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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Update: Things to Do in Charlestown - February Edition

We uncovered enough additional activities to justify an update for the second half of February. Check them out below.

It hasn't looked much like winter so it's a good thing Yawgoo Valley has lots of snow-making equipment for the town-sponsored snow tubing trip on February 21.

Read about that and lots, lots more in our February To-do List!

Check out sports field lighting

NEW - Readers of our articles may recall that Jay Primiano’s proposal to install high tech lighting on a practice field in Ninigret Park resulted in considerable controversy about the impact of lighting in Ninigret Park. Citizens may view state-of-the-art sports field lighting that claims to be dark-sky friendly from 7:30 to 8:00 pm on Tuesday Feb 21 at Old Mountain Field, 831 Kingstown Road, Wakefield.

Your town government in action

NEW - On Monday, February 27, starting at 7 pm in the Town Hall Council Chambers, the Charter Revision Advisory Board will hold a public hearing on their proposals to be included on the ballot in November. You may read the draft ballot questions here and we have discussion of them here.

Pay the piper

Ahhh, it's the time of year to think about doing taxes. If the thought is too taxing and your wallet can't afford the tax-prep bill then stop in at the Cross Mills Public Library (Champlin Room) when the AARP Foundation is sponsoring tax help sessions. Starting Thursday, February 2 these sessions will be on Thursdays from 1 to 5 pm and Saturdays from 2 to 5 pm all month. Trained volunteers will be there to help you, free to low and moderate income taxpayers, and you don't need to be an AARP member. No appointment is necessary.

Enjoy some winter walks

The Audubon Society of RI is hosting a Winter Walk in the woods and fields of the Kimball Wildlife Refuge and Burlingame State Park on Saturday February 18 from 9 to 11 am.  Their past winter walks have discovered deer and fox tracks in the snow; crossbills in the pines; otters, muskrats, and even bald eagles on the frozen pond; and a Northern Three-Toed Woodpecker in 1991. They'll finish by warming up around the stove with a steaming bowl of vegetarian chili. Start wishing for fresh snow now (good for tracks), only not as much as in some years! There is a fee and registration is required:  (401) 949-5454 ext. 3041.

NEW - The Kettle Pond Visitor Center is holding a map and compass class so you can be prepared for serious nature walks. This will be held on February 18 from 11 am until 1 pm in the Center at 50 Bend Road. This program will cover the basic operation and use of the map and compass. We will discuss navigating by compass alone, navigating by map alone and navigating using a map and compass together. We will also discuss how a GPS can be used to provide additional information. Those attending are encouraged to bring their own maps and compass.

NEW - The Nature Conservancy is holding a February Vacation Walk on Tuesday, February 21, from 10 am until noon at the Francis C. Carter Memorial Preserve on Route 112. To register, please call Tim Mooney at (401) 529-1072.

NEW - The Trustom Pond National Wildlife Reserve (1040 Matunuck Schoolhouse Road, South Kingstown) is hosting a walk on Friday, February 24, from 10 am until noon.  Join Volunteer Sally Hanson for a great wildlife walk around the Refuge. Use some of the skills learned in the first Birding for Beginners program and, if you missed the first class, all of you amateur birders can brush up your skills for the next session of Birding for Beginners. Please meet in the Trustom Pond Contact Station parking lot.

NEW - Speaking of the Birding for Beginners program, you can catch the second class on Saturday, February 25, from 2 until 4 pm at the Trustom Pond National Wildlife Reserve. During this installment, participants will learn how to identify birds according to things like size, wing shape, and flight pattern. Some ID guides and binoculars will be available.


Finally, back to our opening topic - the town snow tubing trip to Yawgoo Valley for 5th through 8th grade students will be on Tuesday February 21 from 9 am until 4 pm. All of the details and registration information are available here.

Don't miss Mercury

In late February and early March, the elusive innermost planet Mercury moves far enough from the glare of the sun to be readily visible soon after sunset. Its appearance will be augmented by two other bright planets (Venus and Jupiter), which also will be visible in the western sky during this same time frame. More details here.

All of these suggestions and lots more are listed in our calendar at Progressive Charlestown.