Events of Interest March 24, 2023

Dear Friends and Acton Conservation Trust Members,

Happy Spring!

Scene from the wooden bridge crossing the Mill Pond on the Caouette-Simeone perpetual Conservation Restriction  – note the beaver lodge and first time we’ve seen the white geese
Baby Skunk Cabbage:  Did you know skunk cabbage is thermogenic?  It’s able to raise its temperature an amazing 15°C to 35°C warmer than the surrounding environment, melting up through ice and snow.

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

Wednesday, 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 29
Conservation of Native Pollination Systems with Dr. Robert Geiger 
6-8 PM 
Main Library,  129 Main St., Concord, MA
Dr. Robert Gegear, assistant professor of biology at UMass – Dartmouth and founder of The Beecology Project, will present research on plant-pollinator interactions and solutions to their decline. Before his talk, local organizations and groups will have tables where they will provide information about their pollinator work. Come early to learn how you can get involved!  REGISTER
6:00 – 6:30 pm Information Tables
6:30 – 8:00 pm Talk by Dr. Gegear
The event is being co-sponsored by the Concord Land Conservation Trust and the Natural Resources Division and held in partnership with the Concord Pollinator Health Advisory Committee and the CCHS Green Team 

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

Sudbury Valley Trustees Spring Program Calendar now available online at

Saturday, April 1
Plant ID and Natural History Walk
Nobscot Scout Reservation and Tippling Rock
Join Boot Boutwell for an informative nature walk in search of early spring wildflowers and other cool plants focused on plant ID as well as fun and interesting natural history about the plants we see.

Tuesday, April 4
Woodcock Watch 
7-8 PM 
Join us for an early spring evening, relaxing on a chair in a field!  Al Sgroi, Acton Conservation Trust member and local birder, will be prepared with pictures and other information to guide us through the courtship ritual of the American Woodcock. The males display a series of peents, twitters, and chirps as they prance on the ground, then spiral rapidly upward, circle and drift down, whistling as they go.  Since this is a “crepuscular” or twilight-active bird, we will meet at sunset to watch and listen for the incredible sky dance. No pets are allowed at this event, thank you!
Please register here and the meeting location will be sent to you a few days before the event. The location will be in Acton or Boxborough, depending upon where woodcocks are active this year.

What to expect: Bring a flashlight or headlamp, a chair for sitting and your binoculars, if you have them. Come dressed for ticks and sprayed for mosquitos.  Warm layers with sturdy shoes are advised, as we will be walking through a meadow with uneven ground. We will only be walking a short distance, then sitting while the sun sets and dusk falls. For more information or questions, please contact Jody Harris at

Thursday, April 20 
A Changing Climate: Growing Resilience Right Where You Are
7:00 PM – 08:00 PM
Online – Your Home over Zoom
Sponsored by SVT: Our backyards matter for climate change resilience. Learn how gardens offer an incredible opportunity to make a difference starting right where you are. Presented by Allison Houghton, a regenerative growing consultant, author, and educator. Our backyards matter for climate change resilience. There is enormous untapped potential in a garden: from growing food to building and remediating degraded soils to filtering and capturing water to creating habitat for pollinators and beneficial insects or adding resilience to your watershed, neighborhood and region. Learn how gardens offer an incredible opportunity to make a difference starting right where you are. Allison Houghton, of The Sparrow Underground, is a regenerative growing consultant, author, and educator on a variety of organic gardening topics, ecological design, and climate resiliency.

Sunday, May 14
Plant ID & Natural History Walk – Horse Meadows Knoll
1:00 PM – 3:30 PM
Horse Meadows Knoll, Harvard
Sponsored by SVT. Horse Meadows Knoll rises above Horse Meadows Reservoir, which is now a beautiful, naturalized pond. Beavers are active at the pond and great blue herons nest in the treetops above the pond. 
Join naturalist Roland “Boot” Boutwell for an informative nature walk as we search for mid-spring wildflowers and other cool plants. The walk will focus on plant identification as well as fun and interesting natural history about the plants we see.
This walk is free for current SVT members, otherwise there is a $10 fee per person to help support our land conservation efforts. Registration required, click here.

Recent Recordings – from Lincoln Land Conservation Trust

On March 8th Leah Penniman gave a wonderful presentation about her most recent book, Black Earth Wisdom: Afro-Ecological Survival Strategies
Sharing wisdom and insight gathered from interviews from today’s most respected Black environmentalist, Leah weaved a inspirational picture of the importance of connection to the Earth.
Enjoyed the program and want to further support Leah’s work? Please consider making a donation to Soul Fire Farm.
Watch the Recording Here

Mike Callahan gave a great Conservation Coffee on March 2nd all about beaver ecology. He shared a great overview of the important role beavers play in creating and maintaining wetland habitat for many other wildlife species. Mike then shared some of the challenges posed by beaver habitat in close proximity to human infrastructure and how “beaver deceivers” can help prevent flooding without impacting the beavers. Watch the recording here.

Sudbury Valley Trustees held a program in early March on climate change and how it is affecting New England. SVT’s Executive Director Lisa Vernegaard talked about decreasing snow pack, impacts to wildlife, and more. She also offered solutions that land trusts are engaging with to help ecosystems adapt to warmer temperatures and changing vegetation. Watch the recording here.

The Xerces Society hosted a webinar on mosquito management at home. Speaker Aaron Anderson spoke about the toxic impact pesticides have on other insects and discussed practical, alternative methods of mosquito control. Watch the recording here.

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


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”!