On Saturday Feb. 23 at 1:30 P.M. the Sheffield Land Trust is hosting its 21st Annual Winter Lecture which this year is a slide show and panel discussion on "The History and Power of Sheffield’s Water”.

Historian Bernie Drew, Tim Gray from the Housatonic River Initiative, and Angela Sirois-Pitel from The Nature Conservancy will speak to the role water played and plays in making Sheffield the special place that it is. The panel will cover the fascinating history of water power to the industrial, recreational and ecological impacts and benefits of our many water sources. Water is an essential part of our lives and of our natural and built environment.

Today in Sheffield, we experience this in turning on the tap for a drink or shower or going canoeing, fishing or swimming. Likewise in farms, plants and animals that depend on the right amount and quality for survival and the wetlands that filter and absorb the over-abundance that comes with floods. In days of yore, water also powered many mills and innovations. Come hear about it all!

The event is at Dewey Memorial Hall, 91 Main St. in Sheffield, next to the Post Office and the program and is free and open to the public, although donations are welcome. Seating is limited, so come early to be sure to get a seat. The Land Trust’s ever-popular afternoon tea with a wide-range of refreshments will follow the slide show and panel discussion.

The Sheffield Land Trust has held a Winter Lecture every year since 1998. Founded in 1989, this nonprofit organization is dedicated to protecting the land essential to Sheffield's natural, scenic, agricultural and rural character through a program of stewardship and working with landowners, farmers, and other partners. The Sheffield Land Trust has conserved almost 5,000 acres, working in cooperation with over 50 families, government agencies, and conservation organizations.

For more information on the event or the Sheffield Land Trust, call (413) 229-0234, email shefland@bcn.net or visit their official site

(press release sent to WSBS from the Sheffield Land Trust for online and on-air use)