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Water Audits: Protect Natural Resources from the Comfort of Your Own Home

Want to get started on a household water audit? See our Household Water Audit Guide and Worksheet Freshwater is always at our fingertips. Water comes to us readily available when we take a shower, wash our dishes and clothes, and when we need a drink. All it takes is the turn of a handle or the press of a button and water appears. But this instant availability can make it easy to forget that water is a limited resource. In fact, only .5 percent of the world’s water is drinkable. But protecting this precious resource doesn’t require much -- you don’t even have to leave your house! And by conserving water, you're not only protecting our water resources but are also protecting habitats, reducing the amount of fossil fuels used for processing our...

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Blazing Trails at the Oldmans Creek Preserve

Want to become a trailblazer? Join us at our Trailblazing day at the Oldmans Creek Preserve on December 15th, 2018! RSVP by sending an email to pmarsenault@gmail.com . More information here. Trailblazing invokes images of early American explorers, rugged men slashing through the wilderness to create new passages through a forest. Establishing paths in a natural space, however, involves much more than simply striding through the woods with a knife. It requires planning, a knowledge of and respect for the natural space, and some good old-fashioned hard work. To learn about how we establish the trails at our own Oldmans Creek Preserve (OCP), I talked to our Environmental Steward Phil Arsenault who has planned and cleared many of the trails in the area.   How the paths are chosen Prior to preservation by...

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Growing Minds: What School Gardens Can Do for Our Kids

[caption id="attachment_43470" align="aligncenter" width="384"] First graders at Elmer Elementary learn how to plant a garden[/caption] Last Friday, with the help of some enthusiastic first-graders, we planted a wildflower buffer at Elmer Elementary School. This isn’t the first time we’ve planted at a school, and it won’t be the last. Bringing gardens to schools not only helps us achieve conservation goals -- it also provides an invaluable learning resource for students. The planting at the school was full day event. Christine Nolan, the Executive Director of the SJLWT, first gave a presentation on bird and butterfly friendly plants. Then the staff, teachers, and first graders headed outside to plant. “The kids had a blast,” Nolan says, “They liked learning about the butterflies and loved that they got to spend the day outside.”...

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Autumn Flowers: 4 Native Plants that Bloom in the Fall

Want to see these and other fall blooms in person? Attend our Flower Walk at Tall Pines this Saturday, October 20, 2018 at 4pm! We'll walk around the beautiful Tall Pines State Preserve and learn about the various flowers that are blooming. We'll also keep an eye out for the many bird and butterfly species that live there, so bring your binoculars! For information and to RSVP click here The author Albert Camus once said, “Autumn is a second spring where every leaf is a flower.” But leaves aren’t the only plants providing color to the fall. Many flowers themselves also bloom during this cool season. On your next hike, look around and you may see these native flowers sprinkled across the landscape:   Jewelweed or Spotted Touch-Me-Not Impatiens capensis Both common names of this plant come from...

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Natural Protection: How a simple strip of plants can reduce water pollution

[caption id="attachment_43446" align="aligncenter" width="419"] A butterfly rests on a flower. Buffer plantings provide important habitats for butterflies, birds, and other wildlife[/caption] We're installing a buffer planting at Elmer Harvest Day this Saturday, October 6th, 2018. But what exactly is a buffer planting, and what will it do for our local environment? Read on to find out. And we still need lots of volunteers at our planting day! Click here for more info or to sign up Nature is so much more than a beautiful backdrop to our lives. Plants and wildlife perform vital processes that contribute to ecological harmony. Trees and shrubs release the oxygen we breathe. Bacteria in the soil break down waste. Bees pollinate flowers and help them repopulate. And in many cases, natural processes can even reverse damage done...

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