Gramma
Today is my mother’s birthday. She’s my idol. I hate that we don’t get to see each other enough because of the 200 miles between us.  One of the many great things Mom does to ameliorate that is to clip environmental and wildlife news from her magazines and newspaper and send them to me periodically.  Today I got an article about how much the owl and raptor populations of New England suffered this winter because of the prolonged icy cover on the snow.  No way to get to the mice and voles.  Another article was about Laos, once called the “Land of a Million Elephants” where now the endangered population is down to 700.  Mom makes sure all the news isn’t depressing though.  I got a photo of 5 hooded seals that were released back into the wild after being rehabilitated after a stranding in March, another photo of 6 great blue herons who recently returned to Lake Champlain for the season, a  story about snow geese migrating through Mom’s town Plattsburgh, NY on their way to the Arctic tundra for the summer and the piece de resistance, an article about soaring populations of the bald eagle around Lake Champlain.  In 30 years, the population has gone from almost none to 84.  Hooray!

Since I don’t get enough time to read and study all the magazines and journals that drove me to develop Vermont Woods Studios in the first place, Mother’s Environmental News and World Report has become one of my most important sources of information and inspiration. 

Who do you get your environmental news from?  Stay aware of what’s going on both locally and globally.  Knowledge is power.  You can change the world.

Happy Birthday, Mom!

 

This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

Every year on April 22 we celebrate the wonder that is Earth and pause to consider where we are in our efforts to care for all its natural treasures.  Have you marked your calendar?  Are you planning to do anything special on Earth Day?  It might be something as simple as recycling, or something joyous like climbing a mountain and savoring it's ambiance, or something pro-active like coordinating an outdoor clean-up project.  If you prefer to make your contribution on the Internet, there are loads of places you can go.  For example the World Wildlife Fund has a "Time for Change" website with numerous ideas and inspirations along with a place to share your own thoughts and actions with others.  Don't let Earth Day go by without doing something to make yourself fee great about your own contribution to the future of our planet.

This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

Spotted_salamander

Our work in green forestry sometimes offers the pleasant surprise of being up close and personal with amphibians.  Did you know that 2008 has been officially designated “The Year of the Frog?”  That’s because there’s a global amphibian extinction crisis that many
scientists believe represents the greatest species conservation challenge in
the history of humani
ty.  After thriving for
over 360 million years, up to half of the world’s 6,000 known amphibian species
could go extinct in our lifetime.  How sad is that? 

American_toad
In Vermont
, we have several Green Heros who are working hard to
reverse this trend.  Herpetologist, Jim Andrews works out of Middlebury College doing research and
coordinating the development of the Vermont Reptile
and Amphibian Atlas
, a map that identifies and tracks changing populations
of these animals over time.  Patti Smith of the Bonnyvale Environmental Education Center (BEEC)
in West Brattleboro, VT
powers the volunteer Salamander Crossing
Brigades Project
.  We’ve volunteered for both projects since our boys
were toddlers and have developed such admiration for Jim and Patti that we are
naming two of our new Vermont Woods
Studios
furniture collections after them.

Brigade
Last night we and other volunteers
donned rain coats and boots and patrolled the streets of Vermont looking
for migrating spotted salamanders.  These
ancient creatures who live their lives burrowed down beneath the surface of the
earth, dig their way out through the dirt and leaves on a warm (well
>42F–that’s warm for VT) rainy night every April  to join a mass
exodus of brethren heading for spring pools to breed.  Since their
prehistoric journey now takes them across roads, we volunteers lend a helping
hand by setting up checkpoints around breeding sites, warning motorists and
escorting the salamanders safely across the road.

Northern_leopardfrog
Would you ever consider getting involved in a project like this?  It’s actually great fun.  You would not believe all the action that takes place in the forest on a rainy spring night.  Frogs and toads are everywhere and the chorus from our spring peepers is music to anyone’s ears.  What’s
going on in your neighborhood?  Don’t forget the little guys… frogs, toads and
salamanders.  They are like “canaries in the coal mine,” as their porous skin makes them the
first species to be affected by pollution, global warming and other environmental stressors.  When they show
declines in the wild, it serves as a warning to other species.  Humans, are you listening?  Are you acting?

This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

Holzapfel__custom_fitted_curved_sof
A few months ago Vermont
Woods Studios
  was contacted by Orna Schneid
of “Nisha”, the Israeli design magazine. Orna was working on an article about luxury green home décor and she had
come across our work with natural wood furniture. She especially liked David Holzapfel’s
organic tree furniture
and wanted to learn more about it.  We worked back and forth quite a bit, sending
Orna photos and providing details about our green mission, philosophy and
products. Today, Orna sent me a copy
of the article she featured us in. It’s
the April 2008 issue of Nisha and it’s beautifully done and well worth the
read. Thanks so much, Orna for including
our work in your prestigious journal of design. We are honored.  Download Nisha-Israel-Orna.pdf

 

This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

If you were looking for ideas to use in naming your new eco-furniture collections, who might you turn to?  At Vermont Woods Studios, we called upon The Green Mountain State's heros of forestry and wildlife.  We started with the GIANTS of great historical significance, like former Vermont Governor George Aiken and, Father of the American Conservation Movement, Vermonter George Perkins Marsh and then moved along to the everyday green heros of present that we've grown to admire through our involvement in their current projects.  We found all sorts of copyrights and other restrictions on the big guys, so we're happily settling in with the very important, but often unsung heros of Vermont's forests today.   Some of these "Green Giants" have agreed to let us name our new furniture collections after them and others have asked us to, instead, use the names of the places and animals they are working to protect.  So as we update our website over the next several months to include new and creative collections of contemporary solid wood, Vermont-made furniture, you will be seeing a fresh face on the labels for each piece.  We are excited to be able to support our modern day environmental heros this way and we will donate a portion of our profits to their projects.  I'm excited to tell you more about them in future blogs.

This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.