Events of Interest March 10, 2022

Dear Acton Conservation Trust Members and Other Friends,

Robbins Mill Pond, 3/6/22

The following news and events may be of interest:

Friday, March 4- 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 their website. Members free; Adults $15, Seniors $12, Children (6 to 17) $8 

Thursday, March 10
How can I conserve my land?
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.

  • April 14 – What are the financial benefits of land conservation?

Friday, March 11 holds “Movie Night” with the hopeful film 2040 
6:30 PM virtual 
This is a free, virtual event.  Created by award-winning Australian director Damon Gameau, the film asks what our climate and our world can be in 2040, if we embrace the solutions already available to improve the planet.   In a very personal way, it is a father’s letter to his daughter, imagining her future on that day when, instead of putting more carbon into the atmosphere, humanity actually begins to drawdown the carbon in our climate  and to help the Earth regenerate.  Register here.

Saturday, March 12 
Jarvis Way to Bruce Freeman Rail Trail Guided Walk, Westford, MA 
10-11:30 AM 
Park at #7-13 Jarvis Way, Westford, MA 
Jarvis Way is a charming neighborhood, featured in the book, “Rural By Design” by planner Randall Arendt.  The houses are located around a grassy common. Two trails depart from the common, which connect in a wooded area of Conservation Land.  On this hike we will begin near the address 7 Jarvis Way, walking into the woods.  We will make a right turn, leading into another area of Conservation Land and the neighborhood of Shannon Circle.  The trail continues after crossing Shannon Circle through a woodland approaching the rail trail.  On this hike, we will probably then walk along the rail trail to Griffin Road, and then return on Griffin Road and Jarvis Way to the starting point.  We recommend footwear appropriate for the weather which may include traction cleats and hiking poles (depending on conditions).  Walks are free of charge, no sign up is required.  For further information, contact Bill at 978-692-3907 or email us at

Saturday, March 12
Massachusetts Association of Conservation Commissions  (MACC) Virtual Annual Environmental Conference (AEC)
Attend 32 NEW Workshops to help you understand the complexities of conservation commission operations and the Wetlands Protection Act regulations.  This year we have important discussions about the upcoming changes on the regulations, Chapter 91 and commission coordinated reviews, diversity-equity-inclusion topics, agricultural and forestry exemptions, municipal climate bylaws/ordinances, solar project development and conservation planning, woody plant identification, culverts, and tips on keeping commissions out of trouble.  For more information, click here.

March 13, 14 
Raptor  Rapture:  Research and Recovery
Raptors have re-entered the conservation spotlight amid several species’ dramatic, human-assisted recoveries – but these success stories are shadowed by the emergence of new  threats.  Many birds of prey, from Ospreys and Red-shouldered Hawks to kestrels and owls, have adapted to different forms of human disturbance.  Still, the spectra of habitat destruction, climate change, and rodenticide poisoning are dampers on raptor populations across the globe. Registration:  You can choose to sign up for individual sessions or the whole series.  Register for all here. For more information click here.  


Sunday, March 13 
ACT Annual Meeting:  New Conservation Strategies for the 21st Century
 – presented by Claudia Thompson
6:30PM Business Meeting
7:00PM Presentation

“New Conservation Strategies for the 21st Century”
Using her garden as a case study, Claudia will discuss valuable lessons learned over several decades when she transformed her small urban property into a landscape rich with habitat for birds, pollinators, and other wildlife. She is a strong advocate for the importance of land stewardship on all lands -large and small- and believes that conservation begins at home. 

Carol Holley Conservation Volunteer Award presentation:  In addition, please join us for the ceremonial presentation of the Carol Holley Conservation Volunteer Award, recognizing outstanding contributions to the environment. Our recipient this year will be Sue Whitcomb, a member of the Acton Garden Club and volunteer at the Acton Arboretum. Sue has helped maintain the Arboretum for 30 years and selected many of the plantings. She has also helped design many theme gardens and collections there as well. Her many contributions can be found on the ACT website and in our 2022 Newsletter.

Click Here to Register! and participate in our Business Meeting (see Agenda at the end of this message.) You will receive an emailed registration copy for your records and a Zoom link prior to the event.)

Those who haven’t yet renewed are encouraged to renew until March 13 at 6:30 PM if you would like to vote at the meeting. Please visit the ACT website, and click on Join/Donate.

Thursday 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.  

Thursday, March 15 
For Indian Deeds There Must Be Indian Memory   – Native Peoples of 17th Century Before European Contact 
7-8 PM 

Explore the world of 17th century Sudbury.  This free virtual program  will delve into the daily life of the Native Americans of Sudbury, including their food, clothing and languages, how their lives changed after European contact, and what archeological finds on the Wayside Inn property tell us about the people here before the Puritans.   Historian Richard Smith will present.   Contact The Wayside Inn Foundation for more information – 978-295-1716;

Tuesday, March 17 
Wildflowers of Spring and Summer 

7-8:30 PM 
Neela de Zoysa, long-time instructor for the Native Plant Trust will get you ready for Spring!   
This online class will introduce you to the wild beauties blooming in the woods, wetlands and meadows of Sudbury and surrounding areas. Learn about early spring’s marsh marigolds and late spring’s lady slipper orchids. The humid summer brings wild lilies, milkweed and cardinal flowers. Make the most of your time outdoors by recognizing wildflowers, their habitats and pollinators. You will get tips on wildflower identification guides and best locations to observe these flowers. Co-Sponsored by Sudbury Conservation Commission, Sudbury Valley Trustees & Friends of the Assabet River National Wildlife Refuge.  Price:  $35,  Enroll Now

Tuesday, March 17
The Massachusetts Pollinator Network & NOFA/Mass Present:  Creating Pollinator Habitat through the USDA-NRCS Program

7-8:15 PM
Register here
Due to drastic and widespread declines in bees, butterflies, and other pollinating insects, pollinator conservation has become a national priority. Producers and other land stewards in New England can play an important role reversing the decline of pollinators. This webinar will provide an overview of creating and protecting pollinator habitat on working lands, practices that can be used to support pollinators, additional benefits of improving biodiversity, and USDA-NRCS programs that offer technical and financial assistance for implementing conservation practices that address wildlife and invertebrate resource concerns.Read more about the program and our speakers Kelly Gill and Emily May, Pollinator Conservation Specialists with the Xerces Society **by clicking here.**

Sunday, March 18, 2022
Full Worm Moon 
Reaches peak illumination at 3:20 AM EDT.  
Look for the spectacularly bright Moon as it rises above the horizon that evening! The Worm Moon, was originally thought to refer to the earthworms that appear as the soil warms in spring.  This invites robins and other birds to feed – a true sign of spring! This Moon is known as the Lenten Moon if it is the last full Moon of the winter season (i.e., if it occurs before the spring equinox)

Sunday, March 20 
Spring Hike at Newtown Hill and Williams Land, Littleton, 
1-3:30 PM 
Newtown Hill, Littleton, MA 
Come and walk the trails at Newtown Hill and the somewhat lesser known Williams Land.  Be prepared for mud in some areas and if we are still getting snow, bring micro-spikes?  This hike will be led by trustees, Melinda Hobausz and Alyssa Russell, of the Littleton Conservation Trust Registration is required.  Register at the Littleton Conservation Trust website.

Tuesday, March 22 
Vesper Flights:  A Conversation with Helen Macdonald 

5-6 PM
Virtual Forum 
H is for Hawk memoirist, Helen Macdonald, will discuss her newest collection of essays, Vesper Flights in which she reflects on “the numinous” of nature – those moments where mystery arises from the meeting of human art and unpredictable natural phenomena.:  
Register here.  Sponsored by the Concord Museum 

Wednesday, March 23
Public Forum to Discuss the Proposed Archaeology Bylaw 

7-8 PM 
Online Zoom meeting * Or phone into the meeting at: 1-646-876-9923. 
GUEST SPEAKER: Duncan Ritchie of the Public Archaeology Laboratory, Inc. (PAL) will describe PAL’s 2008 archaeological reconnaissance survey in Acton and its findings.
MEETING FOCUS: The Acton Historical Commission is bringing a proposal to this year’s Town Meeting to create a town Archaeology Bylaw. This proposed bylaw would add a step to the permitting process for development of undisturbed land within areas that have a high or moderate probability of containing archaeological artifacts. We invite you to attend this public meeting, which will present the results of a recent town-wide Archaeology Bylaw Survey and go over the scope and intent of the proposed bylaw in detail. *The Zoom meeting link may also be obtained by going to the Town of Acton’s website, and finding the Acton Historical Commission’s notice for 3/23/2022.

Wednesday, March 23, 30 and April 6 
Make Your Land Available for Farming 

12-1 PM
Register for free at
Make Your Land Available for Farming is for private landowners and their representatives (real estate agents, etc.) to understand your land’s potential for farming, learn what goes into good farming arrangement, and explore strategies for making any amount of land available to a farmer.  When you make land available for farming you help secure a future for farming in your community.  Farmers are looking for land, from a small vegetable plot to livestock or crops.  Productive, sustainable uses for all or parts of your property can bring many rewards!

Tuesday, March 29 
Boxborough Conservation Trust Annual Meeting:  Nature’s Best Hope with Doug Tallamy!

7 PM 
Introduction by President, Rita Gibes Grossman, and an update about the potential to purchase 21 acres of conservation land in town. 
Dr. Doug Tallamy,  professor of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware, will talk about planting natives and regenerating biodiversity at home, one yard at a time.    The goal is to create landscapes that enhance local ecosystems in half of the area now in lawn  to create vital corridors connecting the few natural areas that remain.  This approach to conservation empowers everyone to play a significant role in the future of the natural world. Free and open to the public.   For more information click here

Tuesday, March 29 
A Conversation with Ornithologist Scott Edwards  

7-8 PM 
In-Person and Virtual Forum 
Harvard professor and Curator of Ornithology at the Museum of Comparative Zoology, Scott Edwards, discusses his research on the processes that have generated biodiversity using birds as models to study patterns of speciation, biogeography , evolution of the genome, and the process of adaptation. Register here.  Sponsored by Concord Museum


Purchase of the Waltham Field Station is completed.
The Waltham Land Trust is very happy to share that on March 1, the City of Waltham completed the purchase of the Waltham Field Station from the University of Massachusetts.  WLT and the other current tenants are grateful to too many people to list.

Your Best Friend’s Poop is Harmful to NatureNew Study on the Impacts of Dog Poop on Conservation Lands – Mother Jones, 2/6/22
“The analysis found that the resulting over fertilization of the ground with nitrogen and phosphorus by footpaths could reach levels that would be illegal on farmland.”


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. 

Hiking with Dogs – The Trustees Did you and your family get a pandemic puppy?  Are you and your older dog a little tired of the same old walking routes?  Let our dog-friendly properties give you a burst of inspiration to get some fresh air for you and your four-footed companion.  These 7 places might be just the thing this spring.

Click here for Dog Friendly Hikes →

March Through May       
Join Central Mass. Goat Rental for a Walk with Goats  
48 West Acres Drive, Lunenberg 
Take to the trails with friendly farm animals at your side.   Anywhere from 6 to 16 goats will go on the hikes.  Goats have a natural instinct to follow the leader, which makes them perfect hiking companions.  The hike is relatively easy, lasting about an hour.  Masks and social distance are required and group size is limited due to Covid-19.  Each hike costs $35 per adult, $10 per child (under the age of 15 years old), and children ages 5 years and under are free.  To book a hike, visit  and choose the date of your hike.

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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