Thursday, September 03, 2009

Concerned Citizens Hold First Prune-In

A group of over a dozen very determined Cape Cod citizens met this morning in Wellfleet, under the power lines, for a Prune-In, organized by Jared Collins, an active member of the Concerned Citizens of Eastham. (For background on the effort to stop Nstar from spraying at least four herbicides for brush removal, go here and here.) On the way to the chosen site, we discussed future action. “Are the Selectmen running again?” Larry Di Bona, of Eastham, asked the Wellfleet contingent, led by Kristen Shantz. “Ask them how they feel about this issue.” (Eastham was fortunate its Selectmen became very active very early.) "Wellfleet now has the support of its Select Board," I said. Beverly Callistini added that usually quiet Michael May, as a Vietnam vet, had spoken up at the last Selectmen’s meeting, seconding a motion to create a bylaw to prohibit the use of herbicides. Grady Scholl of Eastham told us her well had been poisoned with nitrogen from fertilizer used by her neighbors, intent on re-creating New Jersey lawns, totally inappropriate here on the Outer Cape. We all agreed that our fragile sandbar, with its single source aquifer, requires more natural landscaping and tender loving care. I mentioned distress that one of my neighbors insists on using Tide, rather than an eco-friendly powder like Seventh Generation, for multiple loads of B&B laundry. Everyone present was very conscious of how essential it is to keep chemicals out of our water supply, but I realized an important educational campaign would be required to inform the general public. Mark Torgerson of Boston, on vacation, had heard about the Prune-In from WOMR and showed up with a power tool to offer support. As we were about to start pruning, Stephan Brown of Brewster arrived with mighty Lin-Lin, who reminded him to don his "Herbicides = Eco-Insanity" sign. Jared told the assembled group to cut little pines and oak down to the base. We cut what brush we could this morning, but know that our effort is only getting started. Update Friday morning: I received word from two Selectmen, Dale Donovan and Ira Wood, as well as Hillary Greenberg, Health Agent, that Nstar is giving us a reprieve until June 2010. For details, see this article in today's Cape Cod Times.