The Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank had a retirement party this week for Edith W. Potter, a Chappaquiddick resident and longtime conservationist who wrote the first zoning bylaws for Edgartown. Mrs. Potter served on the land bank advisory board for more than 20 years. The party included speeches, cake, a commendation from the Massachusetts House of Representatives, and a poem by Steve Ewing.


Walk the fields, the green meadows
and the lush woodlands

Fish the ponds full of shellfish
so healthy and clean
Hunt the deer to help fill

your rich Island larder
Reap sweet fruits of the vine
and the gurgling stream

Taste the goodness of plentiful
fresh Island harvests
Tilled up for years
from deep Island loam
Give thanks for this land and
all of its bounty
Say a prayer for the beautiful
Island that’s home

As you wander along the shores
and the marshes
The hills and the dales
the secretive glens
As you soak in the freshness
of our Vineyard landscape
Always remember
our true special friend

Remember a woman of
persistent courage
Who stands up so proudly
for what she holds dear
Remember my friends our own
Edo Potter
Remember the work she’s
accomplished for years

She grew up with old time
rural traditions
She knows just exactly how good
it could be
If you treasure the natural beauty
before you
All of our lives are enriched
don’t you see

Edo and Bob run their small farm
on Chappy
They are part of what’s left
of the old Chappy Guard
They both witnessed as changes
have swirled all around them
All the big fancy houses with
big fancy yards

They’ve accepted the future
and off island influx
With love and with hope and
old fashioned grace
Always expressing
the strong Island commitment
Please don’t you trash
the best of this place

So to Edith I stand up and
proudly salute you
For all you have done for
all of your life
Because of your efforts our
Island’s still vital
Your legacy will clearly
forever shine bright

Steve Ewing, March 9, 2015.