Events of Interest May 10, 2024

Dear Friends and Acton Conservation Trust Members,

5/8/24  Walk of the Assabet River Rail Trail sponsored by Acton Conservation Division/Acton Conservation Trust “I Hiked Acton’s Trails Challenge” 

The following events may be of interest:

Saturday, May 11
Volunteer Project Sign Up
8:00 AM – 11:00 AM Acton, MA
Join Boston Area Gleaners for our third annual bird walk at Stonefield Farm! We’re excited to host this event on Saturday, May 11, 2024, otherwise known as Global  Global Big Day and World Migratory Bird Day! This is the day to celebrate, observe and record the birds around you to help conservationists better understand global bird populations.
Last year, volunteers were successfully able to identify 39 different bird species on the farm. We have already seen many migratory species on the farm this spring, so we are excited to get back out there. This trip will be led by Gleaner staff member Duck Caldwell. We are seeking volunteers with some birding knowledge or experience. Binoculars are not provided, so please bring your own. Insects are abundant on the farm so we recommend wearing long sleeved shirts, pants, and long socks.
In case of rain or high winds, we will potentially reschedule for another date (TBD). Please be sure to check your email the evening before in case we need to reschedule.
Each participating volunteer must sign up separately, under their own name. For more info on volunteering, check out our Frequently Asked Questions. 

Saturday May 11
Invasives ID Training
Wolbach Farm, Sudbury
Join SVT’s Jane Maloney at Wolbach Farm for an Invasives ID training. We’ll cover how to spot and remove most of the common invasive species that you’ll find in your backyard.   Register,

Sunday, May 12
Happy Mother’s Day

Sunday, May 12 
Self-guided Mothers Day Hike, Mount Wachusett
Enjoy this 1.3-mile out-and-back trail near Princeton, Massachusetts. Generally considered a moderately challenging route, it takes an average of 1h 0min to complete. This is a very popular area for birding, hiking, and running, so you’ll likely encounter other people while exploring. The best times to visit this trail are April through October. Dogs are welcome, but must be on a leash.
This route to the summit of Wachusett Mountain begins from the visitor center parking area.
The summit is a popular spot for birders during migratory seasons. Hawk watchers can be seen counting the birds moving through the area.
Wachusett Mountain via Bicentennial and Pine Hill Trails

Preview trail
Wachusett Mountain isn’t just for fantastic downhill skiing! Enjoy walking, hiking, mountain biking, or cross-country skiing along the 17 miles of trails that wind around Mount Wachusett! For a breathtaking 360-degree view, take the hike to the summit of Wachusett Mountain. Grilling is allowed at the picnic areas, which are handicap accessible. The 1.5-mile hike to Echo Lake is stroller friendly. Parking is $5 for Massachusetts residents or free with an annual ParksPass (though no parking fees at all November 1 through Memorial Day weekend). The lot at the visitor center is small (only 28 spaces!), so be prepared to be redirected to another lot during busier times. 

May 14
ACT Spring Bird Walk

It’s time to dust off your binoculars, and join ACT and Al Sgroi for a few hours of bird watching and identifying. The birds are back in town and registration for this event is open! This is a walk for all levels of birders, experienced to beginner, but no pets are allowed at this event. We will walk 1-2 miles on various surface trails. Bring your binoculars, water, sun protection and bug repellent. Some loaner binoculars will be available. 
Register for the Spring Bird Walk here.  Once registered, you’ll get an email a few days before the event with location and parking information.

Tuesday, May 14
Wetland & Wildlife Themed Trivia Night 
7:00 PM
True West Brewery, 525 Massachusetts Avenue, Acton, MA
True West Brewery and Acton Conservation Division teamed up for a Wetland & Wildlife themed trivia night. Test your knowledge of wetlands and the wildlife that call them home.  If you have any questions about these events please reach out to the Ian Bergemann, Land Stewardship Coordinator, at or by phone 978-929-6634

Wednesday, May 15
Spring Bird Walk 2
8:00-9:30 am
Horse Meadows Knoll, Harvard
SVT’s Conservation Associate, Mike Perrin, birding enthusiast, will lead beginning birders on a walk through Horse Meadows Knoll in Harvard, MA. Mike will offer his tips and tricks for how to spot birds and identify species and will explain what tools are available to use while birding. Forested with a mixture of hardwood species, white pine, and hemlock, Horse Meadows Knoll provides habitat for multiple endangered species and several varieties of birds. Attendees are asked to bring a pair of binoculars and to download the Merlin app in advance of the walk.   Register

Wednesdays, May 15 -June 5
I Hiked Acton’s Trails Challenge
2:30 pm-4:00 pm
Location sent out the Sunday before each hike. 
Walk (or wheelchair) trails in Acton’s conservation areas with the goal of earning a sticker and a sew-on patch! This weekly set of walks is a joint effort between Acton Conservation Department and Acton Conservation Trust. We hope to complete 9 of 22 conservation land walks and may continue the challenge next fall. 
All ages are welcome!, Register for one hike or all nine!   All children must be accompanied by an adult.
REGISTER HERE! For more information or questions, please contact Jody Harris at or Ian Bergemann at

Saturday, May 18
Spring Archaeology Walk
Noon-2 PM in North Acton
Local archaeologist Kimberley Connors will lead a two-mile hike focusing on Native American features along the Trail Though Time in North Acton. Registrants will receive an email with details a few days before the walk. Limited to the first 20 people to sign up, ages 15 and up. (Rain Date, Sunday, May 19, noon-2PM).
Register HERE to walk.

Wednesday, May 18 
2024  Lincoln Conservation Trust’s (LLCT) 5th Annual Pollinator Plant Sale
10am-11am: LLCT Members* 
11am-1pm: Open to the Public
Lincoln Station, 145 Lincoln Rd, Lincoln MA
Launched as part of LLCT’s effort to restore native pollination systems in Lincoln, the pollinator plant sale is a way to help our community access native plants at a reasonable cost and plant them in their own gardens, expanding Lincoln’s “pollinator pathway” through town and beyond.
This year’s plant sale will be in-person only (no pre-orders). Join us on May 18th at  Cash, card, check, and Venmo accepted. Plants available on a first come, first served basis.
*All are welcome to join or renew their membership when they check out at the sale. Not sure if you’re a current member? Just email us and we can let you know.

Sunday, May 19 
Vernal Pool Exploration, sponsored by Harvard Conservation Trust
12 – 2pm EDT  Choose one session 12 PM or 1 PM
Barba’s Point Trails Park at the Bromfield School and we’ll meet at the trailhead near the tennis courts.
Join biologist Bob Douglas for an exploration of vernal pools! Discover how this essential ecosystem, brimming with flora and fauna comes to life each year at this time. This event is appropriate for most school age children and inquisitive preschoolers with their caregivers. Viewing sleds and nets will be provided, and families are welcome to bring their own. We encourage you to pack a snack and finish the hike to the end of the Barba’s Point Peninsula to take in the beautiful views of Bare Hill Pond.  
Register at
Dress appropriately for the weather. Waterproof footwear or good walking shoes will work.  

Monday, May 20
Conservation Options Workshop
Online Presentation
Do you want to learn more about how to protect your land for generations to come? SVT Land Protection Specialist, Tony Scibelli, will discuss the many conservation options available in Massachusetts to permanently protect our landscape and ensure the biodiversity of our rich and varied environment.  Register at 

Wednesday, May 22
Lecture on Wetlands of Acton 
7:00 PM
Acton Memorial Library.
Acton’s Land Stewardship Coordinator will be hosting a lecture  at the Acton Memorial Library. If you are interested in attending please sign up here. If you have any questions about these events please reach out to Ian Bergemann, Land Stewardship Coordinator, at or by phone 978-929-6634.

Thursday, May 23
Late Spring Nature Walk
George and Lucy Yapp Conservation Land, Littleton
This 53 acre property is believed to have been part of the 17th century Nipmuc Praying Indian Village known as Nashobah. Join naturalist Roland “Boot” Boutwell for an informative nature walk as we search for late spring wildflowers and other cool plants. The walk will focus on plant ID as well as fun and interesting natural history, plus tales and legends about the plants we see.  Register at 

Friday, May 24
Acton Center Walking Tours Led by Amy Cole
1:50 PM (Rain date, Saturday, May 25th)
Meet Amy at the Acton Memorial Library parking lot
The walk is free, but registration is needed and capped at 20 attendees per walk. Registration link::
Tour leader Amy Cole grew up near Acton Center and knows the Town well. She has a wide ranging-interest in Acton’s unique history. Walking Acton’s historic civic center, you will learn about the people, places and practices that shaped the town’s history and our nation’s as well. Topics include Native American history, the role of the church, the importance of Captain Isaac Davis and the Acton Minutemen, nearby historic buildings, memorials and more. The mile walk will take a little less than two hours.

Wednesday, May 29
The Empire Strikes Back, and Resistance Becomes Revolution
Acton Town Hall, 472 Main Street, Room 204
Last September Professor Bob Allison inaugurated the Acton 250 Lectures Series with an account of the Boston Tea Party of 1773 and the pivotal events that sparked the American Revolution. He returns to explain the critical changes occurring in the year 1774 when the Crown’s response solidified the colonial opposition. Register at Remote Participation: You can participate in the Q&A using ZOOM or watch live at Acton TV This is the fifth lecture in the Acton 250 Series.
Prof. Allison is renowned for his expertise in American colonial history, and the political, social, and economic factors that converged in the 18th century, leading to Massachusetts’ significant role in the creation of the American nation. He has taught history at Suffolk University since 1992 upon receiving his doctorate at Harvard University. He chairs Revolution 250, a consortium of organizations planning commemorations of the Revolution’s 250th anniversary and is a life-trustee of the USS Constitution Museum.

Saturday, June 8 
Acton Climate Resilience Festival 
1-4 PM 
Gardner Field, West Acton 
Activities for All ages, food, music, Acton Climate Festival

Saturday, June 8
10:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Sudbury Valley Trustees, 18 Wolbach Road, Sudbury MA 01776
Snakes of New England and the World – one hour live animal presentation.

Saturday, June 8 
National Trails Day 
National Trails Day on the first Saturday in June recognizes all the incredible benefits federal, state and local trails provide for recreation and exposure nature. Events held throughout the United States help promote awareness of the wide variety of services the trails systems offer. The day encourages people to discover their local trials, become active concerning trail issues, and share their excitement for the outdoors.
Visit for more information

Friday, June 21 
Summer Solstice Bike Ride
6:00 pm – 8:00 pm (rain date June 22);
Pedal Power Bike & Ski, 176 Great Road (Rt. 2A) Acton, MA 01720; Parking available across Great Road. 
Contact Tom Michelman:


CPA Updates  (CPA is Town of Acton’s funding source for Open Space Preservation, Recreation, Community Housing and Historic Preservation)

Higher Interest Rates Provide a Silver Lining for the CPA Trust Fund money puzzle

While collections for the CPA Trust Fund this year have been trending downwards, there is a silver lining – higher investment returns have almost quadrupled the amount of interest being paid into the fund.

The MA Department of Revenue (DOR) is charged with maintaining the statewide CPA Trust Fund – the funding source for the annual matching payments to CPA communities. But before the funds are paid out each November, DOR makes two adjustments to the fund balance: the interest that accrued during the year is added to the funds’ bottom line, and then any DOR administrative costs are subtracted from the balance.

The double dose of good news is that revenue from interest is up, and DOR has not deducted any administrative expenses over the past four years. Click on the link below to view updated Trust Fund interest and expense figures we’ve received from DOR:

View the Updated Figures on Interest Earned and DOR Expenses Applied to the CPA Trust Fund

CPA Adoption Update for 2024:

Four Towns on the Ballot & More on the Way

Town meeting season has kicked off in Massachusetts, and with a major election on the horizon for this November, CPA advocates in many towns are making the pitch for CPA adoption.

Over the last few weeks, we’ve already had four different towns succeed in placing the question of CPA adoption as a ballot question during the November presidential election. The town of Sherborn was the very first this year to have their town meeting approve of CPA, followed shortly by the towns of Spencer and Winchester on the same night, and now Sheffield has just joined the list. And as we continue through May and June, the towns of Clarksburg, Colrain, Halifax, Otis, Rutland, and Swampscott will all be discussing CPA adoption proposals, along with residents in Townsend collecting signatures for a CPA ballot question petition over the summer.

There’s been some election activity among current CPA communities too. Residents in Groveland successfully defeated a ballot question to revoke CPA during their spring election, while the City Council in Holyoke voted this week to seek voter approval of a surcharge reduction from 1.5% to 1% on Election Day in November.

Garlic Mustard Season
It’s garlic mustard season again! Help manage this invasive plant across town by pulling on your own property.
Garlic mustard season runs from April 15th through June 14th.


Call for Community Planning Process Volunteers – Paid Role
The Town of Acton is looking for up to 5 community members to join a climate resilience planning process! Volunteers will receive a stipend of $2,400 during the 9-month process.  For more information, visit Official Website | Acton MA

See you on the trails!!

Susan Mitchell-Hardt 
President, Acton Conservation Trust

P.S.  Welcome new “Events of Interest” subscribers!  As a non-profit organization focused on conserving land in Acton, we rely upon the support of our members.  Visit our ACT website, and click on “Join Us”