John Cronin Delivers Stirring Speech to RLT Annual Meeting
Tuesday, December 4, 2012 10:34 am
John Cronin, an environmental activist internationally celebrated for his work protecting the Hudson River, gave an entertaining, sobering, and inspiring speech at the Rensselaer Land Trust's Annual Meeting on Saturday, December 1, at Brown's Brewing Revolution Hall. Cronin recounted the serendipitous meeting with Pete Seeger that eventually led to his becoming the first Hudson River Riverkeeper. He explained that the Clean Water Act is in urgent need of revision. It still sets out "the national goal that the discharge of pollutants into the navigable waters be eliminated by 1985," a goal that we are no closer to meeting now than we were at its due date 27 years ago. With more than 200 million tons of water pollution coming from human waste, Cronin asserted that "stopping pollution at its source" is not a realistic solution. He quoted the 1970 State of the Union Address, in which Richard Nixon asserted that "we should turn toward ending congestion and eliminating smog the same reservoir of inventive genius that created them in the first place." In addressing water pollution, Cronin said that we also need to dip into that reservoir, and urged us to make common cause with universities and industry, explaining that they are the likeliest sources of the innovations we need to achieve clean water. He pointed out that New York State has "every kind of water, and every kind of pollution," as well as excellent research facilities that attract brilliant inventive minds. New York State, he said, could be a leader in the worldwide fight against water pollution.
Nature Poetry Contest Winners
Monday, October 1, 2012 10:58 am
On Silvernail Farm
(Evening, past sunset, moon rising)
by Margaret Zamierowski
How beautiful the mountains!
The light, shadows soften
In the trees, purple gray cast
To the clouds. Lawn and fields,
Flowers and gardens, barn and
Tractor, it’s a lovely place to be.
How I longed for this many
Years ago: a clear sky
Gusts of wind taking up limbs
Of trees tossing, bouncing
Leaves awry dropping them, still,
Quiet, in twilight now small birds sing.
How the night comes on, holds me
Soft. Wind sounds soothe my soul
Stroke my skin, can I begin
Again? Feel the embrace
Of time and place and being
Still, and bring my heart what it wants most.
by Rod Aldrich
The pair of geese flew low over
the trees and houses
along the suburban street.
The sky glowed around them,
above the dark land,
as they flew west
where the sun was hiding rapidly.
When I first heard them nattering,
I could hear the tone and rhythm before the words.
The one on the left warbled in a bass voice
and the one on the right honked regularly
in a calm alto.
The old couple was headed down the valley
toward two more ponds before the big river.
grumbled about the slim pickings
in the shallows along the tiny stream
up the valley
and the fact she'd insisted they
fly down this way before dark.
She reminded him
of how she'd led them
to open water all winter,
and how the night air would cool less
on a big pond
or along the eastern shore of the big river.
He complained he was tired
from all that reaching down
to find the new growth of submerged plants
on the silty and gravelly bottom.
She reminded him to be thankful
for the long days of sun
which come before the air
stays warm throughout the night
and the land plants catch up
to their wavy drenched brethren
that feed them today.
He groaned about his breast and back muscles
which had flown countless strokes
over the years.
She told him to shut up and glide.
The cold ached down
as only an evening chill can
from a clear spring sky,
while they drifted and luffed out of ear shot.
by Elizabeth Reid
Daily the regulars come to the feeder--chickadee, nuthatch, tufted titmouse, downy and hairy woodpeckers, the hummingbirds.
We had to move the hummingbird feeder as it filled the dining area of the deck with yellow jackets. Now we look down on the green backs of the hummingbirds from the kitchen window...
I caught a snapshot of the great blue heron through the railings of the lower deck.
Today the trees just beyond the deck thrilled with cedar wax wings.
Today I want to be a poet.
Most days just being a bird watcher from the deck will do.
But the cedar wax wings drop in, in the spring and the fall.
The willow is full of their fluttering.
Daily sustenance turns into the change of season feeling.
Sad, beautiful, deeply touching and exciting
When nature brings in a new view.
Rensselaer Land Trust Receives Two Grants
Monday, April 23, 2012 7:58 pm
The Rensselaer Land Trust (RLT) received grants totaling $37,000 from New York State’s Environmental Protection Fund through the Conservation Partnership Program. These awards were announced April 23rd, 2012 by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the Land Trust Alliance.
RLT will receive $20,000 for its new John B. Staalesen Vanderheyden Preserve in Troy and $17,000 to support efforts to obtain re-accreditation.
RLT will match the State funding for the Staalesen Preserve with more than $40,000 of private monies and in-kind services. The grant funds will be used to develop a baseline report on the property, and develop off-street unpaved parking, plus install a display board and signs.
“We are working with the neighborhood and the City of Troy to develop recreational facilities at the Preserve,” said Nick Conrad, president of the board of directors for the Rensselaer Land Trust.
The grant of $17,000 will be used to support RLT’s effort to obtain re-accreditation. RLT is one of the 158 out of 1,700 Land Trusts in the nation to be accredited demonstrating the highest standards of land conservation.
“We are very excited about these awards and thank both the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation and the Land Trust Alliance,” said Christine Young, executive director of the Rensselaer Land Trust.