Help Your Garden Grow & Conserve Water with a DPW Rain Barrel

The spring planting season is almost here. If you are looking for a sustainable, cost-effective way to water your garden, the Department of Public Works has a suggestion: capture the rainwater off your roof and use it on the days it doesn’t rain.

The DPW’s Stormwater Management Team has arranged for residents to purchase a rain barrel from The Great American Rain Barrel Company and receive it by mid-April.

The Climate Bill ~ A Bold Plan for Massachusetts and for Bedford

Mothers Out Front is excited about the climate bill recently refiled by Senate President Spilka and Speaker of the House Mariano.  S.9, “An act creating a next-generation roadmap for Massachusetts climate policy” is the same bill that was passed in early January, after intense negotiations by the Climate Policy Conference Committee, co-chaired by our own Senator Mike Barrett.  He talked extensively about this bill at an online event last Sunday, sponsored by Metro West Climate Solutions and First Parish of Weston. 

This landmark bill, the strongest climate legislation passed in at least a decade, includes many great initiatives to move our Commonwealth towards a sustainable future with a swift, complete, and just transition away from fossil fuels and their climate-disrupting carbon emissions.  I use those three words because they embody the mission of Mothers Out Front.

Caution: Thin Ice ~ A Rescue at Fawn Lake

Fire Chief David Grunes on Tuesday, advised residents to “stay off all ice” outdoors.

“Temperatures have been above average through this point in the winter,” he pointed out. “Adding to the hazards, some of our ponds are fed by underground springs that keep the water moving and impact the depth of the ice.”

The chief’s reminder comes a couple of days after a resident rescued a youngster who had fallen through thin ice on Fawn Lake during a pickup hockey game on the Springs Road edge of the lake.

Dan Walsh, who was skating nearby, said he heard the boy’s friends yelling. “He was struggling and couldn’t touch the bottom,” Walsh related. “I told them to all get back and I got on my belly and extended a hockey stick to him. He grabbed the blade and I pulled him. He was soaked right up to his neck.”

Concord Christmas Bird Count ~ Sunday, January 3, includes a Segment of Bedford

Frank Gardner says his father used to push him in a stroller around a bird sanctuary in his hometown of Jamestown, NY (“it’s basically Ohio”). At age four, he was already an amateur ornithologist.

So it’s no surprise that Gardner is Bedford coordinator for the 61st annual Concord Christmas Bird Count, scheduled for this Sunday in parts of 18 area towns, including a segment of Bedford.

Teams of field observers will physically visit the trails and meadows and document, with notes and photographs, not only various bird species but also raw numbers. Their work will be supplemented by feeder watchers, who will record data in their backyards. Residents may contact Gardner at frg444@gmail.com for details on how to participate.

The geographic outline for the count includes much of southwest Bedford, bounded by an arc that crosses the Concord River just south of the Route 225 Hart Desiato Bridge and continues onto Hanscom Field, entering there from Hartwell Road near the Edge sports center. The segment features many natural areas — Clark Field, Little Meadow, Dellovo and Webber conservation lands, as well as much of the Concord River flood plain.

The National Audubon Society is the “operating agency” of the exercise, according to the Concord Christmas Bird Count website, https://concordcbc.org/. The sponsor is the regional land trust Sudbury Valley Trustees.

Ancient and Honorable Norfolk Pine Celebrates its 19th Christmas

Beth Taylor was drawn to a recent Letter to the Editor about celebrating a ‘Green Christmas’ on The Bedford Citizen and its photo of a Norfolk Pine as a holiday tree.

“They are fun to own,” Taylor wrote. “We have a long-lived [Norfolk Pine], now 8 1/2 feet tall, which has been our Christmas tree for at least 19 years.

Where do Eagles Fly? Bedford!

Local photographer Shannon Dillon recently walked her dog alongside the South Road soccer field when she heard an unusual sound.

“I squeaked the toy I brought to call Percy, then a very similar squeak came from the trees.  I looked for the source, and there were 2 Bald Eagles! I thought I was seeing/hearing things.”

Elizabeth Bagdonas, Bedford’s Retired Conservation Administrator ~ An Update

 

 

About nine months ago, Elizabeth Bagdonas retired after 30 years as Bedford’s conservation administrator. Since that transition, even with the limitations of Covid-19, she hasn’t been rearranging the living room furniture. “I’m a little disoriented because I’m not a very-good goal-setter,” she chuckled. “What I really want to be doing is I want to be outside more.” She knows she will need a knee replacement to maximize that goal. Still, she is working on developing a trail system in Bolton, where she lives.

Yard Waste: Curbside Pick-Up Begins Monday, November 9

The leaves fell earlier this year and the bags of leaves are piling up but they will be gone soon.

Curbside collection of yard waste begins next week.

The Department of Public Works has scheduled yard waste collection for two weeks starting November 9 and 16, then a final pick-up during the week after Thanksgiving, starting on Monday, November 30.

Local Luddite Plans Next Vehicle to be High Tech Electric

Buying an electric vehicle (EV) has been on my mind for one reason: human-caused climate change. I am generally slow to adopt new technology, preferring the quiet meditation of hand tools, and choosing to walk and bike as much as possible for the joy of it as well as limiting my energy consumption. Seeing my climate concerned friends jump on the EV bandwagon for quite some time, I sheepishly admit, I have had some good old fashioned ‘green’ keeping up with the Joneses envy. Now that I have been working with Bedford Mothers Out Front on transportation issues, I see the need for every one of us to transition off fossil fuel-based technologies as quickly as possible.

Fawn Lake Update – Dredging is Complete, Work to Begin on New Dam

As of Friday, October 16, the Dredgit crew completed the dredging operation at Fawn Lake, and removed the dewatering equipment.

The materials storage bin has been dismantled and the lawn area will be regraded, leaving a level area for a nice overlook to the lake. A total of 8,076 cubic yards of bottom sediment and 350 cubic yards of floating/submerged aquatic vegetation were removed from the site. In addition to complying with all the environmental conditions, Dredgit is also proud to report 3,060 accident-free man-hours on the project.

Tourist in Our Town: Fox on the Field

A large fox trotted across the entire field from one side to the other, smack dab in the middle of the Bedford girls’ softball game on Monday afternoon.

Players, parents, and bystanders alike ooohed and ahhhed, but the fox paid no attention and boldly cut through, right into the game.

Perhaps he wanted to help catch in the outfield or take a swing at bat!