Greenfield Notebook: Nov. 23, 2022

  • “Dreams for a Broken World”

  • Barstow’s Dairy Store and Bakery, located at Barstow’s Longview Farm in Hadley, was the site of an October meet-up for Greater Commonwealth Virtual School students and staff. Contributed Photo

  • Skinner State Park in Hadley was one of the locations for an October meet-up for Greater Commonwealth Virtual School students and staff. Contributed Photo

Published: 11/22/2022 3:57:44 PM
Modified: 11/22/2022 3:57:32 PM
Water-use restrictions eased as drought conditions improve

GREENFIELD — The city is easing water-use restrictions that have been in effect since the summer, now that the Connecticut River Valley’s drought status has dropped from “significant” to “mild.”

The mandatory ban on all non-essential outdoor watering and water use has been lifted. The ban was issued Aug. 10, according to an announcement from the Mayor’s Office. However, voluntary water conservation measures are still encouraged.

“The city’s water system continues to recover, not only from extreme drought conditions, but also from dredging of the Leyden Glen Reservoir, which required us to empty the reservoir last spring,” Department of Public Works Director Marlo Warner II explained in a statement. “We are appreciative of the steps residents and businesses have taken to reduce water consumption. They made a big difference and ensured we had adequate water reserves for emergencies.”

The reservoir has refilled to nearly 60% of its capacity of 44 million gallons. Meanwhile, the Millbrook Wellfield and the Green River Pumping Station continue to meet the city’s water needs.

“With a little more precipitation, we can get the reservoir filled and allow the water to clear up from the dredging, and we’ll be able to tap it again,” Warner added. “In the meantime, we’re asking people to continue to conserve water where they can.”

Voluntary water conservation measures include:

Shut off the tap. When using water from a faucet, do not let the water run while you are rinsing dishes, brushing your teeth or shaving. A dripping faucet can waste as much as 20 gallons of water per day.

Wash full loads of laundry only. Set the load setting (small, medium, large) to match the amount of laundry you’re putting in.

Let the dishwasher do the work. Running the dishwasher once a day fully loaded uses about 17 gallons of hot water. By comparison, washing dishes by hand three times a day uses about 10 gallons each time, or 30 gallons total.

Install water-saving devices. A standard toilet uses about 3.5 gallons per flush, while a low-flow toilet uses 1.6 gallons. Flow restrictors on faucets, low-flow shower heads and toilet tank savers can also conserve water.

Limit car washing. Using two buckets of water — one with soap and the other with clean water for rinsing — uses less water than rinsing using a hose.

More information on water conservation is available online from the Massachusetts Drought Management Task Force at

Saturday Salon to feature local authors

GREENFIELD — The LAVA Center at 324 Main St. will feature local publishers Human Error Publishing and Dog Hollow Press, plus authors Paul Richmond, Janet E. Aalfs, Dina Stander, Richard L. Grossman, Jovonna Van Pelt and Jan Maher, at its Small Business Saturday Salon on Saturday, Nov. 26, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Human Error Publishing, founded by Paul Richmond, and Dog Hollow Press, led by LAVA Center co-founder Jan Maher, will provide poetry, fiction, anthologies and non-fiction to shoppers. Both publishers will offer bundled choices for extra savings and will be on hand to sign their books. The Small Business Saturday Salon will also feature artisans and vendors who offer unique and locally produced gifts.

Writing month concludes with local launch of ‘Dreams for a Broken World’

GREENFIELD — The LAVA Center at 324 Main St. will present a special reading on Wednesday, Nov. 30, at 7 p.m. to cap off its month-long focus on local writing and writers as part of National Novel Writing Month.

Five of 24 contributors to the newly released anthology “Dreams for a Broken World,” representing a range of genres, will share their work addressing questions of what it means to live in a fragmented and uncertain world, and how to find a better way forward. They are: Céline Keating, Joy Baglio, Tina Egnoski, Robert V.S. Redick and Jan Maher.

Published by Essential Dreams Press, “Dreams for a Broken World” will be available for purchase, with all proceeds benefiting The Rosenberg Fund for Children. The fund is an Easthampton-based nonprofit public foundation that aids children in the U.S. whose parents are targeted progressive activists.

Series editor Julie C. Day and guest editor Ellen Meeropol will moderate the event. Rosenberg Fund Executive Director Jenn Meeropol will speak briefly. There will be a short question-and-answer period at the end.

GCVS resumes in-person meet-ups for students

GREENFIELD — Greater Commonwealth Virtual School (GCVS) recently resumed hosting in-person meet-ups for students for the first time since before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, giving students the chance to get to know each other and form relationships outside of their virtual classroom.

“When students feel connected to their peers and the school’s staff, they feel like they are a valuable part of our community,” GCVS Family Engagement Coordinator Sue Powers said in a statement. “That is really our goal with these meet-ups — to remind students that they are the most important part of our school and that they are valued.”

The meet-up activities vary and offer the students a different experience each time. According to GCVS, many of the meetings are an extension of the students’ curriculum, so students can connect what they are learning in the classroom to the outside world. This year, GCVS organized a back-to-school picnic for returning students, a high school hike and trips to a dairy farm, apple orchard and pumpkin patch.

These meetings are often organized by grade level but sometimes include all GCVS students. GCVS also tries to hold meet-ups in different parts of the state so that families can attend the event that is most convenient for them.


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