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Radical Simplicity

LEOMINSTER — Do you have a desire to simplify your lifestyle and lessen your impact on the environment? The Nashua River Watershed Association (NRWA) invites the public to share in a conversation about “Radical Simplicity” with Jim Merkel, on Monday, April 28, from 7 to 8:45 p.m., at the Leominster Public Library, Meeting Room, 30 West Street, in Leominster. This free presentation is open to the public.

Jim Merkel is the authority on how to reduce one’s ecological footprint. His Radical Simplicity talk measures your eco-footprint, evaluates your life’s priorities, assesses and hones the effectiveness of your lifestyle — how you use your time and money — and how happy you are, both now and as you makes changes to the way you live. The simple principles that Merkel now lives by — and invites others to live by — are not amassing personal wealth and not over-populating the region; That is, a culture based on cooperation, not competition, earth efficiency (not waste), and bioregionalism.

Jim Merkel is the author of “Radical Simplicity: Small Footprints on a Finite Earth” and co-director of the Global Living Project, which runs sustainability education programs. He is the former Sustainability Coordinator at Dartmouth College working to embed sustainable values and practices into all departments. Merkel spent 12 years designing military-industrial systems but now dedicates himself to trying to reduce his personal impact on the environment and to encourage others to do the same. He claims to have lived for the past 14 years on $5,000 a year; close to the global median income.

This free NRWA public presentation is made possible in part by a grant from the Leominster Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency. For more information, please contact Al Futterman, NRWA Land Director, at (978) 448-0299, or e-mail The NRWA is a nonprofit environmental organization that depends on memberships for support.

Ashby artist

in exhibition

COTUIT — The New England Watercolor Society is pleased to announce that Joanne Boudreau, of Ashby, has been accepted to exhibit in its New England Juried Exhibition at the Cotuit Center for the Arts from April 12 to May 14. The center is located at 4404 Route 28, Cotuit. Exhibition hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday and noon to 2 p.m. on Saturday. The public is invited to attend the opening reception on Saturday, April 12 from 4:30 to 7 p.m.. There will be artist demonstrations at noon on Fridays, April 18 and 25 and May 2 and 9.

The New England Watercolor Society (NEWS) was founded in 1885 as the Boston Society of Watercolor Painters, becoming the Boston Watercolor Society in 1896 and subsequently the New England Watercolor Society in 1980. Its 27 charter members included some of the best known names in American Art such as Charles Curtis Allen, Frank W. Benson, George Hallowell, F. Childe Hassam, Louis Kronberg, Otis Philbrook, Maurice Prendergast, Charles Woodbury, honorary member John Singer Sargent, and more recently, Andrew Wyeth.

Wet roads

are deadly

REGION — The Mass. Division of Fisheries & Wildlife asks drivers to stay off the roads on wet, rainy nights, but not for the reason one might think.

Despite the seeming lack of spring weather, the season for amphibian movements is upon us. Salamanders, spring peepers, wood frogs and toads will be ambling and hopping across Bay State roadways on warm wet nights, heading to vernal pools and other wetlands to mate and lay their eggs.

The height of spring amphibian activity comes during warm, rainy nights when spring peepers are heard calling. Thousands of frogs, salamanders and toads move across roadways during these conditions and many amphibians are squashed by vehicles traveling after dark.

Some local communities and conservation groups host “salamander crossings” where traffic is slowed to allow for safe progress of amphibians. Other local groups meet at known “Big Night” crossings or look for new road crossings to share this seasonal phenomenon with the public or to document the presence of nearby vernal pools.

Consider doing your daily errands before dark or during dry evenings as a way to reduce amphibian traffic mortality.