Adding Seven Thousand Homes: State Predicts Buildout Rate Here

The Vineyard could see as many as 7,032 more homes on its 17,475 remaining acres of developable land, officials from the state Executive Office of Environmental Affairs (EOEA) said at an Island forum held Thursday night.

"That's a relatively short time frame to be faced with some tough choices," said Christian Jacqz, director of Massachusetts Geographic Information System, in a presentation to Island officials at the Howes House in West Tisbury.

In the Reeds: Venture to Kill Invasive Plants Proceeds Warily

Walking along the shore of Black Point Pond in Chilmark, Richard Johnson of Sheriff's Meadow Foundation is nearly dwarfed by a thick stand of 12-foot high reeds.

Also called phragmites, the reeds are an invasive species that have formed a dense monoculture over what was once an open diverse habitat of native pondshore plants. Dead reeds crunch beneath his boots, covering the ground so virtually nothing else can grow through.

Birds and Bees: Species Count Is First of Kind Event on Island

Visitors to the Cedar Tree Neck sanctuary might see a brilliant blue starflower, a state-listed box turtle, or a chestnut-sided warbler. If they are very lucky, they could spot a rhinoceros beetle, which is rarely still found on the mainland and with its characteristic horns can lift objects up to 850 times its own weight, making it one of the strongest animals on the planet.

Henry Beetle Hough Was Lighthouse Champion

Whether or not the con troversy over tearing down Henry Beetle Hough’s historic house is resolved, there is still a need for the Island to honor the memory of this conservation activist in a way commensurate with his role in preserving our lands, beaches and monuments. Adding his name to the official designation of the Edgartown Lighthouse, perhaps calling it the Henry Beetle Hough Memorial, would accomplish this. Without Henry Hough, there would be no Edgartown light, and generations would be unaware of the beauty and history we now all enjoy.

Sheriff’s Meadow Celebrates 50th Anniversary

From little things, big things grow.

A little over 50 years ago, Henry Beetle Hough became concerned that a little parcel of land in Edgartown, where he and his wife Elizabeth liked to walk, might fall prey to land developers.

Mr. Hough, then owner and editor of this paper and an author, used the money earned from sales of one of his books, Once More the Thunderer, to buy the 10 acres which had been known for at least the previous century as Sheriff’s Meadow.

Sheriff’s Meadow Foundation: 1959-2009

Sheriff’s Meadow Foundation: 1959-2009

Half a Century of Island Conservation

Land Court Allows A Partial Injunction in Title Dispute

Two Vineyard residents locked in a bitter dispute with the Sheriff’s Meadow Foundation over title to a piece of land in Chilmark can use a tent and keep trailers on the property for now, but cannot do any further clearing or construction, a Massachusetts Land Court judge ruled on Friday.

Edey Grant

Edey Grant

The Sheriff’s Meadow Foundation has been awarded a $5,000 grant from the Edey Foundation for the creation of an environmental education curriculum at Cedar Tree Neck Sanctuary.

The foundation aims to have the outdoor curriculum completed by Oct. 31 and ready for use in the spring of 2013.

News Update: Saturday, March 17 - Sheriff's Meadow Acquires Land on Chappaquiddick

The Sheriff’s Meadow Foundation has purchased a new property on Chappaquiddick, the conservation foundation announced this week.

The 2.3-acre parcel sits on Manaca Hill, near Chappy Point. Viewed from the Edgartown side of the Chappaquiddick ferry, it is located on the right side of the small island, across the street from the Chappy Beach Club, and abuts the town-owned Gardner property.

Sheriff’s Meadow Executive Director Adam Moore said this week that the foundation purchased the property on Dec. 19 from Virginia Mattern for $100,000.

Island Conservation Leaders Look to Future

The place names are familiar and unchanging: Wasque, Cape Pogue and Long Point, Herring Creek Farm, Cedar Tree Neck and Fulling Mill Brook, Waskosim’s Rock and Pecoy Point, to name a few.

But the people who admire, use and could potentially contribute to the thousands of acres of land in conservation on the Vineyard have changed, and Island conservation leaders say this is what frames their biggest challenge today.