New Year, New Chair, New Journal for Kent’s CAC

By Marty Collins

February 4, 2012

George Baum receives certificate of appreciation
Former Kent Conservation Advisory Committee Chairman George Baum was presented with a Certificate of Appreciation by members of the Kent Town Board at the KCAC’s January 18 meeting. Photo by Dave Ehnebuske.

The Kent Conservation Advisory Committee, an all volunteer organization whose seven members advise the Town Supervisor and Board on environmental and conservation issues and work to preserve Kent’s unique natural resources, has a new chairperson. Last month the Town Board, after accepting the resignation of George Baum who led the group for 12 years, appointed Beth Herr, a Kent resident and naturalist/artist, as the organization’s new leader.

“You’re a hard act to follow,” Herr said to her longtime friend at the group’s January 18 meeting when Councilpersons Penny Osborn and Lou Tartaro presented Baum with a Certificate of Appreciation thanking him “for all the time and effort” he had devoted to the KCAC.

Herr recounted when she first moved to Kent and “without having any children in local schools, and no church connections, I wasn’t sure how I would locate kindred spirits.”

But she soon found them in the KCAC, “a community of conservationists,” she said.

Among the many suggestions and topics discussed during the meeting was Vice-Chairman Dave Ehnebuske’s announcement that the KCAC had launched the Kent Nature Almanac on January 2. The Nature Almanac is an internet based community diary of “natural happenings in the neighborhood” and is open to anyone who would like to post an entry of their observations. Then, at the end of each month, an e-newsletter with Almanac entries will be sent to subscribers who have signed up at the Kent CAC’s subscription page.

Herr reported that she and Baum, who will remain active in the KCAC, are collaborating with Clearpool Education Center as members of its Model Forest Project steering committee. Herr said she is looking into the possibility of having Clearpool partner with the KCAC in its Natural Resources Inventory program and has already arranged for a vernal pool survey to be held at Clearpool, weather permitting, on Sunday, March 25. Clearpool Education Center with its 350 acres of protected woodlands is located off Route 301 in western Kent.

After some discussion, the group determined that its annual Hike to Hawk Rock will take place starting at 11 a.m. on Sunday, April 29. A list of upcoming hikes will be posted on the group’s website shortly. See the CAC upcoming hikes page for more information.