Margaret Miner stood in front of a mountain of gravel next to the Mossup River in eastern Connecticut. We approached the edge of the hard-hat area and peered up at a big, yellow excavator using its mechanical arm to shift mounds of sand around the sprawling industrial site.
BRISTOL, R.I. — It wouldn’t be surprising if you’ve never heard of the Pokanoket tribe. Unfortunate, yes, but not surprising. The story of the Pokanokets, who claimed a large territory reaching from Cape Cod and the Islands to southern Vermont, was swallowed over time and eventually lumped together with the Wampanoag Nation.
PROVIDENCE — Erin Umstead and Danny Kirschner make their own toothpaste. The couple also avoids buying products with lots of plastic packaging, eats vegetarian meals, keeps a compost bin in the backyard and recently nurtured a sourdough starter to life in the refrigerator.
Not far from the building where she teaches environmental studies and geology at Mount Holyoke College, Lauret Savoy once had these three hurtful words yelled at her as she attempted to cross a busy crosswalk: “Nigger, go home.”
When he landed in Rhode Island, in 2007, Omar Bah didn’t know a soul. Not surprising, since he didn’t know anyone anywhere in the entire United States. He hadn’t even heard of Providence or Rhode Island until the day before he arrived.
PAWTUCKET, R.I. — The Ocean State has a distinguished environmental activist in its midst. Tim DeChristopher achieved renown in 2008, when, as an act of civil disobedience, he disrupted a federal land auction. He bid up swaths of iconic Utah landscape to keep huge parcels of unspoiled public property from oil and gas drillers.
Liza Burkin believes bicycles can empower women. That’s why she started Women Bike RI, an organization dedicated to getting more women on bicycles by “instilling confidence, developing skills, creating camaraderie and spreading the joy of cycling.”
PROVIDENCE — Leah Bamberger, the city’s recently appointed sustainability director, wants to enlist you to help make Providence a more environmentally friendly and healthy place to live, work and play.
PAWTUCKET, R.I. — National Wildlife Federation president Collin O’Mara recently spoke at the Environment Council of Rhode Island’s annual meeting. But before that, he spoke with ecoRI News staffer Kevin Proft about a range of environmental topics.
In January, Penn Johnson recorded his first album, “For The Trees,” which he said was inspired by his time in the shale fields of Pennsylvania and the urgency of climate change. The Marion, Mass., resident refers to his songs as new-age folk, and points to Arlo Guthrie and Todd Snider as inspiration for his music.
WEST GREENWICH, R.I. — There were plenty of winners at the annual Rhode Island Junior Duck Stamp competition, but only one Best of Show honor, which went to Cassidy Argo of Ashaway. The Chariho High School student painted a male bufflehead with help from her art teacher Solace Loven.
KINGSTON, R.I. — Amy Cabaniss’ infectious laugh echoes in the near-empty Mallon Outreach Center. Her URI co-workers are out in the field or in a classroom on this early-December morning as Cabaniss passionately speaks with a reporter about how to motivate environmentally responsible behavior.
On some Sunday mornings at the First Unitarian Church of Providence, Mary Margaret Earl, a Unitarian Universalist community minister, leads her congregation in a short meditation. The energy of her bright-red hair is in direct contrast to her calm voice, as she encourages the parishioners to free their minds of worry.
In the history of Rhode Island environmental activism over the past three decades or so, it’s likely that the advocate who has most often been that person is Eugenia Marks, policy director for the Audubon Society of Rhode Island.