Events of Interest February 9, 2023

Dear Friends and Acton Conservation Trust Members,

In case you missed our Winter Wildlife Tracking Walk at Nashoba Brook Conservation Land last Sunday, we took lots of pictures.  To see our best shots and to read our most apt descriptions, visit our website,  or our Instagram page.

Wildlife tracker Paul Wanta confirmed pileated woodpecker after he found scat with ant carcasses at the base of the tree.
The gnawed on large trees illustrates that beavers like big trees as well as skinny saplings.

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

Thursday, February 9, 16; Thursday, Feb. 23 Noon-1 PM
Massachusetts Open Space Conference, Free Webinar Series
Feb. 2: Open Space and Recreation Plans from Writing to Action 
Feb. 9:  Tips and Tools for Landowner Outreach 
Feb. 16:  Land Conservation & Restoration Initiatives for Climate Resiliency, an Exploration of Case Studies and Funding Sources.
Feb. 23:  BioMap, the Latest and Greatest You can learn more and register for this free event here or at

Thursday, February 9 
Kill Your Lawn!
1-2 PM 
Register here.
“Kill Your Lawn!” is a rallying cry heard all over the ecological horticulture community, and many of us try to do just that. If anyone out there is reluctant to get rid of your lawn, how about replacing even part of it? Anna Fialkoff, ecological programs manager for Wild Seed Project, can help you choose what to replace it with. Our class Native Ground Covers will go over everything you need to know, including the best low-growing plants for replacing a turf lawn. Anna will cover urban, suburban, and roadside spaces, along with the environmental benefits these native plants can offer. This webinar is a great way to warm up your design muscles before spring comes in.

Saturday February 11, 2023  
Stony Brook Conservation Land Guided Hike guided by Westford Conservation Trust 

10:00 – 11:30 am
Meet at the main parking area off Depot Street, Westford (see map here).
Trail description: Join trust member Kate Hollister as she leads a hike through the Stony Brook Conservation Land. We will explore several areas of this 286 acre parcel via its varied and scenic trail system. The walk is hilly and rocky in places. Wear sturdy footwear appropriate to the weather. Walks are free of charge, no sign up is required. For further information email us by clicking here. Additional details about the area are available by clicking here. **Please check our website for any cancellations or changes.

Sunday, February 12
Super Cap Sunday Fungus Saunter

2:00 PM
“For those who think Super Bowl Sunday is a bore” 
Mycologist and author of Fascinating Fungi of New England, Fungipedia, Lawrence Millman, will be the foray leader on a mushroom identification walk on Super Bowl Sunday.
$25 per person. Registration required. 
Limited to 16 participants. Register at Thoreau Farm.

Wednesday February 15 
Dr. Robert Gegear,  Premier Local Expert on Bees, Will Share His Research
6 PM 
Pompositticut Community Center in Stow. Sudbury Valley Trustees and The Bumble Bee Project will be hosting an in-person presentation by Dr. Robert Gegear, Professor at UMass Dartmouth.He will be updating us on his ongoing research focusing on pollination systems. Please register for the event here.

Friday-Monday February 17-20
Great Backyard Bird Count 
Those who like watching birds may want to participate in the annual Great Backyard Bird Count.  This is a global birding citizen science event and details can be found in the link below.
To learn how to participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count visit

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 TriciaMcGean, 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.

Friday, March 3 
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. He is shown below traveling in Wyoming. 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.

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. 
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

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.

Thursday 3/27, 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.

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.

Dreaming of Spring? Here’s a teaser for LLCT’s 2023 Pollinator Plant Sale
LLCT is pleased to once again offer a pollinator plant sale to our membership. This year we plan to offer both kits (27 plants, 9 species, 3 of each), and plants a la carte. We expect orders to open by early March. Pick up will be in mid-May. Our hope with the plant sale is to provide a curated list of species that support long-tongued bumblebees and other native pollinators and that bloom from early to late summer.
Quart size perennials will be offered for the following species: Big Bluestem, Little Bluestem, Alleghany and Winged Monkey Flower, Early and Sweet Goldenrod, Heart-leaf Golden Alexander, Calico Aster, Whorled Milkweed, Scarlet Bee Balm, Purple Joe-Pye Weed, Spotted Crane’s Bill, and Northeastern (Hairy) Beardtongue.
A selection of shrubs will also be offered a la carte. Species list to be announced.
LLCT Membership

Public Lands Preservation Act (PLPA) Celebrated at The Massachusetts State House on January 23
Representative Ruth Balser, Senator Jamie Eldridge, and the PLPA Coalition celebrated passage of An Act preserving open space in the Commonwealth (also known as the Public Lands Preservation Act or PLPA), which was signed into law November 17, 2022 and takes effect February 17, 2023!!  To learn more check out the recording of the speeches and the celebration at

Support Acton Conservation Trust while you make purchases on AmazonSmile before their closure deadline of Feb. 20!  
They will continue to pursue and invest in other areas where they’ve seen we can make meaningful change—from building affordable housing to providing access to computer science education for students in underserved communities to using our logistics infrastructure and technology to assist broad communities impacted by natural disasters.

To help charities that have been a part of the AmazonSmile program with this transition, they will be providing them with a one-time donation equivalent to three months of what they earned in 2022 through the program, and they will also be able to accrue additional donations until the program officially closes in February. Once AmazonSmile closes, charities will still be able to seek support from Amazon customers by creating their own wish lists.

From your desktop or laptop computer, AmazonSmile is available 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 instruction. 

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”!