Friend Henri Ferrini of the Gloucester Writers Center shares an upcoming GWC event, which will be held at the Gloucester Stage
Dear PiPl Friends,
Looking out the window at snow covered scapes, it’s hard to imagine that in just about a month little feathered friends will be arriving at our local beaches. For the past several years our original Piping Plover pair at #3 have arrived on March 25th. It’s very possible they may have flown directly from their wintering sites, hundreds of miles, if not over a thousand (we know this from banding programs at URI). The pair are usually weary and in need of quiet rest, at least for the first several days… then comes the business of courting and establishing a nest. I am so hopeful our handicapped Mom will be returning for a second summer after losing her foot. It’s unlikely we will see HipHop, not because he wasn’t strong enough to return, but because offspring don’t usually return to their exact birth location. We may see HipHop though at area beaches.
As usual, we will be providing Plover updates in emails, on our new website, Facebook, and Instagram. We are so appreciative of the Gloucester Daily Times’s Andrea Holbrook and Ethan Forman for their recent article highlighting the upcoming Plover season and helping to get the word out about our Ambassador program!
Welcome to our new friends and possible volunteers, George, Meah, Susan, Leslie, and Terry! Thank you so much for offering to volunteer and/or support us in other ways through getting the word out about our Ambassador program.
At our recent Plover organizational meeting, hosted by Jonathan and Sally, we decided our areas of focus are: Safety, Education, Volunteers, and City Support (thank you for organizing the topics Sally!) Jonathan added April/May strategies, which as we seasoned volunteers know, poses a different set of challenges. City Councilor Jeff Worthley was in attendance, and it was a huge help to have someone who can provide insights into what can be accomplished through working with the City. Jeff shared that in the 90s he worked at Good Harbor Beach for five summers and he was also the chairperson of Beach Parking and Traffic Committee that brought us the advance ticket reservation system, so he also has great historical perspective on the ongoing issues at GHB.
The Creek is still closed due to storm/sewage runoff and it appears the City is no closer to determining the exact source. The fecal matter levels are 14,000 times what is acceptable. This may not seem like a Plover matter (so far, it does not appear to affect their well-being) but it often falls upon the Ambassadors to let people know how unsafe it is to swim there. The high levels are frequently reported on in the GDTimes, but if the City posted the actual levels on the signs at the beach, people might not be so quick to dismiss the warnings. We also discussed that it is probably not safe for swimmers at the mouth of the Creek either as a bunch of surfers that were recently surfing there are reportedly ill. We’d like to thank Councilors Scott Memhard and Jeff Worthley for addressing the contamination at the Creek issue, including walking the beach to let people know, and ensuring the warning signs are in place.
Here is a link to our new website – The Piping Plover Project. Many thanks to PiPl Ambassadors Paula and Alexa for sending along their most frequently asked questions, it was super helpful in putting the list together (link to FAQs). Please let me know if you have any FAQs you would like added to the list.
My friend M.J. writes from the Gloucester Stage –
Gloucester Stage opens its second show of the season this coming Friday, July 1. MR FULLERTON: BETWEEN THE SHEETS is about Edith Wharton and her torrid affair in Paris with Morton Fullerton, and also her friendship with Henry James.
We’ve put together an event at the Sawyer Free Library on Thursday evening which is a not-very-disguised ploy to stir up some buzz about the play by having an evening of lively discussion about Wharton. First, we’ll present a short scene from the play. The playwright, Anne Undeland, will dish about the steamy letters between Wharton and Fullerton that inspired the play, and Prof Megan Dawley, an expert on American satire in the Gilded Age, will reveal some lesser known aspects of Wharton’s life and work. There will be a wine reception afterwards.
The event is Thursday 6-8 at the Library and I hope you can come!
For the past three years, our Good Harbor Beach Piping Plovers have returned during the first week of spring. This year they are again right on schedule!! Here is the little duo tucked behind a mini-hummock, keeping out of the path of last evening’s blustery wind.
The two are foraging together and are communicating, piping softly, yet audibly, to each other, which makes me believe they are a couple. At the end of the day, they were found together resting in the sand.
We have a great bunch of Piping Plover Ambassadors signed up and have covered almost all shifts. There are several openings in the afternoon, the 1 to 2pm, 2 to 3pm, and the 3 to 4pm shifts. Our goal is to help educate the public about the life story of the Plovers in a kind, friendly, non-confrontational, and informational manner. If you would like to join us, we would love to have you! There will be an informational meeting when the Plovers begin laying eggs and we can at that time provide a time frame of the weeks Ambassadors will be needed. If you would like to volunteer one hour a day for the six weeks the Plovers need our help, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!
A hound dog unfortunately chased one of the Plovers up and down the beach and the pair became separated for a period. I do so hope dog owners recall that dogs are not permitted on the beach after March 31st. Today was a beautiful day and there were many dogs off leash at Good Harbor Beach even though it is an on leash day. Folks really seem to struggle with understanding Gloucester’s leash laws. A friendly reminder that it is a federal and state crime for owners to allow their dogs to harass threatened and endangered species, whether a leash day or not.
For everyone’s general information – In 2016 the pair arrived in mid-May; in 2017, early May; in 2018 in mid-April; in 2019 on March 25th; in 2020 on March 22; and this year, 2021, overnight between March 25th and March 26th.
PLAY WRITING CLASS FOR YOUNG PEOPLE AT GLOUCESTER STAGE MOVES ONLINE for 2020
VIRTUAL Young Playwrights Workshop Begins June 8
Plays Written in Class will be chosen for production in annual Young Playwrights Festival in Fall
Gloucester Stage Education Director Heidi Dallin recently announced the Young Playwrights Workshop, will move online for 2020. The Young Playwrights Workshop is a professional training program for ages 9 to 18 designed to introduce or cultivate a passion for storytelling through play writing. Four online sessions will give students the opportunity to write and refine scripts through a multi-draft process with input from professional playwright and Newburyport resident Deirdre Girard. The Young Playwrights Workshop four online sessions begin Monday, June 8. Pre-Teen: Ages 9-12 years old: 2pm-3:30pm and Teen:: 13-18 years old: 2:30pm -4pm. Sessions will be recorded in case your child can’t make a lesson, or wants to go back and watch it again. Class size is limited.
Participation in the Young Playwrights Workshop will give students access to submit their ten-minute plays to the 2020 Young Playwrights Festival. Selected plays submitted by workshop participants will be cast, rehearsed and performed over zoom in the 2020 Young Playwrights Festival. The Young Playwrights Festival will be streamed September 10th -September 13th . For more information and to register for the Young Playwrights Workshop at Gloucester Stage go to https://gloucesterstage.com/youngplaywrights/ or call Heidi at 978-283-6688.
Playwright Deirdre Girard completed her MFA in Playwriting at Boston Universit and has had dozens of one-act plays produced nationally and internationally. Most recently, she completed a commission from Peabody Essex Museum for two one-act plays, won the Susan Glaspell National Short Play Award at QC Theater, Iowa for her one-act play In the Buff, and had readings of her plays Shaken and Dollar for Dollar in Boston and Chicago. She is a visiting playwright/instructor for Boston University’s Massachusetts Young Playwrights Project. To hear a message about the workshop from Playwright Deirdre Girard go see the following video –