Events of Interest June 23, 2022

Dear Friends and Acton Conservation Trust Members,

Last night’s celebration of Tom Tidman, Town of Acton’s Natural Resources Director (and more) 35 years of service to the Town of Acton.  In 1998 Tom helped launch ACT, newly focused on land protection, by designing our first brochure and by facilitating our first land purchase – the 16 acre Whitcomb land on the Stow border.

State Senator Jamie Eldridge read the  Resolution by the Massachusetts Legislature Recognizing Tom’s 35 years of Outstanding Service to the Town of Acton before giving him the actual document.
The Acton Conservation Trust (represented by Jody Harris, Susan Mitchell-Hardt, Leona Burgess, Dave Hardt, and Joe Cooney) gave Tom a canvas photo taken at Wright Hill, as a thank you for “Always Pointing Us in the Right Direction”.
Present and former key players in Acton’s Land Protection Ecosystem – Andy Magee, Open Space Committee Chair,Tom Tidman and former Town Manager, Steve Ledou

Now – September 5
New Exhibit:  Alive with Birds:  William Brewster in Concord
Thursday to Sunday, 10 am to 4 PM, Walk ins welcome!
Concord Museum, 53 Cambridge Turnpike, Concord, MA 
Visit this special exhibition to discover the beauty of birds.  William Brewster (1851-1919) was Mass Audubon’s first President  He dedicated over thirty years of his life to the study of birds in Concord at his property, which he called October Farm. Drawn to Concord for its natural beauty and abundant bird life, Brewster made October Farm his experimental field laboratory and documented its wildlife for scientific study and public enlightenment.  In 2019, Mass Audubon received a 143  acre parcel of land which was once part of October Farm, which has been renamed Brewster’s Woods Wildlife Sanctuary.
For more information visit birds-
Members free; Adults $15, Seniors $12, Children (6 to 17) $8 

Sundays, June 26 – October 16
Acton-Boxborough Farmer’s Market Season begins 
Elm Street Playground, West Acton
10 AM – 1 PM
Join us for our 14th season of promoting good food and supporting sustainable agriculture.  Visit for more information.

Friday June 24-30
National Mosquito Awareness Week
Its purpose is to remind the public how to protect themselves from mosquitoes and the diseases they can carry.
From Lincoln Land Conservation Trust: Mosquito season is upon us! Below you’ll find some great tips for deterring mosquitoes and their bites while still enjoying the outdoors.
These preferred prevention measures do not include the spraying of chemicals designed to kill mosquitoes or their larvae. Chemical spraying can have harmful consequences for humans, pets, livestock, crops, and wildlife. Instead the emphasis in this message is on preventing bites through personal protection and management of backyard spaces. We hope that you will focus on the prevention measures outlined below rather than spray around your yard. Please note: no spraying may be performed within 100 feet of a wetland or 200 feet of a year-round flowing stream without prior approval by the Conservation Commission.

How to Prevent Mosquito Bites
–       Personal protection is key!  Wear long-sleeves, long pants, and socks when weather permits.
–       Many mosquitoes are most active from dusk to dawn  Take extra precautions during these times.
–       Apply an EPA-approved personal repellent.  Follow directions on the repellent label.
–       Use mosquito netting, for example over baby carriages or hats.
–       Ensure screens are repaired and tightly attached to doors and windows to prevent mosquitoes from entering the home.
–       Use a fan when sitting outside.  Even a light breeze will deter a mosquito’s ability to zero in on an individual.
Note: Bug zappers and ultrasonic devices kill very few mosquitoes but do harm beneficial insects such as moths and fireflies. Additionally, many “natural” sprays such as lemongrass and peppermint may also target beneficial insects such as bumblebees.

Friday, June 24
Rare Sky Event:  Parade of Planets
40 minutes before sunrise
5 planets will be visible in the sky along with the crescent Moon!  Mercury, Venus, the Moon, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn will appear in their order from the Sun.  (No telescope necessary).  This has not happened since 1864. They were visible in 2020 but not in this order.  From Farmers

Saturday June 25
Household Hazardous Waste Day
9-11:30 AM
DPW Garage located at 14 Forest Road
CHECK For more information, visit,at%20978%2D929%2D6632.
Note: These collection services are for Acton residents only and proof of residency will be required. 

Sunday, June 26
Breakfast at Fort Pond, Littleton
8 Kaleva Road
8-10:30 AM
Directions at

Thursday, July 7 & Thursday, August 4
Tower Hill – Free Admission to the Garden on first Thursdays of each summer month
10 am to 9 pm (July 7)
10am to 8 pm (August 4)
New England Botanic Garden at Tower Hill
Enjoy FREE ADMISSION to the Garden on the first Thursday of each summer month! Soak up the sun exploring our beautiful trails and gardens during our daytime hours, or unwind in the evening with live music and local brews from our outdoor Beer Garden. Please note we anticipate a high volume of visitors on these days. Therefore, the admission is first-come-first-serve basis. You can get tickets in person at the Garden or reserve your tickets online in advance to secure your preferred date.
Visit    to learn about Things to Do During the Day and During the Evening

Saturday, July 16
Weed Warrior Training in Littleton
9-11 AM
Browns’s Woods, Littleton, MA
Join Dominic Portelli, SVT AmeriCorps Member, and Amy Green, Littleton Conservation Agent, at Browns’ Woods in Littleton for this Weed Warrior training. The primary focus will be learning to identify and pull Burning Bush, but you will also be introduced to other common invasives on the property and how to manage them like bittersweet, multiflora rose, and barberry. You can register at

Tuesday, July 19,
Old Stone Walls and Other Discoveries with Richard T.T. Forman
8:30-10:30 AM 
Chamberlin Woods and Newbury Field 
Can we find these? Short-lived crop field? Big hickories lining pasture stonewall? Large barn foundation? Two erratic piles? Evidence of forming the Appalachians? A cattail-less marsh? Small stones still atop an original wall? A stone-breaking site? Largest pitch pine in town? Evidence of fire and wire (fence)? The best little-bluestem field? Tree with 5-ft-diameter underground stool? Building site with no cellar hole? Let’s find out, and discover much more…
Join Richard Forman, eminent landscape ecologist and professor emeritus of Harvard, for this mid-summer outing.
Limited to 20 participants.  Registration required HERE.

Saturday,  July 30 
Native New England Shrubs, 
Wells Reserve at Laudholm, 342 Laudholm Farm Road, Wells, ME
What is woody, short, and typically multi-stemmed? A shrub! Shrubs are an important part of the New England landscape and lots of fun to learn about. We will take a close-up look at nine or ten native New England shrubs, plus a few non-native invasives . We will focus on key identification characteristics and also learn about the natural history and lore of our subjects. Included in our study will be a shrub whose fruits were used to make candles, a shrub whose berries Yankee sea captains brought on long sea voyages to help prevent scurvy, and a shrub whose flowers have been used as a remedy for craziness. 
Presenter, Roland “Boot” Boutwell is a freelance itinerant naturalist who taught the core course in “Native New England Shrubs” and lead field trips for the New England Wild Flower Society for nearly 20 years and was a part time teacher/naturalist for the Massachusetts Audubon Society. He teaches nature programs and leads nature walks for a number of other organizations including: Arlington, MA Community Education; Wright-Locke Farm in Winchester, MA, The Winchester, MA public schools; The Friends of the Middlesex Fells (Greater Boston) and numerous other organizations. His hobbies include photography, acting in community theater, and the guitar.
RESERVATIONS required; To reserve your space, please email or call (207) 646-1555 x116.
• Members: $10.00         • Non-Members: $13.00

Get the Facts about Ecosystem Services.    (from Mass Audubon’s “The Beacon Hill Weekly Roundup, 5/26/20)
Beyond its intrinsic value, nature provides measurable benefits to people by offering solutions to some of our biggest environmental problems.  Our new set of five fact sheets takes a deeper look at the financial and health benefits of ecosystems like forests, wetlands, and urban green spaces.  
One ecosystem will be featured each week….this week,
Part 1 of Grasslands and Farmlands. 
In Massachusetts, grasslands are created and maintained by natural or human-caused disturbances.  Grasslands provide crucial habitat for wildlife including pollinators like bees, butterflies and birds.  Farms and gardens support local food production. 
Economic and Health Benefits of Grasslands and Farmlands:  
Community Gardens help increase community cohesion, connecting people with nature and accessible, healthy food.  Additional benefits include their important role in stormwater management.
Profit increase from practicing organic farming instead of conventional, based on 40 years of studies covering 55 crops on five continents.
Total market value for agriculture in Massachusetts in 2017. 
of our agricultural commodities in Massachusetts rely on the rich diversity of pollinators for crop pollination. 
Regenerative agriculture is a crucial piece of the sustainability puzzle while conventional farming employs large amounts of pesticides, fertilizers, energy and water, regenerative agriculture centers on soil health and productivity, minimizing environmental impact.  This practice often goes hand in hand with “carbon farming” to improve conversion of atmospheric CO2 to plant material and soil organic matter.  
Visit Mass Audubon’s Drumlin Farm website to read about how they are employing regenerative methods.  
12M gallons Estimated amount of stormwater retained annually by raised beds alone in New  York City’s community gardens. 
0.95 Tons – Reduction in equivalent CO2 released into the atmosphere by composting and using one ton of farm food scraps and yard waste vs. landfilling the same amount.

Self-Guided Tour of Dragonflies at the  Carlisle Cranberry Bog
Begin at the Cranberry Bog House on Curve Street, Carlisle, MA 
Prior to your self-guided tour, educate yourself watching  videos from such websites as ://
Sky Hunters, The World of the Dragonfly – The Secrets of Nature by The Secrets of Nature and 
David Attenborough – Life in the Undergrowth – Dragonfly by killy9999,
Dragonflies emerge throughout the summer starting as early as mid-April, but it is really early June when you can expect to see the adults returning to the waterside looking for mates.
Observe the  jewels of the insect world as you walk the trails of the Cranberry Bog looking for dragonflies and damselflies (collectively known as “odes”).  Also check out butterflies and anything else interesting that you come upon. 

Self-Guided Birding and Nature Walk at Wetherbee Conservation Land, Acton
Park on Wetherbee Street near the Wetherbee Conservation Land sign beginning at the wooded edge of the farm field next to Route 2. 
The Wetherbee Conservation Land is a 73 acre conservation area in East Acton.  Enjoy the agricultural vista of the farm field along Route 2.  Look for breeding field birds such as savannah sparrow, vesper sparrow, swamp sparrow, red-tailed and sharp-shinned hawk, indigo bunting and eastern bluebirds.  If you’re lucky you might also see upland birds such as the hermit thrush, scarlet tanager and others.   Bring binoculars and come dressed for ticks and sprayed for mosquitos.  

OPEN: Mount Auburn Cemetery, 580 Mt. Auburn St, Cambridge MA
Mount Auburn Cemetery is the first rural, or garden, cemetery in the United States, located on the line between Cambridge and Watertown, Mass.   From mid-April to mid-May  it is recognized as one of the premier birding destinations in Massachusetts. 
Mount Auburn Cemetery Grounds are open to all visitors 12-7 PM every day.   All visitors are asked to respect the rules.  Public Restrooms are open.  For your safety as well as that of fellow visitors, please follow the social distancing protocols outlined on the new signage at the restrooms. For more information, visit

Birding at Stonefield Farm
If you are interested in birding at the farm either on your own or as part of a group, please contact BAG’s Duck Caldwell for more information at

From BAG’s June Newsletter
On May 14th, a bird survey walk at Stonefield Farm identified 38 species in 3 hours (knowing full well that we missed some!). Some highlights included: a pair of Wood Ducks, a pair of Belted Kingfisher, 4 Eastern BlueBirds, and 1 Northern Waterthrush. We were just thrilled to see and hear these birds, many of which are migratory species. 
THANK YOU BAG!  The Gleaners have also installed 13 nest boxes on the property for local birds this spring. Staff member Duck Caldwell is observing these boxes as part of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s NestWatch program—a nationwide monitoring program to track bird population health. Two of the species we’ve identified in the boxes, House Wrens and Tree Swallows, are considered by the Lab to be species in decline due to habitat loss. Through monitoring and protecting habitat, we are glad to be doing our part to support these birds


Boston Area Gleaners

Friday, June 24
Veggie Harvest!
9am – Noon
Coming Soon!
Veggie Harvest
1-4 PM
Check back Saturday for location

Saturday, June 25
Produce Box Pack
9 am-11am
Acton, MA

Sign up to volunteer at
For specific questions email group leader, Deb:  ,
Don’t forget: The most up-to-date trip information is always on the website. We may post trips after the weekly email goes out. To stay in the loop about last-minute calls for volunteers, you can join our volunteer emergency text list!

Boston Area Gleaners (BAG)
Seasonal Apprentices – July – November; $15/hour, full-time July-November
Boston Area Gleaners (BAG) are still hiring for  seasonal apprentices. To apply, please send your resume and cover letter to
Please help us spread the word at your favorite local spot!    Visit here to volunteer

East Acton Village Green Plant Care Needed – Now through Summer:
Volunteers are needed to take care of the new plants at the East Acton Village Green this spring and summer as they become established. Contact Bettina Abe:  for further information. 

Environmental Voter Project (EVP)
EVP’s mission is to identify inactive environmentalists and transform them into consistent voters to build the power of the environmental movement.  They estimate that over 8 million environmentalists did not vote in the 2020 presidential election and over 12 million skipped the 2018 midterms.  EVP is a nonpartisan nonprofit focused on a simple high leverage solution to the problem:  with a 6 year track record of success, they’re accurately identifying these non-voting environmentalists and efficiently converting them into a critical mass of consistent voters that will soon be too big for politicians to ignore.  To learn more about them visit and to get involved, visit

Goat Hikes – Good Pickin’ Farm 
5 Gould Road, Westford 
Goat Hikes.  $65/group up to 8 people.  Informative nature hike led by an ecologist, focusing on different flora or fauna of the area that is seasonal.   Have fun while the goats walk and run along with you and enjoy their silly antics!  For more information call 425 306 7203,

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

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”!