2020 SacredWater Prayer Walk during the pandemic

Following Chief Arvol Looking Horse’s request for people to gather and honor our Sacred Sites, we will be doing another Sacred Journey honoring Four Sacred Sites and the Waters that nourish All Life.
Starting at Sunrise on the June 18th and ending at Sunset on World Peace and Prayer Day June 21st.

Grandmother Carole says: “I invite each of you to do the same!”

In 2012, Grandmother walked and prayed for the water at 28 sacred sites across Turtle Island.


The SacredWater needs our attention now more than ever. Here in the United States, we had a huge victory when the Supreme Court surprisingly upheld the Clean Water Act, but the Trump administration has suspended crucial rules of the Environmental Protection Agency, putting all our waterways under increased risk from pollution discharges from all kinds of factories, industries, power plants, towns, and so on.

Water has been weaponized by white nationalists who deliberately poisoned Black residents of Flint MI and continue to exploit and oppress Black Americans in cities across Michigan. In a recent webinar on the theme of transformation, Sherri Mitchell (Penobscot) requested that everyone learn the law about water in your town, your county, your state. For instance, do you have the right to store water from your own land? Who ‘owns’ the rights to water flowing from natural water sources in your watershed? Where does the water that runs in your home come from?

This is a life-and-death contest for our survival and the health of Mother Earth. We are winning in many places where we organize effectively, such as removing the Klamath Dam in California — this is not an impossible fight! But we must organize: we need to

  • draw attention to the SacredWater through Prayer Walks along waterways near you (guidelines below)
  • encourage your friends and family and colleagues and neighbors to learn about the water situation where they live
  • share information about water-related issues to our Facebook Page, WaterIsLifeWalk
  • find and join water advocacy and protection networks in your region, for example
  • comment on blogposts here and help us build the conversation and strengthen the network
  • follow and share us on social media — Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
  • send us information about what you’re learning: info@waterislifewalk.org

Protocol for your own Prayer Walk for the Sacred Water

Walk alone or with small groups (no more than four), maintaining physical distance among all of you at all times of at least six feet.

Select waterways close to your home and walk as close to the edge of the water as you can.

While Walking, watch the Water, look at the Trees and all the Plant People, notice all the other forms of Life.

Try to sense the communication happening all around you — the ways that you are included in the communal experience of being alive.

Keep yourself hydrated, rest as often as needed, don’t rush. The goal is not distance; the goal is to let the Water feel how much you care.


You may burn sage to smudge yourself in advance, carry water and/or carry fire while you Walk in Prayer.

You may carry tobacco and sprinkle it where you wish, such as, at the origin/source of the river or stream, when tributaries join (a confluence), at sewage discharge places or industrial sites, where historical events of trauma have occurred, any place that you recognize needs healing, and any time you have a special experience — which could be grief, joy, connection, memory or re-membering, an encounter with an animal or plant, a realization of beauty — the criteria are up to you.

Create and share your own ‘report’ of your experience and share it with us!


Uncí Carole’s ‘Daily’ Report

As frequently as possible, Grandmother Carole will provide updates on her SacredWater is Life Prayer Walk.

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Uncí Carole interviewed on National Public Radio!

9th Annual Water is Life Walk Spotlights the Hudson River

Hudson River Bureau Chief Allison Dunne interviewed Grandmother Carole near the end of the 2019 SacredWater Walk.

Listen to the full interview here.


Carole Blodgett is wrapping up her ninth annual Water is Life Walk, the first to include the Hudson River. Blodgett has been carrying water from the Hudson’s source to New York Harbor, where she’ll empty it into the sea. It’s part of her mission to restore the human-to-water connection. WAMC’s Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Allison Dunne caught up with Blodgett toward the end of her walk.

Grandmother nurturing the children.

Called Grandmother Carole, or Unci Carole by many around her, Blodgett has Penobscot lineage through her maternal grandmother but was not raised in the tribe.

She began her walk June 3 at the source of the Hudson in the Adirondacks. Along the way, she spent time with many, including staff at Riverkeeper in Kingston at the Hudson River Maritime Museum. And she describes what has impacted her most along the Hudson.

Blodgett’s previous walk was along the Housatonic River.

*apologies the entire interview was not transcribed by WAMC.

For more info:

On the Muhheakantuck/Hudson River (2019) Water is Life Walk: Every Paddlestroke and Every Step is a Prayer

On the Howstunnuck/Housatonic River (2018) Water is Life Walk:  Harbormaster’s Delight

General: A Tribute to Grandmother Josephine

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Every Paddlestroke and Every Step is a Prayer ~ SacredWater is Life Prayer Walk of the Muhheakantuck (Hudson River)

Grandmother Carole on the first day in the uppermost reach of the Hudson River accessible by vehicle of any kind.

Spirit always works things out — Grandmother Carole repeats this idea frequently, especially when things are unclear. Despite feeling under-prepared for the 2019 SacredWater Prayer Walk it began in the best possible way, on the water in a canoe in the highest reach of the Hudson River accessible by car, along Calamity Brook in the High Peaks of the Adirondacks: a plan that came together only 24 hours in advance due to the excellent service of Cloudsplitter Outfitters. This far north there are barely any access points to the water. This year, Spirit guided Uncí (“Grandmother”, pronounced unchi) to the Muhheakantuck — the river that flows in two directions.

Two days later, we were together in a whitewater raft for the next section of otherwise inaccessible river. Just a few minutes into the trip, Uncí asked our guide if he ever saw moose? No. He listed other animals that are commonly seen along the river: deer, eagles, beaver, otters, fish, other birds and insects. Five minutes later, we saw a moose!

Metaphor and Meaning

The physical meaning of “flows in two directions” is because the mouth of the Hudson River is so wide that the tide carries far upstream, deeper inland than most other rivers that join their fresh or sweet water with an oceans’ salty water.

Metaphorically, I wonder about the teaching stories told by indigenous elders about the Muhheakantuck. How does indigenous culture teach about the river’s capacity to switch direction? If we think about the flow of culture as akin to the flow of water… does it yield anything useful? In the Muhheakantuck, the dual flow can be understood as consecutive and simultaneous: the tide takes turns between ebb and flow, and also I bet there’s overlap—at specific times, perhaps in particular places—when the seawater and sweetwater are moving in opposite directions at the same time.

A Prayer Bundle blowing in the wind. It is filled with tobacco and represents communication with (in this case) the SacredWater.

An odd juxtaposition to the SacredWater Walk was listening  to Margaret Glaspy live in Saratoga Springs while Grandmother completed the 6th day of the Prayer. The song that most caught my attention was the one which Glaspy explained as an attempt to exorcise anger that had failed, because every time she sings it she gets pissed off again. It’s called Angry Again. Her comment got me thinking about how organizing to save the waters that birth and sustain life is so freaking hard, being as they are ‘out in the natural world’ and, as such, a reflection of an ancient way of life.

Glaspy sings, “When the world stops trying to do its best, I get angry again!”  Reviewer Laura DaPolito wrote of this particular performance:

The song was clearly a more political statement than those that would come before and after it, following more in the social revolutionary tradition of folk. After performing it, her face flushed, she would remark that she hoped it would help her get the anger off her chest, “but here I am all pissed off again” she mused. The audience laughed, and she did too; but the emotions were raw and too intense for her to hide. Her flushed face and neck betrayed her authenticity.”

That authenticity did lead me to wonder in what ways she sees the world not doing its best, and who is she referring to? For me, I was keenly aware of sitting in a very comfortable, absolutely lovely space enjoying (along with an essentially white audience) a particular kind of unimpeded, undisturbed and (basically) undisturbing cultural flow. Meanwhile, Grandmother Carole is trekking 15 miles/day of the Hudson regardless of the weather, sleeping (for the most part) in her car or a tent, probably going into debt despite a wonderful and deeply appreciated grant from Schaghticoke First Nations, and doing it all basically solo at 69 years of age.

As one of my good friends says, “Come on!” The two ‘flows’ are so strikingly juxtaposed: the white privilege stemming from settler culture and the tenacity of indigenous survival and struggle to save the earth.

Glaspy continues, “I’ve got a red river running through my veins—in a moral doubt.”

Prayer-Walking for the SacredWater

These days, no matter what class-level of society a human being finds themself in during this advanced stage of capitalism, we’re pretty much all addicted to speed and comfort. Many of us find slowing down to be painful, if not practically impossible. This is a lesson of being on the water for as long as we were on Day 3 of this year’s SacredWater is Life Prayer Walk. Over 27 miles of otherwise unreachable river, there was more flatwater than whitewater by a significant percent. The exhilarating experience of the rapids was fun, indeed. Yet, it’s the alternation between flatwater and rapids where the real growth can occur.  Grandmother’s lesson is that the presence of white water due to a topographic drop in elevation is simply an environmental condition, not an inherent predisposition or a desirable permanent mode of being. In other words, white people can probably tolerate more cultural rapids than we believe!

Whitewater and flat water are just different types of temporary conditions for life and living. The imbalance is that settler culture has designed society so that those of us integrated into the dominant flow of white life experience mostly flat water unless we choose to experience rapids; the Global Majority, however, e.g., native indigenous peoples, black and brown American citizens, and immigrants, are constantly tossed about in socially-constructed rapids of discrimination, oppression and inherited intergenerational trauma. How often do they get to experience the ease of cultural flow that we got to revel in so marvelously at Caffè Lena?

Grandmother Carole’s autobiography is unique to her situation, but she’s not alone in Walking the SacredWater. There is a worldwide movement to protect rivers, streams, groundwater, aquifers; clean up those already polluted; repair and build new infrastructure for safe drinking water; stop Nestle and other companies from treating water as a private resource; clean up the oceans; and establish the rights of personhood so that WATER, essential for all life on Earth, can be made available as a right and equal benefit to all the living beings who need it.

When our rafting guide told us “down is the best direction,” we had been floating for hours on flatwater and had already seen the moose, beaver, birds, fish, deer, vast skies, puffy clouds and grand gorgeous expanses of the Northeastern Woodlands. Down is the easiest direction. In these times, the question is if white people will choose to keep floating on our pre-established cultural ‘downstream’ and letting everyone else do the strenuous work of striving for the upstream changes we need.

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Moccasin Tracks – Water Is Life Walks Housatonic River 2018

Moccasin Tracks joined the Water Is Life Walk Housatonic River May 23-24 and recorded a little with Grandmother Carole Bubar-Blodgett, organizer and Prayer Bundle Keeper. This is the 8th Water Is Life Walk Grandmother Carole has organized. We also talked with Grandmother Rema Loeb who is also a member of the Sugar Shack Alliance, grassroots opposition to fracking, pipelines and other water desecrations. She shares a little of her experience at the Sacred Stone Camp where she joined the Indigenous Resistance to the DAPL Pipeline. Grandmother Rema tells us about her sacred responsibility to water. Its always an honor to talk to the Grandmothers and the Water Protectors. more info about this years Water Is Life Walk at www.waterislifewalk.org and find on Facebook at Water Is Life Walks

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9th Annual Water is Life Walk – Mahacanattuck River

The 9th Annual Water is Life Walk will be for the Muhheakantuck or Mahacanattuck, now known as the Hudson River in New York. We will walk Source to Sea. The Source is Lake Tear of the Clouds in Keene, NY. Sea is Liberty State Park, NJ.

Every day we will walk along the river, carrying the Headwaters down to the Sea, where we will rejoin them, and for the first time in 500 years (or more) they will arrive to the Sea clean and pure as intended. They will bypassing all the dams and sewer treatment plants, commercial and agricultural contamination, pipeline leaks, tailing pond leaks etc. PLEASE COME and walk with us. Walk for the Water that Birthed you and supports your life every day. PLEASE BRING THE CHILDREN AND YOUTH, this is their future we are creating. Walk a block, a mile, a day, a few days or the whole month. You can join any time, any day, anywhere along the route. CAN’T WALK? Come and drive a follow car. There are lots of ways to join this prayer for the SacredWater that supports ALL LIFE.

Each day will give every walker the opportunity to make a change, within themselves and the communities we walk through. Most important, you will be walking the Prayer for the Water of All Life. Each step is a prayer, there will be many ceremonies each day as we walk down the river. Come and help Heal the Water by first Healing your personal Connection to the WATER ~ for the HUMAN to WATER Connection is very broken.

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Protocol Phase—2019 SacredWater is Life Walk—and a Tribute to Grandmother Josephine

Uncí Carole is preparing for her 9th annual SacredWater Water is Life Walk.

Called by Spirit, Carole Bubar-Blodgett was inspired and blessed by Grandmother Josephine Mandamin, the renowned Anishinaabe grandmother, elder and water activist who transitioned to the realm of the Ancestors on February 22, 2019 at the age of 77. Learn more about her extraordinary life here: She Walked the Talk: Farewell to Water Warrior Grandmother Josephine Mandamin.

Two Grandmothers: Josephine and Carole

After Sundancing from 1999 at Leonard Crow Dog’s Sun Dance, Spirit took Uncí Carole to the SacredWater in 2011. There’s a story about how a white earwig appeared in an unusual location at a very particular moment… this and many other stories are a regular feature of accompanying Carole on her annual 28-day moon-cycle prayer for the SacredWater.

In 2011, Grandmother Josephine was in Olympia WA to collect water from the West Coast for the Four Directions Walk. Carole wanted her very first SacredWater Walk to be with Grandmother Josephine and had expected to join for the gathering of this water. However, that morning Carole became ill. At first distraught, Carole went into prayer thinking she would get better and be able to catch up with the Walkers. However, during this period of prayerful consideration, Carole remembered the words of many Elders. In particular she recalled Grandmother Mona Polacca’s plea for “all women to come back to the Water” and Grandmother Josephine asking everyone “to pick up the stewardship for the Waters in your own lands.”

Carole came to understand that Spirit was calling her to do her own SacredWater Walk. So her first Water is Life Walk in 2011 was from Ti’Swaq to Bus-Chut-Whut (Mt Rainier to Capital Lake in Olympia WA) to encourage a dam removal from the Deschutes River in order to help heal the Deschutes Estuary (which is now called Capital Lake).

The following year, Grandmother Josephine returned to join the Paddle to Squaxin canoe journey. She spoke at the Longhouse at Evergreen College, sharing pictures and information about the 4 Directions Walk. While mingling afterwards, Carole shared about her first walk and that she was leaving for a Coast to Coast Journey for the SacredWater. Grandmother Josephine requested Carole delay the start of her 2012 Sacred Journey in order to be present for the convergence of sea canoes in Olympia WA. Grandmother Josephine had asked all the paddlers to bring waters from their homelands. When everyone had arrived, Grandmother Josephine conducted a Unity Ceremony with all these waters; she wanted Carole to collect some of the merged waters to carry during her walk linking 28 sacred sites from west to east across Turtle Island, which Carole did.

Later that year, at the end of the 28 Sacred Sites Walk in the far reaches of Maine, Joseph Sapiel Sr. (Passamaquoddy) called Carole and asked if she could get to Machais Point. Hurrying to get there, Carole joined Grandmother Josephine and Grandmother Joanna Dana in Maliseet/Passamaquoddy territory, where they performed Ceremony at Machais Point, spent special time together at Jasper Beach, and then Grandmother Josephine performed Moon Ceremony at Grandmother Dana’s that evening.

As Uncí Carole conducts the Protocol Phase for the 2019 SacredWater Walk, she carries lessons and inspiration from Grandmother Josephine:

Let’s walk our talk in her honor.”

The Protocol Phase

Grandmother Carole follows the protocol she was taught; she accepts and acknowledges the need for everyone to follow their own protocol. Uncí Carole is directed to a river or bodies of water by Spirit. Once this guidance has been received,  she seeks permission to conduct the special prayer for the water from the traditional leadership of the Native Nations who historically carried the stewardship responsibility for tending the water in their ancestral territory.

Once the proper protocol is completed and authorization received, Uncí Carole will announce the river for the 2019 SacredWater is Life Walk.

In the meantime, please help by filling out our volunteer form (which includes many ways to help, such as donating materials or supplies) or make a direct contribution.

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Forests as Essential Infrastructure

by Stephanie Jo Kent

Think about where you live. Is it a city? A rural town?

What’s the closest forest to you? Have you ever been in a forest?

Many Americans have not. I happen to live in a town where 77% of the landscape is “open space,” meaning that the land is covered mostly in trees with some farmland (Footnote 1). It’s quite amazing, actually. In a city, a tree here and a tree there is wonderful because trees bring ease to the eyes and a breath of fresh air—literally! But what a forest does is so much more.

Much of the most dense forest in the United States is in New England.
(Source: wildlandsandwoodlands.org)

The challenge is that in New England, where we have such significant forest, it is easy to take trees for granted. Not only has logging occurred for generations, but vast swaths of forest that were cleared in Massachusetts during the first 4oo years of colonialism grew back over the last century and a half (a rarity in the industrial age). Based on this evidence, the resilience of forest to bounce back is robust.

The question for policymakers today is how reliable is this demonstrated capacity of trees to grow into forests?  Secondly, are there necessary conditions? My town is engaging this question with regard to how many trees can be cleared for development projects. Frankly, we are having a difficult time disengaging from the assumptions of the past.

Spans of accountability

Elected officials (and appointed ones, volunteers who assist local government, and residents who participate in civic life) have two kinds of accountability: one is to the present and one is to the future. Accountability in the present involves space—normally this space is defined by town boundaries. Accountability to the future involves time—what will be the impact of policy on the quality of life not only for the foreseeable next few years but for the next several decades?

A challenge of policy-making involves what happens when the norms of managing space come into conflict with the norms of managing time?

Take, for example, my town. We’ve been in a special permit process for a desirable solar project that has been sited undesirably (where acres of trees must be cleared and the slope is too steep for mitigation measures to prevent irreparable damage to a coldwater fisheries resource, threats to drinking water for four towns, and stormwater runoff protection). But the demand for solar in this space is now. This project is felt by some in the town as a way to generate some (minimal but reliable) income in this town, very soon.

Our town is in a middle-to-high zone of risk for future development (lower graph); we are converting forest to development faster than we are protecting and adding forestlands (upper graph).
(Source: wildlandsandwoodlands.org)

The perceived immediacy of this financial need is driving the debate about whether to grant a special permit despite the project’s known and obvious detrimental impacts on the environment. This is the heart of the conflict between spatial and temporal accountability. It is easiest to keep making decisions based on the economic model of the past 35 years, since President Reagan adopted a version of capitalism called supply-side economics. The idea that lower taxes drives economic growth is not realistic in my town, which is in a process of raising taxes in order to pay for basic town services that residents value. The rural character of our town means most residents are employed somewhere else; basically, we’re a bedroom community. Lower taxes may attract industry that devastates the landscape, but this would be self-defeating. Yet we are not without leverage and economic potential!

Here’s the crux: 35 years is half a human lifetime. Prior to Reaganomics was a different economic model. And prior to that there was another one. Going back further, there were different systems than capitalism altogether. While the cumulative threat of climate change can be pinpointed on the fossil fuel industry, the deregulation aspect of supply-side economics has equal blame. The very notion of “supply” presumes adequate amounts of resource. The tension in these tumultuous times is which resources, and what spans of accountability?

Generation X and Millennials are the ones who need to make the creative and courageous decisions to change the economics by establishing policies that assist the transition of our energy economy without compromising the integrity of the natural infrastructure of the planet.

So let’s go back to the forest. Why start with saving trees? For our town, protecting our forest is the most pragmatic choice. Forest is the most defining characteristic of our rural community. Other towns will have other factors leading them to make their start with some other policy, but for us, saving trees in order to protect the forest is how we can leverage the space we live in to make the largest and most significant contribution over time to a new economy that provides adequate energy, food, water and atmosphere for more than the remainder of our lives.

Thinking in Terms of Scale

In order to generate a feasible policy that can win sufficient agreement from town residents, let’s tack back-and-forth between the small and the large in terms of space, and the near soon and forty years from now in terms of time.

The basic unit of space is the town boundary, with its unique size and shape. Belchertown Massachusetts has a footprint. This footprint is not exclusive or self-contained; by definition it leaves a mark on the ecology of the place, and has effects on the larger ecosystem of which it is a part. This is true in terms of the natural world as well as the manmade world of state and national law. As a sub-unit of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, whatever town bylaws are created must not be in violation of state law or of applicable federal law. This creates certain limits but, any artist will tell you, the limits are what set the conditions for creative expression. The zone of legal interpretation is where both entrepreneurship and social change happen: these are not mutually exclusive but deeply complementary.

We’re right on the verge of dropping from “Forest Dominated” to mixed “Forests and Farms.” This gives us a crucial position in the big picture: what we do in our town will have a downside, or an upside if we choose, on everyone.
(Source: wildlandsandwoodlands.org)

In terms of time, a collaboration of businesspeople, government officials, citizens, and scientists from the forestry program at Harvard University have chosen 2060 as a temporal limit to guide policy for development and land management in New England. This is not an arbitrary year someone pulled out of a hat; it is a considered estimate of how much time is required for a complete transition from the current economy to a new one. It is also a generous estimate of how much time humanity has to guarantee our survival on a planet whose atmosphere is weakening because of the current economic system. The reality is that the sooner we start taking incremental steps toward sustainability the better.

Source: Sterling’s Best Places to Live

Thinking in terms of scale, then, the elegance of what Harvard Forest has done is to make a direct link between the rural character of New England’s (relatively small-scale) towns and the big picture. In the most plain terms, their entire team of collaborators are pointing the way to an improved quality-of-life under a modified economic system that simultaneously protects the planet. The challenge to rural town policymakers (as well as state lawmakers) is to forge the bylaws (and state statutes) that will start us all on this journey of transformation.

Belchertown has a chance to be a leader of this historic transition.

Recreating Home

The expressed desires of the residents and citizens of Belchertown MA, presumably similar to the desires of most people who live in rural towns replete with scenic beauty, clean water, abundant forest and attendant wildlife, is to retain this rural character. This place is our home; ties to this place range from relatively recent for those who have moved here in their lifetime, and go back generations for others who grew up here and have chosen to stay. Some families may have lineage all the way back to King Philip’s War. Astonishingly, there are even people living in the area today whose ties to this land and ancestry go even further back to the habitation of the Quabog Nipmuc pre-invasion.

The trick, perhaps it would serve us to recognize it as an art, is to weave sets of policy that connect with and strengthen all the trends in today’s society to recalibrate the economy. The Harvard Forest publication, Wildlands and Woodlands, does a nice job of identifying national trends, including local sustainable agriculture, sustainable forestry for a variety of wood products, and rural tourism. They’ve also posed the notion of compensation for ecosystem services, which would include the provision of clean water to regional towns and cities, and the dual functions of carbon sequestration and air filtration provided by large intact and mature forests.

Look back at the first picture–the Eastern Woodlands are North America’s equivalent of the Amazon Rainforest. This used to be one, uninterrupted contiguous forest spanning all of New England, connecting northward into Canada, extending all the way across the south to the Gulf of Mexico, and reaching toward the midwest. Now it is pockmarked by development, interrupted by cities and towns and factories and highways and military bases and airports . . . all the built evidence of American democracy. For all its enduring capacity to keep cleaning the air, filtering the water and provide habitat for thousands of species, this immense forest continues to be chipped away by small, medium and large development projects throughout its vast expanse. The miraculous reforestation in Massachusetts ended in 2010. After gaining back much of its former robustness and vitality the relatively unfettered urges of development turned the tide and now, once again, the New England forest is starting to shrink.

What can one little town do?

Protection is on the rise but we need to increase, overall, by about 3 times.
(Source: wildlandsandwoodlands.org)

Belchertown is in the enviable position of being, practically, at the exact target percentage of forested land to developed land recommended by Harvard Forest. We might also be at the target for agricultural land: at any rate we are darn close. Relative to other towns in New England and throughout the Eastern Woodlands, we have very little to do to maintain and ensure that these percentages persist. Belchertown could establish bylaws that require maintaining this balance of forest, agriculture and development as a means to ensure the continuation of its rural character and to guarantee a level of ecosystem service to the entire country.

We could be part of the invention of new standards for clustered development schemes like open space residential developments that compensate private landowners for the ecosystem contribution of maintaining forested land rather than giving it over to new development, whether it be housing, renewable energy such as solar, or some other form of industry. We can figure out how to build up sustainable forestry practices that increase yield while diversifying the forest and letting it mature (enhancing its function as ecosystem infrastructure), and promote local agriculture and its attendant network of interrelated businesses so that the ultimate outcome is the preservation of rural neighborhoods and the ecosystem services rural landscapes provide.

Here’s the rub. If Belchertown fails to maintain our percentage of forested and active agricultural land, who is going to make up our shortfall?  If we, who are so close to the desired targets, cannot manage to find ways to be accountable both in space and in time, who do we think is going to do that on our behalf? We are not in a position, spatially or temporally, to be able to ignore the imperative of coming up with revisions and modifications to business-as-usual.

The demand of change may be uncomfortable, perhaps, but it is also exciting. Having observed the Planning Board and Conservation Committee work for months, now, on behalf of the best interests of the Town, I believe in their capacity to lead by denying the Blue Wave/Cowls permit, and to generate and convince the Town to adopt new solar bylaws that set the trend for a resilient economic model in Belchertown that can be a model for other towns in America’s most precious forest.

Notes and References
Footnote 1: Belchertown Open Space and Recreation Plan 2013-2020. (2014, p. 33).

First Figure: New England Forests: A Globally Important Resource. Data from: Hansen, M. C., R. S. DeFries, J. R. G. Townshend, M. Carroll, C. Dimiceli, and R. A. Sohlberg. 2003. Global percent tree cover at a spatial resolution of 500 meters: First results of the MODIS vegetation continuous fields algorithm. Earth Interactions 7:1–15.

Second Figure: Forest Loss to Development. Data from:Thompson, J. R., J. S. Plisinski, P. Olofsson, C. Holden, and M. Duveneck. In Review. Forest loss in New England: A projection of recent trends; Olofsson, P., C. E. Holden, E. L. Bullock, and C. E. Woodcock. 2016. Time series analysis of satellite data reveals continuous deforestation of New England since the 1980s. Environmental Research Letters 11(6):1–8; and Homer, C. G., J. A. Dewitz, L. Yang, S. Jin, P. Danielson, G. Xian, J. Coulston, N. D. Herold, J. D. Wickham, and K. Megown. 2015. Completion of the 2011 National Land Cover Database for the conterminous United States— representing a decade of land cover change information. Photogrammetric Engineering and Remote Sensing 81(5):345–354.

Third Figure: Wildlands & Woodlands Vision for New England in 2060

Fourth Figure: W&W Goals and Land Protection in Northern New England since 1950. Adapted from Meyer, S. R., C. S. Cronan, R. J. Lillieholm, M. L. Johnson, and D. R. Foster. 2014. Land conservation in northern New England: Historic trends and alternative conservation futures. Biological Conservation 174: 152–160.

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Prayer and Protocol, 2019 Water is Life Walk

Grandmother Carole has entered the period of prayer in which she will allow Spirit to select which flow of SacredWater will be be the focus for her 9th annual SacredWater Walk.

Once Uncí Carole is clear on the river or waterway, she will pursue protocol. The protocol phase is described on the website in the section about Water Ceremonies.

Every year, Grandmother Carole takes four rivers into prayer and waits for Spirit to guide her. Once Spirit has selected the river, Carole approaches members of the indigenous people who traditionally held the stewardship of that SacredWater and its watershed. This protocol phase involves respect for tradition and also honors the responsibility Native peoples have always taken to care and tend for the Mother, our Earth.

Help us grow! Join us June 3-July 2, 2019

Please start now, supporting and planning to join us for any part of the 2019 Water is Life Walk.

Donate here.

Please comment with questions or concerns, encouragements and affirmations.

We will announce the river when Grandmother has completed the Protocol Phase.


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