Blackstone River Watershed Association
TIP OF THE MONTH
Family Stories Month
November is National Family Stories Month.
Take this opportunity to share your experiences in nature with those
close to you. Recall the moments in your lives that connected you
with the natural world. Invent "tall tales" with children to be told
again and again. Open your family's senses to the small things around
them and pass on your appreciation, awareness and joy of the gifts nature
has to offer.
BRWA Annual Member Appreciation Event and Business Meeting
The BRWA held it’s Member Appreciation Event
and Annual Meeting on November 6. Members were treated to a walk
along the canal led by led by DCR Park Supervisor Val Stegemoen telling
strange stories from the Blackstone Valley along the way. The walk was
followed by a short business meeting and light dinner. During the business meeting,
the Board of Directors election was held with two new members, Joanne Holahan
and Bill Dausey elected to three-year terms. The election of officers was also
held resulting in the re-election of Dona Neely as President and
Tammy Gilpatrick as Vice President/Treasurer and the election of
Mike Sperry as Secretary.
During the meeting, BRWA president Dona Neely highlighted the
accomplishments of the previous year and announced the priorities
for the coming year which include:
In her address, Dona stressed the importance of member involvment
and that the BRWA welcomes volunteers to help with the development
and execution of these programs.
to learn how you can help shape the future of the BRWA as we continue
to protect and enhance the Blackstone River.
- increasing educational outreach activities with special focus on school programs
- rollout of the new campaign to identify and manage aquatic invasive plants
- conducting a new stream team survey
Watershed Education en espanol
On October 24th, the BRWA partnered with the Mendon schools'
Spanish Immersion Program to present a program about watersheds
to students from kindergarten through 5th grade. The program was conducted
entirely in Spanish by BRWA board member, Jim Plasse.
A plastic watershed model was used to demonstrate how pollution from stormwater,
motor oil, gasoline, fertilizer and animal waste eventually finds its way to
rivers and streams. Students learned that trees, plants and other vegetation
filter the pollutants thus preventing them from entering the waterways.
The students learned not only how a watershed works but also many new Spanish words as well.
The Spanish Immersion Program is offered by The Mendon-Upton Regional School
System as a dual-language program model teaching students regular academic
subjects using a second language.
Another Successful Riverways Cleanup!
The BRWA sponsored the Fourth Annual Blackstone
Valley Riverways Cleanup on October 24th. One hundred and ten
volunteers cleaned along the banks of 2 rivers and 3 ponds in
5 towns: Gilboa Dam area in Douglas, Fisherville Pond in
South Grafton, Hopedale Pond in Hopedale, Rice City Pond in Uxbridge,
the Blackstone River in Uxbridge and the Mumford River in Whitinsville.
The volunteers collected 86 bags of trash, 27 tires, 3 chairs,
4 sofas, 2 mattresses, 2 rugs, a glass shower door a TV and construction debris.
Our thanks go out to the enthusiastic volunteers from Community of Caring, students
from Blackstone Millville Regional High School, Nipmuc Regional High
School and Assumption School, Mendon Girl Scouts ,Alternatives
Unlimited Inc., and many other individuals who improved the condition of the watershed.
More Challenges to EPA Wastewater Permit
Claiming that the EPA’s limits on pollutant
discharge at its sewage treatment plant in Millbury are
"without scientific basis" and that the treatment plant can’t make its
water any cleaner without spending up to $200 million, the Upper Blackstone
Water Pollution Abatement District is planning to appeal the National
Pollution Discharge Elimination System permit issued by the
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in August of 2008.
The permit imposed stricter limits on allowable nitrogen levels and
a phased-in reduction of phosphorus levels in water discharged by
the plant into the Blackstone River.
Last month we reported that the Conservation Law Foundation had filed
an appeal claiming that the limits put on nitrogen levels are not sufficient
to meet state water quality standards.
|CALENDAR OF EVENTS
Uxbridge First Holiday Night info
BRWA Board Meeting
|IN YOUR COMMUNITY
Upton offered grant for Sweetwilliam Farm
The town of Upton may receive a $500,000 grant to help with the purchase of a
portion of Sweetwilliam Farm. The grant is from the Massachusetts Local Acquisitions
for Natural Diversity (LAND) Program which helps local communities acquire land for
natural resource and passive outdoor recreation purposes.
The Open Space Committee proposed that the town purchase 60 acres of the 92-acre
farm and that 27 acres would be protected by a conservation restriction and remain
under private ownership. Additional funding would come from the town’s Community
Preservation Act (CPA) fund.
Recently the Board of Selectmen voted to remove the article allocating the CPA
funds for the purchase from the special Town Meeting warrant. They felt that
the amount was too significant for the special Town Meeting and proposed that it
be taken up at the annual Town Meeting in May. This may be too late to take
advantage of the available grants. The organization Friends of Sweetwilliam Farm
is currently collecting the required 200+ signatures on a petition to force a special
town meeting to address the issue.
The following links provide more information on the issue:
Sudbury Valley Trustees
Town of Upton
Milford Daily News 11/10/2010
Milford Daily News 10/25/2010
|OF GLOBAL INTEREST
Vice President Biden Launches DOE Home Energy Scoring Program
On November 9, Vice-President Biden launched the
Department of Energy (DOE) Home Energy Score pilot program. The program
is designed to provide homeowners with a quick, reliable, low-cost
assessment of a home’s energy efficiency and to provide recommendations
for potential energy savings.
Based on data collected in a brief home walk through by a trained auditor,
homes receive a home energy score between 1 and 10. Using a digital form
and standardized online DOE scoring tool software, the assessment can take
under an hour. The score is adjusted by region and house size allowing
for a fair comparison to similar homes. In addition to the score, a list
of potential energy upgrades and specific improvements is provided along
with estimated savings, payback period and greenhouse gas emission reductions.
To learn about the program, see a sample copy of the Home Energy Score
and get more information on how it is calculated,
visit the Home Energy Score website.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Mailing address: BRWA, 271 Oak Street Uxbridge, MA 01569
Phone: 508-278-5200 Web: www.thebrwa.org
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