Blackstone River Watershed Association
TIP OF THE MONTH
Safer, Greener Spring Cleaning
Spring is upon us and with it comes Spring Cleaning.
What better time to make the switch to safer, more environmentally
friendly cleaning products?
Many commercial, chemical-based products can be toxic to humans and pets,
irritating to people with allergies or other health issues or damaging
to our environment. In general, products containing highly caustic
substances, chlorine, ammonia, phosphates, foaming agents, or “fragrance”
are targets for reduced use or replacement. Safer and often lower cost
alternatives are available, many of which rely on time-tested combinations
of natural ingredients.
For many home cleaning tasks, effective cleaners can be made at home
from a few basic ingredients.
abound on the web and in print. The ingredients and compounds may seem
old-fashioned but, for many applications, they can be as or more
effective than their heavily marketed chemical counterparts.
If something more convenient or powerful is required, safe commercial
products are available, as well. Look upon products from the large
manufacturers with some skepticism, especially when they make vague
ecological claims. This article,
How Toxic Are Your Household Cleaning Supplies,
lists some of the health and environmental problems associated with
chemical-based cleaners and offers some guidance on buying commercial
If you have any hints for safer, greener spring cleaning,
with us. We'll pass them on in later newsletters.
Annual BRWA Earth Day Cleanup - Join Us!
In celebration of Earth Day, the BRWA is
sponsoring a river shoreline cleanup on Saturday, April 16, 2011
from 10am to noon. The cleanup will take place in conjunction
with Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR)
Park Serve Day and Alternatives Unlimited, Inc. Clean and Green Day.
Have fun outdoors while protecting your local resources.
Join an important venture to cleanup the trash along local riverbanks
and make for a cleaner, healthier and more beautiful resource.
You can make a difference by volunteering just a couple of hours of your time.
This project also meets community service requirements for many organizations.
After the cleanup, pizza and refreshments will be provided for
volunteers at Riverbend Farm in Uxbridge.
A Clean & Green Fair (see article below) will follow the cleanup and
all are invited.
For more information or to register for the cleanup, send an email
or leave a voicemail at 508-278-5200.
Clean and Green Fair
The Blackstone River Watershed Association and Alternatives Unlimited
will be hosting a Clean and Green Fair at River Bend Farm on Saturday,
April 16, Noon – 2:00 p.m. Come and learn about easy steps you can
take at home to protect the health of our local environment and have
some fun! Featured displays will include:
- Composting 101 – Reuse Your Trash, Save Some Cash
- Bottle Bill – Why Its Needed
- Don’t Pollute – Recycle Your Stormwater
- Children’s Activities – Coloring, Crafts, Educational Materials
- Free Giveaways
Water Quality Monitoring Volunteers Still Needed
Volunteer Samplers are still needed for the
Blackstone River Watershed-wide Water Quality Monitoring Program.
Note that two locations have been added to the list of available
Make a real difference by joining this group
of dedicated citizen scientists working to monitor and improve the
water quality of the Blackstone River and tributaries. Sampling
is done on the second Saturday of each month, from April to November.
Volunteers are needed to cover the following sites:
- Emerson Brook in Uxbridge
- Meadow Brook in Uxbridge
- Manchaug Pond inlet in Sutton
- Manchaug Pond outlet in Sutton
- Blackstone River in Uxbridge, above Stanley Woolen Mill
- West River in Uxbridge, off route 16
Volunteers are also needed to help at the BRWA Lab/Drop-off location
in Uxbridge. At this site, the samples are processed
and analyzed by another group of trained volunteers. If you can spare
a couple of hours, one Saturday morning a month, please email Field Coordinator
The Water Quality Monitoring Program is coordinated by the Blackstone River Coalition.
For more information about the Program, visit the
35th Annual BRWA Canoe/Kayak Race - Volunteers still needed!
The 35th BRWA Canoe and Kayak Race will be held Saturday, May 21, 2011.
The entry form and more information will be available on line shortly at the
We still urgently need volunteers to help with
We are also still looking for a Race Director in Training to "learn
the ropes" and take over next year's event.
- water safety
- land spotters
- general help
Come join us! Experience is not necessary! It's a fun event, a fun time and you get
a great t-shirt to wear at the race!
Contact Rosemary Longo-Nutt at
email@example.com or 860/870-9851.
|CALENDAR OF EVENTS
Maple Sugar Days River Bend Farm
Tours are open to the public at 11AM are given on a first come first serve basis.
The last tour departs at 3:00pm on Saturdays and 2:30pm on Sundays.
8th Annual Land and Water Conservation Summit - RI
Land & Water Partnership
Earth Hour 8:30pm
National Kite Month
International Pillow Fight Day
BRC Water Quality Sampling
BRWA Board Meeting 7pm 271 Oak St., Uxbridge
National Park Week
BRWA Earth Day River Cleanup
Clean and Green Fair noon-2pm
see article above
Building a Sustainable Future: The Massachusetts
Green Communities Act 7pm-9pm Oak Knoll Wildlife Sanctuary
IN YOUR COMMUNITY
Free Solar Power for Mendon
Mendon town officials have been working with
DCS Energy based in Connecticut to install solar electric arrays on
six municipal buildings in an effort to defray electricity costs to the town.
Through a leasing program with the company and funding from federal stimulus
money and renewable energy credits, the panels will be installed at no cost
to the town. The project is estimated to save the town nearly $10,000 per
year in electricity costs and the system has a life expectancy of 30 years.
DCS Energy uses only USA made solar products.
Related articles from the Milford, Mendon, Upton Town Crier and The Milford Daily News:
Free Solar Panels Could Cut Mendon’s Utility Bill
Mendon could get cheap solar energy
Linking Landscapes for Massachusetts Wildlife
Linking Landscapes for Massachusetts Wildlife program is a partnership
between the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (DFW), Department of
Transportation (DOT) Highway Division and UMass-Amherst and the Vernal
Pool Association in an effort to minimize the impact of the existing road
network on wildlife, while improving highway safety. Several opportunities
are available for citizen scientists to help gather data for this program.
The Turtle Roadway Mortality Monitoring Program, now in it’s second year,
is recruiting volunteers to collect data that will be used to coordinate
local turtle conservation efforts. Two information and training sessions
will be held Amherst and Westborough. The first information and training
session will be held on Saturday, March 26, 2011, from 10am – 12pm at the
Notch Visitor’s Center located at 1500 West Street in Amherst. The second
session will be held on Tuesday, March 29, 2011, from 7pm – 9pm at the
Karl Weiss Educational Conference Building located on North Drive in Westborough.
The sessions are free, but pre-registration is required. Interested volunteers
can register with DFW’s Dave Paulson at
call him at (508) 389-6366.
Citizen Scientists are also encouraged to provide online, site specific
reports on large migrations of vernal pool amphibians for the
Amphibian Roadway Crossing Database and on general wildlife roadkills
Statewide Road Mortality Database.
Massachusetts Leads Northeast in Dam Removal Projects
According to a
list released by
Massachusetts led the Northeast in the number of dams removed in 2010.
Five dams were removed in Massachusetts in 2010 improving public safety
and restoring natural river flow and habitat for fish and wildlife.
A total of 16 dams were removed in New England and New York including
two in Rhode Island. The Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and
Environmental Affairs released a
statement celebrating the success in 2010 and the continuing efforts
to complete over 2 dozen projects currently underway.
|OF GLOBAL INTEREST
GLOBE at Night
Can You See the Stars? Join thousands of others
around the globe hunting for stars during the sixth annual GLOBE at Night
event! Take part in this international event to observe the nighttime sky
and learn more about light pollution around the world.
The GLOBE at Night program is an international citizen-science campaign
to raise public awareness of the impact of light pollution by encouraging
everyone everywhere to measure local levels of night sky brightness and
contribute observations online to a world map. All it takes is a few minutes
to participate between 8-10 pm, March 22 through April 6.
To find out how you can participate, visit the
GLOBE at Night website.
America’s Great Outdoors: A Promise to Future Generations
In previous issues of this newsletter, we reported
America’s Great Outdoors Initiative launched by President Obama to
engage the American people in a dialogue leading to the development of a
plan for the conservation of our natural heritage. The result of this
dialogue, which involved the participation of citizens from across the
country, including farmers, ranchers, hunters, anglers, outdoor recreation
enthusiasts, parents, teachers, and young people, as well as representatives
of conservation organizations, state, local, and tribal governments, historic
preservation groups, faith communities, businesses and thousands of young people,
is a report delivered
to the President in February,2011. The report contains three chapters:
Connecting Americans to the Great Outdoors; Conserving and Restoring
America’s Great Outdoors; and Working Together for America’s Great Outdoors
and also includes a special section, Youth and America’s Great Outdoors:
What We Heard from America’s Young People. Each chapter includes goals,
recommendations, and actions aimed at realizing “a new vision of
conservation for the 21st century“.
Visit the America’s Great
Outdoors website to read the report, look at the input from the nation's
citizens, and learn more about the Initiative. The work has only just begun.
In the end, it will be up to us to ensure that our vision is realized and that
the promise to future generations is kept.
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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