Events of Interest December 23, 2022

Dear Friends and Acton Conservation Trust Members,

If you haven’t checked our Instagram page lately, this sign represents the “Rainbow Trail” at Heath Hen Meadow Woods conservation land next to Mt. Hope Cemetery.  Small stewards helped blaze the trail.  They named it, painted the trail markers, and helped install them.  We also learned their names for many features along the trail!!  It’s obvious the small stewards have been here many times and love being outdoors in the woods.

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.

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

Sunday, January 1, 2023 
Audubon’s 123nd Christmas Bird Count – Concord CBC

Midnight to midnight.
Acton, Boxborough, Concord, Littleton, Harvard, Westford 
For more information, visit
The Christmas Bird Count for Acton, Boxborough, Concord, Littleton, Harvard, Westford will be on January 1, 2023.
The longest running Citizen Science survey in the world, Christmas Bird Count provides critical data on population trends.  Tens of thousands of participants know that it is also a lot of fun.  Data from over 2000 circles are entered after the count and become available to query under the Data and Research link.  
Find a count near you (Concord) and sign up to participate.   Visit
Acton, Littleton, Harvard, and Westford:  Andrew Magee, (978) 263-0683,

Tuesday, January 10  
How Birds Work: Bills
6:30 PM 
Virtual Live Stream or in person at the Arnold Arboretum’s Weld Hill Research Building at 1300 Centre Street, Boston, MA 02131. To sign up for the in-person event, click hereOr visit for virtual sign up or more information.
Bills come in all sorts of sizes and shapes, from the needle-like bills of swallows for picking insects out of the air, to hummingbirds’ long and curved bills for probing into the base of a flower, to the robust bill of the evening grosbeak for cracking into seeds. Some even have special features, like pressure sensors that allow shorebirds to detect food without touching it. Join Dr. Lorna Gibson, Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at MIT, to look at the great diversity of bird bills and how they are suited to each individual bird—and to that bird’s favorite meal!

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 2, 9, 16; Thursday, Feb. 23 Noon-1 PM
Massachusetts Open Space Conference, Free Webinar Series
Feb. 2: Open Space and Recreation Plans from Writing to Action 
Feb. 9:  Tips and Tools for Landowner Outreach 
Feb. 16:  Land Conservation & Restoration Initiatives for Climate Resiliency, an Exploration of Case Studies and Funding Sources.
Feb. 23:  BioMap, the Latest and Greatest You can learn more and register for this free event here or at

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

Acton Conservation Trust Membership Season 
If you love Acton’s open space and trails, wildlife, scenic vistas, guided walks and virtual/in person lectures, and programs, please consider joining or renewing your ACT membership.  Donations to ACT are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowable by law.  As an additional bonus, ACT offers a free baseball cap with ACT logo.  To join or renew, visit and a click on “Join/Donate”.

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

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.

This is our final Events of Interest for 2022. Thank you to everyone in the ACT community for a wonderful year. Let’s all make 2023 resolutions for more trail walks, nature exploration, and outdoor fun!

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”!