Fifty years of stewardship:

I would like to congratulate the Block Island Conservancy for 50 years of stewardship on Block Island. Since the founding of your grassroots organization in the fall of 1972, your membership has fought the good fight. In October I was honored by being asked by Dorrie Napoleone, President of the BIC, to speak at the 50th Annual Meeting of the organization, which was graciously hosted by the Draper family and The 1661 Inn. Below is the reading I gave from a manuscript I am currently writing, which is a humble attempt to use the written word in summing up what makes our 10 square miles so unique.The genesis of this book on the conservation of open space on Block Island, R.I. may come as a surprise. I first conceived of this project in 2016 while shopping at the busiest Walmart in the world in the Chinese megacity of Shenzhen in the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Hired for a two-year period between 2016 and 18 as a history instructor at an international charter school, I naively looked forward to being surrounded by 5,000 years of Chinese culture on a daily basis.Shenzhen is a new city. How new, may

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