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By the way for Mar. 25

The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department this week closed the trail at Snake Mountain Wildlife Management Area in Addison to hiking because of mud season. The trail will be closed until further notice. The Snake Mountain WMA remains open to hunting and bird watching.
Reminder: April and May tend to be the most active in terms of wildland fires across northern New York and Vermont, according to local fire officials. On average 75% of all wildland fires in Vermont during a given year occur during those two spring months. During this “pre-green up” period, dead grasses, leaves and twigs can become very dry due to sunshine, wind, low humidity and warmer temperatures. These drier fuels can be easy to ignite and cause fires to spread very quickly. With that in mind, many towns only allow the springtime burning of yard debris with permission from the municipal fire warden. And if you secure such permission, it only applies to natural, untreated materials. Prepare your burn site by removing dry fuels around your burn pile and have tools and water available to keep your fire in check. Information on outside burning regulations, how to contact a fire warden and the current fire danger level, can be found locally online at  bristolfiredepartment.org.
People keen on keeping vigil over local aquatic health can participate in an Addison County River Watch Virtual Training Session this Saturday, March 27, from 10-11 a.m. via Zoom. This training will include orientation to the six watersheds that River Watch monitors for water quality from May to September. Volunteers will learn how they can pitch in and what the water quality needs and emphases currently are in Vermont. To sign up, head online to forms.gle/aQG6Zhxha4HpytuYA, or to acrpc.org/acrwc. There will be a subsequent virtual training (on sampling methods and logistics) on the evening of Tuesday, April 6, and then training in the field (in small groups, distanced and masked) on the afternoon of Sunday, May 2.
The Bristol selectboard recently accepted a gift of approximately $4,000 from the Edith Stock Trust for enhancing bird habitat in Bristol. Local attorney George Vince, representing the Edith Stock Trust, asked about the town’s interest in receiving a gift from this estate. The money will provide for around 20 new bluebird boxes ready for installation. Addison County Probate Court has accepted Vince’s request this past week to terminate the trust and turn the funds over to the town for administration by the Conservation Commission to continue to provide a direct or  indirect benefit to the Bristol bird population.
Mark your calendar. For the final time before summer, the Saint Ambrose Knights of Columbus in Bristol will host a Knights in Italy walk-up spaghetti dinner during the evening of Friday, April 9, serving from 4- 5:30 p.m. A table will be set up outside Saint Ambrose Church, on the park side. Please walk-up, place your order, and your meal(s) will be brought out, packaged up for you to take home. All proceeds will go toward furthering the Knights’ mission of aiding the community in a variety of ways, including its Coats for Kids program. The menu includes spaghetti with meat sauce, garlic bread, salad, and dessert. The cost for the meal is $10 for adults, $5 for children 12 and under, and $25 for a family.
The Bristol Recreation Club wants to artfully mark its 100th anniversary this year. To that end, the club is considering using the Bristol Recreation Park buildings as a canvas to create a mural or murals depicting Bristol’s recreation history and celebrating the ways recreation brings people together with joy. The club is seeking community members with enthusiasm for public art and outdoor recreation to help get this idea to implementation. Email knight@gmavt.net for more information.
Miller Hill Farm, Nursery and Gardens in Sudbury was presented with the Environmental Awareness Award by the Vermont Nursery and Landscape Association (VNLA) at their virtual, winter meeting. Co-owners Carl Phelps & Nan Jenks-Jay said that they are thrilled to receive this important recognition as maintaining environmental integrity is at the core of all our work.  “It’s inspiring that VNLA offers an environmental award for its members and that we proudly join a long list of previous recipients.”

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