Report on the ALT Annual Meeting on January 21, 2020
Many thanks to Professor Richard Primack for a fascinating presentation on Henry David Thoreau as a climate change scientist. Thoreau set a valuable research standard by documenting his observations of plants and animals in and around Concord during the 1850s.
Those records are now being used as a baseline for measuring a vast array of data on the current environment, including the dates when wildflowers bloom, when native trees such as oaks and maples begin showing leaves, and when various bird species migrate into the area. Some of the changes over the past century are startling: many plants have gone extinct locally; others have become much less abundant while some invasive species have increased in distribution; and many birds and insects are changing their behavior as well. Following the meeting, Dr. Primack sold and signed copies of his book, Walden Warming: Climate Change Comes to Thoreau’s Woods.
More than 70 members and guests attended this Annual Meeting for the year 2019, led by President Christopher Leich. ALT Treasurer Brian Rehrig presented a summary financial report for the past year, and Arlington Conservation Agent Emily Sullivan provided updates on monitoring and enforcement of the conservation restrictions at Arlington 360 (still known as the Symmes site) and on bank improvement projects at Spy Pond Park that have affected the water level in the pond. Leich also addressed the current status of the Zoning Board of Appeals hearings on the proposed 40B housing development on the Mugar land. Finally, he conducted the annual election of ALT board members. Three members were reelected unanimously: John F. Page, Bancroft Poor, and Clarissa Rowe.