Jun 142016

villageschoolrobinsonFor much of the current academic year Village School fourth graders have been carrying out a study of the Robinson Farm Conservation Area. Teacher Mary LeBlanc refers to the project as “place-based service learning”, an effort that combined learning with community service. One aspect of the community service was a recent offering of student-led tours of the property. Readers may have seen an article about this in the June 2 issue of the Marblehead Reporter.

Another part of the project involved gathering information on animals one might find in the area, building a display around what was found and converting all that into a digital presentation. The students turned this accomplishment over to the Conservancy, and we offer it to our readers.

The presentation was constructed on a cloud-based platform called Glogster that was developed some years ago just for such a purpose. To view the presentation, go to http://amsogho.edu.glogster.com/robinson-farm (Adobe Flash Player required). Once at the site, the individual parts of the presentation are self explanatory. One suggestion: after reviewing one part of the presentation, close that tab and return to the home page before going to the next part. The presentation will be available this year. Enjoy!

The Village 4th grade receivd another honor on June 8th when their work was exhibited at the National Park Service Regional Visitor Center at 2 New Liberty St. in Salem.

 Posted by at 10:28 am
Jun 142016

supportnaturecenterMarblehead’s Recreation and Park Commission is working hard to develop an education program around the Hamond Nature center at the foot of Everett Paine Boulevard. The Conservancy supports that effort by improving the trails around the Center. Recently The Conservancy’s Trail Crew joined with members of the Marblehead Explorer’s Club (www.boldcitizens.com) to repair a flight of stone steps just to the left of the cabin that are an access route to the rest of Wyman Woods. As the stones in the photo show, this was no small feat! In the days that folllowed, the Trails Crew picked up trash and trimmed all the trails in Wyman Woods. All of this is in preparation for an active summer at the cabin and in the

 Posted by at 10:21 am
Jun 212014

knotweed-aleAt different times in the past, we have suggested various ways of combating one of the toughest of alien invasive plants to control – Japanese Knotweed. One of the combat approaches, generally assumed to apply to those most desperate, is consumption. If all else fails, eat it. Young plants can be cooked and eaten like asparagus (see, for example:
www.http://eattheinvaders.org/japanese-knotweed/). Further, some enterprising folks have made jams and jellies (for example: www.potlickerkitchen.com/wild-knotweed-jelly), offering them commercially.

Recently our attention was drawn to yet another gastronomical suggestion: knotweed beer!
The idea seems to have been suggested by another Conservancy past speaker, Russ Cohen, for trial by the Boston Area Beer Enthusiasts Society. The Boston Globe reports that Krysten
Sykes, founder of the Society, tried brewing a batch of the weed finding it to have a natural
tartness with rhubarb-like qualities. Doesn’t sound inspiring, but the experiment seems to
have been sufficiently promising to bring it to the attention of the Cambridge Brewing Company. Their brew master tweaked the recipe to reduce maltiness, adding a bit of cranberry. The result was said to be light, dry, and refreshing

 Posted by at 10:41 pm
Jun 212014

This spring the Town of Marblehead contracted with the Conway Graduate School of Landscape Architecture to have a team of students study the Lead Mills conservation area and come up with suggestions as to how the property might be developed and used. In May and again in June the student team gave presentations at public meetings. The first of these meetings was to state their charge and to gather public thoughts and ideas. In the second session the student team gave a professional presentation of their preliminary ideas based on their findings, including a number of limitations. They offered three different concepts for use and, again, invited public opinion. A final report will be delivered to Becky Cutting, Marblehead’s Town Planner, by the end of June. We will give our readers a summary once that report has been accepted. Stay tuned. . .

 Posted by at 10:12 pm
Jun 212014

sign-renew-juneMarblehead’s conservation area entrance signs suddenly seem a little more visible, even new. The changes are real and recent. For this we must thank Christopher Dignam, an Eagle Scout candidate from Troop 11 of the Boy Scouts and his strong Troop support. In preparation for the updating, the Recreation and Parks Department carved lettering into planks for six new trail entrance signs over the past winter. Chris and his fellow Scouts picked up this work, mounted the fresh signs onto 4 X 4 posts, dug the necessary holes and positioned and embedded each newly assembled trail marker for easy viewing. They further rehabilitated another eight existing signs, repainting everything in the current white on brown colors that identify conservation areas. All twenty two major trail entrances in open conservation areas around town now have visible entrance signs. The job consumed more than two hundred person-hours spread around several work teams to get the major work completed in one day. Well done!

 Posted by at 9:51 pm