Events of Interest December 3, 2021

Dear Acton Conservation Trust Members and Other Friends,

HELPING BOSTON AREA GLEANERS AT STONEFIELD FARM!!! Who’s behind those masks?  The entire Select Board, two “plus ones”, Rosalie and Beccah, along with two ACT Officers spent 3 hours on Wednesday, boxing fresh produce along with rice and peanut butter to go to Food Pantries in Cambridge, Dorchester, and Somerville.

Now through Saturday, January 1, 2022 
Fifth Annual Littleton Little Town Tree Hunt! 
All Day 
With the help of local organizations and businesses a dozen or so individual trees will be decorated for tree hunters to find within the conservation areas in town. Find all of them (documented by photos with you and the trees) and be entered to win one of ten prize packages. This is a fun, free, outdoor family event—so grab some friends, trek through the forests, and find some trees! A list of areas with trees to find, as well as other information, is available on Facebook: or by email:

Now through January 2, 2022 
Groton Winter Tree Stroll 
All Day 
We are thrilled to invite you back to see the decorations for the second annual Groton Winter Tree Stroll. This year, we welcome you to visit us at The General Field, Bates Land, and Shepley Hill to see decorations installed by many local non-profit organizations. Check out all the trees by following the Winter Tree Stroll Facebook page for more details, photos, and directions.

Sunday, December 5
All Ages Hike at Town Forest sponsored by Groton Conservation Trust 
1:00 PM 
Groton Town Forest along the Nashua River 
Trustee Brian Bettencourt will lead an all ages hike at Groton Town Forest along the Nashua River.  This is an ideal event for families, Groton newcomers, or anyone just interested in enjoying a beautiful early winter walk. Hikers will enjoy a flat, easy path suitable for walkers of all ages.This event is free for all, but registration is required.

Tuesday December 7 
Public Forum to Discuss the Proposed Archaeology Bylaw
7 PM
Online Meeting, advance registration required.
An Archaeology Bylaw will allow an archaeological study to be done on any large parcel of undeveloped land (3+ acres) as part of the Town’s permitting process.  This bylaw is being formulated by a subcommittee of the Acton Historical Commission.

Landowner Webinar Series: Plan for Your Land
2nd Thursday of each month, November 2021 – April 2022, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. 
Hosted by UMass MassWoods
This six-part webinar series for landowners will feature relevant professionals to provide information and help answer questions. Sign up for individual webinars or the entire series. Learn more and register.

  • December 9 – What’s my land worth financially and ecologically?
  • January 13 – Who will own my land next?
  • February 10 – How can I reduce my property taxes?
  • March 10 – How can I conserve my land? 
  • April 14 – What are the financial benefits of land 

Saturday, December 11 Walk at Pratt’s Brook
Date: Saturday, December 11, 2021
Time: 1:00-2:30 pm
Join Acton Conservation Trust as we explore the Pratt’s Brook trails. Board Member Jody Harris will lead a walk of about a mile and a half. Your friendly, well-behaved dogs are welcome to attend as well!  After our walk we will have a short social time outdoors with hot chocolate to warm us up. Registration is required. For more information or questions, please contact Jody Harris at

Sunday, December 12 
Lexington Tea Burning Reenactment
Noon-4 PM 
Lexington Visitors Center, 1 Bedford St., Lexington, MA 
On December 13, 1773, Lexington’s citizens met for a very special town meeting, where they voted to purge the town of the detested taxed tea.  Following the resolve, they built a bonfire outside the meetinghouse and threw the town’s supply of tea into it, echoing Reverend Jonas Clarke’s words that anyone continuing to drink or buy tea was “an enemy to this town, and to this country.” Activities will be happening indoor and outdoors throughout the day including drilling and musket firing, military music, drop-in programs about the history of tea and tea substitutes, and of course, the tea burning itself.  Buckman Tavern will be decorated for the holidays and open free of charge during normal operating hours, 9:30 am – 4 pm.

Thursday, December 16, 2021 
Jump Start Your Seedlings with Energize Wayland 
7-8:45 PMOnline over Zoom 
SVT’s friends at Energize Wayland are hosting Freddie Gillespie of the Native Pollination Systems Task Force.  This free online event will explain the process of a winter sow, a terrific method for starting seeds earlier than you thought possible.  Sow your seeds in a milk jug that becomes a mini greenhouse that allows the seeds to germinate several weeks ahead of direct sowing.  The plants are sown in their mini greenhouse outside, eliminating the need to harden seedlings off.  You will learn about the importance of pollination systems in our natural places.  How to support declining species of native pollinators in your yard, in public spaces and on conservation lands.  A Winter Sow is an economical and easy way of providing native plant seedlings for a native pollinator conservation garden. Register now for this event.

Tuesday, 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.

Tuesday, 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. 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.  If you wish to sign up for a parking pass, please click here: PARKING PASS.

Sunday, March 13 
Preview of ACT Annual Meeting:  New Conservation Strategies for the 21st Century – presented by Claudia Thompson
6:15PM Business Meeting; 7 PM – Presentation
Acton Town Hall, 472 Main Street, Room 204,  and/or Virtual 
Fight Climate Change with the following Nature Based Solution: Climate change and loss of biodiversity are the critical ecological challenges of our time.  To address these crises, conservation efforts must become much broader and more inclusive than has been the norm, so that they engage virtually all citizens throughout our communities.  The extent of our current human impact, and the fragmentation of our landscapes over the past one hundred years, clarify the need – every piece of land, large or small, public or private, deserves careful stewardship so that it becomes part of the solution instead of contributing to the problem.  Using her garden as a case study, Claudia will discuss valuable lessons learned over several decades as she transformed her small urban property into a landscape rich with habitat for birds, pollinators, and other wildlife.  Much can be achieved.  Indeed, the significant challenges before us are motivating many people to action.  The growing native plant movement, with its focus on landscapes as ecological systems, instead of gardens as adornments, is an essential component of 21st century conservation strategies.

SAFETY ALERT:  It’s Hunting Season:   Wear blaze orange from 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. Keep pets leashed and visible.  Place a blaze orange vest or bandana on your pet to keep it visible.  Make your presence known.  Talk loudly or whistle to identify yourself as a person. Visit Mass Wildlife Hunting Information to learn more.

Daffodil Bulbs at East Acton Village Green (corner of Concord Road and Great Road) – Thanks to the team of volunteers Siva, Shalini, Linda, and Cath, who planted 200 daffodil bulbs and 3 trees  on 12/2/21 to beautify the new East Acton Village Green!  Thanks to the Fochtman family for donating black spruce, white spruce, and hop hornbeam trees.  To volunteer, email


Nature Walk video with Tom Tidman and Clare Seaton at Ice House Pond and Morrison Farm (35 min)

Ecosystem Services:  What Nature Does for Us and How We can Talk About It”- presented by SVT’s Christa Collins

Monarchs and Milkweed Recap – from Lincoln Land Conservation Trust’s program of August 11 about Monarch Butterflies. Dr. Martha Gach joined LLCT on a room call with about 30 participants to speak about these charismatic creatures!  Martha is the Education Manager at Mass Audubon’s Broad Meadow Brook Wildlife Sanctuary, and the president of the  Massachusetts Butterfly Club.

Harvard Conservation Trust presents Prof. Robert Thorson’s discussion of New England’s stone walls during HCT’s Speaker Series:  Harvard’s Stone Walls Mysteries Solved. The Harvard Conservation Trust hopes that you will enjoy this video.  Please consider supporting their efforts to preserve Harvard’s landscape and natural beauty.  Visit their website to join.

How to Preserve Pollination Systems Webinar focuses on how to create Public Display Native Pollination Preservation Gardens.  A recording of the webinar and links to all the resources discussed in the presentations are now available on the MCA Native Pollination Systems Task Force webpage.

 SVT’s Backyard Invasives from Kristin O’Brien’s talk on Tuesday, 9/14, and other resources. 


From Boston Area Gleaners:  The farming seasons is ending, but our volunteer projects will continue, and we could use your help!  While there may be fewer harvesting opportunities at this time of year, we plan on continuing to sort and pack food at Stonefield Farm every week.  This includes our ‘Just Eats’ grocery box packs every Wednesday and  Thursday, where we work together to fill family-sized boxes with produce and grocer staples.  Volunteer with the Gleaners!  Register here. We are also always looking for more ways to connect with more communities and new volunteers.  If you are part of a community that may be interested in working with the Gleaners, or have suggestions for volunteer outreach, please email us at

Associate Land Stewardship Committee member needed for Acton Canoe Launch and the Assabet River Blue and Green Trail. Duties are occasional summer mowing, periodic cutting of invasive knotweed, trimming overgrowth, walking the trail, picking up litter. Average time required, 1-2 hours per week year ‘round.

Seeking stewards to assist with Great Hill Conservation Land and Nashoba Brook Conservation Land. Please email Bettina Abe for more information or call 978-929-6634. 

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.  


Walden Pond in Concord 7 am-4 pm 915 Walden;   978-369-3254, bridal paths, and farm roads.  Boat ramp Sunday – Saturday: 5 AM – 5:30 PM.Parking:  MA resident $8; Non-MA resident:  $30  Annual and senior passes NOT sold in park, use link to purchase a pass:

Emerson-Thoreau Amble, Concord, MA This Winter Hike is available for groups of 4 or more by reservation only.  Call 978-318-3061 or email to request your date and time.  Tours leave the Concord Visitor Center located at 58 Main Street Concord, MA, rain or shine.Adults (13+)  $20Youth (12 and under) $15Senior Citizens (65+) $15

Camp Acton is Open! Pope Road, Acton Fee is $25 per site reserved through he Recreation Department. Limited to 10 people per site.  Visit to learn more about Camp Acton. Please complete the registration form 48 business hours prior to desired reservation date. Payments are due upon reservation confirmation. Portable toilet on site. All users must follow social distancing, regulations and posted guidelines.  Please complete and send camp Acton Permit application via email to or fax to 978-929-6333. Please allow up to two business days to process.

Boxborough Birders is a local, all-volunteer group of bird watchers with varying levels of experience. Local walks in Boxborough, Acton, Harvard, Stow, Bolton, Littleton, are organized during spring and fall migration and occasionally beyond.   Our walks are free of charge and most are scheduled on weekends. (Due to Covid-19 pandemic, all scheduled walks for 2021 will be limited in size, masks will be worn, no shared equipment and social distancing required). Visit their website: for links to local birding spots, photos, and more.   You can sign up there to be on our mailing list and get all the information you need. We hope you will join us out on the trail soon.

Birding Kits available for curbside pick up
Acton Memorial Library, Main Street, Acton
The library has two Birding Kits available for loan to Acton residents. Each kit includes a canvas field bag with Eagle Optics 8 by 42 binoculars with case, Peterson Field Guide to Birds of Eastern and Central North America, Birding for the Curious, Town of Acton Guide to Conservation Lands and a laminated copy of Sibley’s Backyard Birds of the Northeast, a quick reference card. The kits circulate for two weeks. Acton residents may place a hold on a Birding Kit by contacting the Reference Desk, 978-929-6543 or email  Give your card number and phone number and the Circulation Department will call you when it is ready for curbside pickup.


Susan Mitchell-Hardt President, Acton Conservation Trust

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