Events of Interest February 23, 2024

Dear Friends and Acton Conservation Trust Members,

ACT hat worn by ACT member on conservation land in Singapore!!!!

The following events may be of interest:

Tuesday, February 24 
Full Snow Moon
February’s full Moon is a “Micromoon” this year. Think of this term as the opposite of a “Supermoon.” It simply means that the full Moon is at its farthest point from Earth (not the nearest point). In astronomical terms, we call this “apogee.” Specifically, February’s Micro full Moon is about 252,225 miles from Earth.
The explanation behind February’s full Moon name is a fairly straightforward one: it’s known as the Snow Moon due to the typically heavy snowfall that occurs in February. On average, February is the United States’ snowiest month, according to data from the National Weather Service. In the 1760s, Captain Jonathan Carver, who had visited with the Naudowessie (Dakota), wrote that the name used for this period was the Snow Moon, “because more snow commonly falls during this month than any other in the winter.”  From the The Old Farmer’s Almanac,’s%20full%20Snow%20Moon%20reaches,Saturday%2C%20February%2024%2C%202024!

Saturday, February 24 
Styrofoam Collection at the Transfer Station
Acton Transfer Station, 193 Massachusetts Ave. Acton
An additional date has been added to the 2024 Styrofoam Collection Days at the Acton Transfer Station. If you have a Transfer Station sticker, stop by to recycle your clean Styrofoam.  Recycle bulky Styrofoam. Visit for the entire 2024 Styrofoam recycling schedule and for a guide on which products are accepted.

Saturday, February 24
Middlesex Conservation District:  Backyard Invasives Identification and Removal

2:00 – 3:30 PM
Maynard Public Library
77 Nason St, Maynard, MA 01754
Join SVT Land Steward, Jane Maloney, for a program covering common invasive plant and insect species in Massachusetts. Attendants will learn what defines a species as “invasive”, how to identify them, and how to manage them in their backyards or wherever they’re stewarding the land. There will be time for questions at the end of the presentation. Register here.

Saturday, February 24
PlugIN Tour: Clean Energy Home of the Month – Focus on Heat Pumps
Two sessions: 11am and 1pm
South Acton address sent with registration
How we use energy matters for the natural world and for future generations. Each month through July,’s PlugIN campaign will feature a home with a different technology or theme. This month visit a home where the owners have switched to a heat pump hydronic system and other clean technologies. Feel the comfort level for yourself! The homeowner is one of Acton’s Clean Energy Coaches and he looks forward to your questions about transitioning off fossil fuels. There will be two free sessions, one at 11am and one at 1pm. The address will be sent upon registration. For info and registration, click HERE.

Tuesday, February 27
Not Your Average Cause – Fundraiser for ACT!!!   LAST NIGHT!
All Day
Not Your Average Joe’s, Acton, 305 Main St, Acton, MA 01720
Acton Conservation Trust has been selected for the  Not Your Average Cause program sponsored by Not Your Average Joe’s restaurant. Every Tuesday in February 2024 (the 6th, 13th, 20th, 27th) NYAJ’s will donate an amount equal to 15% of all purchases made by ACT supporters at Not Your Average Joe’s in Acton.  Lunch, dinner and purchases in the restaurant are all equally eligible (*excludes alcohol and tip).
There are three ways to participate:
 – Mention ACT Cause Night to your server.
 – Show your server the certificate below on your phone.
 – Print out the certificate below and show to your server.
Click here to view or print the NYAJ’s Cause Certificate.  Feel free to share this certificate and thank you! 
978-635-0101 or for reservations

Tuesday, February 27
PlugIN Talk: Heat Pumps for Home Heating and Cooling
7:00-8:00pm zoom
In this virtual talk, Bob Zogg (a founding member of the HeatSmart Alliance) will introduce homeowners to modern heat pumps and their advantages, including types of heat pumps, their role reducing greenhouse gas emissions, examples of energy costs and emissions comparisons, available incentives, and the role of clean energy coaches. Bob retired from a long career in energy consulting and his presentations are as clear as they are passionate! There will be lots of time for questions and answers. Sponsored by and the HeatSmart Alliance. For info and registration, click HERE.

Tuesday, February 27
Winter Plant ID Walk
Horse Meadows Knoll, Harvard
Horse Meadows Knoll rises above Horse Meadows Reservoir, which is now a beautiful, naturalized pond. Beavers are active at the pond and great blue herons nest in the treetops above the pond. Join naturalist Roland “Boot” Boutwell for an informative nature walk focused on winter plant identification as well as fun and interesting natural history about the plants we see. Register at

Wednesday, Feb. 28
MCA Metrowest Conservation Alliance –  Land Protection Workshop
2:00 – 4:00 PM
Pompositticut Community Center
509 Great Rd, Stow, MA 01775
Join us for this interactive, in-person workshop highlighting the new land priority maps! We will present an overview of the land protection priority mapping tool and data viewers.
We will be breaking into small groups to identify land protection priorities in your community and discuss regional protection strategies. There will also be time for networking and idea sharing.
Please bring your Open Space Plan to compare the town-identified priorities with the results of the mapping tool. 
Register here

Thursdays, February 29 to April 25
Tribal Forestry: Understanding Current Issues and Challenges
Noon – 12:55 pm (not March 14 and 21)
This series will focus on the current state of tribal forest management and Indigenous stewardship, with speakers from different tribes, universities, non-profits, and agencies. Topics will include: the history of forest stewardship on tribal lands in North America, federal laws and tribal forestry, contemporary uses of plants and wildlife stewardship, fire, conclusions from the Indian Forest Management Assessment (IFMAT), tribal co-management, and the future of tribal forestry in the face of climate change. Free. CEUs available for attending foresters. Co-developed and co-hosted by The Forest School and the Yale Center for Environmental Justice at Yale School of the Environment, and Salish Kootenai College. Learn more and register.

Thursdays, February 29 
Making Land Available for Farming
Noon – 1:30 p.m.
These two webinars are intended to help farmland owners and their representatives explore motivations, strategies, and mechanics for making any amount of land available to a farmer Learn more and register.

Friday, March 1
Silver Unicorn Bookstore to host Ellen Clegg and Dan Kennedy, giants in the field of community news for a discussion of their new book
7:00 pm, at the Silver Unicorn Bookstore, 12 Spruce Street, West Acton
Come learn from giants in the field of community news:  The Acton Exchange is collaborating with the Silver Unicorn Bookstore to host Ellen Clegg and Dan Kennedy for a discussion of their new book, “What works in Community News:  Media Startups, News Deserts and the Future of the Fourth Estate.”  In the words of Gregory L. Moore, former editor of The Denver Post, this book “pulls together in one place innovative approaches from across the country to stave off growing ‘news deserts.’ You can’t help but find this book nourishing if you care about preserving local news—and our democracy.”  The discussion will be on Friday, March 1, 7:00 pm, at the Silver Unicorn Bookstore, 12 Spruce Street, West Acton. 

Saturday, March 2nd (snow date, March 16th) 
Harvard Community Conference
2 – 4 pm
Volunteers Hall, Harvard Public Library 
Co-sponsored by Arm in Arm and Harvard’s Climate Initiative Committee
This year’s Harvard Community Conference event, brought to you by a Bromfield student, will focus on stories of climate change seen through the eyes of local residents—farmers, environmental activists, employees in the food industry and others. Their stories will touch upon their personal experience, thoughts, and feelings about climate change.The event is free and open to everyone and includes the following guests:
Melissa Marteney (Harvard Resident): Melissa worked for 21 years at the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) where she observed the effects of climate change in many different aspects of recreational activities, conservation efforts and beach operations.
Ellie Maglothlin: Ellie is a youth activist and Bromfield graduate.
Adam Meier (Harvard Resident): Adam is a Green, Healthy, and Sustainable Products Director at Housing Partnership Network. He works across a network of leading affordable housing nonprofits to build and support healthy, vibrant, and sustainable communities for all.
Marion Stoddart (Ayer Resident): Marion is an activist and community leader best known for her work leading up to the rescue and recovery of the Nashua River in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. She later founded the Nashua River Watershed Association.
Charlotte Vallaeys (Harvard Resident): Charlotte is an expert in all things organic at General Mills, one of the largest producers of certified packaged foods with brands including Annie’s, Cascadian Farm and Muir Glen.
Paul Willard (Still River Resident): Paul is a well-known member of our community. Paul ran the Willard Farm and provided vegetable plants and summertime produce in Still River for the last several decades. He is especially known for his superior corn. Paul also served on the Town Conservation Commission and as Harvard’s Animal Control Officer. 
Come! Gather with us to share these stories and browse the student and community art display.  Chat with local community organizations and be surprised by a presentation by 5th  grade HES students.  Enjoy some beverages, sweets, stories and time with your neighbors.

Sunday, March 3 
Join AB PIP STEM for the 25th Annual Skate FUNdraiser 
2:30-4:30 PM 
Nashoba Valley Olympia Rink #3, Route 111 in Boxborough 
Ice skating, refreshments, music, fun at the Nashoba Valley Olympia Rink (rink #3).  Suggested donation $20/family, $5/pp. Skating, Music, Refreshments. Learn about AB PIP STEM & community happenings too! 
The NEW Acton Nature Guide with updated map of Acton Conservation lands, depicts local wildlife including birds, butterflies, insects, wildflowers, pond life, mammals, trees and invasive plants. It’s a perfect companion to PIP Nature Walks or your own self guided hikes.
ALL proceeds benefit AB PIP STEM, local food pantries, AB energy initiatives, non-profits and charities. All are welcome! Skaters & non-skating supporters!  Skate rentals available. 

Sunday, March 10 
Blight: Author Emily Monosson in Conversation with Brent Ranalli
2 PM
$10 to attend at Thoreau Farm  Register 
$5 to attend online Register 
A prescient warning about the mysterious and deadly world of fungi—and how to avert further loss across species, including our own. Presented by The Write Connection at Thoreau Farm. On-site book sales support The Shop at Walden Pond.
Learn more about our Programs

Sunday, March 17 
Acton Conservation Trust Annual Meeting:  Snakes of New England and the World  – Live Animal Presentation
1:00-3:00 pm
Acton Town Hall, Faulkner Room 204, 472 Main St., Acton
1:00 PM Business Meeting
1:20 PM Presentation of Carol Holley Conservation Award to John Watlington, Land Steward Committee member
1:30-2:30 pm Guest Speaker: Rick Roth, Rick the Snakeman of Cape Ann Vernal Pond Team

Do you wonder what kind of snakes might be living in the woods near your house? Have you ever caught a glimpse of a snake just as it disappeared into some shrubs and wished for a closer look? Here is your chance to see native and exotic snakes close up. Rick Roth, local snake expert and Director of Cape Ann. Vernal Pond Team, will share some of his favorite snakes and talk about their lives and habits in this live animal presentation. (From CAVPT website) Fourteen species of snake are native to New England, and Rick will speak to preserving habitat and land and the important role snakes play in our ecosystem.

John Watlington has been the land steward for the 180 acre Great Hill Conservation Land since 2014. He kept the several miles of trails there maintained and clean. Currently, he is Steward at Large, working where needed in all Acton conservation lands. As a member of the Land Steward Committee, he gives monthly talks about invasive plant species, sharing his experiences with keeping invasive plant growth under control. He is also a sawyer, keeping the trails cleared of downed trees following storms. That’s been a lot of work this year!

This program is free for all and perfect for families with children aged 5 and older.  Please register here.

Sunday,  March 17
St. Patrick’s Day!!!
The day commemorates Saint Patrick and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland, and, by extension, celebrates the heritage and culture of the Irish in general.[5][8]
According to tradition, Patrick returned to Ireland to convert the pagan Irish to Christianity. The Declaration says that he spent many years evangelising in the northern half of Ireland and converted thousands.
Patrick’s efforts were eventually turned into an allegory in which he drove “snakes”, heathen practices, out of Ireland, despite the fact that actual snakes were not known to inhabit the region.[21]
Tradition holds that he died on 17 March and was buried at Downpatrick. Over the following centuries, many legends grew up around Patrick.  For more information visit Saint Patrick’s Day,

Saturday, March 23 
Massachusetts Land Conservation Conference
8:15-4:30 PM
UMass Amherst, Campus Center, 1 Campus Center 
Featuring a keynote address by Dr. Darren Ranco, citizen of the Penobscot Nation, Professor of Anthropology, Chair of Native American Programs, and Faculty Fellow at the Mitchell Center for Sustainability Solutions at the University of Maine. His talk will reflect perspectives from his work with the Wabanaki Commission on Land and Stewardship, which you can learn more about here.
Register   |   Schedule   |   Descriptions   |   Conference Portal



Recycle Your Clothing and Textiles:  RED CROSS BOXES at the Transfer Station – located to the left of the trash openings. 
View Flyer here.

Every March or April 
Amphibian Crossing Brigade Handbook – February 2023 
To learn more, including “How to organize your own crossing brigade” – visit Amphibian Crossing Brigade Handbook

Walk Around the Pond with Thoreau
This scenic route meanders past glacially formed coves with views of the clear water. The walk starts at the Thoreau House replica and continues past the original site of his modest dwelling. This walk has two options, with both starting at the Thoreau House replica (#1) by the main parking lot. The dirt path is relatively easy hiking with gradual inclines on slightly uneven terrain. Great for families!

Walden Pond:  
StoryWalk® Adventures – Enjoy a Story, Fresh Air and Exercise! Just follow the trail and visit the laminated pages of the book posted along the route. A wonderful story is just ahead waiting for you

Click on this YouTube video to see wildlife in Acton caught on wildlife cams by ACT Member Rebecca Harvey




Susan Mitchell-Hardt 
President, Acton Conservation Trust