Events of Interest March 2, 2023

Dear Friends and Acton Conservation Trust Members,

Last night’s “Tick Talk” – ACT’s Jody Harris introduced presenters, Susan Rask, retired Public Health Director of Concord and Michelle Grzenda, Conservation Director and environmental educator, Town of Lincoln for a very informative talk about ticks and preventing tick borne diseases. We had 60 online participants and several in person.  Many thanks to Susan and Michelle for sharing their knowledge while there’s time to prepare ourselves before the spring. Slides, links and the program recording will be on our website soon!

L-R: Jody Harris (ACT), Susan Rask and Michele Grzendes

Read to the end if interested in a conservation job opening in the Acton Land Use Department.

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

JUST OUT!!!     Acton Conservation Trust LAND TRUST NEWSLETTER is now available!!

Sunday, March 5 
AB Community Skate FUNdraiser is back on the ICE in 2023 
2-4 PM 
Nashoba Valley Olympia Rink #3, Route 111 in Boxborough 
$20/family, $5/pp. Skating, Music, Refreshments. Learn about AB PIP STEM & community happenings too! 
Thanks to the generous donation of rink time, all funds raised will go towards AB STEM activities, local food pantries, eco activities/local climate action & community wellness. All are welcome! Skaters & non-skating supporters!  Skate rentals available. 
Please bring food pantry donations. Sponsored by AB PIP STEM & Colonial Figure Skating Club turning 50! 
Info at
Information:  KJ 978-263-6742 – AB PIP STEM; Patty 978-263-3450, Colonial Figure Skating Club.

Tuesday, March 7 
Acton Garden Club’s March Meeting on “Vernal Pools” presented by Scott Smyers 
10:15 AM 
Acton Town Hall, Room 204 & Zoom 
During his presentation, Mr. Smyers will teach us about vernal pools, their inhabitants and their importance in the landscape.
Mr. Smyers is Vice President and Senior Scientist of Oxbow Associates located here in Acton, a wetlands and wildlife consulting company specializing in rare amphibian and reptile study and mitigation.  He has studied the behavior and ecology of amphibian and reptile species native to the Eastern United States for more than twenty years.
Since this is a hybrid meeting if anyone would prefer to join via ZOOM, please visit the club’s website at and leave a message for our webmaster.  You will be contacted with the information needed to log into the meeting

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

Wednesday, March 9
The Importance of Bees, Native Bees and Honeybees 
7-8  PM 
Join Lindsay Miller Barranco from the vanEnglesdorp Bee Lab at the University of Maryland for a talk on the importance of bees, native bees and honey bees. The program will cover:
• A description of native bees (both ground nesting and tube nesting)
• What individuals can do to enhance their environments through floral plantings and optimizing sites for native bee nesting.
• Challenges native bees and honey bees face
• The history and biology of honey bee colonies and how they are utilized in commercial agriculture for pollination in the U.S.
Register for this free webinar at  Sponsored by  Newton Free Library and is being cosponsored by Green Newton and Newton Conservators.

Saturday night, March 12
On Saturday night, set your clock forward one hour (i.e., losing one hour) to “Spring forward.” 

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. Appropriate for ages 5 and above.
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

Wednesday, March 15 
Acton Water District (AWD) Annual Meeting

– Article 18:  Proposed purchase of 549 Main Street, corner of Brook and Main Streets
6 p.m. 
R. J. Grey Junior High, Blanchard Auditorium, 16 Charter Road, Acton, Mass.
Visit and click on “Annual Meeting” under “Meetings and Events” to see  the Warrant and to read Article 18 in its entirety.  
Excerpts from Article 18 – To see if the District will vote to appropriate funds to acquire  56.85 acres of land at 549 Main Street, Acton MA owned by or formerly owned by The Brewster Conant Trust – 2017 and to grant a Conservation Restriction on the same land being acquired for the purposes of protecting the groundwater aquifers and recharge areas for water supply wells, and conserving the land for watershed protection purposes.    All residents of Acton who are qualified to vote in elections and town affairs are eligible to vote at Annual meeting. 

Friday, March 17
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. 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. All are welcome!
Click here to register.

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.

Monday, March 20 
Amphibian Rescue and Vernal Pool Ecology Talk 
7-8 PM 
Reuben Hoar Library, Sturtz Meeting Room A+B
Are you curious about vernal pools, their importance in the landscape and the animals that rely on them?  Come hear about local effort rescuing and studying frogs and salamanders as they cross busy roads to complete their breeding cycles.  Learn about these ancient and incredible animals and their life cycles and what you can do to help their survival.  This talk will be given by Amy Green, Littleton Conservation Agent, and Scott Smyers, Vice President and Senior Scientist of Oxbow associates, Inc.   Space is limited so please RSVP or 978-524-2840

Wednesdays, March 22 & March 29
Protecting Your Legacy: Moving from Planning to Action
 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
The broad topic for these last two sessions of a 5-part series will be Choosing a Conservation Tool. The webinars will help landowners decide the future of their land and take steps to formalize a plan to achieve their personal and financial goals. Sign up for one or both.
Learn more, view past recordings, and register

Wednesday, March 22
Creating Beautiful, Sustainable Lawns: A Talk by Chip Osborne
7:00-8:30 pm
To register click here.  
Current Sponsors: Green Acton Materials Committee, Green Acton Water Committee, Energize Acton
Come hear Chip Osborn, a nationally recognized expert in organic and sustainable lawns.  As a long-time wholesale and retail nurseryman, he has first-hand experience with the pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides routinely used in landscape and horticultural industry. Personal experience led him to believe there must be a safer way to grow plants. His personal investigation, study of conventional and organic soil science practices, and hands-on experimentation led him to become one of the country’s leading experts on growing sustainable, natural turf.  A turf surface of any size can be maintained at a high degree of green-ness and health, with positive effects on humans and nature. In this information-rich talk, Chip will discuss:   
+ Everyday conventional chemicals that are used in lawn care and their deleterious effects on soil, water, wildlife and human health
+ Methods and practices for transitioning to successful organic lawns
– Soil testing and analysis
– Proper timing and use of organic materials
– Wise water use
– An individualized approach to each lawn.
+ Questions that a homeowner can ask a lawn care company to make sure it’s following safe practices.

Saturday, March 25,
Massachusetts Land Conservation Conference
8 AM-4 PM 
8:45 AM-10:10 Concurrent Sessions
10:30 AM-11:45 AM Welcome Topic: Affordable Housing and Land Conservation – Not an Either/Or   
Worcester Technical High School, 1 Officer Manny Familia Way, Worcester, MA 01605  (some online sessions)
The annual conference of the Massachusetts Land Trust Coalition, which advances land conservation across Massachusetts by providing education, tools, networking, and advocacy for land trusts and their partners. Mass Audubon Policy & Advocacy staff will be speaking at a workshop on dual-use solar, food production and farmland protection. 
ScheduleDescriptionsRegisterLand Conservation Terms & Acronyms

Thursday, March 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.

March 29
Wayfinding and Belonging in the Outdoors
7 PM 
We move as stories through narratives spaces as much as physical and cultural spaces. The outdoors, as a construct grounded on the land, is one we co-create, and as the nation’s demographics continue to be more diverse, we have the opportunity, and responsibility, to co-create an outdoors reflective of 2050, rather than preserve one from 1950. And we can take learnings from nature to help us on this path.
José G. González is the Founder of Latino Outdoors and Co-Founder of the Outdoorist Oath. He is a professional educator with training in the fields of education and conservation while engaging in different artistic endeavors with art and messaging—often exploring the intersection of the environment and culture. As a Partner in the Avarna Group and through his own consulting, his work focuses on Equity & Inclusion frameworks and practices in the environmental, outdoor, and conservation fields. He is also an illustrator and science communicator. He received his B.A at the University of California, Davis, and his M.S at the University of Michigan School of Natural Resources & Camp; Environment.
Click Here to Register

In Case You Missed It
View Recordings of the 2023 Open Space Conference Sessions Here:

View  Open Space and Recreation Plans, from Writing to Action
View Tips and Tools for Landowner Outreach
View  Land Conservation & Restoration Initiatives for Climate Resiliency: An Exploration of Case Studies and Funding Sources

Deadline: First consideration being given to applications received by February 24th, 2023 
If you are passionate about the environment and want to make a difference within the community this is a great position working with our Conservation Agent. This position will provide staffing for the Land Stewardship Committee, Agricultural Commission, the Friends of the Acton Arboretum Inc., and be the land manager for Acton’s conservation land. Click on Full Description to learn the specifics.


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”!