Events of Interest April 13, 2023

Dear Friends and Acton Conservation Trust Members,

Q:  Which bird digs characteristically rectangular holes in trees to find ants?

A.  The Pileated Woodpecker digs characteristically rectangular holes in trees to find ants. These excavations can be so broad and deep that they can cause small trees to break in half. The feeding excavations of a Pileated Woodpecker are so extensive that they often attract other birds. From Pileated Woodpecker Overview, All About Birds, Cornell Lab 

The following news and events may be of interest:  

Sudbury Valley Trustees Spring Program Calendar now available online at

Saturday, April 15
A Walk on Burns Hill, Westford, MA
9–10:30 a.m. 
Trail Head on Rome Drive, Westford
This walk will be led by Lenny Palmer, and will run rain or shine. The trail runs over three hills, is steep in places and moderately strenuous. The trail overlooks Vine Brook, and a large marsh which features an impressive heron rookery. Meet Len at the trailhead on Rome Drive. Len’s phone: 978-392-9876.  No registration is required. Sponsored by Westford Conservation Trust.

Saturday, April 15
Hundreds of British Regulars and Provincial Militia engage in a Tactical Demonstration of the running fight that occurred on April 19, 1775. 
12:45 PM
Battle Road, Minuteman National Historical Park
Viewing areas will be designated near Minute Man Visitor Center. Be advised this demonstration will feature musket fire along with the other immersive living history elements. After the demonstration you will have the opportunity to get up close and talk with those amazing volunteers about the events of April 1775.

Sunday April 16
Patriots’ Day Spirit at the Faulkner Homestead
1:00 pm 
Faulkner Homestead, 5 High Street, Acton
Travel back in time to learn why we celebrate Patriots’ Day in Acton as the start of both the Revolutionary and Civil Wars. What better place to do it than at the home of Col. Francis Faulkner in 1775 and Col. Winthrop E. Faulkner in 1861? Costumed reenactors from two different centuries will take part. On April 19, 1775, Acton families waited in the Faulkner dooryard for news of their militiamen. Today’s visitors will experience 18th-century home life with outdoor cooking and children’s games, while indoors, members of the Nashoba Valley Weavers Guild will demonstrate colonial crafts. To mark the start of the Civil War, reenactment groups from both the North and South will be encamped on the hillside. If weather permits, they will also stage a skirmish or two in the Faulkner woods. Come back about 5:30 to see the Acton Minutemen’s 1775 “Robbins Ride” reenactment, when the horse and alarm rider will bring news of approaching war to Col. Francis Faulkner.

Sunday, April 16
Acton Minutemen’s Robbins Ride Re-enactment 
Starting at 108 Concord Road, the Robbins Homestead
Don’t miss the Acton Minutemen as they stage their annual “Robbins’ Ride” reenactment, with the arrival of the horse and rider who brought the news to Col. Francis Faulkner earlier that day that the British were marching on Concord.

The Famous Robbins Ride   
5:00 PM-5:30 PM 
108 Concord Road 
Robbins Ride starts at the Robbins Homestead at 5 PM
These estimated times are the scheduled stops the rider makes: 
5:20 Isaac Davis Homestead, 39 Hayward Road 
5:40 PM at the Faulkner Homestead 5 High St. So Acton corner of Rt. 27 
5:55 PM at the Liberty Tree Farm 24 Liberty St. 

Monday, April 17 
Isaac Davis Trail March 
5:50 AM 
39 Hayward Road, Isaac Davis homestead in Acton
The Acton Minutemen will hold a ceremony of remembrance. From there, we head to Acton Center, arriving about 6:20am at the Isaac Davis Monument across from Acton Town Hall,  where Isaac Davis, Abner Hosmer, and James Hayward are buried.  The Minutemen will fire muskets at as part of the ceremony  and then join other Minutemen companies and Militias in the 7-mile march to the Old North Bridge, arriving about 9am for the battle reenactment.  The Acton Minutemen invite the public to join them in their march from Acton to Concord.  
More about the Acton Minutemen

Monday, April 17 
Concord Patriots Day Parade 
9-11 AM
North Bridge Visitors Center, 174 Liberty St., Concord
Huge parade includes all the Minute Men and Militias from Concord, Wayland, Acton, Westford, Sudbury, Lincoln, and many other communities west of Boston that converged on Concord in 1775.  It also includes musicians, color guards, and visiting local, state, U.S., and foreign dignitaries with ties to Concord.  The parade covers about 2.5 miles total, and occurs regardless of how bad the weather may be.  Begins in Concord Center, passes over North Bridge at about 9:30, and then heads back into town.  Times are always approximate, especially if the weather is bad.  For more information visit

Thursday, April 20 
A Changing Climate: Growing Resilience Right Where You Are
7:00 PM – 08:00 PM
Online – Your Home over Zoom
Sponsored by SVT: Our backyards matter for climate change resilience. Learn how gardens offer an incredible opportunity to make a difference starting right where you are. Presented by Allison Houghton, a regenerative growing consultant, author, and educator. Our backyards matter for climate change resilience. There is enormous untapped potential in a garden: from growing food to building and remediating degraded soils to filtering and capturing water to creating habitat for pollinators and beneficial insects or adding resilience to your watershed, neighborhood and region. Learn how gardens offer an incredible opportunity to make a difference starting right where you are. Allison Houghton, of The Sparrow Underground, is a regenerative growing consultant, author, and educator on a variety of organic gardening topics, ecological design, and climate resiliency.

Saturday, April 22nd
Earth Day Plant Swap
10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. 
West Acton Citizens Library
Have a green thumb? Want to share what you’ve grown or change up your houseplants? Bring a plant and take a plant at West Acton Citizens’ Library’s Earth Day Plant Swap! 
Sponsored by Idylwilde Farms. 

Saturday, April 22 
A Walk along Beaver Brook
9-10:30 AM
End of Buckingham Drive, Westford
This walk will be led by Rich Strazdas, and will run rain or shine. The trail offers a lovely and easy walk along Beaver Brook and around Round Island. The Beaver Brook area provides a great variety of wildlife to enjoy. You might want to bring binoculars! Meet Rich at the end of Buckingham Drive. Rich’s cell phone: 508-340-8775.
No registration is required. Sponsored by Westford Conservation Trust.

Wednesday, April 26  
Acton Water Wise Nature Walk 
3-4 PM 
Bruce Freeman Rail Trail parking lot, behind Donelan’s Supermarket in Acton Info and sign up at, or EnergizeActon.orgRegister here.

Saturday, April 29
11am – 4pm
Ten Homes in Acton & Base Camp (19 Elm St/AB Farmers Market Location)
As Earth Day approaches, are you thinking about switching from oil heat to efficient cold-weather heat pumps that heat AND cool? Are you considering solar panels/batteries, especially with the increased federal solar incentives? Do you want to decrease your carbon footprint? On April 29th, come and talk with Acton neighbors who have already adopted clean energy technologies! Ten Acton homeowners will welcome you to learn about their equipment, including air source and ground source heat pumps, solar panels and solar battery storage, electric vehicles and EV charging, induction cooking, and more. This is a great opportunity to ask questions and to begin to formulate a plan for your own clean energy future. After you register, you will receive an email with detailed information about the Tour, including host addresses. Sponsored by   REGISTER HERE.

Saturday, April 29
Earth Day: A Brief History of Open Space Preservation in Acton – presented by Acton Conservation Trust
2-3 PM
Acton Memorial Library
Earth Day: A Brief History of Open Space Preservation in Acton presented by ACT Vice President, Joe Cooney. For more information click here.

Saturday, April 29
A Walk on the Peace Trail
9-10:30 AM 
Cul-de-sac at the end of Drew Crossing, Westford 
Gerry’s phone: 978-692-9137.
This walk will be led by Gerry DiBello, and will run rain or shine. The trail offers a lovely and easy walk close to the center of town. The trail runs along the top of glacial eskers through wetlands that are abundant with wildlife in spring. Meet Gerry at the cul-de-sac at the end of Drew Crossing. Gerry’s phone: 978-692-9137.

Monday, May 1
Acton Town Meeting – Article 10: Permanently protect 549 Main Street, corner of Brook and Main Streets – includes the Isaac Davis Trail, Meadows, Woodland, and Bedrock Wells
7 PM
ABRHS Auditorium
Warrant Article 10, (2/3 vote) Community Preservation Program – Appropriations from Open Space Set-Aside – to acquire a permanent Conservation Restriction (CR) on 549 Main Street (Conant Property). The Acton Water District has voted to acquire, and to sell to the Town of Acton a Conservation Restriction, (CR) to permanently protect the land and water supply and grant public access. Vote YES at Town Meeting to contribute $1.03M of Community Preservation Funds toward the purchase of the CR. A “Yes” vote will not increase your taxes but it will permanently protect the property as open space. ACT is teaming with the Acton Water District, Sudbury Valley Trustees and Open Space Committee.

Saturday, May 6, 2023   (Rain date: May 7, 2023)
Annual Spring Service Day
Time: 1-3 pm
Event Parking: 20 Main Street, Acton MA
If you’ve ever wanted to be involved in cutting a trail through the woods, this service day is for you! Join us as we create the new Stonefield Farm Woodland Trail. Starting with a flagged line, we plan to cut a 0.3 mile long, 4 foot wide trail. Most of the work can be done with pruning shears or clippers, with some small tree removal needed. 
Family groups, scout groups, students and everyone else is welcome. No experience needed – we’ll show you what needs to be done. 
Come dressed in boots or sturdy shoes with long sleeves and pants, sprayed for ticks and mosquitos. Don’t forget your sunscreen! Expect weedy, rocky and uneven terrain. Please bring leather work gloves (best for thorns) and bypass pruning shears or clippers if you have them. A kneeling pad for gardening would be helpful. We will have some extra tools and loaner gloves available. We’ll also have water and refreshments.
Please register HERE. You’ll be emailed a copy of this registration. For more information or questions, please contact Jody Harris at

Sunday, May 14
Plant ID & Natural History Walk – Horse Meadows Knoll
1:00 PM – 3:30 PM
Horse Meadows Knoll, Harvard
Sponsored by SVT. Horse Meadows Knoll rises above Horse Meadows Reservoir, which is now a beautiful, naturalized pond. Beavers are active at the pond and great blue herons nest in the treetops above the pond. 
Join naturalist Roland “Boot” Boutwell for an informative nature walk as we search for mid-spring wildflowers and other cool plants. The walk will focus on plant identification as well as fun and interesting natural history about the plants we see.
This walk is free for current SVT members, otherwise there is a $10 fee per person to help support our land conservation efforts. Registration required, click here.

Saturday, May 20th,
Acton Garden Club/Fabulous Plant Sale
9-1 pm , rain or shine
Red House, 468 Main Street across from the Acton common.  Parking is available behind Town Hall or the Acton Center Fire Station. If you are looking to beautify your property, here’s your chance to easily do so. Come and shop.  The sale will include annuals, perennials, pollinators, native plants, a wide variety of locally grown flowers, trees, shrubs, vegetables, herbs, planted hanging baskets as well as a raffle with great prizes.  This year we also offering houseplants.  Credit cards will absolutely be accepted.
Come early for the best selections, pick out those plants you have been wanting, buy something you haven’t grown before and then take them all home and get digging!


Happy Spring!

Susan Mitchell-Hardt 
President, Acton Conservation Trust

P.S.  Welcome  new “Events of Interest” subscribers!  As a nonprofit organization focused on conserving land in Acton, we rely upon the support of our members.  Visit our ACT website, and click on “Join Us”!