Events of Interest February 17, 2022

Dear Acton Conservation Trust Members and Other Friends,

Crossroads on a frozen pond

The following news and events may be of interest:

Thursday, February 17 
Capturing Creatures:  Wildlife Camera and Illustration Webinar 
6-8 PM 
Conservation Restriction Program Manager for The Trustees, Sally Naser will share some of her wonderful images from cameras across the state.  In addition, she’ll offer advice for the aspiring wildlife camera photographer, including what to look for in a camera, siting recommendations, and more.  Pre-registration is required; Questions?  Call 413-628-4485 x 6 or email Learn more and register here. Sponsored by Hilltown Land Trust, a regional land trust in Western MA

Thursday, February 17 and 24 
7th Annual Mass Open Space Conference; Webinar 1:  The Ecological Context of Your Community
12-1:30 PM Webinars; 1:35-2:20 PM Networking 
Information and registration are available here.
This event is being collaboratively organized by the North Quabbin Regional landscape Partnership, Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust, Emerald Necklace Conservancy, and Green Cambridge.  Funding for this event is provided by the MA Working Forest Initiative,  in partnership with UMass-Amherst and MA Department of Conservation and Recreation. 

Friday, February 18 – Monday, Feb. 21
The Great Backyard Bird Count    
Birders of all experience are invited to come together to participate in the  Great Backyard Bird Count.  these efforts help scientists understand bird migratory patterns and populations.  organized by the Cornell lab of ornithology, national Audubon Society, and Birds Canada this event brings the joy of bird watching to members of their organizations and beyond.,  If you are interested in participating you can learn more at 

Monday, February 21  
Groton Conservation Trust:  Hike 4-5 miles and explore the Walker property, Fitch-Woods, and climb Chestnut Hill, Groton  
10 AM
Meet on Watson Way, Groton.   This intermediate hike is a loop which offers woodland, ponds and open meadows.  Spikes will be necessary.  This event is free but registration is required.  All are welcome! To register click here.

Wednesday, February 23 
State of the Coast:  Salt Marsh and Habitats 
Noon-1 PM
The Trustees are offering a free eight-week webinar series, Conservation in Action! Salt marshes are one of the most productive ecosystems on the planet, and these beautiful landscapes also protect our shorelines, provide habitat, and help preserve water quality. Salt marshes depend on their ability to migrate with rising sea levels.  Some marshes may have a chance to migrate landward and survive where the absence of  barriers and natural topography now. In this webinar we discuss options for restoring salt marshes, and models for managed retreat to protect these natural systems, which if healthy, can serve as natural buffers to storm surge and sea level rise. Register now at

Thursday, February 24   
“Nature’s Best Hope” with Dr. Doug Tallamy, Professor of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology 
6:30-8 PM 
Learn how your yard can help sustain the plants and animals that sustain us.  Cost $15, for details and registration click here.

Saturday, February 26 
Botany Story Slam 
6-8 PM Live/virtual, Fee:  $20 Members $24 Nonmembers 
Join the Native Plant Trust for the annual Native Plant Trust Botany Story Slam – an exciting evening recounting plant adventures from some of the top botanists, horticulturists, and more.  Speakers include Jonathan Drori, author of the best selling “Around the World in 80 Trees” and “Around the World in 80 Plants”; Christin Geall, author of Cultivated; William (Ned)Friedman, Director of the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University; Joann Vieira, Director of Horticulture, The Trustees; Rebecca McMackin, Director of Horticulture, Brooklyn Bridgets Park; and Michael Piantedosi, Director of Conservation, Native Plant Trust.   More information and registration here.

Monday, February 28 
Lincoln’s Woodland Vernal Pools 
7-8 PM 
Big Night is approaching and you may be asking yourself, why are there ducks quacking at night in March or April?  Join Michele Grzenda, Lincoln’s Conservation Director as she shares a virtual presentation on vernal pools.  What are they?  Why should we protect them?  These seasonal wetlands are home to… More information and registration here.

Tuesday March 1-Saturday, March 12
Massachusetts Association of Conservation Commissions  (MACC) Virtual Annual Environmental Conference (AEC)
Attend 32 NEW Workshops to help you understand the complexities of conservation commission operations and the Wetlands Protection Act regulations.  This year we have important discussions about the upcoming changes on the regulations, Chapter 91 and commission coordinated reviews, diversity-equity-inclusion topics, agricultural and forestry exemptions, municipal climate bylaws/ordinances, solar project development and conservation planning, woody plant identification, culverts, and tips on keeping commissions out of trouble.  For more information, click on

Thursday, March 3 
MACC Diversity and Equity and Inclusion Keynote Speaker:  Larry Spotted Crow Mann and MACC  Environmental Service Award Celebration  – free
6 PM – 7:30 PM
All conference attendees, speakers, volunteers, sponsors and supporters are invited to this free virtual celebration to honor environmental service award recipients and listen to our Keynote speaker, a local citizen of the Nipmuc Tribe.   “A la Carte” Workshop Registration HERE.  

Wednesday, March 9 
The Trustees Agroecology Work 
The Trustees occupy a particular position as a conservation organization engaged in production agriculture.  To learn more about their agroecology work,  register here.

Thursday, March 10
How can I conserve my land?
2nd Thursday of each month, December 9 – 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.

  • April 14 – What are the financial benefits of land conservation?

Sunday, March 13 
Preview of ACT Annual Meeting:  New Conservation Strategies for the 21st Century – presented by Claudia Thompson
6:30PM Business Meeting; 7 PM – Presentation
Acton Town Hall, 472 Main Street, Room 204,  and/or Virtual 
Fight Climate Change with a 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. Learn more and register here.

Tuesday March 15 
Salamander Crossing Brigade Training 
7-8:30 PM 
Discover how you can help salamanders cross roads this spring!  Great for:  citizen scientists, families, kids.  Sponsored by  Nature Groupie. Learn more and register here.  


New Archeological Preservation Bylaw Survey.   The Acton Historical Commission, Town staff and other stakeholders, in an effort to pursue an archeological preservation bylaw, invite you to provide feedback on your understanding of Acton’s archeological resources and your interest in documenting and protecting archeologically significant resources within the Town through a formal permitting process. The survey should take no more than five minutes.  Please click this link to participate in the survey.
The survey was extended to Friday, 2/25th, so please feel free to share with other friends around Acton.

Spotted Lantern Fly: Found in Shrewsbury.
Unfortunately, a population of spotted lantern fly was found in Shrewsbury in January 2022. This is the first population in our watershed and only the second in the state (the other is in Fitchburg). There have been other sightings throughout the state of individuals (see detections  map.)


Winter Volunteering with Boston Area Gleaners: 
Wednesdays volunteers are invited to  lend a hand to support the ‘Just Eats’ grocery box program.  Choose either 9-12 PM or 1-4 PM at 91 Martin Street.

As BAG enters their second year of this collaboration with Food for Free, volunteers are helping to fill hundreds of boxes each week with veggies and dry goods for pantries, housing facilities, and other community food distribution sites in eastern Massachusetts. Register here.

BAG is 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

Covid safety:  BAG is now requiring that all volunteers be fully vaccinated against Covid-19.  Volunteers are also required to wear masks on all projects.  The staff members that you will work with are also fully vaccinated and follow the same safety protocols.  Food packs take place in the greenhouse, which is partially open to the air.  Read more about volunteer Covid precautions on the BAG website. 


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.  


Susan Mitchell-Hardt 
President, Acton Conservation Trust

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