SAXTONS RIVER, Vt. – The Windmill Hill Pinnacle Association [WHPA] is offering some exciting and very different events on the afternoon of Sunday, April 30 as part of its annual meeting schedule. All are free and open to the public and will be timed to follow one after the other, although attendance at all is not required. More information about the featured nature preserve and the Abenaki program speakers may be found at www.windmillhillpinnacle.org.
The first event is an interpretive walk at the Dunn Nature Trail from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. WHPA Board members field biologist Paul Wilson, naturalist Andy Toepfer, and forester Silos Roberts will focus on migrating songbirds, vernal pools, and forest ecology on this hike along a 1.1-mile loop trail located in the Stephen Martin Memorial Wildlife Sanctuary. Because parking is very limited at the preserve, participants must register and meet promptly at 1:30 p.m. near Main Street Arts, 35 Main in Saxtons River, to carpool to the site. For information and required registration, please contact Paul Wilson at 802-869-1166 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The second event, from 4 – 6 p.m.is the Pinnacle Association’s Annual Meeting and Feature Program entitled “We Are Still Here – Abenaki Culture and Contemporary Issues.” Speakers are Rich Holschuh and Roger Longtoe Sheehan. Holschuh, who serves on the Vermont Commission on Native American Affairs and traces his heritage to the Mi’kmaq and Penobscot – fellow Nations with the Abenaki, Maliseet, and Passamaquoddy in the Wabanaki Confederacy – will discuss the Abenaki Heritage in Vermont, the indigenous people’s relation to the land, their interactions with the European settlers, and their efforts to reclaim their culture. Roger Longtoe Sheehan – Abenaki artist, native musician, educator, and Chief of the El-Nu Abenaki Tribe – is a talented, self-taught artist who is a well-known creator of soapstone pipes and Native arts and tools. He enjoys sharing his knowledge and talents at Abenaki Living History events.
The meeting and program will take place upstairs at Main Street Arts, 35 Main Street in Saxtons River. Members and the public are encouraged to attend to learn about Vermont’s Native Americans and about plans the Pinnacle Association has for the coming year, WHPA elections, and its Volunteer of the Year Award. Refreshments will be served, and maps will be on display before the meeting and program. Of special interest will be a map of the Pinnacle Association’s ridgeline properties that will include the new 50-acre Radford land gift. A new trail planned for that section will enhance WHPA’s 25-mile trail system whose main section runs from Putney Mountain to Grafton.