Community Projects


Frogs and other small woodland creatures are an important part of the unique natural environment that makes our town what it is - a healthy ecosystem where a rich variety of species support each other.

According to Judy Sullivan of the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, every spring large numbers of amphibians and other small creatures are crushed as they cross our roads to reach their breeding sites.

The greatest number of road crossings occurs between the end of March and mid-May. On these first damp, rainy nights of spring, when the nighttime temperature inches above 40 degrees, frogs feel the urge to get to the safety of their breeding grounds to ensure the next generation.

Although most of the crossings have already occurred, there are still some stragglers. Frogs can be found engaging in apparently suicidal leaps before cars on rainy nights from spring to fall.

Turtles are also waking up and smelling the future. By June they'll be moving from pond to suitable egg-laying sites. Since it takes these creatures years to reach breeding age, the loss of even one is a blow to a population.

Most of the crossings are in areas where there is a woodland on one side and a wetland on the other. If people were aware that they were driving through such a location, they could reduce their speed and exercise greater care on nights when weather conditions are conducive to migration.

Volunteers from several groups (the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, the Dutchess County Cornell Cooperative Extension, Millbrook Matters, and the Town of Washington Conservation Advisory Committee) are working on a project to put together a list of critical areas in our town and to raise public awareness. Any interested individuals or organizations who would like to join are welcome.

The community can help. If you are aware of a particular spot where crossings occur, please let us know. By next spring we can have frog crossing signs posted in the town and a volunteer safety patrol out to ensure safe crossing for the frogs and turtles. Information about crossing locations or questions can be sent to or (845 677-0721)

Millbrook Fire Department Rescue Squad

July 8, 2008

The Millbrook Fire Department Rescue Squad is an integral and essential organization that serves our entire community. Millbrook Matters believes that the re-creation of an all-volunteer Squad will save taxpayer money as well as our neighbors' lives.

Millbrook Matters and Fernanda Kellogg sent a letter to its membership in the Spring of 2008 requesting financial support as well as more volunteers. Liz Baldwin reports on the response:

Millbrook Rescue Squad

Dear Fernanda,

At our last rescue squad meeting, it was reported that 59 contributors had donated a total of $11,744 as a result of the letter sent out by you and Millbrook Matters. The rescue squad greatly appreciates these contributions and the support we continue to receive from you in so many ways. Our thanks go out to the whole board at Millbrook Matters for choosing to reach out to the community on our behalf.

It has been my personal pleasure to get to know you a little better and I look forward to continue working with you more in the future. Bob Davis and I met with Andy Ciferri this morning and he was very supportive of our proposal to have our own ALS hired by the town- so it continues to move forward.

I will keep you updated, and surely, see you at Fitch's!

Thanks again for everything,

Liz Baldwin

If you'd like to make a donation to the Rescue Squad, please email us at:

Simple Tools for Open Government

Kate Farrell
February 11, 2008

The camera equipment isn’t any better than what your kids might have. The computer is dusty and a bit old-school, and the hub that will air public meetings, is surprisingly simple. But given the power that this simple gear holds, simple is fine.

This fall Village Trustee Stan Morse asked me to join his efforts to get Channel 22 up and running. Trustee Morse also enlisted Millbrook High School volunteers and a few seniors from Mr. Brian Devincenzi’s government class helped make Channel 22 viable.

Video coverage is our next goal. We are testing the editing gear and if it works, you will see the results on Channel 22.

Channel 22 will air governmental programs and information. This program sounds a little dry but my bet is that it will be a stimulating way for our community to learn about itself and to share information easily. I’m hoping Channel 22 will serve as a tool for residents to have easy access to events that help us stay informed and active in our community.

If you have an interest in filming, editing, or recording sound, please write me at: