Blackstone River Watershed Association
Blackstone River Watershed Association
In This Issue


Important - BRWA Annual Meeting



Governor Patrick Signs Bill to Limit Phosphorus in Fertilizers

Report Vernal Pools And Rare Species Online


US DOE Introduces My Trip Calculator

BRWA Online
About the BRWA


Issue 35 November 2012

Winter came down to our home one night
Quietly pirouetting in on silvery-toed slippers of snow,
And we, we were children once again.

Bill Morgan, Jr.

Composting in Winter 
Earth911 recently published 5 Steps to Prep Your Compost Pile for the Winter. In it they provide the following tips:
  • Prepare for the slow-down – Except for the center of the pile, where temperatures may remain high, decomposition processes slow down or stop during the winter
  • Shelter your pile – building a protective barrier between your compost and the cold winter air can maintain active decomposition
  • Keep it dry – While moisture is necessary for proper decomposition, heavy snow can provide too much of a good thing. A tarp or roof over the pile can help keep things under control
  • Add the right ingredients – Compost piles need more brown waste during the winter.
  • Try another method – supplement the main compost method with smaller scale or indoor techniques.
For the full article see 5 Steps to Prep Your Compost Pile for the Winter on the Earth911 website.


Important - BRWA Annual Meeting
The BRWA will hold a meeting on December 13, 2013 at 6:30 pm for the purpose of electing officers and directors for the upcoming year. The meeting is open to current members. A light supper and snacks will be provided. The meeting will be held at the River Bend Farm Visitor Center, 287 Oak St., Uxbridge MA.

Want to become a BRWA member? It’s easy to Join.


12/1 15th Annual Uxbridge 1st Night and Santa Parade   info
12/1 Sutton Chain of Lights 10am - 4pm   info
12/2 Grafton Celebrates the Holidays 10am - 4:30pm   info
12/2 Asa Waters Christmas Festival - Millbury   info
12/8 BCC Workday. 9am at Plummer’s Landing, Church St. Northbridge.   info
12/13 BRWA Board Meeting 6:30pm 271 Oak St., Uxbridge   info



Governor Patrick Signs Bill to Limit Phosphorus in Fertilizers Governor Patrick recently signed a bill aimed at reducing nutrient pollution of our waterways by limiting the use of fertilizers containing phosphorous. The law states that “no person shall purchase and apply or authorize any person, by way of service contract or other arrangement, to apply in the commonwealth any phosphorus containing fertilizer on lawn or non-agricultural turf, except when:
  1. a soil test indicates that additional phosphorus is needed for growth of that lawn or non-agricultural turf; or
  2. the phosphorus fertilizer is confirmed to be used for a establishing a new lawn or new non-agricultural turf area.
Retailers selling fertilizer containing phosphorus must display it separately from non-phosphorous fertilizers and post a notice of the restrictions under the law.

Additionally, the law prohibits the application of fertilizer during the winter, on impervious surfaces or within 20 feet of any surface water subject to the jurisdiction of the Wetlands Protection Act.

The law takes effect on January 1, 2014.


Citizen Scientists Can Report Vernal Pools And Rare Species Online The MA Division of Fisheries and Wildlife recently launched a new electronic reporting system to make it easier for citizens to submit their observations of vernal pool and state-listed (rare) species through the web. The Vernal Pool & Rare Species (VPRS) Information System provides electronic versions of three Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program (NHESP) forms, 1) the Vernal Pool Certification Form, 2) the NHESP Animal Observation Form, 3) the NHESP Plant Observation Form. In addition, a new Survey form for use by researchers and surveyors conducting organized searches for rare species or vernal pools is provided. Observers can upload photos, audio files, documents and mapping data with their submittal.

Visit the Vernal Pool & Rare Species (VPRS) Information System website for more information.



US DOE Introduces My Trip Calculator
The Department of Energy has a new online tool for determining fuel consumption and cost for your next road trip. My Trip Calculator allows users to plan their route, pick a car and estimate fuel costs. The calculator allows comparisons between up to three automobile models using EPA-estimated fuel economy and the national average fuel price. Alternately, miles per gallon and fuel price can be manually entered.

Try out My Trip Calculator at


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 engage, educate and advocate for improved water quality in the Blackstone River Watershed; its objectives are to:
  • Engage the public in watershed stewardship activities,
  • Educate members, supporters and watershed residents on watershed protection strategies, and
  • Improve the water quality and esthetics of the Blackstone River Watershed’s water bodies.
The BRWA eNewsletter is published monthly by the Blackstone River Watershed Association. BRWA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

Editor: Michael Sperry
Mailing address: BRWA, 271 Oak Street Uxbridge, MA 01569
Phone: 508-278-5200  Web:

Click here for back issues.