Events of Interest December 18, 2022

Dear Friends and Acton Conservation Trust Members,

12/18/22  Solstice:  “Reflections on Winter Light” at Mount Auburn Cemetery, that includes an outdoor journey through large-scale light and sound artworks, and an indoor experience with live music and candle lighting. Guests are invited to walk through the light-filled landscape and explore the Winter Solstice atmosphere, and to reflect on moments of change as the year ends and a new cycle.

For more outdoors scenes in Acton and nearby, visit our ACT Instagram page.

The following news and events may be of interest: If you prefer, you may read “Events of Interest” on our website,

Now – January 1, 2023 
2022 Winter Tree Stroll 
Join the Groton Conservation Trust and visit our nature sanctuaries to see beautiful trees decorated by Groton non-profits!  Show your support for local organizations!  Share your photos off our trees, post on social media at #2022GrotonTreeStroll; visit   Check out all the trees by following the Winter Tree Stroll Facebook page for more details, photos, and directions.

Now – December 31, 2022 
Littleton Little Town Tree Hunt December 2022
See Facebook page for details and rules.
For Littleton Conservation lands click here.
22 decorated trees distributed across Littleton conservation lands.

December 10 – 21
SOLSTICE: Reflections on Winter Light
is an annual event at Mount Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge, MA that includes an outdoor journey through large-scale light and sound artworks, and an indoor experience with live music and candle lighting. Guests are invited to walk through the light-filled landscape and explore the Winter Solstice atmosphere, and to reflect on moments of change as the year ends and a new cycle begins. Let the Solstice light your way as you encounter the unique spirit of Mount Auburn. This year’s event takes place December 10 – 21 and tickets will go on sale for the general public on November 2nd.

Wednesday, December 21
Winter Solstice Sunrise Walk 
7 am – 8 am
Half Moon Meadow Brook, Boxborough 
Join SVT member George Krusen to view the winter solstice sunrise through the stone structures at Half Moon Meadow Brook, and hear the legends of their origins from leader George Krusen for a magnificent viewing.  An Annual SVT favorite.  Register Now!

Wednesday,  December 21     
Musketaquid Winter Solstice Celebration
6:00 PM 
The Old Manse 269 Monument St., Concord, MA – side lawn
Bonfire; Drumming by the Drum Nomads; Solstice Ceremony at a 6:30 PM 
This event is free but registration is required.  Click here to register.
Sponsored by the Umbrella Arts and Environment Program.  Limited parking for those who have pre-registered will be available at The Old Manse and the Old North Bridge/Robbins House lot.  Please carpool or walk if at all possible.  Click here for parking pass sign up.

Sunday, January 1
New Year’s Hike around Walden Woods!
Meet at the Walden Pond Visitor Center,  915 Walden Street/Route 126 Concord, MA 01742
1 mile guided hike to Henry David Thoreau’s House Site near the shore of Walden Pond.  Hot chocolate will be available at the Visitor Center after the hike.   Sponsored by DCR.
Henry David Thoreau, portrayed by historian Richard Smith, will be in the replica house 
12-2 PM 
with the woodstove burning, entertaining folks with tales of his days at Walden Pond. Sponsored by Friends of Walden Pond.
No pets are allowed at Walden Pond State Reservation. All children must be accompanied by an adult.
For more information call (978) 369-3254

January 1, 2023 
Polystyrene and Disposable Plastic Reduction Bylaw: Effective January 1, 2023
At the 2022 Acton Annual Town Meeting, voters approved a new bylaw banning the use, sale, and distribution of polystyrene and disposable plastic utensils. This bylaw……  Read on

Mondays, 1/30, 2/2, 3/27, 3/30, 5/29, 6/1, 2023 (Total of 4 Discussions Sections)
Women of the Land (WOTL) Book Club Sign Up:  Braiding Sweetgrass
This year’s Women on the Land book club. We will be reading “Braiding Sweetgrass” by Robin Wall Kimmerer in ~100-page segments. For any questions, please email Lina Clifford at
There will be four Zoom book discussions and two dates/times for each discussion to help accommodate for everyone’s schedules. Discussions will occur every other month and each discussion will have a Monday afternoon 12-1PM sitting and a Thursday evening 7-8PM sitting.

Thursday, February 9 
Kill Your Lawn!
1-2 PM 
Register here.
“Kill Your Lawn!” is a rallying cry heard all over the ecological horticulture community, and many of us try to do just that. If anyone out there is reluctant to get rid of your lawn, how about replacing even part of it? Anna Fialkoff, ecological programs manager for Wild Seed Project, can help you choose what to replace it with. Our class Native Ground Covers will go over everything you need to know, including the best low-growing plants for replacing a turf lawn. Anna will cover urban, suburban, and roadside spaces, along with the environmental benefits these native plants can offer. This webinar is a great way to warm up your design muscles before spring comes in.

Sunday, March 12 
Preview of ACT Annual Meeting:  “Eyes on Owls” 
1 PM – 2:30 PM    
Acton Town Hall, 472 Main Street,  Room 204, Acton, MA 
Naturalists Marcia and Mark Wilson will introduce you to 6 live owls up close and personal!  After much anticipation, Marcia brings the owls out one by one.  Each bird is safely perched on her glove as she walks close to everyone, providing intimate views of these secretive birds of prey.  And, everyone gets to practice the owls’ calls during the hooting lessons!  The Wilsons highlight the owls’ unique adaptations, habitats and behaviors in the wild, while sharing tips on how you can look for owls yourself.  Questions are taken once the owls come out. 
1 PM Business Meeting
1:30 PM-2:30 – Eyes on Owls Presentation 
Acton Town Hall, Room 204 and Zoom

Recordings Available:

Recording of Doug Tallamy’s Nature’s Best Hope Presentation now Available – from Lincoln Land Conservation Trust
Nearly 180 attendees joined us live for Tallamy’s presentation in early December. Tallamy masterfully weaved the story of insect and bird declines with a thread of hope for the future, if we all take steps to live with nature, instead of outside it. Tallamy shared tips and tricks for increasing backyard biodiversity, and also put in a plug for dark skies, leaving the leaves, and pesticide/herbicide free gardening. He also connected the dots between biodiversity and climate resilience and carbon sequestration. Below are some helpful resources
-Join the Homegrown National Park. Convert lawn to habitat.
-Search for”keystone” plant species that are super-providers for insects and other wildlife. All native plants are good, but these ones are better.
– This program was free and open to the public. We encourage you to share the program recording widely and spread the word!
Watch the Recording Here

The most recent information on PFAS, or “Forever Chemicals” in Massachusetts Drinking Water
from Matt Mostoller, Assistant District Manager, Water Supply District of Acton, December 2, 2022
The most recent information on PFAS, including status updates on our response actions, are always available on our dedicated PFAS webpage at We anticipate additional updates to our website in the coming weeks.

One-on-One Farm Succession Advising (from MLTC Newsletter, December 15, 2023)
Land for Good’s field agents offer one-on-one advising to help New England farmers start, continue or complete their farm succession plan. Low or no-cost assistance is available. Costs vary depending on needs and available funding, with always a sliding scale option. Complete the Farm Succession Form  or call 603-357-1600 to initiate a no-cost informational session.

SAFETY ALERT:   Wear blaze orange this fall during outdoor visits and activities!
Hunting is now through end of December. Be safe, be seen! While hunters are required to wear blaze orange during certain seasons, all people who are outdoors this fall should wear blaze orange as a precaution for increased visibility.
Mass Wildlife Hunting Information
Video: See hunting season video on the effectiveness of blaze orange
Hunting Hours

Support Acton Conservation Trust while you make purchases on AmazonSmile!  ACT will receive a small payment, and these add up!
From your desktop or laptop computer, AmazonSmile is available at at on your Web browser. Bookmark it for easy use!
AmazonSmile is available from your mobile phone as well. To activate AmazonSmile in the Amazon Shopping app, simply tap on “AmazonSmile” within the Programs & Features menu or Settings and follow the on-screen instructions.


I wish you all Happy Holidays,  and I hope to see you out on our beautiful trails in the New Year,

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”!