Events of Interest May 10, 2023

Dear Friends and Acton Conservation Trust Members,

ACT’s Jody Harris assembled 50 AB students, Scouts, parents and other adults to hand out trail clearing tools, gloves as well as to explain our goal of creating a 1/4 mile loop trail that is not only lovely and noted for biodiversity, but  also connects to Stonefield Farm agricultural land – recently purchased by Boston Area Gleaners and protected by Town of Acton.  The intention is to showcase Acton’s  agricultural conservation work and to inspire others. 

To see more pictures and read more about this magical day, visit our website,

ACT Service Day, Saturday, May 6, 20 Main Street parking lot connecting to Assabet River Rail Trail (ARRT) and Stonefield Farm woodlands. 
Two of our students, using grit, determination, and a weed wrench, extracted this “trophy” rock.  Just the pointy end was sticking out.

The following news and events may be of interest:  

Now through May 31
No Mow May –  (To Prevent Habitat Loss)  
Did you know that 2% of the U.S. is covered in lawn? That’s 40 million acres! And that’s a problem because lawns are not habitat. They don’t provide good food or shelter to wildlife. Habitat loss is one of the many causes of pollinator decline.Join in “No Mow May” and commit to letting the flowers bloom in your lawn this month! Studies show that unmown lawns host a greater diversity of bumblebees and have an overall higher abundance of pollinator visitors.Better yet, mow less frequently throughout the summer.  Plants such as Self Heal, Violets, Clover, and Wild Strawberry add color, beauty, and ecological value to a lawn. 
Best of all, consider replacing some or all of the lawn with native plants.  Native ground covers, once established, form a beautiful and low maintenance lawn alternative.  So don’t dust off your mower just yet!  Let’s let the flowers bloom first!  Learn more about “No Mow May” here.  Check out this nice list of native ground covers for both shady and sunny areas. 

Thursday, May 11
The History of the Nashobah Praying Indians: Doings, Sufferings, Tragedy, and Triumph by Daniel V. Boudillion
Register HERE. Acton Memorial Library
7:00-8:30 pm
Author Dan Boudillion will discuss his just-published book on the history of the Nashobah Praying Indians from the 1654 establishment of Praying Indian Plantation to their sufferings during King Philip’s War and exile on Deer Island, then to the loss of their lands in 1736. The Nashobah village was one of the 16 “Praying Villages” established in Massachusetts in colonial times and included essentially all of modern Littleton. However, part of Acton was, and still is, on Nashobah Praying Plantation land!  Dan will share how the book came to be, and fascinating stories of the Nashobah Praying Indians who are still alive and a presence more than 350 years later.  Books will be available for purchase and signing at this event, as well as on  In-person only.  

Saturday, May 13 
Mother’s Day Weekend Spring Ephemeral Walk
In-person Hadley, MA – Fort River Trail at the Silvio O Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge
Celebrate Mother’s Day with Women on the Land by learning about spring ephemeral flowers! Families are welcome (including kids, parents, and partners).
Laney Wilder, botanist and Executive Director of Opacum Land Trust, will be leading the walk to help identify different spring ephemeral flowers.
The trail is 1.2 miles long and is accessible to strollers and wheelchairs. 
Pastries and coffee, as well as spring bulbs for you and your family, will be shared following the walk.Please sign up using the link below and check out the Upcoming Events list on the Women on the Land website for more information. Further details will be emailed the week before the event.
Sign Up Here.

Sunday, May 14
Plant ID & Natural History Walk – Horse Meadows Knoll -Sponsored by SVT.
1:00 PM – 3:30 PM
Horse Meadows Knoll, Harvard
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.

Thursday May 18
Foraging at the Acton Arboretum
6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Meeting location: Acton Arboretum Parking Lot, 2 Taylor Road, Acton MA
The Acton Arboretum is home to over 80 species of edible wild plants, many of which are more nutritious and/or flavorful than their cultivated counterparts. Join the Early Conservation Career Network and Russ Cohen, author of the book Wild Plants I Have Known…and Eaten, on a two-hour ramble through the Arboretum to encounter to learn about at least 18 species of edible wild plants and how they function in the landscape. If the Arboretum lot is full, there is plenty of parking in the lot next to the Acton Town Hall and Library, which are about a 5 minute walk away.

Saturday, May 20
How do you think an Acton newspaper should cover Nature and the Environment? 
10:30-11:30 AM  
Acton Memorial Library 2nd floor conference room
There is an effort afoot to start a local, weekly, nonpartisan newspaper in Acton.  The newspaper organizing team is holding a series of meet-ups with various constituencies around town to brainstorm about how such a journalism organization could best attend to their interests and concerns. The conversation will focus on coverage of the nature and the environment.  What kind of ongoing coverage would you like to see?  And what kind of in-depth features? What don’t you want to see?  Might you be interested in getting involved on some aspect of the newspaper effort?   This meetup is being coordinated by Green Acton, the Acton Conservation Trust, Mothers Out Front, and the Acton Climate Coalition.  Questions or comments to 

Saturday, May 20th
Acton Garden Club/Fabulous Plant Sale
9-1 pm , rain or shine
Red House, 468 Main Street across from the Acton common.  Parking is available behind Town Hall or the Acton Center Fire Station. If you are looking to beautify your property, here’s your chance to easily do so. Come and shop.  The sale will include annuals, perennials, pollinators, native plants, a wide variety of locally grown flowers, trees, shrubs, vegetables, herbs, planted hanging baskets as well as a raffle with great prizes.  This year we also offering houseplants.  Credit cards will absolutely be accepted.
Come early for the best selections, pick out those plants you have been wanting, buy something you haven’t grown before and then take them all home and get digging!

Saturday, May 20
Gleaners’ Volunteer Thank-You Potluck!
3:00-6:00 pm
Stonefield Farm in Acton!
Last year, Boston Area Gleaners were able to distribute just over 4 million pounds of produce to our food access partners. This was possible thanks in part to our incredible volunteers who spent hundreds of hours in local farm fields gleaning fresh produce.
To show our deep appreciation and to celebrate the start of the 2023 gleaning season, we will be hosting a volunteer thank-you potluck.
We will provide beverages and yard games, and ask that you bring your favorite dish to share! Be sure to RSVP here.

Sunday, May 21 
A Saunter Exploring Thoreau Farm’s Biology & History – “My vicinity affords many good walks”
Thoreau Farm, 341 Virginia Road, Concord, MA
Join Biologist Amity Wilczek and Historian Richard Smith for a walk around the Thoreau Farm property as they explore the biological and historical importance of the Virginia Road landscape.  How has the area changed since the pre-Colonial era? What plants and animals did Thoreau see in the 19th Century and how have invasive plants and climate change altered the world that Thoreau knew?
Learn More and Register for the Saunter at

Wednesday, May 24
Review of Acton Area Archaeology by Kimberley Connors
7:00-8:30 pm
Acton Memorial Library 
Register HERE.
Kimberley Connors, a local archaeologist specializing in public education, will share the fascinating archaeology of our local environment, from the Native American arrival thousands of years ago, through the European contact of the 1600s, and into the Colonial and early industrial periods. This program can help us appreciate our local landscape and what it offered to newcomers thousands of years ago as well as to those arriving in the last few centuries as well.
Kimberley holds a MA from Harvard University and has worked on numerous sites in New England and the Middle East. Her research includes local sites along the Assabet River and Nashoba Brook. Her talk will be followed by a brief review of Acton’s new archeological protection bylaw, which was just enacted last year.
In-person and live streamed on Acton TV at

Thursdays in June (June 1, 8, 15, 22, 29)
Mass Land Trust Coalition (MLTC) is offering a Fundamentals of Land Protection series of virtual classes
4:00 – 5:30 p.m. via Zoom; 
Registration link here (Zoom link will be sent to registrants before the first session).  Syllabus here

Tuesday, June 6 
Plant ID & Natural History Walk – Elliott Concord River Preserve
Elliott Concord River Preserve Elliott Concord River Preserve, Carlisle
Join naturalist Roland “Boot” Boutwell for an for an informative nature walk. Focus on plant identification as well as fun and interesting natural history about the plants we see.
All SVT programs require registration.
Please click on the blue program titles to bring you to the registration page.
For information about payment, directions to the program location, or cancelling a registration, see our Program Policies.

Now through May 31
Garlic Mustard Pull Season: 
Garlic mustard is an invasive herbaceous biennial that can form thick stands in our forest underscores, along trails/roadsides, and other disturbed Areas.  This plant is also able to release alleopathic chemicals from its roots, preventing natives from growing.  Fortunately, seasonal pulling can be effective at moving a population; however, depending on the extent of the population it may take several years to see a significant decrease.  
Pull the plant up by the root.  
Tear it apart and shake soil out of the roots. – DO NOT LEAVE IT ON THE GROUND!  . Be sure to bag and dispose of pulled plants as  garbage. Alternatively one can bag them in paper or plastic and leave to dry out.  When the plants are completely dried they can be composted in a non-garden use compost pile   Pull in your yard, nearby roadside, or along a trail! 
To get the garlic mustard fact sheet from UNH Extension, including management considerations, click on Get Fact Sheet.

Now 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.

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.


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”!