Caution! Piping Plover Nest on Pine Island

Posted May 8th, 2012 in Conservation, News by Charles Radville

Pine Island Strawberry Point nest locations 2012 general1 Caution! Piping Plover Nest on Pine IslandEllen Jedrey, the Assistant Director of the Coastal Waterbird Program at Mass Audubon has notified us of a newly discovered 4 egg Piping Plover nest, currently on MLT property at Pine Island, (see map, “piping plover nest 2″, click on map for full size).
At this time, the nest is in a very precarious position and is in danger of being stepped on. Ms. Jedrey is hoping to put up some signage and simple fencing around the nest to ensure that the nest is protected, but ‘til then, be very careful out there.

Jonathan Wilbur interview

Posted April 13th, 2012 in News by Charles Radville

From Horizon to Horizon with a Mattapoisett Land Trust Scholarship

By Ellen P. Flynn, Chair of Education Committee.

While still in High school Jonathan Wilbur, 2011 Mattapoisett Land Trust scholarship winner, attended a Weekend Environmental Symposium at Mass Maritime College. He spent the night on the T.S. Kennedy maritime ship, attended lectures, learned about sharks, and got a taste of what his college life experience might be like, if he chose to attend. After the weekend he told his parents “that will be my choice”.

EF. When you were thinking about colleges what part of the decision process helped you choose Mass Maritime?

JW. I wanted to be close by to my hometown and on the water, able to have an outdoor environment and hands on experience. I have selected two majors: Marine Safety and Emergency Homelands Management, a curriculum similar to environmental Police. All throughout H.S. the courses I enjoyed were Marine Biology and the sciences.

EF. Share with us some of the skills you have learned at college and on the T.S. Kennedy.

JW. Orientation up at 4:45am, run a mile, do pushups, crunches (sit ups), mountain climbers, learn knot tying, line splicing, and academics of Labs& Lectures, and advanced algebra, with Marine Biology. There was a manual we held and read about chafing gear. Our squad leaders instill a lot of discipline and respect. Before boarding the ship, we take a course on Vessel Familiarization we raise & lower 7ft life boats, we are taught how to stay alive at sea, meaning if an oil fire broke out on the starboard side and the winds were blowing in that direction do not jump into the wind. We are always busy on the 540-foot long vessel with 600 cadets and 100 crew members. We do painting, scrubbing the decks, some do outside work on line handling, and transportation, others times we are down below working as engineers.

EF. While at sea with only you the horizon and the ship how did that experience affect you? Did you have any type of awareness about the power of humans vs. power of the oceans? Where else did you sail on the T.S. Kennedy?

JW. Just yesterday I saw the entire Milky Way, from Horizon to Horizon. It was so peaceful and so clam. The stars were like a fog of lights traveling through the air, it was nothing like just looking at the sky from my hometown. My 1st semester friends became better friends and closer classmates, while at sea. When leaving St. Thomas we had an experience of rough seas, a wild ocean storm, with forty-foot waves normally the kind you might expect off Cape Hatteras, the Graveyard of the Atlantic. At that time upperclassmen and our supervisors were really great to assist us. While traveling to Cuba on the ship, I turned 19 years old, having no phone service, and not hearing from my parents was a unique time for me. Crossing the equator and being so young, was an experience of a lifetime!

 EF. When attending to the poor in the poverty stricken areas, how has that experience changed you?

JW. When traveling to Ecuador we collected clothing and gave out food and supplies for the hospital. At first it was a scary time to see collapsed buildings and we were instructed by Embassy representatives of the dangers of blacked out areas, and the very high crime rate. We saw junk cars abandoned in the streets with garbage strewn around. I realized how thankful I am for my home life and how I have a great love for the Mass Maritime Academy. I kept a journal and saw flying fish, sea turtles and dolphins, but after 52 days it did seem too isolated for my world

EF. Coming through the Panama Canal what was that experience like?

JW. It was beautiful, at early morning 5:30am seeing the fog was like being in shock and watching the water rising up at 85 ft above sea level, to the three sets of locks, on the Gatun Lake, and the Gaillard Cut. It was much wider than I thought, and it took five hours for the transit through two sets of locks over to the Pacific side. I was able to work from start to finish and also see the building of the new canal. It was good luck for me! Panama City is so much more developed than I what saw in other areas. It is the city of world banks lining the streets. The architecture is outstanding, spiraled glass buildings and cranes everywhere for new building. From the docks you see boats bringing in all the money for exchange to the banks. It was very different from the streets of Massachusetts

EF. I realize this experience is early in your lifetime but can you see how it might change your course of where you want to be in the future?

What kind of advice can you offer younger people like H.S students or even younger who are looking for a unique college experience.

JW. Yes, while in H.S. I enjoyed nature and being outdoors, hunting and learning about the natural world, and the marsh and its habitat. Hunters are some of the best conservationists. In the future I would like to talk to teachers and keep a connection with my H.S. to relate to younger students about how important it is to choose a college that best suits what you want to do in life.

I will do two or three internships where I will travel to Alaska, or possibly to Shanghai, China, where our school has an exchange research program. My interest is in studying and following trout patterns, and how I can continue to help protect wetlands and hunting grounds. I hope to work with Ducks Unlimited and a future plan is to raise a population of approx 100 Wood Ducks by building Wood Boxes similar to bird houses, (only much larger) clip the ducks’ flight wings and keep them close by like on the Mattapoisett River or the marshland. This poultry is a type that helps keep away coyotes and creates a habitat for the wetlands. Most of my leisure time has been shared between Mattapoisett and St John in the Caribbean where I travel with my grandparents and family. These environments are two totally different worlds, one being tropical and the other having all four seasons, so here in Mattapoisett with the water and the woods, I have it all; and I am grateful to the Mattapoisett Land Trust for awarding me this scholarship.


Johnson Parcel Donated to MLT

Posted April 13th, 2012 in News by Charles Radville

Judy and Lynda Johnson moved to Mattapoisett in 1994. The two sisters and best friends had spent most of their lives as teachers in the Fall River public school system, challenging, mentoring, and inspiring countless students in the city they had both been born and raised in. But when it was time for a change they didn’t have to look very far to find a place they could call their new home: Mattapoisett. They settled here, on Pico Beach Rd, for several reasons: the solitude, the ocean, the serenity, but most of all, the animals. The woods in their backyard held new surprises each and every day. From the deer in twos, threes and more, to the raccoons and rabbits, to the odd stray cat (two of which becoming permanent residents) to the countless birds singing their songs and chatting endlessly in the trees, their home and the land around it became a sanctuary–a respite from developers and the like. It was something more than special to come home to after a long, hard day in the city–to drive off the highway and pull down the quiet road and into the address once called, simply, Greenwood. And when they retired not too long ago the two sisters finally were able to live a life they had only dreamed about. They would watch from their windows the daily performances on a stage of lawn and leaves, pampas grass and lily pads, the two-legged, four legged and winged of all kinds enjoying this world they were born into, undisturbed and free from harm.

In 2007 Judith, my mother, passed away after a long, ferocious battle with cancer at the age of 65. In 2009 her sister, Lynda, passed on after a similar fight at the age of 61.

They left this world and the people they loved far too soon. But people have a way of figuring out how to carry on; those without a voice–the birds, deer, frogs, raccoons and all the rest of the Southcoast’s year-round and seasonal non-human residents–have a less predictable future. That’s why they left instructions with me to portion off the part of the land the wildlife call home and donate it to the Mattapoisett Land Trust. It’s not the largest piece of property–just under two acres–but added to the generous size of woodland already protected by the MLT it makes a nice cherry on the proverbial sundae. And you better believe my mom and aunt loved sundaes.

When Gary Johnson asked me to write a short note to let you all know why they gave this piece of paradise to them I had to put it off several times. I didn’t really want to think about the loss that my family and I endured when these two gentle souls were taken from us any more than I have had to over the last few years. But the part of me that is part of them–the part that feels that connection to the land, sea and sky–ultimately realized that in preserving this little part of the world they loved and held so dear I am preserving not only a place for nature to continuously unfold in peace but I am preserving their memory and their deepest wishes.

The gift was made in January and the MLT was wonderful to work with. It was a simple process and one I would urge anyone thinking about to act on. But there will be no plaque of dedication or ribbon-cutting ceremony. It’s not that kind of event. But simply an act of assurance for the quiet continuation of the cycle of life for all that care to wander through the bramble.

And they would have had it no other way.

Reception held for Author Richard Louv

Posted April 12th, 2012 in News by Charles Radville

Richard Louv is the author of eight books including Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder and The Nature Principle: Reconnecting with Life in a Virtual Age. He has been recognized nationally and internationally as someone committed to the reconnecting children and families with nature. He is the founding chairman of the Children & Nature Network.

Louv spoke at the Tifereth Israel on March 29.

A reception was held.

Video of Reception

Mattapoisett Land Trust Scholarship Winner!

Posted May 19th, 2011 in News by Charles Radville

It is with great pleasure that Mattapoisett Land Trust announces the winner of the Blanche B. Perry Scholarship award, for the academic year beginning September 2011. The candidate of choice is Jonathan Wilbur of Mattapoisett Neck Road son of Susan and William Wilbur, and grandson of Rachel Wilbur and the late William Wilbur and Liz and William Field long time supporters of the Mattapoisett Land Trust.

The Mattapoisett Land Trust makes this scholarship contribution available through the Edith Glick Shoolman fund a bequest left to Land Trust. The mission of the Land Trust is to preserve land in order to enrich the quality of life for present and future generations of Mattapoisett residents and visitors.

In his research project on the importance of protecting a salt marsh, Jonathan informs us and quotes his grandfather, Mr. Field, that the “salt marsh is the nursing home of the wild. The marsh gives protection and nutrients to a variety of animals.” Jonathan’s goal is to keep the earth safe. He will be pursuing his academics in the field of environmental protection at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy.

Congratulations to Jonathan Wilbur, Old Rochester Regional High School 2011 graduate.