February 2024

It’s February. Where’s the Snow?

Images from Climate Central.

February is my favorite month. I declared my love for the month of February in response to a prompt in a recent Zoom meeting. The facilitator said, “I’ve never heard of anyone who loves February.” What a shame. February is one of the most beautiful months of the year. It’s a short month. The days have more light. There are green sunsets. The cold and crisp winter air is delightful. And, its snows bring a wintery comfort and peace. This February, we’ve had snow squalls and light snow and a storm that did not materialize. I saw children skating on Days Pond on Eastern Avenue in Gloucester only once this winter, and the pond was not totally frozen over. I’m still waiting for winter to arrive, but spring seems more likely at this point.

It was sort of cold this winter. More concerning are the wild temperature shifts, including some days that reached near 60℉, which is really not normal, but sadly and likely the new normal. We need winter. We need the cold. This is why I contacted Chris Glonginer, a Senior Climate Scientist at Woods Hole Group, to talk to the Cape Ann community about how warming winters will impact us here in New England. Chris will talk about the impact on our beloved winter sports and recreation activities. How warming winters may increase invasive species in our area. And, how warming winters can bring more precipitation and, therefore, more flooding. Join us on Wednesday, February 28th from 7:00-8:00pm on Zoom to learn more about our warming winters and discuss it.

Maureen Aylward
Executive Director

Climate Science Speakers Series WEBINAR Wednesday, February 28th 7:00pm

Climate Change Impacts on New England Winters

Chris Gloninger, Senior Climate Scientist, Woods Hole Group

ENCORE Film Screening of Inundation District

One hundred people showed up for a film screening of Inundation District and a talk back with the film’s director, David Abel, in early February. The film is a cautionary tale of how development in Boston’s Seaport district went forward without the necessary considerations of sea level rise. Now, the Seaport is flooding during astronomical high tides (king tides) as well as during storms. It’s powerful storytelling.

After such a strong community response, TownGreen is sponsoring an encore showing of the film at the Rockport Public Library Brenner Room on Tuesday, March 26th starting at 7:00pm. Dr. Jayne Knott, president of HydroPredictions and TownGreen board member, will be on hand for Q&A.

Welcome TownGreen New Board Members

From the Desk of Gemma Wilkens

Gloucester’s Sustainability Coordinator

The City of Gloucester was awarded a $144,311 grant from the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) Green Communities Division. According to Gemma Wilkens, Gloucester’s Sustainability Coordinator, the grant will support energy efficiency and electrification projects across various municipal buildings. Approved projects include: Gloucester High School kitchen hood controls ($23,290), weather stripping ($2,865), and walk-in refrigerator controls ($8,250); Bayview Fire Station air source heat pump ($34,775); Visitor Center air source heat pump ($35,410), weatherization ($7,745), and mechanical insulation ($15,526); and walk-in refrigerator controls at O’Maley Middle School ($11,500), Beeman Elementary School ($1,650), and Plum Cove School ($3,300). The projects are expected to reduce the city's annual energy costs by $17,000 and lower greenhouse gas consumption by approximately 1 percent. The City of Gloucester will provide a 12 percent match. Read more about it in the Gloucester Daily Times.

Latest Episode of the Nature Wins Podcast

Nature Wins host Maureen Aylward speaks to Cape Ann-based waste professionals Sharon Byrne Kishida (video clip), solid waste and recycling expert, and Conor Miller and Andrew Brousseau from Black Earth Compost (video clip).

Check out the Nature Wins Podcast videos on YouTube.

TownGreen Calendar

  • February 22nd and 23rd
    Peabody Essex Museum art/science/education exhibit: Student Explorations: The Great Marsh and Climate Change. The exhibit includes silk paintings by Gloucester artist Susan Quateman, a 12-minute video by Gloucester filmmaker Lisa Smith, design by Manchester artist Leslie Bartlett, and four art panels by 7th and 8th graders of the River Valley Charter School, Newburyport. While there, see the immersive and hopeful exhibit at Our Time On Earth (through June) from London’s Barbican.
  • February 28th 7:00-8:00pm Webinar with Chris Gloninger
    Senior Climate Scientist at the Woods Hole Group
    A Warming World - Climate Change Impacts on New England Winters Registration required.
  • March 12th 7:00-8:00pm TownGreen Open Forum
    Use this Zoom link
  • Tuesday, March 19th 6:30-8:00pm
    Planning for Reality Series Webinar: Manchester-by-the-Sea.
    This Planning for Reality Series webinar focuses on sea level rise and flooding issues in Manchester-by-the-Sea’s downtown. Areas of special concern includeTown Hall/Police Station, Wastewater Treatment Plant, Fire Station, and the central commercial area. Registration required.
  • Friday, March 22nd Guided Field Trip (timing TBD) Planning for Reality Series: Manchester-by-the-Sea
    We will meet in the parking lot of the Manchester-by-the-Sea Town Hall and Police Station, then walk to other areas that are vulnerable to flooding. No registration needed – just show up!
  • Tuesday, March 26th 7:00pm Inundation District Encore Showing
    TownGreen sponsors an encore showing of the film Inundation District at the Rockport Public Library Brenner Room. Registration required.