Events of Interest February 24, 2022

Dear Acton Conservation Trust Members and Other Friends,

JUST OUT!!!     Acton Conservation Trust LAND TRUST NEWSLETTER!!
Read the ACT 2022 Newsletter here

Deer Enjoying Vinca in the Morning

The following news and events may be of interest:

Thursday, February 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. 

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
Polysterene Collection Day
10 AM-1 PM 
Acton Transfer Station and Recycling Center  – Enter via The Acton Dept of Public Works entrance, 14 Forest Road. Bring your clean polystyrene (styrofoam); We can’t accept polystyrene food containers.
Questions?  Contact if you have any questions.  Transfer Station sticker required for access. 

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

Wednesday, March 2 
Climate Action Plan:  Phase II
12-1:15 PM For an update on the plan and process.  To register click here.
The Town of Acton has recently partnered with Eastern Research group (ERG) to support us in conducting an in-depth assessment to prioritize 15-20 strategies in the Climate Climate Action Plan (CAP) Blueprint based on potential greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions, costs, and benefits, including equity and resilience, of each strategy.  We are excited to continue this work and finish off with a final Climate Action Plan in June!  

Wednesday, March 2 
On Belonging in Outdoor Spaces:  Bicycling, birding and #BLM Across America in a summer of chaos
7 PM 
Virtual Program
Dr. Scott Edwards, Professor of Biology at Harvard and Outdoor Enthusiast
Scott will bring you along on his 76 day 3800 mile bicycle trek across the US in the summer of 2020 using vivid photographs and videos. Register for the Scott Edwards Program Here

Thursday, March 3 
MACC Diversity and Equity and Inclusion Keynote Speaker &  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.  For Workshop  and Award Celebration Register HERE.  ** ACT would like to commend ACT Trustee Jody Harris for receiving the Outstanding Public Service Award for her work in organizing Service Days to remove invasive species on conservation lands;  creating a new trail blazing team for the Acton Land Stewardship Committee; creating a prioritized spreadsheet of all Acton’s trails needing re-blazing. In 3 short months, Jody and her team had blazed hundreds of acres of trail systems.

March 6, 7, 13, 14 
Raptor  Rapture:  Research and Recovery 
Raptors have re-entered the conservation spotlight amid several species’ dramatic, human-assisted recoveries – but these success stories are shadowed by the emergence of new  threats.  Many birds of prey, from Ospreys and Red-shouldered Hawks to kestrels and owls, have adapted to different forms of human disturbance.  Still, the spectra of habitat destruction, climate change, and rodenticide poisoning are dampers on raptor populations across the globe. Registration:  You can choose to sign up for individual sessions or the whole series. REGISTER FOR ALL HERE. For more information visit

Tuesday, March 8 
Uncovering Soil 
An Intro to the World Beneath our Feet 
7 pm-8 PM 
Online with Dr. Rachel Neurath  who is an expert in soil microbial ecology for four programs this spring.  Sponsored by the Lincoln Land Conservation Trust. More details to come at

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 
ACT Annual Meeting:  New Conservation Strategies for the 21st Century – presented by Claudia Thompson
6:30PM Business Meeting
7:00PM Presentation

“New Conservation Strategies for the 21st Century”
Using her garden as a case study, Claudia will discuss valuable lessons learned over several decades when she transformed her small urban property into a landscape rich with habitat for birds, pollinators, and other wildlife. She is a strong advocate for the importance of land stewardship on all lands -large and small- and believes that conservation begins at home. 

Carol Holley Conservation Volunteer Award presentation:  In addition, please join us for the ceremonial presentation of the Carol Holley Conservation Volunteer Award, recognizing outstanding contributions to the environment. Our recipient this year will be Sue Whitcomb, a member of the Acton Garden Club and volunteer at the Acton Arboretum. Sue has helped maintain the Arboretum for 30 years and selected many of the plantings. She has also helped design many theme gardens and collections there as well. Her many contributions can be found on the ACT website and in our 2022 Newsletter.

Click Here to Register! and participate in our Business Meeting (see Agenda at the end of this message.) You will receive an emailed registration copy for your records and a Zoom link prior to the event.)

Those who haven’t yet renewed are encouraged to renew until March 13 at 6:30 PM if you would like to vote at the meeting. Please visit the ACT website, and click on Join/Donate.

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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