Events of Interest February 4, 2022

Dear Acton Conservation Trust Members and Other Friends,

Beautiful wall on Donald CR near Acton Arboretum

The following news and events may be of interest:

Friday/Saturday, February 4 and 5
Winter Tree and Shrub ID Walk,  Winter Carnival with Lincoln Conservation Department
Codman Estate, Lincoln
Join Lincoln Conservation Department staff for a rousing winter walk through the woods as they discuss how to identify wood plants-no leaves necessary!  Plan for a 2 mile walk and wear warm clothes and sturdy shoes.  Please leave pets at home, since our focus is on nature. Please bring a mask for when the group gathers together.  Registration is required, click here!  Each session is limited to 15 people so sign up today!  You may also call 781-259-2612 or email to register.

Saturday, February 5 – CANCELLED due to inclement weather
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. 

February 6
Winter Wildlife Tracking Walk 
12-2 PM 
Acton Conservation Trust welcomes members and friends for a winter tracking walk led by Paul Wanta.  We will walk through the trails of North Acton, including Nashoba Brook, Robbins Mill, Spring Hill and Camp Acton Conservation Lands.  This area is the largest contiguous parcel of protected land in Acton, comprising 400+ acres.  This will be a slow walk of 1-2 miles.  As the long range weather forecast predicts only a small chance of snow between now and the event date, there is a good possibility that we will have to move the event to the snow date.  No pets on this walk, thank you! 
To read more about Paul’s tracking history and education, visit the ACT website.  Registration is required, click here.  For more information or questions, please contact Jody Harris at

Tuesday, February 8 
Mammals of New England  

1 PM 
Zoom – Pre-registration is required. 
There is a wide range of mammals found around New England, from the woods, fields and suburbs to the seashore.  From the shy fisher to the comical chipmunk, rabbits, fox, deer, and more.  Learn about mammal behavior tracks and signs to help figure out who is in your neighborhood – as well  on the shore.  Presenter:  Joy Marzolf of the Joys of Nature, has been offering a variety of animal-related education programs for over 20 years. Most recently, she was a Naturalist and Educator at Mass Audubon’s Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary. Registration here.

Wednesday, February 9 
The Peopling of the Americas with Greg Paris 
10-11:30 am, on-line course
The American continents have been home to a vast number of Native cultures and civilizations for at least 15,000 years. Their origins have been a continuing puzzle for anthropologists, archaeologists, and geneticists. Questions surrounding the peopling of the Americas include: who were the ancestors of American Indigenous populations, where might they have come from, when, in how many waves, and where did they go? 

In this two-session course, we will first provide an overview of past climatic events, introduce the debate between several past and present proposals for migrations, and discuss the kinds of evidence that bear on these arguments. Then we will review some unusual hypotheses, recent findings, some extremely early dates, and discuss the evidence pro and con.  There is a modest fee and you can register here. A diverse reading list will be distributed in advance, mostly from accessible research reports and reviews.

Thursday, February 10, 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. 

Thursday, Feb. 10
Birds, the Epic Adventures of a Mass Bird Photographer by Peter Christoph 
7-8 PM 
via Zoom  
Join East Quabbin Land Trust for a zoom webinar from wildlife photographer, speaker, and author, Peter Christoph.  He will share his favorite bird photographs taken in Massachusetts and share stories of his adventures and techniques used to capture his images.  Click to register for this event.

Thursday, February 10
How can I reduce my property taxes?
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.

  • February 10 – How can I reduce my property taxes?
  • March 10 – How can I conserve my land? 
  • April 14 – What are the financial benefits of land 

Saturday, February 12 
Forest Management Walk 
Athol Massachusetts
Learn about an upcoming harvest to restore a more resilient native habitat.  Great for:  land managers, foresters, Mass. residents. Sponsored by Nature Groupie. Learn more and register here.

Tuesday, February 15 
Kiss the Ground Film Screening and Expert Panel
6-8 PM
Do you want to feel hopeful and empowered about climate change and our future? Join Codman Community Farms, Mothers Out Front, and LLCT for the kick off of the Healthy Soil Series. Kiss the Ground is a fantastic inspirational look at the importance of healthy, living soils. Free. Learn more and register here.

Wednesday, February 16 
Full Moon:  The Snow Moon. 
The explanation behind February’s full Moon name is simply because that is the month in which the seasonal weather is most common.  It is also known as a ‘hunger moon’ or ’storm moon’ reflected again by the traits of the long, cold, stormy winter months.

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 

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.

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.

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.  


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. 


Acton CAP (Climate Action Plan) Blueprint Here!  Together with the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC), the Sustainability Office presented the report to the Select Board on December 20.  The Blueprint contains a list of strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in our buildings, energy, transportation and through nature-based solutions.

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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