Posted tagged ‘making of the Museum’

Progress on the Museum entrance way: cover plants

October 18, 2015

After laying in rock and grading the slope just-so, the stream bank crew put down netting to reduce erosion, and it was seeded with a one-year “cover crop”. We’ll replant perennials and more next spring.

Erosion netting in place, October 7, 2105

Erosion netting in place, September 26

The cover crop sprouted quite quickly, which encouraged and delighted us.

Can you see the little sprouts? Click to zoom in, perhaps.

Can you see the little sprouts? This is about October 8. Click to zoom in, perhaps.

Yesterday’s and this morning’s light snow doesn’t seem to have bothered the little plants at all!

Protecting the stream bank with netting and plants.   Protecting the stream bank with netting and plants.

Protecting the stream bank with netting and plants, October 18. Click to see these larger (it’s worth it!)

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Progress on the Museum entrance way: rock on!

September 27, 2015
Rocks, dirt, big tools, and a more stable stream bed

What’s going on? Lots! Click for a close-up.

During the past week, we’ve watched a good bit of earthmoving, repairing and preparing the stream, its slopes, and the stream bed between the Museum parking lot and the Museum entrance. The preparation will permit us to install an ADA-compliant and future-flood-resistant path and bridge,  as well as a riparian slope “garden”. While this is going on, please use the rear entrance (facing the road). We look forward to seeing you!

This collage of photos was created by Elizabeth Spinney, copyright © 2015 and used by permission.

This work is being funded by donors like you, the Vermont Department of Transportation though a Vermont Better Back Roads grant, and the Department of Environmental Conservation’s Ecosystems Restoration Program.  These are both matching grants so we still need your help to fully fund these grants.  Donate to help! We happily accept donations online through JustGive, NetworkForGood, and PayPal. You can also call (802) 434-2167 with your credit card info, or send a check in any amount at any time to

Birds of Vermont Museum
900 Sherman Hollow Road
Huntington, Vermont 05462
 

Thank you to Grover Engineering, the State of Vermont (VTRANS and DEC), and John Scott Excavating. Let us thank you!

Bridges to Birds: where we’ve been

How it All Began in July 2013: Flash flooding at the Museum
Plus photos.
Last Year’s Update: Bridges to Birds: Connecting to People
And the Treehouse phase: A New Point of View (from our Treehouse)
A booklet about it: Bridges to Birds (1Mb PDF)
How We Thank You: Recognition, Gifts, and Adventure
All four phases, outlined: A Four-fold Project

And the collected posts (tagged “Bridges to Birds”)

 

Progress on the Museum entrance way: the road culvert

September 24, 2015
Boulders to support and protect the culvert and the road

John Scott Excavating laid some beautiful boulders on the Museum side of the road, around and above the road culvert.

Last week has seen a lot of changes outdoors at the Birds of Vermont Museum, between our front door and our parking lot, and along that section of Sherman Hollow Road.

On Monday, September 14, the road culvert replacement started. This one is deeper, and has a different profile, thereby protecting the stream hydrology and local wildlife more than a shallower, smaller, round culvert would. This one allows for increased water flow, which prevents erosion and sedimentation of the stream bed. The slight “squashed” shape keeps a better aquatic corridor for critters both in and near the stream.

Since then, the excavation crew has been working both upstream and downstream. They have been installing rock and cement protection to stabilize the banks and installing a yard drain to collect stormwater runoff.

More pictures to come!

 

So many thank yous to Grover Engineering, the State of Vermont (VTRANS and DEC), and John Scott Excavating.

Let us thank you!

Bridges to Birds: where we’ve been

How it All Began in July 2013: Flash flooding at the Museum
Plus photos.
Last Year’s Update: Bridges to Birds: Connecting to People
And the Treehouse phase: A New Point of View (from our Treehouse)
A booklet about it: Bridges to Birds (1Mb PDF)
How We Thank You: Recognition, Gifts, and Adventure
All four phases, outlined: A Four-fold Project

And the collected posts (tagged “Bridges to Birds”)

Donate to help! We happily accept donations online through JustGive, NetworkForGood, and PayPal. You can also call (802) 434-2167 with your credit card info, or send a check in any amount at any time to

Birds of Vermont Museum
900 Sherman Hollow Road
Huntington, Vermont 05462

Museum closed Sept 14-15 for Road Culvert Replacement

September 11, 2015

The Museum will be closed to visitors on Monday and Tuesday, September 14-15, while the Town replaces a culvert on Sherman Hollow Road.

This is the next step in our Bridges to Birds project!  We will begin the stream bank restoration and entrance path/bridge when the culvert is in place.

We can be reached by phone (802 434-2167) or email museum@birdsofvermont.org.

The Board Meeting will still take place on Tuesday evening.

We are very excited about this!

Spray paint markings to guide the road crew when they begin to replace the culvert.

Spray paint markings to guide the road crew when they begin to replace the culvert.

 

Bridges to Birds: where we’ve been

How it All Began in July 2013: Flash flooding at the Museum
Plus photos.
Last Year’s Update: Bridges to Birds: Connecting to People
And the Treehouse phase: A New Point of View (from our Treehouse)
A booklet about it: Bridges to Birds (1Mb PDF)
And the collected posts (tagged “Bridges to Birds”)

Donate to help! We happily accept donations online through JustGive, NetworkForGood, and PayPal. You can also call (802) 434-2167 with your credit card info, or send a check in any amount at any time to

Birds of Vermont Museum
900 Sherman Hollow Road
Huntington, Vermont 05462

 

 

The Four Phases of Bridges to Birds

July 31, 2015

B2B-Banner

Bridges to Birds incorporates disaster recovery, resilience, and prior long-term plans to make outdoor experiences at the Museum accessible to all visitors, including people with limited abilities and families with small children. This four-phase project also expands conservation and educational opportunities and increases the number of locations available for quiet appreciation and contemplation of the natural world.

Connecting to People:
Bridge and Walkway

$104,000
(still need $56,500)

This phase means

* New wildlife observation areas
* Fully ADA-compliant access from parking to Museum
* Protected riparian areas and stream bank stabilization
* Publicly visible donor acknowledgments
* Improved bird habitat
* Resistance to future flooding and precipitation events

We are working with the State of Vermont, the Town of Huntington, and civil, structural, and hydrological engineers to design and build a bridge and walkway after installation of a larger culvert under the road. Interpretive signs, plantings, and welcome information will follow.

Connecting to Nature:
Interpretative Trails

$17,000
(still need $9,000)

This phase provides

* Outdoor exploration
* Citizen scientist access
* Routes for monitoring and birding walks
* Integration with and protection of woodland, meadow, and near-pond habitats
* Peaceful retreats
* Well-maintained trails

Volunteers, staff, and interns repair trails, footbridges, and handrails. We continue to work routing water away from trails, and providing sturdy footing where needed. New maps, signage, and guide materials will be created.

Connecting to New Perspectives:
The Treehouse

$30,000
(still need $2,500)

This phase showcases

* An accessible (ADA-compliant) treehouse, reached by a gravel ramp
* Opportunites to observe birds in the forest canopy
* An outdoor classroom /exhibit space
* New nature-focused programs and activities

The treehouse is already open! We completed the construction thanks to a generous partnership with Center for Technology Essex, Evergreen Roofing, and dozens of volunteers. A grant from the Vermont Community Foundation helped with treehouse-specific programming. The last donations will fund educational signage and seating.

Connecting to Conservation:
Bird-friendly Gardens

$6,000
(still need $2,000)

This phase includes
* Demonstration gardens
* Native plants
* Quiet contemplation spaces
* Habitat and foraging diversity for native birds
* Inspiring and encouraging Vermont gardeners and would-be gardeners

The Gardens phase integrates previous work by staff, interns, and gardeners on local, bird-friendly plantings, garden layout, and native species. Garden beds, paths, booklets, informative signs, and short education tours all extend the experience.

 

Bridges to Birds: where we’ve been

How it All Began in July 2013: Flash flooding at the Museum
Plus photos.
Last Year’s Update: Bridges to Birds: Connecting to People
More about the Treehouse: A New Point of View (from our Treehouse)
A booklet about it: Bridges to Birds (1Mb PDF)
And the collected posts (tagged “Bridges to Birds”)

Donate to help! We happily accept donations online through JustGive, NetworkForGood, and PayPal. You can also call (802) 434-2167 with your credit card info, or send a check in any amount at any time to

Birds of Vermont Museum
900 Sherman Hollow Road
Huntington, Vermont 05462

We Remember

October 3, 2014

This post appeared first in our late summer 2014 issue of Chip Notes.

The fabric of the Museum’s history has been woven by many people. A few add a strand or two of color, while others provide the very warp that holds it all together. Unfortunately, there comes a time to say good-bye to some of these people. We are grateful for them, and we will miss them.

Ed Everts, 1919-2013

Ed Everts was a dear friend and instrumental in turning the Birds of Vermont Museum into a reality. He provided the initial funding that allowed Bob to start carving. Ed, and his partner Raven Davis, are remembered not only for their support, but also for their friendship.

In addition to all he did for the Museum, Ed was devoted to his family, spreading peace, working with the Peace and Justice Center , and exploring the world (sometimes with Bob and Gale in a VW microbus).

Mary B. Fell, 1920-2014

Mary Fell was a resident of Underhill. In addition to time spent volunteering for the historical society, she was a dedicated volunteer for Meals on Wheels and also volunteered many hours at Audubon Vermont‘s Sugar-on-Snow parties.

The General Assembly of Vermont wrote a resolution honoring her for her work. Her friend, Carol Wagner, is spearheading a campaign to dedicate a bench to Mary. The bench will be placed in the gardens along the path to the treehouse.

Hubert “Hub” Vogelmann, 1928-2013

Hub had personal ties with the Museum through his connections to Bob and Gale. He and his wife, Marie, were two of the Museum’s charter members. He had a close personal connection with the Museum’s mission of conservation. Hub worked with Bob and others to preserve Vermont ridgelines and mountaintops.

Hub was a botanist whose groundbreaking work on Camel’s Hump led to national attention regarding issues with acid-rain. He also co-founded Vermont’s chapter of the Nature Conservancy. In addition to serving on state and national environmental boards, he served on the Museum’s advisory board.

 

 

 

 

The Bird Carver’s Daughter (Part 8: My Dead Arm)

September 19, 2014

Guest post by Kari Jo Spear, Photographer, Novelist, and Daughter of Bob Spear
This post appeared first in our late summer 2014 issue of
Chip Notes.

My arm was killing me. Every muscle burned, my fingers cramped, and my shoulder barely fit in its socket any longer. In other words, I was in agony, and it was all my father’s fault. I was furious with those stupid birds of his and his stupid idea about carving every freaking bird that had ever been stupid enough to set its freaking feathers in Vermont. And I was mostly mad about his stupid idea to rebuild the barn on the old foundation next to Gale’s house and keep his stupid birds in there.

I was going to be maimed for life because of this! I was never going to be able to use my right arm again. My fingers were ice cold and I could barely feel them, much less move them. Any doctor would agree this was child abuse. I should be put into foster care and live in a nice, normal apartment in a city and never have to look at another bird again as long as I lived!

And not only that, my hand was sticky, and I hated that more than anything.

But I forced my smile back on. “And what would you like?” I asked a sweet little girl standing in front of me.

“Chocolate, please,” she said with an eager light in her eyes.

“Chocolate it is, then,” I said, and bent over the cooler again, trying to hide my pain.

I had been scooping ice cream for three hours. It had seemed like a really good idea at first. My father was hosting his first open house. It had been advertised all across the media. His “project,” now officially called the Birds of Vermont Museum, was open for visitors. In reality, today’s open house was a test to see if anybody was interested. To see if anybody was insane enough to make the drive all the way out to Huntington to see a bunch of wooden birds. Of course, there was no charge. We were still ages away from having all the permits and stuff that were required to become a business, even one not for profit.

To sweeten the deal, my father was offering a free dish of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream to everybody who showed up that day. For some stupid reason, the ice cream gurus had donated a bunch of bottomless cardboard tubs of the rock hard, icy, sticky stuff for the occasion. And for some stupid reason, I’d thought that was really nice of them and volunteered to be in charge of it.

And now my right arm was totally dead. I didn’t think anything could ever make me hate chocolate. But this afternoon was doing a good job of it.

“Here you go.” I handed the little girl her dish and dragged my eyes to her mom. “And for you?”

“Vanilla, please,” she said.

I decided to hate vanilla, too. I made my poor, abused fingers close around the scoop that lived in the vanilla tub.

“And how were you lucky enough to rate this job?” the mom asked.

I looked up at her as though she were out of her freaking mind. Beyond her, the line of people reached across Gale’s kitchen, down the hall, out the front door, along the path, across the driveway, and down the side of the road all the way to the shop. Which we were now supposed to call the Freaking Birds of Vermont Museum.

“I’m his daughter,” I growled.

“Oh, how marvelous! Your father has such incredible talent! Such patience! Such vision.”

I looked at her again to see if she was sane or not.

“To create such a project! And not want to make any money at it! All that work, to educate people about nature and conservation and – oh, everything! I had to come up here the minute I heard about it. This is something that must happen. I wanted my daughter to be able to say she’d seen it in its earliest days.” She nodded at the little girl dripping chocolate all over the place, who nodded back vigorously. Then the mom looked back at me. “You are so lucky to be part of all this.”

I looked up at her, my arm suddenly feeling a little less leaden and sticky. Did she really mean she hadn’t come all this way for free Ben and Jerry’s?

“I mean, look at the turnout!” she said. “There are hundreds of people here. You must be so proud.”

“It’s amazing,” someone behind her said.

“They look alive,” someone else said.

“I’m going to start a life list,” another voice added.

No, don’t! I almost said aloud. It won’t lead to good things! But then I found myself really smiling as I handed the mom her little dish. “Here you go,” I said. “Thanks so much for visiting the Birds of Vermont Museum today. And what kind would you like, sir? We have chocolate and vanilla and suet with sunflower sprinkles. Just kidding,” I added.

He laughed. “Chocolate, please.”

“Coming right up. Don’t let it drip on your binoculars.”

Everyone laughed. What great people, I thought. What a momentous day!

And what big muscles I’m going to have.


Kari Jo Spear‘s young adult, urban fantasy novels, Under the Willow, and  Silent One, are available at Phoenix Books (in Essex and Burlington, Vermont), and on-line at Amazon and Barnes and Noble

Previous posts in this series:
Part 1: The Early Years
Part 2: The Pre-teen Years (or, Why I’m Not a Carver)
Part 3: Something’s Going On Here
Part 4: The Summer of Pies
Part 5: My Addiction
Part 6: Habitat Shots
Part 7: Growing Up


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