Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Wellfleet Pruners Say No to Herbicides

Almost a year to the day after the first “Prune-in”, Laura Kelley, of Littlefield Landscapes, led a second foray into the Wellfleet woods to demonstrate Cape Codders have not changed their minds about herbicidal spraying. We do not want toxic chemicals used to remove vegetation since they will filter down into our groundwater. This time newspapers ran articles about the “pruning party,” and the event was endorsed by Paul Sieloff, Wellfleet Town Administrator, himself. Paul showed up with lopers, flanked by health agent Hillary Greenberg and Building Inspector Paul Murphy. This time organizers had obtained permission to remove saplings, the idea being that, therefore, the utility company does not need to. Apparently, the request application was complicated, in part due to the presence of box turtle habitat.

“Ninety days of paperwork!” Hilary groaned.

This left me scratching my head. Box turtles get protection, while humans must demonstrate to attract attention …

Regular Wellfleetians answered the call, as did a group of professionals from Old Sod Landscaping in Hyannis. Lydia Vivante of the Recycling Commission came, ready to prune. Tom Reinhardt and Seth Rolbein were also present, along with a half dozen other members of the community.

Non-resident taxpayer Irene Goldman could not be at the event but sent her best wishes and a reminder: “This is only a first step. I hope more like-minded taxpapers are ready to join the party in coordinating similar action in other parts of Wellfleet and beyond.”

Peter and Femka Rosenbaum also called in, disappointed that they could not make it because of the imminent birth of a first grandchild.

Meanwhile Laura had begun speaking to a reporter from the Cape Cod Times: “We’re here to show we do not want N to …”

He interviewed me, too, as well as Paul Sieloff, who here jokes around with Hillary, attempting to remove a small pine tree: "This is hard work!" he declared.

There was talk of planting a green carpet of native perennials that do not grow higher than two feet, or blueberries that all Wellfleetians could pick and enjoy every summer. Lydia suggested the clearing be used partially for solar panels to generate electricity.

One hundred and fifty miles of Cape Cod means a lot of toxic chemicals if N gets its way and sprays the vegetation. Although the mood was joyous under the power lines today, no one could forgot how serious the issue remains. New research shows that even minute amounts of toxic chemicals can have an effect on behavior. The most vulnerable are children. This week USNews and World Report ran an article about a possible link between exposure to pesticides while in the womb and ADHD ...