As news from the Ninevah Foundation or information about events becomes available, it will be posted on this page. You can subscribe to this page as you would subscribe to any other blog.
The Townsend Barn in Plymouth is now resting firmly on its concrete foundation, surrounded by newly-planted apple trees, evergreens and grass. A low stone wall bordering the barn along the town road was built by local contractors Paul Burgess and Jeff Stearns, who donated their work.
On the downhill side of the barn, a back wall with large doors has been added, to protect the basement and make it easily accessible for storage.
The Ninevah Foundation is helping finance the barn restoration project, with support from individual donors and a Historic Preservation Barn Grant grant from the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development.
Next step: Volunteers on the Foundation’s Townsend Barn committee are now researching the best way to address carpentry work needed on the siding.
This historic barn, built between 1815-1850, is the last remaining structure of a once-thriving 1,000-acre farm owned by Moses and Mary Townsend.
If you would like to support the Townsend Barn restoration, we welcome your donations! Please click on “Support Our Work” to contribute to the barn fund and the annual fund, which pays for lake and land conservation.
If you’re out on the lake this summer, you may see Cat and Shane Yoder of C & C Diving, who snorkel and scuba dive periodically to look for signs of Eurasian watermilfoil. This invasive plant has infested many Vermont lakes, ruining them for boating and swimming. Every summer, the Ninevah Foundation employs the divers as well as greeters at the state fishing access who check boats to make sure no milfoil “hitchhikes” in from other lakes. Thanks to this careful monitoring, Lake Ninevah has remained milfoil-free. The Ninevah Foundation funds the program through private donations and annual grants from the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation. You can watch a video about the Ninevah Foundation milfoil-control program at https://vimeo.com/141719148.
The Ninevah Foundation needs your input for a first-ever inventory of the 3,200 acres we conserve around Lake Ninevah. Much of the information you help us gather – about flora, fauna, geographical features and such – will be compiled in an ecological inventory that we have commissioned. Ecologist Brett Engstrom, who is overseeing the project, has framed most of the questions below.
But we are also taking this opportunity to learn more about historical sites and favorite recreational spots. Please take a few minutes to tell us about your discoveries in the area around Lake Ninevah. We will share the results of the survey with everyone who’s interested. Yes, this is crowdsourcing!
Using the questionnaire below, describe what you’ve seen and where, take a picture, use your GPS if you have one – the more “concrete” information the better. Please write your answers to these questions on a separate sheet of paper and bring it along with any photos to the NINEVAH NEIGHBORS NETWORK potluck dinner, August 6 at 5:30 in Blakely Meadow. Together we will mark maps to pinpoint places of interest.
If you can’t come to the August 6 get-together, please send your answers to NinevahFoundation@gmail.com. We will share the results with everyone interested.
1. Interesting animals: mountain lions, bobcats, otters, turtles, salamanders, etc. Interesting birds, nests or nesting sites such as osprey nests or a heron rookery
2. Signs of wildlife presence:
Moose or deer (hoof prints or scat)
Beech tree stands marked by bear
Frog and salamander breeding sites: tadpoles, egg masses, places where frogs/salamanders cross roads on rainy nights
Fisher or otter tracks
3. Trees: Unusual species like red pine, hemlock, spruce. Big trees, old forests, old apple orchards
4. Rich woods where spring ephemerals appear: maidenhair fern, trout lily, spring beauties, Dutchman’s breeches, blue cohosh, wild ginger
5. Rich wildflower sites, amazing ferns, any plants that seem unusual or catch your attention
6. Geographical features: little gorges, ledges big and small, cliffs, rock or talus (broken rock debris) fields, glades or openings in woods that seem to be of natural origin
7. Watery areas: springs, seeps, swamps, remote wetlands, vernal pools (basins that fill with snow and ice melt in season, and dry up in summer)
8. Historical sites: old cellar holes, abandoned logging roads, any evidence of former farming community, etc.
9. Favorite trails/woods roads for hiking, biking, cross country skiing, spots to linger or picnic, favorite views or unusual landforms.
10. Anything else
Your name ______________________________________________
Your email address _____________________________________
Mount Holly Town Library
Chris Bernier, head of the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department’s Furbearer Management Program, led this comprehensive and thought-provoking program on the responsible trapping of Vermont’s furbearing mammals. Forum participants, ranging from trappers to local conservationists and summer visitors, learned how trapping contributes to the science of wildlife population management and protection of endangered species. Bernier also made a case for the fur trade, noting that, unlike some materials that humans wear for warmth, such as synthetic fleece, responsibly harvested fur is a sustainable resource.
Mount Holly Town Library
Dozens of people flocked (so to speak) to this fascinating forum to learn why some of Vermont’s nesting songbirds have declined dramatically in recent years. Chris Rimmer, conservation biologist and Executive Director of the Vermont Center for Ecostudies, gave an engaging presentation on the threats to songbirds and how scientists are working to “keep them common.”
Sara Zahendra proved that she truly is the “Queen Bee” of the Vermont Center for Ecostudies, with her dynamic program about the bumblebee. We learned all about life in a bumblebee colony, why these cute, fuzzy pollinators are at risk, and what we can do about it. (Plant more flowers!)
An overflow crowd learned how to to recognize and control a variety of invasive plants, in this forum featuring Hannah Putnam of the Vermont Institute of Natural Science and the Ottauquechee Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area. We also got a chance to meet the new game warden, Tim Carey, and learn about the increase in local black bear activity over the summer.