A Message from VCS President Jim Athearn

Dear VCS Members and Friends,

There is hope and anticipation in the air at our family farm in Edgartown, as the natural cycles renew. There are challenges, too. So for this letter, my last as president of your board of directors, I have wondered whether these trying times require some markedly different approach in writing to you, the loyal supporters of the Vineyard Conservation Society. I think not. I still believe that simply telling it “straight up” is best.

VCS has been the local advocacy voice for land and environmental protection on the Island for more than 50 years. Our work has deflected worst-case impacts of development, and, in collaboration with landowners, resulted in hundreds of acres of preserved land. Those protected areas have provided sanctuary, rejuvenation, solace, and joy these past few months to a degree none could have predicted.

It has been heartening to witness this power of nature, and the growing recognition of its immeasurable value. It is my hope that the lesson that emerges is that we need to not just appreciate and honor, but also protect and expand these resources. We must take a hard look at what the future of Martha’s Vineyard looks like if we fail to do so.

Your help will allow us to reinforce this land protection message and act on it, while also addressing the full range of sustainability issues facing us, as more certain times return. I welcome your generosity. Thank you, and please stay the course.

James Athearn
President, VCS Board of Directors

A Shared Responsibility, a Mutual Need
Today, it is more clear than ever that the work of conservation on Martha's Vineyard represents a mutual need: just as the Island relies on the voice of VCS to stand up against exploitation of our Island's natural resources, it is the support of our membership that sustains, and amplifies, that voice. We decided to share Jim's message from our recent membership renewal letter with all Conservation Almanac readers because we know there are many folks out there deeply concerned about the protection of our shared environment who have not yet joined. If you are already a member, thank you and if not, please join today!

"Tranquil Water" by Tasman Strom, a First-Place winner among the middle school entries in this year's Art of Conservation

Solace & Insight
The Art of Conservation 2020
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The Vineyard Conservation Society is a non-profit membership organization dedicated to preserving the environment of Martha’s Vineyard through advocacy, education and the protection of the Island’s land and water.

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