Events of Interest January 14, 2022

Dear Acton Conservation Trust Members and Other Friends,

Heath Hen Meadow Conservation Land, Returning from Winter Island 

The following news and events may be of interest:

The Beacon Hill Weekly Round up – Mass Audubon Advocacy, January 10, 2022 
The Gulf of Maine is warming faster than 99% of the world’s oceans – change that can drive wildlife to cooler waters, and force coastal communities to adapt to rising sea levels and more frequent storms. 

Protections for Oceans Can’t Wait 
Mass Audubon and 32 other New England-based groups have urged NOAA officials to take bold action to ensure the protection of our coastal and marine ecosystems.  The Biden administration has committed to conserve at least 30% of US lands and waters by 2030, and oceans must be part of that goal. 

US Emissions on the Rise Again 
After dropping in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, US greenhouse gas emissions rose by 6% in 2021.  Although some increases were expected, this news shows how far we still have to go toward our emissions reduction goals, and why our collective climate advocacy remains more important than ever. 

Thursday, January 13
Like Moths to a Flame:  Pollinators Need Dark Nights 
7 PM-8 PM 
Virtual Program sponsored by Lincoln Land Conservation Trust 
When was the last time you looked up at the stars on a clear, dark night, far away from streetlights? Artificial light at night has become ubiquitous and the negative effects on wildlife and human health are well documented. Feeding, mating, and migration behaviors of insects and other wildlife evolved with the complete darkness of night. As light pollution erodes this darkness, the survival of many of these species is at risk. What is the scope of the problem and what can we collectively do to help? Join LLCT for a Fireside Chat with James Lowenthal, Professor of Astronomy at Smith College to learn about light pollution and how we can minimize its negative effects. Register here. For more information visit

January 13 Who will own my land next?
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 

Monday, January 17 (Martin Luther King Day)
Civil Disobedience Walk 
1-2 PM
Meet at the replica of the Thoreau house at Walden Pond, 915 Walden St., Concord Join historian Richard Smith and Nikki Turpin from the Robbins House at the Thoreau house replica near the main parking lot, for a conversation about Thoreau’s night in jail.  Thoreau’s arrest for non-payment of taxes as a protest against slavery laid ground for his essay “Civil Disobedience”, Martin Luther King Jr., Mohandas (Mahatma) Gandhi, and many activists read and found inspiration for their work in Thoreau’s essay.  Continue the conversation about civil disobedience historic and present day, on a half-mile guided walk along Walden’s accessible trail to the Thoreau house site.  

Monday, January 17 
January’s full Wolf Moon reaches peak illumination 
6:51 PM EST
Look for the Moon to rise from the northeastern horizon around sunset. It’s thought that January’s full Moon came to be known as the Wolf Moon because wolves were more likely to be heard howling at this time.  It was traditionally believed that wolves howled due to hunger during winter, but we know today that wolves howl for different reasons.  Howling and other wolf vocalizations are generally used to define territory, locate pack members, reinforce social bonds and coordinate hunting.

Thursday, February 3, 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 on
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.  

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.

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 

Sunday, March 13 
Preview of ACT Annual Meeting:  New Conservation Strategies for the 21st Century – presented by Claudia Thompson
6:15PM 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.


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 StreetAs 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.  


Walden Pond in Concord 7 am-4 pm 915 Walden;   978-369-3254, bridal paths, and farm roads.  Boat ramp Sunday – Saturday: 5 AM – 5:30 PM.Parking:  MA resident $8; Non-MA resident:  $30  Annual and senior passes NOT sold in park, use link to purchase a pass:

Camp Acton is Open! Pope Road, Acton Fee is $25 per site reserved through he Recreation Department. Limited to 10 people per site. Visit to learn more about Camp Acton. Please complete the registration form 48 business hours prior to desired reservation date. Payments are due upon reservation confirmation. Portable toilet on site. All users must follow social distancing, regulations and posted guidelines.  Please complete and send camp Acton Permit application via email to or fax to 978-929-6333. Please allow up to two business days to process.

Boxborough Birders is a local, all-volunteer group of bird watchers with varying levels of experience. Local walks in Boxborough, Acton, Harvard, Stow, Bolton, Littleton, are organized during spring and fall migration and occasionally beyond.   Our walks are free of charge and most are scheduled on weekends. (Due to Covid-19 pandemic, all scheduled walks for 2021 will be limited in size, masks will be worn, no shared equipment and social distancing required). Visit their website: for links to local birding spots, photos, and more. You can sign up there to be on our mailing list and get all the information you need. We hope you will join us out on the trail soon.

Birding Kits available for curbside pick up
Acton Memorial Library, Main Street, Acton
The library has two Birding Kits available for loan to Acton residents. Each kit includes a canvas field bag with Eagle Optics 8 by 42 binoculars with case, Peterson Field Guide to Birds of Eastern and Central North America, Birding for the Curious, Town of Acton Guide to Conservation Lands and a laminated copy of Sibley’s Backyard Birds of the Northeast, a quick reference card. The kits circulate for two weeks. Acton residents may place a hold on a Birding Kit by contacting the Reference Desk, 978-929-6543 or email  Give your card number and phone number and the Circulation Department will call you when it is ready for curbside pickup.

Best Wishes for 2022!!

Susan Mitchell-Hardt 
President, Acton Conservation Trust

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