAL INTEREST
National River Rally
River Network held its annual National River Rally in May. The keynote
speaker, Nancy Stoner, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Water at EPA,
urged river conservationists to support the following national efforts:
For more information on the River Network and the National River Rally, visit www.rivernetwork.org
- reducing stormwater discharges from new development and redevelopment
- provide input on four major new drinking water protection strategies
- help establish a framework for Florida to develop "restoration standards" for impaired
waters through new numeric nutrient water quality standards for lakes and flowing waters
the America's Commitment to Clean Water Act currently pending in the
U.S. House of Representatives that offers important opportunities to
reverse the effects of court rulings over the past decade that have
weakened our water protection laws.
Views & opinions expressed in linked websites do not necessarily
state or reflect those of the BRWA.
Your input is crucial to this eNewsletter. If you have a local
watershed-related story, information of interest to our subscribers, or
comments about this publication, drop an email to the editor.|
The Blackstone River Watershed Association (BRWA) has a mission to
enhance and preserve the Blackstone River system and its watershed; its
objectives are to:
The BRWA eNewsletter is published monthly by the Blackstone River Watershed
Association. BRWA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
- Educate members, supporters, watershed residents on watershed protection strategies,
- Engage the public in watershed stewardship activities, and
- Improve the water quality and esthetics of the Blackstone River Watershed’s water bodies.
Editor: Michael Sperry email@example.com
Mailing address: BRWA, 271 Oak Street Uxbridge, MA 01569
Phone: 508-278-5200 Web: www.thebrwa.org
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