Aquinnah: Native plant kits

— Kyra Steck

Martha’s Vineyard kids went back to school last Wednesday, and it was wonderful to see pictures of all the town kids starting off the new year. Latham Higgins began his last year of high school, Clyde Smith is a junior, Laina Benoit, Noah Manning, Yossi Monahan, Nahani Hyde, and Olive and Violet MacPhail are all sophomores, and Hayden Higgins and Rodeo Purves-Langer are freshmen. Claus Smith started eighth grade, Emmett Taylor and Amaya Hyde began seventh grade. Ivan Vanderhoop and Clovis Smith started fifth grade, Erick Moore began sixth grade, and Louis Moore is going to fourth grade, along with Nanawusuwee Vanderhoop and William Vanderhoop. Tillie Taylor, Lyle Vanderhoop, and his cousin Kuhpay are in third, Muhtuqwas Vanderhoop started kindergarten, and Wunotuway Vanderhoop is at the Chilmark preschool. Wishing all these kids the best of luck, and good health, as they navigate another pandemic year in the schools.

Elise LeBovit will be showing her photographs of Mytoi gardens at the Duck Inn on Sept. 24 and 25 from noon until 7 pm. Not only does this exhibit showcase these beautiful gardens, but it is also a benefit for them. For more information, contact Elise at

Town residents should be aware of a phone scam where persons in Aquinnah have been contacted recently by a scammer claiming to be a grandchild injured and in need of cash. If you receive such a call, please check to see if your caller identification has recorded a number, then call the Aquinnah Police at 508-645-2313 to report the incident.

The Aquinnah library continues its “Little Bird Music Class” on the deck this Thursday, Sept. 16, from 10:30 am to noon. Led by Laura, anyone can gather for seasonal songs and movement in a gently structured environment that encourages creativity. Please bring a blanket to sit on, musical instrument if you have one, a scarf, and a small stuffed animal. All ages are welcome. The next meeting of the book group will be on Thursday, Sept. 23, at 3 pm to discuss “American Dirt” by Jeanine Cummins. The group will meet on the deck. Later in the day on Sept. 23, at 5 pm, there will be an author talk on Zoom. Join Merissa Nathan Gerson, author of “Forget Prayers, Bring Cake,” which explores themes of grief and community. Email to register for any of these events.

The town’s website now carries an energy questionnaire, put forward by the climate and energy committee. Its purpose is to get a snapshot of how town residents use energy, and the prospects for reaching our goal of using 100 percent renewable energy by 2040. The same questionnaire is being posted in other towns. Participation by as many town residents as possible will help the committee and the town plot our future energy course. Please go to the website,, and answer the questionnaire;, it will take only a few minutes.

To promote ecologically valuable plants in need of wider distribution, Biodiversity Works’ Natural Neighbors initiative has partnered with Polly Hill Arboretum to offer native plant kits and develop a community-supported native plant program (CSNP). The packs of 25 “MV-type” plant plugs contain five different species that are appropriate for much of the Island, and support pollinators and other wildlife. Each plant pack comes with instructions on planting, and some Bobbex (a natural repellent with concentrated scents) to deter browsing mammals. The cost for each plant kit is $75. To preorder your kit, visit If you have questions, email program director Angela Luckey at

The Orange Peel Bakery is hosting a sit-down dinner with Chef Lidia on Tuesday, Sept. 21. She will be preparing a traditional Panamanian dinner and the menu sounds delicious. $50 a plate. Call the bakery at 508-645-2025 to reserve your spot.

Happy birthday to Ona Ignacio, who celebrates today, Sept. 16!

If you have any Aquinnah Town Column suggestions, email Molly Purves,