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Hadley asks state to probe shopping cart structure along bank of Connecticut River
06-06-2024 7:24 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

HADLEY — The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection is investigating the legality of a makeshift riverbank and retaining wall using dozens of carefully arranged shopping carts alongside the Connecticut River behind a home on Honey Pot...

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Earth Matters: Swamps, stewardship and conservation: What does it mean to care for a forest?
06-13-2024 7:59 PM

By CHRISTINE HATCH

Swamps are great story villains. They are notoriously difficult to navigate due to their sinking sticky mud, spiked vines and dense vegetation; they are neither fully land nor water, negating boats and footwear as helpful vessels for traversing them;...


Earth Matters: Honoring a local hero: After 40 years, Hitchcock Center bids farewell to educator and creative leader, Colleen Kelley
05-10-2024 9:15 PM

By TED WATT and HELEN ANN SEPHTON

This column honors Colleen Kelley, the education director at the Hitchcock Center, who will soon be leaving her post after 40 years.In the fall of 1984, Colleen walked into the Hitchcock Center — young, bright, idealistic, and fresh off a position as...


Earth Matters: From Big Sits to Birdathons: Birding competitions far and near
04-29-2024 8:35 PM

By JOSHUA ROSE

A few months ago, headlines flared that Peter Kaestner had seen his 10,000th bird species. This could have been anticlimactic, as Kaestner has been renowned for years among birders for traveling worldwide and seeing more species than anyone.However,...


Earth Matters: Why opposites attract: The magnetism between two things isn’t always fully explicable; sometimes it just feels right
04-18-2024 7:18 PM

By RACHEL QUIMBY

One of my favorite books from childhood is P.D. Eastman’s “Big Dog, Little Dog,” the story of two bipedal pooches who are best friends. But Fred is tall, and Ted is short; Fred drives slowly and Ted drives fast; Ted plays the tuba, and Fred plays the...


Gravel pit defenders in Granby make case
04-18-2024 7:14 PM

By EMILEE KLEIN

GRANBY — David Trompke grew up walking and riding his bike down Bachelor Street back when five gravel pits were in operation.Now, at 75, the lifelong Granby resident whose family developed a subdivision off Trompke Avenue wants to lease 19 acres for a...


Earth Matters: Living in a recycled material world: Hitchcock Center inspires a fossil free future
04-01-2024 11:48 AM

By MARGAUX PAINE

As the world grapples with environmental challenges, the Fossil Free Zones initiative, championed by the Leave it in the Ground Initiative (LINGO), takes inspiration from the transformative work at The Hitchcock Center for the Environment. The center...


Earth Matters: Facing the ‘age of humans’: Should a new epoch, the Anthropocene, be initiated to reflect human impact on Earth?
02-03-2024 10:52 AM

By TOM LITWIN

As I concentrated on the computer screen, the news played in the background. A story about the environment got my attention, causing me to sit back and listen more carefully. I played the piece again to be sure I heard it correctly.In the summer of...


Guest columnist Kelsey Wentling: Too little, too late — what FirstLight won’t be doing for the next 10 years
05-03-2023 8:26 PM

By KELSEY WENTLING

While a lot can happen in 10 years, FirstLight is proposing to do very little in the next decade under their recently submitted Flows and Fish Passage Settlement Agreement.Ten years from now, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)...


Get Growing: Symposiums back to stir gardening anticipation
03-16-2023 7:22 PM

By MICKEY RATHBUN

One of the many casualties of the COVID-19 pandemic was the series of annual spring gardening symposiums hosted by the Western Massachusetts Master Gardeners Association (WMMGA). These popular events helped gardeners of all abilities expand their...


Earth Matters: How farmlands can support wildlife, not just people
03-02-2023 9:18 PM

By LEE HALASZ and KARI BLOOD

This winter has been one of the warmest on record in Massachusetts, and around the nation, extreme weather events are in the headlines on a regular basis. Scientists agree that our rapidly warming planet is now feeling the effects of the climate...


Foresters, conservationists oppose Healey logging moratorium
02-01-2023 9:08 PM

By CHRIS LARABEE

While campaigning, one of Gov. Maura Healey’s climate priorities was to place a moratorium on commercial logging on state-owned forest land, a move that foresters and environmental advocates say would be detrimental to forest health, the state’s...


Amherst to protect 17 acres at former Hickory Ridge Golf Course 
01-04-2023 8:57 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — A 17-acre section of the former Hickory Ridge Golf Course is expected to be permanently protected as recreation land that will include trails for the public and associated features, such as informational kiosks.As a requirement of the town’s...


With climate education, Hitchcock Center looks to help children envision ideal world
01-04-2023 8:54 PM

By JULIAN MENDOZA

WHATELY — While winter’s warmest days remind us that our climate’s future could be bleak, the future generation reminds us that it may not have to be.Stephanie Apanell’s fourth grade class at Whately Elementary School joined forces with Amherst’s...


The conservation card: Land trusts and the forests they preserve play a crucial role in fighting climate change
01-02-2023 11:23 AM

By BOB FLAHERTY

For Sale: 200 Acres. Build to Suit. You see a lot of these enticements on the highways, and anyone with a wad of cash and a fleet of backhoes likely salivates at the sight of them.It’s estimated that 28,000 acres of New England forest each year are...

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