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New cemetery group forms in Brattleboro

BRATTLEBORO — The Friends of Brattleboro Town Cemeteries will hold its first meeting on Thursday, May 10, at 6 p.m., in the Brattleboro Historical Society on the third floor of the Municipal Building at 230 Main St, Suite 301. (There is an elevator by the back door).

The stated purpose of the Friends of Brattleboro Town Cemeteries is “to maintain the beauty and accessibility of the town-owned cemeteries by clearing brush, cleaning up trash, planting and maintaining flowers, and by being a presence in the cemeteries to help prevent vandalism and other criminal activities.“

This first meeting will gauge community interest in this endeavor. During the first meeting, officers will be elected, membership forms filled out, and the next meeting date and location set.

Medicinal plant walk offered in Brattleboro

NEWFANE — On Saturday, May 12, from 4 to 4:30 p.m., Old Ways Herbal School of Plant Medicine offers a free plant walk. Join them for a calm amble to meet the medicinal plants of spring.

Many common weeds are delicious, safe, natural medicines and healthy wild foods. We will discuss how to find them, medicinal uses, preparations, and safety concerns. Children are welcome.

School director Juliette Abigail Carr is a well-known clinical herbalist; in addition to running her school and clinical practice, she also writes for numerous magazines and speaks at regional and national conferences. She runs Old Ways Herbal on a small Newfane farm overlooking the Rock River.

Although this event is free, RSVP is requested. For more information, contact Carr at 802-451-8499 or oldwaysherbal@gmail.com.

‘Touch a Truck’ returns to BMH

BRATTLEBORO — Over 40 big rigs will converge on the Brattleboro Memorial Hospital parking lot on Saturday, May 12, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Kids can spend the day sitting in the driver’s seat, moving mulch in a mini tractor, and exploring every inch of a variety of vehicles while enjoying food provided by the Sunrise Rotary, shaved ice from the Kona Ice Truck, a bounce house, a scavenger hunt, and, new this year, an obstacle course.

The cost is $5 per child age 2 to 12. All other ages by donation. Family packs of $15 are available for families with more than 3 children. All proceeds benefit BMH. For more event information, visit www.bmhvt.org/giving/touch-a-truck.

Birding walk, trails initiative hike on May 12

BELLOWS FALLS — The Windmill Hill Pinnacle Association, Rockingham Conservation Commission, and Bellows Falls Historical Society are co-sponsoring two different programs on May 12 that are free and open to the public.

Participants can choose either walk or both because the location and timing are designed to coordinate. In all instances, anyone interested in more information, access maps, and directions should log onto www.windmillhillpinnacle.org. The Pinnacle Association is also on Facebook at m.facebook.com/windmillhillpinnacle.

From 9 to 10 a.m., experienced birders Peter Bergstrom and Paul Wilson will lead a brief bird walk before the longer Saxtons River Valley Trails Initiative Hike that starts at 10 a.m. Bring binoculars and meet at 9 a.m. sharp at the bottom of the hill on Mill Street, the entrance to which is next to the Flat Iron Exchange, 51 Square, Bellows Falls.

Park in the lot off Mill Street, in the Hetty Green lot behind TD Bank, or in the Bridge Street lot across from the WOOL Building at 33 Bridge St. A map with suggested parking areas is posted on the Pinnacle Association website. For questions, contact Bergstrom at 802-289-3271 or pwbergstrom@gmail.com. In case of rain, the walk will be canceled.

From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., rain or shine, there will be a hike to introduce participants to the efforts of volunteers involved in the Saxtons River Valley Trails Initiative to create a trail system that can span the distance between Bellow Falls and Saxtons River. This informative walk will follow existing and potential trails to connect the Riverfront Park in Bellows Falls to the Bald Hill Reserve in Westminster.

Those interested should meet at the Flat Iron Exchange. Participants will have the option to walk back to Bellows Falls either through the Bald Hill Reserve or via Forest Road in North Westminster to Route 121 (Saxtons River Road). For more information and requested registration, contact Vanessa Stern at 802-376-4763 or davidandvanessa@gmail.com.

Talk looks at eco-friendly funerals, burials

BRATTLEBORO — The public is invited to a free presentation of “Funerals and Burial, Naturally: Exploring sustainable and meaningful funeral options” on Monday, May 14, at 6 p.m., at Brooks Memorial Library, 224 Main St., to learn about emerging eco-friendly funeral movements that are changing the way we approach death in America.

In this informative, hour-long presentation, Lee Webster of New Hampshire Funeral Resources, Education & Advocacy will introduce ways to plan for a more planet-friendly exit through eco-conscious home-care practices and sustainable conservation burial options. This is an opportunity to meet others interested in authentic and meaningful ways of celebrating and honoring loved ones.

Webster is a former member of the Board of Directors of the Green Burial Council, a nonprofit that sets standards for green burial in the U.S. She is also the past president of the National Home Funeral Alliance, a home-funeral resource and member organization dedicated to educating and empowering families to care for their own dead.

For more information, contact Brattleboro Area Hospice at 802-257-0775 or info@brattleborohospice.org.

American Legion Band presents spring concert

BRATTLEBORO — The Brattleboro American Legion Concert Band’s 28th annual Spring Concert will be held on Wednesday, May 16, from 7:30 to 9 p.m., at the newly remodeled Legion home on Linden Street.

This is a free “Pops” concert open to the general public and features a wide variety of musical styles. In addition to a number of patriotic selections, the program features “At Dawn They Slept” which draws on World War II — a programmatic representation of the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

Also presented will be a collection of songs related to the Civil War in “Last Full Measure: A Gettysburg Remembrance.” Two medleys of popular songs will be played — one draws from popular Broadway tunes from the 60s and 70s and the other is a collection of Hoagy Carmichael’s best known pieces. Four marches are included and there will be other special pieces.

Film series looks at movies set in Vermont

BELLOWS FALLS — The Rockingham Historic Preservation Commission will host a double feature in cooperation with the Bellows Falls Opera House during the theater’s classic movie night Wednesday, May 16.

Beginning at 6 p.m., Amanda Gustin of the Vermont Historical Society will present the program “Vermont vs. Hollywood: 100 Years of Vermont in Film,” followed by a showing of the 1988 movie, Funny Farm, set in nearby Townshend.

Vermont has been a featured location in Hollywood movies for nearly a century. It has represented many different ideals during that time, and its portrayal reflects both Vermont’s own history and American history more generally.

Examining those films provides interesting and fun insights into the hold Vermont has had on imagination in the media age. Gustin will provide background and share clips ranging chronologically from 1919’s silent black and white film Way Down East to 2005’s Thank You for Smoking.

The speaker program is made possible with financial assistance from the Vermont Humanities Council and is free and open to the public. The opera house is handicapped accessible. Admission to “Funny Farm” is $5.

Brattleboro Sunrise Rotary is accepting scholarship applications

BRATTLEBORO — The Brattleboro Sunrise Rotary Club is accepting applications for both the Brattleboro Sunrise Scholarship and the John Penfield Scholarship.

The Brattleboro Sunrise Scholarship is for students of any age who are pursuing post-secondary education or training. To qualify for this scholarship, applicants can be pursuing any field of study.

The John Penfield Scholarship honors founding member and the first President of the Sunrise Rotary Club, John Penfield. This scholarship was created to honor his spirit of giving to the community, his dedication to service, and his expertise in the automotive field. To qualify for this scholarship, applicants must be pursuing a technical field, preferably automotive in focus.

The Sunrise Rotary Foundation is a nonprofit and tax-exempt organization that provides annual scholarships. It is funded by annual Rotary fundraising projects and generous contributions from Rotarians and other community members.

Applications are accepted each May from continuing-education students and graduating seniors at the following local high schools: Brattleboro Union and the Windham Regional Career Center, Hinsdale, N.H., and Leland & Gray. Criteria for the awards are academic achievement, financial need, and community service, all of which are weighed evenly.

Applications are available online at brattleborosunriserotary.org or at school guidance departments, and must be postmarked by May 16, 2018, and submitted to Brattleboro Sunrise Rotary Scholarship Committee, P.O. Box 1995, Brattleboro, VT 05301-1995.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #458 (Wednesday, May 9, 2018). This story appeared on page A4.

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