From food to forests in 2013
By Denise Coffey - Staff Writer
Regional - posted Thu., Dec. 19, 2013
Looking back at some of the highlights in early 2013:
Volunteerism was in fine form (as it was all over northeastern Connecticut in 2013), as Rev. Lisa Anderson and the congregation of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Brooklyn spearheaded a drive to raise $12,500 and feed 50,000 people. Assembly lines of people packaged rice, beans, soy protein and dried vegetables into easy-to-make meals and distributed them to community food pantries.
The Killingly Agriculture Commission began holding a series of workshops to promote agriculture. Bee-keeping, raising pigs, goats and chickens, making goat milk soap, and learning how to grow vegetables were subjects covered in their first season.
State Troopers and emergency room personnel in the area reported an increase in the use of synthetic marijuana in the state and in the region. The illegal substance is often packaged in brightly-colored bags and can have profound effects on those who take it.
The Quiet Corner saw its share of experts on stage this year. Geologist and UConn professor Robert Thorson spoke at KHS in April about the stone walls that are ubiquitous in New England. Thorson has channeled his love of stone walls into three books he’s written since 2003. He and his wife Kristine also wrote the children’s book, “Stone Wall Secrets.”
QVCC hosted Dr. David Schlim for the college’s fourth annual “Visions in Leadership” event. President-Elect of the International Society of Travel Medicine and co-author of “Medicine and Compassion: A Tibetan Lama’s Guidance for Caregivers,” Schlim shared his views on medicine and compassion with the community.
The first annual Rev. John J. O'Neill Awards Ceremony was held on May 22nd at the St. James School in Danielson. All 207 students in grades K- 8 received awards as well as tuition assistance. O'Neill’s solution to the vexing issue of financing education was to build an endowment fund with help from friends around the world. He’s been working on it for more than 20 years.
QVCC hosted the 10th annual high school manufacturing expo in May. Teams from Putnam, Woodstock and Thompson joined teams from KHS and Ellis Tech for the heady competition. Each high school team paired up with an area manufacturer to create a product. This year’s competition was won by Putnam students who created a SafeStraight, a fire-resistant plastic holder for hair-straightening irons. They worked with Putnam Precision Molding/Unicorr Packaging to design, create and package the product
Ellis Tech students continued their work in the community. Students in the masonry shop helped build a beautiful stone wall and put the finishing touches to Canterbury’s Veteran’s Memorial Park. That project required 75 tons of stone, 11 granite posts and enough three-eighths gauge black chain to link them all together.
Because northeastern Connecticut is so “green” (78 percent of land is forest and farmland) the Eastern Connecticut Forest Landowners Association tries to help forest landowners manage their properties well. The ECFLA held several educational programs, providing information on wildlife, invasive species and forest management practices for members who manage 20,000 acres of land.