Dear Friends and Acton Conservation Trust Members,
ACT’s first official spring Woodcock Walk of 2023 at Rolling Meadows in Boxborough. We were treated to the peenting of 3 woodcocks. One flew over our heads – captured on video. For more pictures, video, and narrative, visit https://actonconservationtrust.org/woodcock-watch-2023/
Acton birder Al Sgroi provided us with fascinating facts about the American Woodcock.
We learned from Al Sgroi that the Wilson’s Snipe looks most like the American Woodcock except for having longer legs and a few other characteristics such as markings and ability to fly faster..
The following news and events may be of interest:
Sudbury Valley Trustees Spring Program Calendar now available online at www.svtweb.org/calend
Thursday, April 6
Paschal Full Moon: The First Full Moon of Spring – The Old Farmers Almanac
This year, April’s full Moon is the first full Moon of the spring season, which began with the spring equinox on March 20, 2023. This means that April’s full Moon is the Paschal Full Moon—an important Moon to those who celebrate Easter, since Easter’s date depends on the date of the Paschal Full Moon. Easter is celebrated on the first Sunday after the Paschal Full Moon (i.e., the first full Moon of spring), which means that it will be celebrated this year on Sunday, April 9 (following the full Moon on April 5-6). For the best view of this lovely spring Moon, find an open area and watch as the Moon rises just above the horizon, at which point it will appear its biggest and take on a golden hue! (Find local Moon rise and set times here.)
Sunday, April 9
Monday, April 10
Gardening for Wildlife
Westford Climate Action is presenting a webinar, Gardening for Wildlife. Trevor Smith, Design and Education Manager at Weston Nurseries, will discuss how our plant choices and property maintenance practices can make a huge difference in our local ecology. Register for the webinar here...
Saturday, April 15
A Walk on Burns Hill, Westford, MA
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.
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
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
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
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 https://www.boston-discovery-guide.com/patriots-day-schedule.html
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 22
A Walk along Beaver Brook
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
Bruce Freeman Rail Trail parking lot, behind Donelan’s Supermarket in Acton Info and sign up at actonpip.org, or EnergizeActon.org. Register here.
Saturday, April 29
Acton CLEAN ENERGY HOMES TOUR
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 EnergizeActon.org. REGISTER HERE.
Saturday, April 29
Earth Day: A Brief History of Open Space Preservation in Acton – presented by Acton Conservation Trust
Acton Memorial Library
-presented by ACT Vice President, Joe Cooney
Saturday, April 29
A Walk on the Peace Trail
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
Draft Article 10, (2/3 vote) Community Preservation Program – Appropriations from Open Space Set-Aside and Related Actions – 549 Main Street (Conant Property.) Stay tuned.
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! https://www.actongardenclub.org/
NEWS ALERT from the Massachusetts Association of Conservation Commissions
On March 29, 2023, Governor Maura Healey signed a supplemental 2023 budget bill that includes a majority of her proposed “immediate needs” bond bill as well as extensions of pandemic-related authorizations related to public meetings and outdoor dining.
The new law extends the pandemic-related authorizations that were set to expire and now allow:
Remote and hybrid meeting options for public bodies through March 31, 2025
Remote and hybrid participation options for representative town meetings through March 31, 2025
Reduced quorums for open town meetings through March 31, 2025
From the Mass Division of Fisheries and Wildlife: Amphibian Crossing Brigade Handbook 2022
How you can help amphibians on the road – https://www.mass.gov/news/watch-for-amphibians-on-the-road
- Please drive cautiously and carefully.
- Whenever possible over the next 2 months, please consider not driving on rainy nights when air temperatures are 40°F or higher. If you must travel during such conditions, delaying beyond the first 2 hours after sunset is recommended.
- Travel on larger highways rather than small, wooded roads if possible. Plan routes that minimize the number of wetlands or vernal pools passed.
- If observing amphibian migrations, consider arriving at your destination prior to sunset, and then conduct your monitoring on foot.
- If assisting amphibians across roadways or handling them for other reasons, be sure your hands are free of lotions, bug repellent, or other chemicals.
- Report high levels of amphibian activity or mortality to the Linking Landscapes for Massachusetts Wildlife initiative, which compiles data to reduce wildlife-vehicle collisions on problem roadways.
- If you encounter any of our state-listed rare amphibian species (eastern spadefoot, blue-spotted salamander, Jefferson salamander, and marbled salamander), please take a clear photograph of the animal, carefully record the location, and submit an observation report to MassWildlife’s Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program.
- Go the extra mile to help preserve amphibian habitat by certifying vernal pools on your property. The data you collect is used to help MassWildlife and local conservation organizations better understand habitat resources for our native amphibians.
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”!