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Quote of the Week
In 1950, the average house size was 900-1000 square feet. In 2004 it was 2300 square feet. The average number of people living in a house in 1950 was 3.7, today it is only 2.6. So, we have houses as much as 2.5 or more times larger, but with a third less people living in them. The additional construction has required much more material and energy and has produced much greater carbon emissions.

Conservation Calendar

MassachusettsEstuaries Project Results ARE IN for Sengekontacket and Farm Ponds
See accompanying story
Sengekontacket: Wednesday, April 27 at 3:00 pm Martha's Vineyard Commission
The results will include very important data and analysis on the sewering of Ocean Heights and Arbutus Park developments.

Farm Pond: Friday, April 29 at 3:00 pm Martha's VineyardCommission

Local & Sustainable
Thursday, April 28
Oak Bluffs Library 6:30 p.m. 

Panel discussion, “Local & Sustainable”
Participants: Farm Institute, Morning Glory Farm, Island Grown Initiative, Whippoorwill Farm CSA, Native Earth Teaching Farm, Edible Vineyard Magazine. Nis Kildegaard, moderator.
Free and all are welcome.

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle
Oak Bluffs, April 27 11 a.m.
Book discussion of Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle (with MV Sustainable Book Club). Discussion led by Dawn Braasch, owner of the Bunch of Grapes. Followed by a “Local” lunch
Free and all are welcome

Work for Wildlife Volunteer Day

Saturday April 30, 9:00 am - 12:00 pm
Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary
Spend some time giving back by working on any one of these three 'Work for Wildlife' volunteer projects:
Butterfly Garden Blitz
Help prepare the Butterfly Garden for the season! Plant, re-chip the paths,
rejuvenate the soil and get ready for the return of butterflies and
hummingbirds! Please wear work clothes and bring any gardening tools you may
Sitting Pretty
Keep the ants at bay, help us build a picnic table to keep your food above
the fray! Please wear work clothes for this project and bring any carpentry
tools you may have.
Bittersweet Battle Royale
Felix Neck is battling back its invasives! Help remove some of the
bittersweet that plagues the Sanctuary. Please wear work clothes and bring
work gloves. 

Mytoi Spring Planting and Garden Clean-up

April 30, anytime time before noon
Mytoi Garden, Chappaquiddick

A great way to celebrate Spring! Spend a spring morning caring for the Island’s only public Japanese-style garden. Bring your own work gloves, rakes, and shovels. Join The Trustees of Reservations at Mytoi on Chappaquiddick anytime throughout the morning.

Raw Foods "Cooking Class" with Stacy Stowers
Tuesday, May 3, 7pm
Vineyard Haven Library

Stacy Stowers is a raw food chef specializing in whole/real foods and nutrition. She will show us how to let go of the processed foods & add in more fresh whole raw foods into our diets.  Her famous  "Happy Shake" made from lots and lots of spinach will be on the menu.  Join us for a non-cooking cooking class. Sign up on line at or have someone at the front desk assist you.

In Season Recipe

Local Minted Lamb Burgers with Feta and Hummus

    * 1 1/2 pounds ground local lamb
    * 1/2 cup minced fresh local mint
    * 2 garlic cloves, pressed
    * 1 tablespoon paprika
    * 1 teaspoon salt
    * 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    * 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
    * 1 tablespoon olive oil
    * 1 7- to 8-ounce block feta cheese, sliced (locally made feta is available at Mermaid Farm & Dairy in Chilmark)
    * 4 kaiser rolls, split, lightly toasted
    * 8 onion slices
    * 4 romaine lettuce leaves
    * hummus

Mix first 7 ingredients in medium bowl; shape into four 4-inch-diameter patties. Heat olive oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add patties to skillet; cook until bottoms are well browned, about 3 minutes. Turn patties over and top with feta cheese. Continue cooking to desired doneness, about 3 minutes longer for medium-rare.

Place roll bottoms on plates. Top each with onion, burger, lettuce, another onion, and hummus. Press on roll tops.

Local lamb available at:

421 South Road, Chilmark, 645-9064

9 Middle Road, Chilmark, 645-3492

State Road, West Tisbury,

Road to Great Neck, off New Lane, West Tisbury, 693-5685

Northern Pines Road off Lambert’s Cove Rd, Tisbury, 693-7354

Katama Farm, 14 Aero Avenue, Edgartown, 627-7007

Local News


Volunteers help make Lambert's Cove Beach shine

The 19th Annual Earth Day Beach Clean-up was a huge success! Collectively over 400 people removed hundreds of bags of waste and debris from 24 Island beaches. The Vineyard Conservation Society is grateful to everyone who pitched in to make the Vineyard shine!

Click HERE for a slideshow of the Clean-up.

Special thanks to our sponsors and volunteer groups!

Sponsors: Martha’s Vineyard Savings Bank, Allied Waste Services, SBS, Farm Neck, Riley’s Reads and WMVY
Volunteer Groups: MV Surfcasters, Friends of Sengekontacket, Martha's Vineyard Savings Bank, Dukes County Trial Court, MV Rod and Gun Club, MV Cub Scouts, Church of Latter Day Saints, MV Girl Scouts, Rotary Club, Lagoon Pond Association, Tisbury Waterways Inc., MV Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby, Squibnocket Association, Wamponoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah), Sassafras Camp and Sheriff’s Meadow Foundation


Sengekontacket Pond

The much anticipated Massachusetts Estuaries Project FINAL results are in for Sengekontacket and Farm Ponds! Learn about which human and environmental factors are affecting the health of the ponds and what we need to do to save them.

Be informed about our Island and our impacts on it -- please attend these important meetings:

Wednesday, April 27 at 3:00 pm at the Martha's Vineyard Commission, results on Sengekontacket Pond will be discussed. The results will include very important data and analysis on the sewering of Ocean Heights and Arbutus Park developments.  Click HERE to read the report on Sengekontacket.

On Friday, April 29 at 3:00 pm at the Martha's Vineyard Commission, the results on Farm Pond will be discussed. Click HERE to read the report on Farm Pond.

Click HERE for information on the Massachusetts Estuaries Project.


Shrink-wrap recycling dumpster at the Edgartown Transfer Station

Since its launch three years ago, the VCS boat shrink-wrap recycling initiative has more than tripled the amount of plastic product recycled. Last season, instead of being incinerated or taking up landfill space, a total of 8,000 pounds of the ubiquitous boat wrap was collected, baled, transported off-Island and recycled into a variety of products including pellets used in the creation of sheet rock and other building materials.

The potential exists to remove several more tons of shrink-wrap from our waste stream. The goal for the 2011 season is to recycle 10,000 pounds of the product. Boat shrink-wrap can be recycled at no cost at the Edgartown Transfer Station or in a marked dumpster across from the Net Result in Vineyard Haven (behind the Red Cross bins). Those interested in participating should email


This “bio-swale” at the Vineyard Haven Yacht Club will intercept run-off and other toxics before entering the Harbor.

Tisbury Waterways Inc. (TWI), a strong community presence in matters involving the quality and improvement of Tisbury's waterways, recently undertook one of its most comprehensive projects: creating a Rain Garden (also known as a bio-retention basin or bio-swale) at the base of Owen Little Way in Vineyard Haven.  Rain Gardens are proven landscaping devices for filtering out polluting elements resulting from stormwater run-off. Results from TWI's 2009 water testing program revealed that the highest pollution counts continued to occur at the area between the Vineyard Haven Yacht Club and the Town of Tisbury's public beach access.

On Wednesday, May 4 at 7 p.m., TWI will present an educational workshop at the Vineyard Haven Library, detailing the installation of its Rain Garden.



Plans for the controversial Blasch House in Wellfleet

The 5,700 sf summer home now sits here on the National Seashore

This evening, the Town of Wellfleet is voting on whether to amend their zoning by-laws to better regulate large houses. Click HERE for the Wellfleet Annual Town Meeting Warrant
The purpose of the proposed by-law is, "To encourage construction that is sensitive to the scale, size and massing of buildings; to protect environmental needs and concerns of the Town, and to ensure that development or redevelopment maximizes consideration of the impact on abutting land, and the neighborhoods; to minimize the potential detriment that may result from residential construction that is large in scale, either in relation to the size of the parcel on which it is located or to the characteristic development of the surrounding area.

Click HERE for specifics from the proposed by-law
A number of other communities in Massachusetts have passed similar ordinances tying allowable house sizes not just to the size of individual properties, but to the scale of the neighborhood. 
Click HERE for the town of Lincoln's “Big House By-law,” at Sections 4, 6, 13, 17.

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