Big (Green) Deal: TILT Event Educates Children on Compost

Originally written for the Watertown Daily Times by Amanda Taylor, who covered TILT’s (Com)Post-Halloween event at Zenda Farm Preserve over the weekend.

Christopher A. Nevala, 7, smashes leftover Halloween pumpkins with a mallet during the (Com)Post Halloween event at Zenda Farms in Clayton on Saturday afternoon. Photo by Amanda Morrison for the Watertown Daily Times.

TILT Event Educates Children on Compost

CLAYTON — Creating a manageable compost heap is not as difficult as many may believe.

“It’s quite simple and should not be intimidating to anyone,” Corinne M. Mockler said.

Ms. Mockler is the coordinator of education and outreach for the Thousand Islands Land Trust. The group organized a (Com)post Halloween on Saturday to educate children and their families on maintaining a compost heap.

“A lot of families have gardens, but we’re not sure how much kids are involved in the gardening or if they are aware of the fact that anything can be composted,” Ms. Mockler said.

People were invited to bring their leftover pumpkins and jack-o’-lanterns to Zenda Farms at 38973 Zenda Road and smash them up in a wooden box with a shovel. The pumpkin pieces were combined with old leaves to create compost that will be used in the spring on TILT’s Community Garden.

“Who can resist? You get rid of grass, old jack-o’-lanterns and kids get to go around and smash stuff,” she said.

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What the F: Bisso’s Claims on Land Trusts Come Under Fire


Wow. I don’t read the Watertown Daily Times every day so I’m only hearing about this now, but apparently some misinformed, tea-party affiliated politician from the 115th District named Karen M. Bisso (pictured below) is under fire for attacking land trusts. This attack oddly included TILT, despite not being in (or anywhere near) her district. I’d like to think that she just pulled our name out of the air because we’ve been doing such a good job of getting our name out there! Luckily, the staff at the Times (strong TILT supporters) essentially spanked Bisso in both Thursday’s article below and an editorial that ran on Saturday. Unfortunately, once untrue information like this gets out to the public, even if it’s immediately disproved, the integrity of an organization is already damaged. Time for some positive PR!

Bisso’s Claims on Land Trusts Come Under Fire


The campaign manager for an Assembly candidate who compared land trusts to Ponzi schemes said the claim was “factually based but off the wall.”

115th Assembly District candidate Karen M. Bisso’s political opponents, the state, the land trusts and an Adirondack Park newspaper say that campaign manager Russell Finley’s explanation for the accusation of widespread municipal scam artistry is half right.

“I think it’s safe to say that she does not understand the way the Nature Conservancy works,” said Connie Trickett, a spokeswoman for the Adirondack chapter of the Nature Conservancy.

Mrs. Bisso faces off in a Sept. 13 GOP primary against Assemblywoman Janet L. Duprey, R-Peru, and David J. Kimmel, a Clinton County resident. The winner will face Plattsburgh City Councilman Timothy R. Carpenter in the Nov. 6 general election. Mrs. Bisso will be on the ballot in the general election regardless of the Sept. 13 outcome, by virtue of her appearance on the Conservative Party ticket. The district spans into the four easternmost St. Lawrence County towns.

Earlier this month, Mrs. Bisso’s campaign sent out a news release that claimed land trusts use state money to buy land, and then sell the rights for the land back to the state at a profit. Land trusts are nonprofit organizations that work to place conservation restrictions on parcels of land — for example, restrictions that say subdivisions can’t be created on the land.

Mrs. Bisso’s release specifically said the Thousand Islands Land Trust, based in Clayton, and the Nature Conservancy, which is involved in more than 100,000 acres of land deals in the Adirondack Park, are participants in the “scam” that represents the “biggest Ponzi scheme in history.” The campaign also claimed that once acquired by the state, the land is taken off the tax rolls.

Neither of the claims checks out.

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Communal Spirit: My Interview with the Watertown Daily Times

Lucky Seven Lecture Series at NCAC


Corinne M. Mockler got involved in the North Country Arts Council to help its education committee, but now she’s hoping to educate the public through a new series that was her inspiration.

The council is expanding its cultural opportunities by hosting a Lucky Seven Lecture Series at its headquarters at Arts on the Square, 52 Public Square. It begins March 1 and will run from 6 to 7 p.m. for seven Thursdays. Topics will vary from “Native Americans of the Eastern Lake Ontario region” to the “art and science of wine.”

Mrs. Mockler said that when she began volunteering she noticed there were a lot of hands-on classes like painting and mixed media at the council.

“I thought maybe a different way to get the word out would be to do something more like a discussion or lecture series that would not just be visual arts but would be about the cultural aspects of the Watertown and north country area,” she said.

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