Events of Interest January 27, 2023

Dear Friends and Acton Conservation Trust Members,

Snowy morning in Acton

Visit our website,  or our Instagram page, for more pictures and descriptions.

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

Saturday, January 28 – RE-SCHEDULED TO FEB. 4
Winter Tracking Guided Walk -Registration closed
Meeting location will be sent a few days before event. 
Acton Conservation Trust welcomes members and friends for our annual winter tracking walk led by Paul Wanta. We will walk along Nashoba Brook on the trails of North Acton. 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. This event is perfect for families, but no pets please! Dress warmly…

Mondays, January 30, 2/2, 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.

Tuesday, January 31 
“Hey Soil: What’s Going on Down There?”7 PM 
In-person at the Lawrence Library and streaming live on ZOOM!
Please register at
Learn how soil microbes make veggies yummy and nutritious AND aid the planet in this fascinating talk by John Duke and Rubén Parrilla of the Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA). We will hear about soil health principles, look at soil microbes, and learn how soil relates to climate, our water resources, and human health.
Sponsored by the Nashua River Watershed Association, Pepperell’s Climate Change Committee, and NOFA.
This program is part of a Pepperell Cultural Council Grant  “Loving a Leek and the Soil It Grows In: The Art and Science of Soil Microbes”. Stay tuned for a related exhibit of microbe art at Pepperell’s Lawrence Library Art Gallery May 2023.

Wednesday, February 1
Local Farms and Climate Resilience: The No-Till Experiment

Virtual via Zoom
Eric Toensmeier, of Project Drawdown, writes, “We can’t mitigate climate change without agriculture, so we have to find ways for agriculture to be part of the solution, instead of part of the problem.” How can local farms play a role in the solution? Two area farms–Gaining Ground in Concord and The Good Food Farm in Ashby–have embarked on an experiment in “no-till agriculture”, designed to build healthier soil with better water and carbon retention. As climate change challenges farmers with extremes of weather, can the “no-till” model offer more resilience for our crops, our soil, and our food system? What are the pros and cons of this approach? Speakers are Gaining Ground Farmer Manage Anna Kelchlin and Good Food Farm manager Andrew Johnson and colleague Ben Howell. Please join us for this exciting conversation by registering HERE or going to

Thursday, February 2, 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

Saturday, February 4  (Re-scheduled from January 28)
Winter Tracking Guided Walk – Registration Closed
Meeting location will be sent upon registration 
Acton Conservation Trust welcomes members and friends for our annual winter tracking walk led by Paul Wanta. We will walk along Nashoba Brook on the trails of North Acton. 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. This event is perfect for families, but no pets please! Dress warmly… wear several layers and bring a hat and gloves. We will have hot beverages and other refreshments at the end of the event.  Visit for more information.

Sunday, February 5 
Full Snow Moon 
February’s full Snow Moon reaches peak illumination at 1:30 P.M. EST on Sunday, February 5. It will be below the horizon at this time, so for the best view of this Moon, look for it starting the night before or later on Sunday; it will drift above the horizon in the east around sunset and reach its highest point in the sky around midnight.
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.” 
For more information visit:

Tuesday, February 7
“Hydrangea Happiness, Hydrangea Hysteria”
10:15 am
Presented by C. L. Fornari via ZOOM at the Acton Garden Club’s February meeting.  From blue mopheads and lacecaps to white peegees, there are hydrangeas for every garden.  Learn which varieties will live and flower well in your gardens and how to care for them.
C. L. Fornari is the author of eight books, including Coffee for Roses and The Cocktail Hour Garden.  She’s a professional speaker, the host of GardenLine on WXTK and co-host of the Plantrama podcast.  She has worked for a family-owned independent garden center for 25 years and grows vegetables, flowers, shrubs, trees and numerous other plants at Poison Ivy Acres on Cape Cod.
For those non AGC members who would like to join the meeting, visit the club’s website at and leave a message for the webmaster.  You will be contacted with the information needed to log into the meeting.

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.

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.

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

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.

Sunday, March 12 
Preview of 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, former Natural Resources Director
1:30 PM-2:45 – Presentation 
Acton Town Hall, Room 204 and Zoom
For more information, visit

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.
Please view the Plant Kit Description for information on each species included.


Update on Rodenticides Bill

As 2022 came to a close, An Act relative to pesticides was a casualty of an end-of-year logjam in the state legislature, falling just a few procedural votes short of passing. However, the House and Senate reached a consensus on the bill’s content, so we have great momentum on this bill for the new session.

Massachusetts Climate Change Assessment – more information:
The MA Climate Change Assessment is  a statewide  analysi s detailing how Massachusetts  people, environments , and infrastructure  may be affected by climate change  and  relate d hazards through the end of the century. This assessment will directly inform the first five-year update to the State Hazard Mitigation and Climate Adaptation Plan (SHMCAP) that will be released in Fall 2023.

Working Toward More Resilient Lands

We also provided input on two new state plans focused on the health of our lands and soils. The Resilient Lands Initiative describes plans for conserving and caring for the land, and the Healthy Soils Action Plan assesses the condition of our soils and offers a blueprint to protect and restore them.

Removing Obstacles for Nature-based Climate Solutions
Good news for wetlands restoration –  new regulations new regulations effective this month will make it easier for some projects to move through state environmental review. While more changes are still needed, we’re celebrating this win, for which we’ve been advocating for many years.

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. 

Looking forward to protecting more land in 2023!!

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”!