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.
BySue Swanson, on behalf of Bedford Mothers Out Front |
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.
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.”
The U.S. Air Force announces the availability of a draft Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact for providing the facilities necessary to consolidate the Nuclear Command, Control and Communications (NC3) mission here.
The NC3 mission focuses on critical C3 tools, such as sophisticated radio systems, receivers and more that allow the rapid and accurate passing of emergency action messages. It does not involve work on nuclear weaponry or any nuclear materials.
The purpose of the proposed action is to establish facilities at Hanscom Air Force Base, Massachusetts, to allow NC3 staff to move from their current location at the MITRE complex in Bedford, Massachusetts, to permanent workspace at Hanscom AFB, pending completion of the Environmental Impact Analysis Process. The preferred alternative involves demolition of two existing buildings at Hanscom AFB and construction of a new building in the same location.
The Department of Public Works will start collecting Christmas trees beginning on Monday, January 11.
Before putting the Christmas tree at the curb, residents must remove all ornaments, tinsel, lights, plastic bags, and other objects.
“We’re asking for residents’ cooperation to make sure to remove anything from the tree that wasn’t on it when you first brought it in your home,” said Ed McGrath, Bedford’s Recycling Coordinator. “If you use a plastic bag to remove your tree from your house, please remove the tree from the bag before you place it at the curb.
State Sen. Michael Barrett is expressing cautious gratification following the Legislature’s approval this week of what he called “a dramatic revision of our state climate laws… the strongest effort of its kind in the country.”
And he added that “Bedford’s fingerprints are on this bill – and on a very good way.” Barrett’s district includes Bedford; he is a Lexington resident.
Removing 31 trees – so many of them large, roadside trees—on an historic Scenic Road—is important. It is consequential: to the character of the road, to climate change, to the speed of passing cars, to the many other environmental functions trees perform, even to property values. This substantial project should have a review that is transparent, inclusive, and thorough. It has not, to date. Unless the Planning Board postpones the Hearing scheduled for January 12 (details below), or citizens object at the Hearing, it will not.
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 email@example.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.
There will be regular trash and recycling pick-up on Monday, December 28
Residents will find answers to their holiday recycling questions on the Recycle Smart app, there will be a town-wide natural tree collection in early January, and there are multiple places to dispose of flattened cardboard boxes.
I could handle the plane noise from Hanscom and even the distant noise from Routes 3 and 95. But now we have a whole other player in town that is driving me to want to leave.
It’s the high-velocity blowers that many landscapers are now using. It looks like a big fan and it’s a new type of landscaping equipment that has no decibel or emissions rating. It sounds like a jet engine and can be heard all over town almost every day.
According to Friday’s 5 pm announcement by MEMA, the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, a strong winter storm will bring heavy rain changing over late in the morning to a period of heavy wet snow across the interior along with strong wind gusts along the coast.
With Thanksgiving done and Christmas just a month away, it is time to decorate for the holidays! Since the pandemic has already imposed so many changes to our usual celebrations, perhaps this is a good time to review our decorating traditions and explore some ‘green’ options.
That said, it is good to remember that the first and best way to be eco-friendly is to reuse what we already have!
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.
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.
If you’re like most people, you spend a lot of time worrying about whether your greasy pizza box has too much grease to be recycled. Well, maybe not most people, but there are people who are concerned about such things.
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.
On behalf of Mothers Out Front, an advocacy group of over 24,000 mothers working to protect children and communities from the impact of climate change, we provide here context and background on Questions 3 & 4 that appear on the Bedford ballot.
Both have a direct impact on creating the laws that our children need from our state legislators. These two questions also appear in other MA districts, with Question 3 appearing in 19 others and Question 4 in 16 others. A webinar by 350 Massachusetts informs voters on these questions: http://bit.ly/350MassWebinar