Events of Interest February 16, 2023

Dear Friends and Acton Conservation Trust Members,

There’s so little snow on our conservation lands, it caused me to look up our drought status.  
Good news from OARS on 2/13/23! The drought in the Sudbury, Assabet and Concord River watershed has ended!
Feb. 13, 2023: Following five months of normal to above-normal precipitation and record-breaking warmth in January, all seven regions are at Level 0-Normal Conditions, including the Islands Region, which was previously declared at a Level 2- Significant Drought, and the Northeast and Cape Cod Regions, which were at a Level-1 Mild Drought last month.
“After nine months of Massachusetts regions experiencing drought conditions, I am pleased to declare that every region has returned to normal,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Rebecca Tepper.  

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

Thursday, February 16; Thursday, Feb. 23 Noon-1 PM
Massachusetts Open Space Conference, Free Webinar Series
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

Friday-Monday February 17-20
Great Backyard Bird Count 
Those who like watching birds may want to participate in the annual Great Backyard Bird Count.  This is a global birding citizen science event and details can be found in the link below.
To learn how to participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count visit

Wednesday, February 22
On Belonging in Outdoor Spaces  
7 PM    
Claudia Fox Tree –  Consultant, Professional Educator, and Social Justice Activist “Decolonizing Contributions by Indigenous People”
This free speaker series will address the challenges and importance of establishing diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging in outdoor spaces, and will feature speakers whose work is advancing efforts to strengthen belonging and connection between communities of color and the benefits of time in nature. 
How do we decolonize what we have learned about Native American achievements? We add important missing information and change the dominant narrative. This presentation will help connect the dots from understanding the land to understanding Indigenous People. We will move from the past to the present in learning how Indigenous ingenuity impacted language, history, industrialization, and cultures around the world.
The host organizations for this speaker series are Farrington Nature Linc, deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, Mass Audubon, Lincoln Land Conservation Trust, The Walden Woods Project, and The Food Project. Generous sponsorship of the Winter 2023 series by The Ogden Codman Trust, Freedom’s Way National Heritage Area, and the Lincoln Cultural Council.
Click Here to Register

Thursday, February 23 
Native American Archaeology of the Assabet River – talk by Kimberly Connors of Maynard 
7 PM 
Maynard Library, 77 Nason Street or virtually on Zoom. 
Click here to read more about the program. Fill out the form on this calendar page to attend in person. 
Or you can register to receive the Zoom link by clicking here.

Wednesday, March 1 
Understanding Ticks: Strategy, Habitat, Ecology and Conservation 
7:00-8:30 pm
Acton Town Hall, Room 204 or virtual via Zoom
Love the outdoors, but worry about ticks? Join us in learning more about ticks, how they operate and affect us and what we can do to protect ourselves from the diseases they spread.
Understanding and Preventing Tick Borne Diseases. Susan Rask, Former Concord Public Health Director, and Tricia McGean, Public Health Nurse for Lincoln and Carlisle, present tick facts and life-cycle information, tick-borne diseases in Massachusetts, practical prevention strategies and tick ecology.
Deer overpopulation: How it affects tick population & forest health. The relationship between deer overpopulation and tick populations is complex.  Michele Grzenda, Lincoln’s Conservation Director will give us a brief overview on how eastern Massachusetts’s deer population has changed over time. She’ll also review the impacts deer have on forest health and the relationship between deer and deer ticks.
Click here to register.

Wednesday, March 1 
The Storybook Trail at Wolbach Farm in Sudbury  features Cozy, a tale of a furry musk ox written and illustrated by Jan Brett.
The story is ideal for preschoolers and early readers. A few pages of the book are posted on each of the 12 stations along the trail at Wolbach.
The trail goes over a hill in the woods and can be snowy, muddy, or wet. Please wear proper footwear, and note that it’s best to leave the stroller in the car. Learn more about Wolbach Farm and get directions.

Wednesday, March 8 
Courting Rituals of the American Woodcock  – sponsored by Mass Audubon
7-8 PM 
This online presentation will introduce you to the woodcock, its unique adaptations and life cycle, and the courtship dance it’s famous for. REGISTER HERE

Sunday, March 12 
ACT Annual Meeting:  “Eyes on Owls” 
1 PM – 2:45 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. Appropriate for ages 5 and above.
1 PM Business Meeting 
1:20 PM Presentation of Carol Holley Conservation Award to Tom Tidman, recently retired Natural Resources Director
1:30 PM-2:45 – Presentation 
Acton Town Hall, Room 204 and Zoom
For more information, visit

Friday, March 17
Birding, BLM and one professor’s COVID adventure
7:00 PM
Lawrence Academy Media Center
Harvard Professor and curator Dr. Scott Edwards talks about biking and birding across America in 2020. He started the journey to learn about the birds of America, but after George Floyd’s murder, the trip evolved as he learned about our humanity. He is shown below traveling in Wyoming. This is a free event, but  registration  is required. This talk is made possible through a generous grant from The Groton Commissioners of Trust Funds.

Saturday, March 18
Polystyrene Collection 
10 AM-1 PM
Enter via the Acton Department of Public Works entrance, 14 Forest Rd. and access will not be permitted through the Transfer Station.The Department of Public Works (DPW) is hosting a polystyrene (AKA styrofoam) collection day  (weather permitting).  We will notify leading up to the event if a cancellation is required due to inclement weather. Please contact if you have any questions. A Transfer Station sticker is also required for access.

Monday, March 20 
Amphibian Rescue and Vernal Pool Ecology Talk 
7-8 PM 
Reuben Hoar Library, Sturtz Meeting Room A+B
Are you curious about vernal pools, their importance in the landscape and the animals that rely on them?  Come hear about local effort rescuing and studying frogs and salamanders as they cross busy roads to complete their breeding cycles.  Learn about these ancient and incredible animals and their life cycles and what you can do to help their survival.  This talk will be given by Amy Green, Littleton Conservation Agent, and Scott Smyers, Vice President and Senior Scientist of Oxbow associates, Inc.   Space is limited so please RSVP or 978-524-2840

Wednesday, March 22
Creating Beautiful, Sustainable Lawns: A Talk by Chip Osborne
 7:00-8:30 pm
This webinar will provide an understanding of the negative impacts of traditional lawn care chemicals and approaches, and the ability to take practical steps to create healthy, sustainable lawns.  Sponsored by  Green Acton Materials Committee, Green Acton Water Committee, Energize Acton.  A registration link will be forthcoming.

Thursday 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.

March 29
Wayfinding and Belonging in the Outdoors
7 PM 
We move as stories through narratives spaces as much as physical and cultural spaces. The outdoors, as a construct grounded on the land, is one we co-create, and as the nation’s demographics continue to be more diverse, we have the opportunity, and responsibility, to co-create an outdoors reflective of 2050, rather than preserve one from 1950. And we can take learnings from nature to help us on this path.
José G. González is the Founder of Latino Outdoors and Co-Founder of the Outdoorist Oath. He is a professional educator with training in the fields of education and conservation while engaging in different artistic endeavors with art and messaging—often exploring the intersection of the environment and culture. As a Partner in the Avarna Group and through his own consulting, his work focuses on Equity & Inclusion frameworks and practices in the environmental, outdoor, and conservation fields. He is also an illustrator and science communicator. He received his B.A at the University of California, Davis, and his M.S at the University of Michigan School of Natural Resources & Camp; Environment.
Click Here to Register

SVT and The Bumble Bee Project are sponsoring a native plant sale.
The Plant Kit for Native Pollinators is now available on the SVT Store!  Included are 24 pint-sized plants with 3 plants of 8 different species that are known to provide resources for at-risk native bumble bees. The sale goes until the end of February. Supplies are limited. When you place an order, you will receive an email with details for kit pick-up in June. Click here to order now.
Please view the Plant Kit Description for information on each species included.

Dreaming of Spring? Here’s a teaser for LLCT’s 2023 Pollinator Plant Sale
LLCT is pleased to once again offer a pollinator plant sale to our membership. This year we plan to offer both kits (27 plants, 9 species, 3 of each), and plants a la carte. We expect orders to open by early March. Pick up will be in mid-May. Our hope with the plant sale is to provide a curated list of species that support long-tongued bumblebees and other native pollinators and that bloom from early to late summer.
Quart size perennials will be offered for the following species: Big Bluestem, Little Bluestem, Alleghany and Winged Monkey Flower, Early and Sweet Goldenrod, Heart-leaf Golden Alexander, Calico Aster, Whorled Milkweed, Scarlet Bee Balm, Purple Joe-Pye Weed, Spotted Crane’s Bill, and Northeastern (Hairy) Beardtongue.
A selection of shrubs will also be offered a la carte. Species list to be announced.
LLCT Membership

Support Acton Conservation Trust while you make purchases on AmazonSmile before their closure deadline of Feb. 20!  
They will continue to pursue and invest in other areas where they’ve seen we can make meaningful change—from building affordable housing to providing access to computer science education for students in underserved communities to using our logistics infrastructure and technology to assist broad communities impacted by natural disasters.

To help charities that have been a part of the AmazonSmile program with this transition, they will be providing them with a one-time donation equivalent to three months of what they earned in 2022 through the program, and they will also be able to accrue additional donations until the program officially closes in February. Once AmazonSmile closes, charities will still be able to seek support from Amazon customers by creating their own wish lists.

From your desktop or laptop computer, AmazonSmile is available 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 instruction. 

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”!