Student interns

The Missisquoi River Basin Association seeks two high-school-aged student interns to work with landowners in its watershed to improve water quality. Interns receive training with a MRBA staff mentor and work as a team alongside another intern. This work is in collaboration with The Lake Education and Action Program through Lake Champlain Sea Grant. For more information, visit online. Applications are due by May 5.

Race Against Racism

MONTPELIER — Montpelier High School’s Club Action will host the fifth annual Race Against Racism May 7 at the State House. The fundraiser event is a rally as well as 5k run to benefit organizations that uplift BIPOC voices and raise awareness in our community. This year, the proceeds go to Vermont Releaf Collective and Building Fearless Futures.

Art contest

The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department announced winners of the 2023 Vermont Student Fish Art Contest in partnership with Wildlife Forever for Grades K-12. Participants selected a fish species found in Vermont waters and submitted an illustration and one-page creative essay on the species. Winners receive a fishing rod and reel, and their art will be entered into a selection process to be featured in the department’s forthcoming 2024 Fishing Guide and Regulations publication. The winners selected for four age categories are:

Grades K-3 — First, Lyra Heft, pumpkinseed; second, Raine Chaleff, northern pike; third, Dorothy Krahn, smallmouth bass.

Grades 4-6 — First, Victor Stahler, pickerel; second, Emelia Brothers, walleye; third, Siler Russ, mottled sculpin.

Grades 7-9 — First, Hannah White, brown bullhead; second, Alexander Webber, northern pearl dace; third, Elizabeth Palfalv, slimy sculpin.

Grades 10-12 — First, Sloane Urette, eastern brook trout.


Church anniversary

WASHINGTON — Washington Baptist Church announced its 175th anniversary celebration will be a town block party 5 p.m. Saturday, May 6, at Carpenter Park in Washington. Everything will be free as a thank-you to the community. There will be dinner (smoked barbecue with sides), Morse Farm maple creemees, cotton candy, popcorn, inflatables, games and more. Sunday, May 7, a church service of celebration will be followed by lunch afterward.

LWVVT program

Ranked choice voting is once again in the news as the Legislature is considering a bill to establish ranked choice voting for presidential primary elections in Vermont. If passed, S.32 will have Vermont citizens use ranked choice voting in the 2028 presidential primary elections. The League of Women Voters of Vermont is sponsoring two free programs on ranked choice voting:

— 7 p.m. May 8, Senate Bill 32, Bringing Ranked Choice Voting to Vermont (Zoom). Register online or find link at online.

— 1 p.m. May 9, What is Ranked Choice Voting? Barre Area Senior Center, 131 South Main St. Pre-registration appreciated, 802-479-9512.


Tree champions

Several Vermont tree champions have been honored by the Vermont Urban and Community Forestry Program for commitment and dedication to protecting and preserving their community’s forests and trees. In addition to the Vermont Arbor Day award, given to an individual who has made a difference in his or her community’s urban and community forest, VT UCF also presents tree steward awards each year. Recipients will be recognized at the Vermont Arbor Day Conference, May 19 in Randolph.

The Vermont Arbor Day Award was awarded posthumously to Gary Salmon, of Shrewsbury, who passed away in January. For 36 years, he was a forester with the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation, serving as district state lands forester and urban and community forester, among other roles. Salmon was the Shrewsbury tree warden and organized volunteers to inventory ash trees to plan for the emerald ash borer. He was a champion of the Vermont Big Tree list and measured many species that remain on the list today.

Hamilton Award: Steve Lotspeich, Waterbury. This award goes to a tree warden who has significantly advanced the goals of urban and community forestry through sustainable forestry practices, effective conservation planning, increased citizen engagement and public education.

Leader Award: Peter Hausermann, Richmond. Hausermann has been the groundskeeper at Wake Robin, a continuing care retirement community in Shelburne, since it opened 30 years ago. He manages the development and stewardship of the 136-acre property, making wildlife and forest health his top priority.

Unsung Hero: Little Tree, citizen of the Paugussett Nation, West Hartford. For the past 12 years, Little Tree has helped steward the health of Vermont’s forests, especially in terms of protecting them from invasive insect pests.

Volunteer Group Award: Old Stone House Museum and Historic Village Buildings and Grounds Committee. This committee, under the leadership of its chairperson Jane Greenwood of Brownington, has worked to ensure the longevity of the tree stock on the 60-acre property, which celebrates Alexander Twilight, a notable African American.

Tree City USA: Burlington, Essex, Essex Junction, Hartford, Middlebury, Montpelier, Rutland, South Burlington, Shelburne, Winooski. Middlebury also received a Growth Award this year, recognizing a community that goes above and beyond for tree care and community engagement during the calendar year.

Tree Campus USA: Middlebury College, Saint Michael’s College.


Public hearings

The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department and Vermont Fish and Wildlife Board will hold two more public hearings on deer and the department’s 2023 Antlerless Harvest and Youth/Novice Season Recommendation. The hearings are scheduled to start at 6:30 p.m. at the following locations:

Tuesday, May 9 — Middlebury Union Middle School, 48 Deerfield Lane, Middlebury.

Wednesday, May 17 — Montpelier High School, 5 High School Drive, Montpelier.

Deer populations in eight wildlife management units, primarily in the Champlain Valley, remain above their respective population objectives, and increased antlerless harvests are recommended in those areas to reduce deer numbers.

In addition to the public hearings, anyone can leave a comment on the proposals by emailing Comments must be received by May 19.

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