Jun 212014

The Director of the Abbot Public Library drew our attention to something we would like to
share – “Seed Libraries”. This was the subject of a March 9 article in the Boston Globe titled, “Seed Libraries try to save the world’s plants”. The point of saving seeds is to preserve heritage stock as a means of supporting biodiversity. That job has been given to professionally managed seed banks around the world with more than seven million seed samples already in storage for use one day in research.

What is new is the idea of involving local means of not only saving seeds, but putting them into circulation – hence the circulating library connection – encouraging local varietal protection and perhaps even development of new plant strains. In Massachusetts the idea has been taken up at Hampshire College in Amherst, the Concord Free Public Library, and the Sturgis Library in Barnstable (references available on request). When a “borrowed” seed produces the desired plant, fresh seeds are returned to the supporting library for further circulation.

The idea relates to a talk on plants with known provenance given by Mark Richardson,
Horticultural Director of the New England Wildflower Society, at the Conservancy’s Annual
Meeting in late March of this year.

If the idea of seed libraries interests you, we and the Abbot Library would like to know. Please send us an email through one of the contacts listed at the upper right of our home page.

 Posted by at 10:22 pm
Jun 212014

mfm-boothMarblehead’s Farmers’ Market opened early this year and was welcomed with big attendance. We draw your attention to the Environmental Booth where you can find information about the Town’s open spaces along with advisories from the Health Department. In addition to the items offered at no-cost, the Booth also offers items for sale at quite reasonable prices: among these are T-shirts, maps, books, recycling bins, and composters. Our booth attendants advise visitors that although the composter price has increased somewhat with the loss of State subsidy, it remains a bargain.

 Posted by at 10:16 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

earthday2014-studentsEach year the Conservancy combines the celebration of Earth and Arbor Days and schedules the joint event for maximum participation. This year the principal, staff, and students of the Village School, area neighbors, Girl Scouts, and visitors helped to clean up an area at one edge of the Village School playing field and plant nearly one hundred native shrubs and trees in the former Jermyn Farm plot now the Marblehead School System Conservation area. The Conservancy site’s Earth Day page has a number of photographs of the activity.

 Posted by at 10:09 pm
Jun 212014

At the May 2014 Town Meeting, the Health Department announced that the combined plans for remediating the landfill and replacing the transfer station had to be separated and resubmitted to the State for approval. This was the result of finding that contractors who were good at one of the planned jobs were not skilled in the other, resulting in significantly higher pricing than expected. Unfortunately, the experience delayed the start of everything.

Recent good news is that the landfill remediation is ready to move forward once again. The Health Department tells us that work in Steer Swamp should begin in June and take about twelve months. This work will shut down Gamble’s Trail from its Blueberry Road entrance to the wooden bridge that crosses Babbling Brook. The trail will be restored after the remediation is complete.

 Posted by at 10:04 pm