Museum Pieces: April is Earth Month

Learn more about the Island’s ecosystem and sustainability.


“The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it.” —Author Robert Swan

A statement like that can feel intense, accusatory, and anxiety inducing. We all do so much already, how can we fit anymore in. Is it possible to not fear, resent, or feel attacked by words that hold us accountable for participating in solutions to big issues? You could say the greatest threat to anything really is believing someone else will do it, say it, or stand up for it. What if we all did it, said it, and took a stand? M.V. Museum aims to be a source of knowledge giving us the historical perspectives of something along with developments and action items that help us make those meaningful, mindful, informed decisions for our community. April is Earth Month, reminding us to pay attention to the impact we make with our choices. It can be challenging to sift through all the do’s and don’ts and keep up with the constantly shifting developments and admonishments. Fortunately, we live in a community with extremely committed, informed, and organized people who are sayers, doers, and stand takers. Neighbors who can showcase the past and present state of things and give us a list of pragmatic how to’s in order for us to build a better future.

On Thursday, April 4, the museum hosts a trio of women naturalists to lead a thought-provoking panel discussion that delves into the complexities of climate action, sustainability, and the biodiversity crisis. Luanne Johnson of BiodiversityWorks, Samantha Look of the Vineyard Conservation Society, and Liz Durkee of the M.V. Commission will share their invaluable insights and practical advice for living more sustainably. Get questions answered, and leave with information that can be immediately put into action, and feel motivated to make a difference.

These crusaders will provide a much more expansive definition of sustainability that will awaken us to the realization we can easily do more to assist our natural world.

Friday at 12 pm, come have lunch at the museum and look into one of our Island’s valuable resources: seafood! Shelley Edmundson, executive director of the M.V. Fishermen’s Preservation Trust, will talk about the seafood industry, the wholesale seafood market, and food supply chain as it experiences the effects of the many factors impacting our oceans. Shelley will also discuss the MVFPT’s programs, including the Seafood Collaborative, community supported fishery, seafood donation program, sea scallop leasing, and fisheries research. Fishing is a traditional Island livelihood being preserved by this valuable organization founded in 2011. We also invite you to the Hill on Monday from 2 to 4 pm to view the Solar Eclipse. We will have solar eclipse glasses for you and two beautiful views, one of Lagoon Pond the other in the sky.

Another way to use that quote from the start of this column is for what we give ourselves. Self-care is another thing we may overlook and only we can do it, we can’t wait around expecting someone else to notice and look after us. It can be as simple as taking a walk, staring out a window, or sitting in a sensational environment overlooking Lagoon Pond with good vibes and great live music. Friends and family together doing a craft or playing a game in between cheering on the musicians. Kids can play in Hands-on History, observe the two lower floor exhibits, try to complete the Flying Horses I Spy game, or run around the courtyard with you. You may just want to sit alone in the midst of all the joyful sounds around you. M.V. Museum endeavors to create that space Friday from 5 to 8 pm. This week’s music will be made by Seán McMahon.

If you have any feedback, want to suggest a story you are interested in seeing represented, or questions about Island history, we are here to receive you. The exhibits and the programming spin out from a set of values we take to heart. Living in a complicated world requires flexibility, a sense of humor, and the humility to know we have a ways to go, and our community helps us move in the right direction. MVM is a place where we can come to take it by degrees, each of us rising to the occasion without feeling pushed or pressured.

Visit for more information about upcoming exhibitions and events. The Martha’s Vineyard Museum inspires all people to discover, explore, and strengthen their connections to this Island and its diverse heritage. The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday year-round. Regular hours are 10 am to 4 pm, and summer season hours are 10 am to 5 pm. Admission is free to members; admission for nonmembers is $18 for adults, $15 for seniors, $5 for children 7 to 17 and free for children 6 and under. Islander rates are available.