Kick the Habit With Chemical-Free Lawns

On May 31, the Polly Hill Arboretum and the Vineyard Conservation Society will welcome Paul Tukey, founder of, an international coalition promoting environmentally friendly lawn care, for a lively discussion on lawns.

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Conservation Forecast: Cloudy, Some Sun
Mike Seccombe

There are times when it’s hard to see the environment for the trees.

Look across the Martha’s Vineyard landscape and that mantle of woods, growing where once the land was substantially denuded, and things look pretty good.

But beneath that green canopy, as Vineyard Conservation Society executive director Brendan O’Neill points out, are 78 parcels of land, ranging in size between 20 acres and 100 acres, which remain undeveloped, but also unprotected from development.

There are six parcels of 100 acres or more.

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Glass, Paper, Cardboard: Recycling Riddle Solved
Mike Seccombe

It is one of the enduring pieces of Martha’s Vineyard lore: you take your recycling to the transfer station, separate it as directed into containers for plastics, paper, cardboard, aluminum and so on, and then at the end of the day it all gets tossed in together and dumped.

Like glass, the myth recycles endlessly. But it is a myth.

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Award for VCS Chief

The Vineyard Conservation Society executive director Brendan O’Neill has been named the 2008 recipient of the Nicholas A. Robinson Environmental Award for his placed-based environmental work on Martha’s Vineyard. The award recognizes significant public service contributions in the environmental field by a graduate of the environmental legal studies program at Pace University School of Law in New York.

Mr. O’Neill shares this year’s honor with Robert F. Kennedy Jr., also a Pace graduate.

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Thimble Farm Tour Begins Guided Farmland Walks

The Vineyard Conservation Society Winter Walks Program will feature a guided walk at Thimble Farm in Tisbury on Sunday, Jan. 13 at 1:30 pm. Andrew Woodruff, an Island farmer with 25 years’ experience, will lead the walk.

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Conservation Society Walk Explores Seven Gates Farm

Conservation Society Walk

Explores Seven Gates Farm

The Vineyard Conservation Society winter walks program, focusing on the Island’s agricultural heritage, will continue on Sunday, Feb. 10, beginning at 1:30 p.m., with a guided walk at the 1,100 acres of protected open space at Seven Gates Farm.

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Winter Walking with the Conservation Society

The Vineyard Conservation Society is celebrating over 25 years of leading free winter walks for the community with a walk in East Chop on Nov. 8 at 1 p.m.

Liz Durkee and David Grunden will lead and look at erosion and the possible impacts on fisheries. Walkers will then have the opportunity to enter the light house and get a view from the top. Please park at the East Chop Beach Club parking lot.

As always, cider and cookies will be served. All VCS walks are family friendly.

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Saturday to-Do List: Don Gloves, Roll Up Sleeves, Go to Beach for Earth Day Event
Cooper Davis

Flotsam and jetsam have drifted onto Island shores for centuries, although the volume and toxicity of beach trash has increased dramatically during modern times.

Today plastic trash is a blot on beaches, but thankfully it can be reduced simply by rolling up your sleeves and getting to work.

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Earth Day Volunteers Scour Beaches

The Vineyard Conservation Society’s Earth Day Beach Clean-Up saw volunteers taking to beaches around the Island last Saturday, April 18. Among the many organizations to dedicate their afternoon to the effort was the Martha’s Vineyard Surfcasters Association. The association put their work in on the familiar strand of South Beach, hauling refuse of all shapes, sizes and material out of the sands and away to a proper disposal.

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Vineyard Conservation Society Meets Tuesday

This Tuesday, June 30, the Vineyard Conservation Society’s annual meeting will be held at the Wakeman Conservation Center off Lambert’s Cove Road in Vineyard Haven at 5:30 p.m. The society will have an opportunity to preview the New Views of Ocean Life Census of Marine Life program, a highly ambitious endeavour that began in 2000 and involves thousands of scientists from more than 80 nations.

A light dinner will be served. For details, call 508-693-9588.

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