Conservation

  • Sun, Jul 31
    Everyone is invited to celebrate Block Island’s treasure, the Great Salt Pond, on August 13 with over 11 events, from 11 island organizations, showcasing its variety and importance. You can catch aquatic wildlife in the pond with The Nature Conservancy, or walk the marshes with the Ocean View...
  • Fri, Jul 1
    This year, The Nature Conservancy is celebrating its 25th anniversary since opening a field office on Block Island. In 1991, the Conservancy, an international conservation organization, identified Block Island as a “Last Great Place” for its abundance of rare and endangered plants and animals, as...
  • Tue, Jun 30
    BIT Category: 
    If you're looking for something fun to do that also supports the Block Island environment, then ConserFest is for you. It's two days of music all across the island and all the proceeds go to nature conservation efforts. The idea of ConserFest came about in 2007. Board of Directors President Cameron...
  • Tue, Sep 2
    The path to the North Light Fibers mill, store and farm is marked by the sight of exotic animals from Abrams Animal Farm in the periphery: the cool stare of the caged lemur, a llama eating kibble from a child’s hand, even kangaroos and a giant tortoise stand by. Walk past these animals and through...
  • Tue, Sep 2
    Though it’s been many years since I first sat down with Michael Oppenheimer on the open porch of his West Side island home, finding him there several weeks ago felt quite natural. The familiarity of the setting allows us to fall easily into conversation while looking out at rolling hillsides...
  • Tue, Sep 2
    It’s never hard to convince me to go on a bird walk at Andy’s Way with Kim Gaffett, director of the Ocean View Foundation, whether it is a Crazy as a Coot meet-up or another OVF activity, it’s always fun and informative. I’ve done a few and will likely do many more. They are almost always at low...
  • I Tried It!
    Tue, Sep 2
    On July 12th, as many admired the super moon (a full moon that appears even larger than usual because of its closeness to the earth) from their houses, I was lucky enough to be out on the Great Salt Pond, part of a group of kayakers on a tour led by Corrie Heinz, owner of Pond and Beyond Kayak...
  • Thu, Jul 31
    On the island with three friends in the house, I was looking for something interesting to do at night during their visits besides the usual drinks with dinner or a movie, and while I was thinking, I happened to focus on a postcard lying on the dining room table in a large pile of recent mail. Maybe...
  • Cottage Industry
    Thu, Jul 31
    I watch oyster farmer and entrepreneur Dave Deffley swim out to his boat; while I take photos from the dry shoreline my sense of adventure pales in comparison. He swings around the back pond and picks me up at the Hog Pen, camera and note pad in tow. Once aboard, I find a place to perch amidst tubs...
  • Mon, Jul 28
    Kim Gaffett and the Ocean View Foundation’s bird walks and bird banding demonstrations are two of many island traditions that are born of a rich legacy, that of Miss Elizabeth Dickens. Historian Robert Downie wrote about that legacy for the weekly Block Island Times and Edie Blane added her own...
  • Tue, Jul 1
    On winter mornings when even the sun has difficulty deciding whether it should rise, almost nothing stirs on Block Island, not man nor beast nor machine. On our road, unless the transfer station is open, Howie’s yellow school bus is often the first and only vehicle to pass by my house until mid...
  • Tue, Jul 1
    The group of volunteers meets at a most civil hour – 9 a.m. at the office of The Nature Conservancy on High Street. On this Wednesday there are a dozen. Some have done this for years, some, such as this writer are first timers. They are quite good natured for an army, and quite welcoming of the new...
  • Mon, Jun 9
    When visiting Block Island you may be struck by the beauty of all the wildflowers, the sight of song and shore birds, the occasional glimpse of a butterfly, the darting iridescent beauty of the dragonflies. It doesn’t matter the season, there is always the beauty of nature here, be it the flash of...
  • Mon, Jun 9
    I first met Leonard Perfido last spring after he and his wife Ruth returned from a Great Ape Encounter tour in Africa. Like them, I am intrigued by the works of gorilla researcher Dian Fossey and chimpanzee researcher Jane Goodall, but unlike them, I have never entertained the notion of trekking to...
  • Mon, Jun 9
    “I try to have one project every winter,” Highway Department Head Mike Shea says, quickly qualifying it with: “Of course, it’s all weather dependent.” The comment brings to mind the clean-up of superstorm Sandy, winter storm Nemo, and several blasts in-between, which consumed their time last winter...
  • Mon, Jun 9
    The Great Salt Pond is Corrie Heinz’s home away from home. As the owner/operator of Pond and Beyond Kayak, she’s out on the pond whenever the weather allows, so she knows the ins and the outs of the place and all the ecosystems and subcultures it holds. She grew up out here, went to school here...
    corrie heinz, pond and beyond kayak
  • Behind the Photo
    Thu, Jun 5
    The winter has seen the explosion of snowy owls in the Arctic and a subsequent migration to the lower 48 states in search of food. Snowy owls have been showing up in places that have never seen a snowy owl before. These magnificent birds started to appear all over the United States right around...
  • Thu, Feb 20
    Last week I fell in love with a book about the power of walking. “Wild” by Cheryl Strayed is the story of her trek over the Pacific Crest Trail from southern California through Oregon. Though I have never trekked over mountains for long distances in great hardship, I do love to take walks and have...
  • Fri, Feb 14
    In October of 2013, photographer Grace Bochain Luddy began blogging about her life on Block Island. What has resulted is a compendium of photos and verse chronicling her experiences on the smallest island belonging to the smallest state. With her permission, we present here, a recent entry. I LIKE...
  • Sun, Nov 17
    I’m standing with builder Norris Pike on a work-in-progress deck looking out over a meadow in spring bloom to the Weather Station on one side and New Harbor and Great Salt Pond on the other. “This used to be my cousin’s lot,” says Norris. “He was a fisherman, see that’s where they tarred the nets...
  • Mon, Jun 3
    In a dirt parking lot near Dead Eye Dick’s, harbormaster Steve Land and assistant harbormaster Kate McConville are elbow deep in bottom paint, motor oil and dead impellers. It has been a long winter, but finally warmer spring breezes hint at what’s to come. It’s time to ready boats for the water,...