Mad River Resource Management Alliance receives grant
The Mad River Resource Management Alliance (MRRMA) is the recipient of a Solid Waste Implementation Grant for $12,128.35 from the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources. The purpose of the grant is to provide residents and conditionally-exempt small-quantity generators with support in properly managing the disposal of household chemicals and related materials consistent with the requirements of the Vermont Materials Management Plan. The grant covers about a quarter of the cost of disposal of the wastes. John Malter, administrator of the MRRMA, said that the state's assistance with this program benefits the health, safety and environment of Alliance residents and small businesses.
In other Alliance news, this year’s May 8 spring household hazardous waste collection event at Harwood Union saw 372 households, small businesses and institutions participating.
“We haven’t received the inventory of how much and what material was collected at this event but based on the number of participants at this event we expect that the total amount of material will exceed 10 tons,” Malter said.
He noted that a lot of pesticides were collected with Round Up being a common waste collected along with six five-gallon containers of old Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF). These foams contain chemicals known as Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) which have been linked with various cancers in the environment, Malter said. The fall household hazardous waste collection takes place on October 2 at Harwood from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
New collaboration offers local teens a chance to connect through arts and exploration
An eco-artist based in Lambertville, New Jersey, Lauren Rosenthal McManus is spearheading a project in which she will use pigments from local rocks to create maps of Dowsville Creek in Moretown.
McManus is owner of AmpersandMade in Lambertville, a picture frame shop that also doubles as her art studio, and is high school friends with Melanie Kessler, Moretown resident and education coordinator at Living Tree Alliance.
“An important part of my work is reframing our conception of community. So, we might think, ‘Oh, I’m from Moretown,’ or ‘I’m from Waitsfield,’ or ‘I’m from Fayston.’ But if you’re all contributing to the same ecosystem, then it sort of doesn’t matter; you’re all part of the same network of life,” McManus said.
Once the project is completed, the watershed maps will be exhibited alongside the trails behind Harwood Union adjacent to the Living Tree Alliance educational farm center.
McManus has spent close to two decades making and exhibiting watershed maps throughout the United States while advocating for the environment. She is an active member of Think About Water, an international collective of eco-artists and activists who are passionate about water. Amongst her accomplishments, in the early 2000s she organized an arts-based environmental education program that involved using soil and rock pigments from the Rocky River watershed in Charlotte, North Carolina.
“They tell us about the world we live in, they shape our worldview, and then they shape how we act in that world,” McManus explained. “And I think as an artist, my mission is to present maps that sort of reframe the boundaries of community, that create a different way of imagining ourselves in the world as connected to each other through ecological systems -- specifically watersheds.”
Her camp at Living Tree Alliance in Moretown and is occurring July 18-23 and provides youth a chance to make maps and art creating from locally made pigments while farming, swimming and playing games in the afternoon. There are still a few spots left in this art camp for 11-14-year-olds occurring July 18-21 in Moretown. For more information go t to https://livingtreealliance.com/watershedwonderings/
Lawson’s Finest Liquids accepting applicants for 2022 Sunshine Fund
Lawson’s Finest Liquids, Waitsfield, is accepting applications from Vermont nonprofit organizations for the 2022 Sunshine Fund. Created to assist nonprofits that support the environment and the people of Vermont, the Sunshine Fund is the heart of the company’s Social Impact Program (SIP).
Lawson’s Finest provides its staff with a living wage and benefit package, and this approach enables the company to leverage the generosity of its taproom guests by accepting donations -- in lieu of tips -- for the Sunshine Fund. All of the money raised through the Sunshine Fund goes directly to Vermont-based nonprofit organizations.
Every year, Lawson’s Finest selects local nonprofits as Sunshine Fund recipients based on application criteria. Each recipient organization then gets put “On Tap” at the Waitsfield Taproom and Beer Garden, meaning it receives 100% of the donations left by guests during the designated period of time. In 2020, the Sunshine Fund supported 15 different nonprofits, raising a total of $152,313 in guest donations (with match funds provided by Lawson’s Finest), including a $13,890 donation to the Peace & Justice Center of Vermont, an organization that supports racial and social justice educational programming. Since its 2018 inception, the Sunshine Fund has donated over $575,000 to Vermont organizations.
Past Sunshine Fund recipients have included Pathways Vermont, The Kelly Brush Foundation, The Nature Conservancy, Vermont Foodbank, The Trust for Public Land and many more. Given the location of Lawson’s Finest, priority is given to Mad River Valley and Washington County nonprofits that focus on healthy communities, food and economic security, and natural resource protection and sustainable recreation in Vermont’s beloved Green Mountains.
Vermont nonprofits interested in becoming a Sunshine Fund recipient in 2022 can apply here, and all applications must be received by August 31 at 5 p.m. For more information on the Sunshine Fund, please visit www.LawsonsFinest.com.
Nichols-Frazer offers four-week writing workshops
Erika Nichols-Frazer, Waitsfield, is offering a four-week writing workshop this summer. The workshop begins June 24 and will be held Thursdays through July 15 (rain location is the Joslin Memorial Library. The workshops take place at the picnic tables in the parking lot of the Sweet Spot on Bridge Street in Waitsfield from 6 to 8 p.m.
Each week will focus on a different theme; this week is food writing. Participants will taste food and write based on prompts. Frazer will also look at examples of food writing and discuss. Folks will have the opportunity to share work, if they're comfortable doing so. Other sessions will focus on writing about nature, writing about place and the short form (poetry, flash, hybrid, etc.). The cost of the workshop includes a critique by Frazer of up to 20 pages of writing.
Nichols-Frazer has an MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars. She is the editor of the mental health recovery anthology, “A Tether to This World” (Main Street Rag, May 2021), and the author of the essay collection about mental health and food, “Feed Me” (Holbrook House, April 2022). She won Noir Nation's 2020 Golden Fedora Fiction Prize, has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and was shortlisted for Lunate's 2020 500-word story competition. She has published more than 20 short stories, essays and poems, including in HuffPost, Bloodroot, Red Tree Review, Please Do Not Remove: A Collection Celebrating Vermont Literature and Libraries, and elsewhere. She lives in Waitsfield and can be found at https://www.nicholsfrazer.com/.