Springfield OLLI announces spring programs

SPRINGFIELD, Vt. – Osher Lifelong Learning Institute is pleased to announce its spring ’22 programs.

We enjoyed a safely run, successful in-person fall semester, and are pleased to offer another in-person semester with careful Covid-19 protocols in place. All attendees are required to wear a mask, whether vaccinated or not.

Sponsored by the University of Vermont, OLLI is run by local volunteer members and is geared mainly towards seniors who are 50 years of age and older who enjoy learning for the fun of it. Anyone who would be interested in this type of program, regardless of their age, is welcome.

The programs are held Tuesday afternoons at 2 p.m., and last about an hour and a half, at the Nolin Murray Center on Pleasant Street, next to St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Springfield. OLLI online Distinguished Speakers Series are also available by Zoom.

There is a membership fee. Non-members are welcome and encouraged to attend individual programs for an individual program fee. Preregistration is highly recommended and can be done online with a credit card at www.learn.uvm.edu/olli/springfield.

We can no longer take any payments at the door. If you do attend and have not preregistered, we will welcome you and provide an easy form for you to take to send in payment or pay online after the program.

If you prefer to register by mail, send your contact information – name, address, phone number, and email address – indicating full series membership or which specific programs you wish the attend. Mail this information and your check, made out to University of Vermont-OLLI, to OLLI at UVM, 460 South Prospect St., Burlington, VT 05401. If mailing in the registration, please allow 10-14 days from the date of mailing check to receipt and processing. For registration assistance, please call 802-656-5817.

For weather-related changes to the schedule, you may check the above mentioned website, call SAPA TV at 802-885-6248, or contact 802-885-3094.

Thanks go out to our local benefactor, Barbara Sanderson.

Following is the listing of programs for the spring 2022 semester:

February 8 – Landscape Design for Pollinators with Jane Sorensen, landscape architect and UVM adjunct speaker, co-sponsored with the Springfield Garden Club. As we domesticate the landscape, it is up to us domesticators to create habitat for pollinators in our own landscapes. Learn about what makes a good pollinator habitat and the various forms they can take, from meadows to formal gardens.  View an extensive list of habitat plants and suggestions where you can find seeds, plants, and more information to empower you to enhance your pollinator landscape.

February 22 – Vermont Women in the Civil War with Howard Coffin, author and historian. Hear how Vermont women sustained the home front in the Green Mountain State as they managed the operations of the farms and worked in factories to manufacture much-needed supplies for soldiers while the state’s able-bodied men were away on the battlefields during the Civil War years of 1861-1865. Learn how others joined the war effort by editing anti-slavery newspapers, speaking out against slavery, and teaching classes to newly-freed slaves in the South. Listen to Vermont women’s own words, as Coffin relates his research from their letters and diaries to tell their stories – including that of one Vermont woman, who appears to have secretly enlisted and fought in a Vermont regiment.

March 8 – The Otter: Creature of Two Habitats with Kurt Valenta, naturalist and educator, co-sponsored with the Ascutney Mountain Audubon Society. Sleek, playful with boundless energy, the otter is comfortable on land as well as in water, in summer as well as in the cold of a frozen winter. Examine what enables this fun-loving river dweller to be so versatile and enjoy, with great abandon, his surroundings.

March 22 – Gershwin, By George! with Robert Wyatt, concert pianist and music historian. Although Gershwin’s career covered less than two decades, and ended with his tragic death in 1937, his music endures. Join pianist and Gershwin-authority, Robert Wyatt, co-editor of Oxford University Press’ “The George Gershwin Reader,” in this lively lecture exploring Gershwin’s life and legacy. Learn about the chronology of the composer’s meteoric life. Hear his 1924 recording of the “Rhapsody in Blue” and other samples of early and unpublished music. View footage from the Gershwin brothers’ four Hollywood films.

April 5 – The First Vermonters – Indigenous People, Abenaki Culture, and History with Bobby Farlice-Rubio, educator. Learn how the Abenaki people have lived in Vermont for thousands of years, and they are still here today. By focusing on the individual lives of seven famous Abenakis from different centuries, we will explore how their culture has survived the centuries and evolved to meet the challenges of a changing world. Discover how the Abenaki Nation has shaped the present and future of all of Vermont’s people.

April 19 – North Chester: It’s More Than Just the Stone Village with Hugh Henry, architectural historian. Discover North Chester, an exemplary stagecoach-era village with a split personality. Its early development with wood-framed buildings from the 1780s onward was eclipsed during the later 1830s-1840s by a partial renewal with the distinctive stone buildings that now define it’s public identity. Learn about the three Clark brothers who were the primary masons – and later the subject of mythical treatment in the popular literature. Despite it’s valley location, North Chester shared the fate of numerous hill villages in Vermont, and abruptly ceased to expand after being bypassed by the railroad in 1849.

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