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Friday, April 27, 2012

Sharon Middle School -- April 27

42° 06' 24" N
71° 09' 58" W 
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The EarthView team is making its first visit to Sharon Middle School, located in the town of Sharon about a forty-minute drive north of our Bridgewater State University campus. Sharon is interesting both in terms of its site (characteristics of the place itself) and its situation (relationship to other places). Fully one-third of the town's land is protected open space, including part of a state park (in which team member Dr. Hayes-Bohanan frequently hikes with his energetic little dog), a lake, a wildlife sanctuary, and town parks. These spaces provide for wildlife habitat and biodiversity; they also help to keep air and water cleaner. Because of the town's location halfway between Boston and Providence -- and its convenient connection by highway and railroad -- it is home to a diverse mix of long-time residents and relatively new residents who commute to work in those cities. Many religions -- both Western and Eastern -- are represented in the town's Interfaith Clergy Council.

The EarthView team is particularly interested in one feature for which Sharon is well-known in the region -- Crescent Ridge Dairy, from which the Hayes-Bohanan family has its milk delivered weekly. A growing number of people are becoming aware of the benefits of local food sources such as this dairy. The group will be investigating the Dairy Bar on the way back to Bridgewater. What direction will the group need to travel, and how far?

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The EarthView visit takes place on April 27, which is Arbor Day. A few of the many geography-related anniversaries on this date include:

1989 students occupied Tienanmen Square in Beijing, China
1989 a hurricane killed 500 people in Bangladesh, which often suffers from severe floods
1984 70 inches of snow fell in one day in Red Lake, Montana
1965 the Pampers disposable diaper was patented (this had huge environmental consequences)
1961 Sierra Leone declared independence from Great Britain
1950 South Africa passed the Group Areas Act, officially segregating people by race
1861 West Virginia seceded from Virginia, after Virginia seceded from the United States
1773 British Parliament passed the Tea Act
1521 Explorer Ferdinand Magellan was killed in the Philippines

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