Events of Interest February 23, 2023

Dear Friends and Acton Conservation Trust Members,

Snow drops blooming on 2/16/23!

Read to the end if interested in a conservation job opening in the Acton Land Use Department.

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

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.
Click Here to Register

Hosted by deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, Farrington Nature Linc, The Food Project, Lincoln Land Conservation Trust, Mass Audubon, and The Walden Woods Project. Additional support provided by Freedom’s Way, The Lincoln Cultural Center and The Ogden Codman Trust.

ZOOM info will be sent in advance of each speaking engagement. Closed captioning will be provided.

Thursday, Feb. 23
Massachusetts Open Space Conference, Free Webinar Series
Feb. 23:  BioMap, the Latest and Greatest You can learn more and register for this free event here or at

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 1
“More than just the buzz: A practical guide to restoring native plant-pollinator systems (and why it matters).
Presented by Dr. Robert J. Gegear
7:00  PM
For registration via Zoom and more information click here.
Over the past two decades, human activity has significantly degraded the integrity of plant-pollinator or ‘pollination’ systems across New England, with many of our historically abundant native flowering plant and pollinator species now locally extinct and others soon to follow if we do not take immediate conservation action. The loss of species from plant-pollinator systems poses a significant threat to natural ecosystem function and service due to the fundamental role that ‘pollination products’ play in supporting wildlife diversity across trophic levels. Yet, the factors driving pollination system degradation remain unclear, impeding the development of effective conservation strategies. In this talk, Dr. Gegear will discuss how ecological data collected through his Beecology Citizen Science Project is being used to gain insight into the causes of species loss from bee and butterfly pollination systems native to New England. Sponsored by Freedom’s Way.

Wednesday, March 1 
Venus and Jupiter will look as if they are creeping closer to each other each night. 
They will appear to be the closest on March 1.    From Gwynn Loud’s February 2023 Wildlife Column

Wednesday, March 1 
A Changing Climate: Addressing the Crisis presented by Sudbury Valley Trustees 
7 PM 
How will climate change affect our region, and what does it mean for land conservation? 
Join SVT’s Executive Director, Lisa Vernegaard to learn what you can expect and what SVT and other land trusts are doing to address the crisis.
This webinar will be recorded, so if you can not make it live, please register.

Tuesday, March 7 
Acton Garden Club’s March Meeting on “Vernal Pools” presented by Scott Smyers 
10:15 AM 
Acton Town Hall, Room 204 & Zoom 
During his presentation, Mr. Smyers will teach us about vernal pools, their inhabitants and their importance in the landscape.
Mr. Smyers is Vice President and Senior Scientist of Oxbow Associates located here in Acton, a wetlands and wildlife consulting company specializing in rare amphibian and reptile study and mitigation.  He has studied the behavior and ecology of amphibian and reptile species native to the Eastern United States for more than twenty years.
Since this is a hybrid meeting if anyone would prefer to join via ZOOM, please visit the club’s website at and leave a message for our webmaster.  You will be contacted with the information needed to log into the meeting

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

Wednesday, March 15 
Acton Water District Annual Meeting

6 pm
Save the Date for the Acton Water District Annual Meeting which is March 15 at 6 p.m. at RJ Grey.

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. 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. All are welcome!
Click here to register.

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
Registration link will be coming soon   
Current Sponsors: Green Acton Materials Committee, Green Acton Water Committee, Energize Acton
Come hear Chip Osborn, a nationally recognized expert in organic and sustainable lawns.  As a long-time wholesale and retail nurseryman, he has first-hand experience with the pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides routinely used in landscape and horticultural industry. Personal experience led him to believe there must be a safer way to grow plants. His personal investigation, study of conventional and organic soil science practices, and hands-on experimentation led him to become one of the country’s leading experts on growing sustainable, natural turf.  A turf surface of any size can be maintained at a high degree of green-ness and health, with positive effects on humans and nature. In this information-rich talk, Chip will discuss:   
+ Everyday conventional chemicals that are used in lawn care and their deleterious effects on soil, water, wildlife and human health
+ Methods and practices for transitioning to successful organic lawns
– Soil testing and analysis
– Proper timing and use of organic materials
– Wise water use
– An individualized approach to each lawn.
+ Questions that a homeowner can ask a lawn care company to make sure it’s following safe practices.

Saturday, March 25,

Massachusetts Land Conservation Conference
8 AM-4 PM 
8:45 AM-10:10 Concurrent Sessions
10:30 AM-11:45 AM Welcome Topic: Affordable Housing and Land Conservation – Not an Either/Or   
Worcester Technical High School, 1 Officer Manny Familia Way, Worcester, MA 01605  (some online sessions)
The annual conference of the Massachusetts Land Trust Coalition, which advances land conservation across Massachusetts by providing education, tools, networking, and advocacy for land trusts and their partners. Mass Audubon Policy & Advocacy staff will be speaking at a workshop on dual-use solar, food production and farmland protection. 
ScheduleDescriptionsRegisterLand Conservation Terms & Acronyms

Thursday, March 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

Deadline: First consideration being given to applications received by February 24th, 2023 
If you are passionate about the environment and want to make a difference within the community this is a great position working with our Conservation Agent. This position will provide staffing for the Land Stewardship Committee, Agricultural Commission, the Friends of the Acton Arboretum Inc., and be the land manager for Acton’s conservation land. Click on Full Description to learn the specifics.

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.


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”!