Dear Friends and Acton Conservation Trust Members:
Don’t be surprised if you see a stone wall covered in black construction plastic on Wright Hill in Acton.
The stone wall was the focus of ACT’s recent Service Day aimed at invasive species removal. Our volunteers did an amazing job cutting and pulling the Oriental bittersweet out by the roots. After consulting with the Land Steward for Wright Hill and other nearby residents we decided to try a “new to us” strategy, where one smothers leftover roots and plants with plastic which bakes in the sun. We will report back at the end of the season after we evaluate its effectiveness. Many thanks to ACT Trustee Jody Harris and Wright Hill Land Steward Jim Salem and neighbor/Selectman Jim Snyder-Grant, provider of the plastic.
The following news and events may be of interest:
Now – 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
Now through May 31
No Mow May – (To Prevent Habitat Loss) sponsored for Town of Lincoln by Lincoln Land Conservation Trust
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 12
Electrifying Our Way to Net Zero
Virtual Event A key step to counter global warming is to change how we heat and cool our buildings. It is a big step . . . but it can be done! Join Acton Sustainability Director Andrea Becerra to celebrate two great examples of the new electrification movement—the fossil fuel free North Acton Fire Station (already open) and the amazing triple net zero new Douglas/Gates School Project (opening this summer). Kate Crosby, Energy Manager of the Acton-Boxborough Regional School District, will share an exciting Town “electrification roadmap” for retrofitting existing municipal buildings. Finally, for those of us who would like to form a plan to tackle our private homes and businesses, Mike Simons of Abode Energy, will share ideas for homeowners, landlords, and businesses.To register for this event, click HERE. This event is sponsored by EnergizeActon.org, a joint effort of the Acton Climate Coalition and the Town of Acton to help Acton residents address climate change by reducing their carbon footprints.
Saturday, May 14
Codman Farm in Lincoln, 58 Codman Road
Join us for the fifth and final class of the Healthy Soils Series. At the Planting Carbon workshop, we’ll be focused on how soil can pull and store carbon from the atmosphere. Using the garden as a model for carbon storage, we’ll learn about deeply rooted perennial shrubs, conservation tillage, and composting. We’ll also have some fun, finale happenings for this session. Sign up here, or visit our website.
See the Super Flower Moon and a “Blood Moon” Eclipse! – Farmer’s Almanac
May’s full Flower Moon reaches peak illumination at 12:15 AM EDT on Monday, May 16. This means that it will reach its peak on the night of Sunday, May 15, in more western time zones. This month’s full Moon coincides with a total lunar eclipse! A lunar eclipse occurs when Earth stands directly between the Moon and the Sun, which results in Earth casting its shadow on the Moon. During a total lunar eclipse, the Moon is fully obscured by Earth’s shadow, giving the Moon a reddish hue. This phenomenon is where the term “blood moon” comes from.
Monday, May 16-17
Acton Annual Town Meeting
AB High School Auditorium
We would like to encourage ACT members and other Acton residents to attend Town Meeting.
May 17, 2022
Spring Bird Walk at NARA Park, Acton, MA
NARA Park, Acton, MA
The birds are back in town! Grab your binoculars and join birder Al Sgroi for a few hours of bird watching and identifying at NARA Park. You can register by clicking Spring Bird Walk, or by going to our website: www.ActonConservationTrust.org.
Thursday, May 19
All Access Acton Arboretum
Cathy Hatfield, President, Friends of the Acton Arboretum will take you for an easy walk around the Acton Arboretum. These trails were designed to minimize barriers to navigation. The arboretum has both natural and cultivated gardens. In May, the lilacs will be in bloom! Note: Parking is limited so participants will be asked to carpool from the Sudbury Senior Center (Fairbank Rd. in Sudbury.) Co-sponsored by the Sudbury Senior Center. The Wildflower Trail Loop is 0.5 mi long, and is on solid surface trails. Trails surfaces consist of pavement, stone dust, and wooden boardwalks. Most inclines are less than 5%, but there is one section that is 8%. There are some mild irregularities in the asphalt trail due to freezing and thawing. There are benches to stop and rest every 200’. Sponsored by Sudbury Valley Trustees and Sudbury Senior Center. Register here.
Saturday, May 21
Acton Garden Club Plant Sale and Raffle
9-1 PM, Rain or Shine
Red House – Acton Center, 468 Main Street on Route 27
The plant sale is the major fundraiser of the Acton Garden Club. The proceeds benefit the many public gardens and plantings maintained by the Club within the Acton community. In addition the funds are used for the annual high school scholarship, the educational grant program and many other community service projects. Visit actongardenclub.org to learn more about Jumping Worms and how they deal with the issue.
Saturday, May 28
Three Sisters, Many Hands – a Native American Celebration
Caouette-Simeone Conservation Land in South Acton
Please join the Friends of Pine Hawk for a Native American celebration! Quiet Storm and Strong Bear Medicine of the Nashobah Praying Indians, Massachusetts Nation, will be joined by shaman Red Medicine to perform a Three Sisters
Planting ceremony. Attendance is limited and registration is required: https://tinyurl.com/3SistersActon.
The planting ceremony will include Native singing, dancing, ceremony, music, and storytelling, all revolving around the planting of a traditional Native Three Sisters Garden: beans, corn and squash. The Nashobah Praying Indians, who are indigenous to this area, traditionally lived at their Chief Tahattawan’s primary village at Fort Pond in Littleton. They became one of 14 Praying Indian Plantations in 1654, in what is now Littleton, and part of Acton, Boxborough, and Littleton community. There is limited parking at the site, but ample free parking in the three nearby MBTA station parking lots, with overflow parking at the Jones Field Playground.
Presented by Friends of Pine Hawk, with special thanks for their support to Boston Area Gleaners at Stonefield Farm,
Acton Conservation Trust, and Sudbury Valley Trustees.
CONGRATULATIONS TO BOXBOROUGH CONSERVATION TRUST (BCT) ON TUESDAY’S TOWN MEETING VOTE TO SUPPORT THE PURCHASE OF THE 21 ACRE 95-105 SARGENT ROAD. BCT thanks all of the neighbors, friends and supporters who contributed, spread the word, and spoke passionately about saving this land.
If you missed “Your Landscape Matters: Changing the Conservation Paradigm” presented by “Grow Native”founder, Claudia Thompson:
To view a recording of the program, please visit our website www.metrowestclimatesolutions.org or our YouTube page: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1iTnInPXoVkQ6vGlZgAgqw.
To learn more about native plants, Claudia Thompson suggests you start at https://grownativemass.org.
To participate in the Residential Pollinator Habitat Enhancement Pilot Program, please email Jean Milburn to request a garden visit at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To stay in touch with future programming by MetroWest Climate Solutions or other local environmental organizations, please sign up for our newsletter at metrowestclimatesolutions.org or follow us on Facebook.
Saturday, May 14
Stonefield Farm Acton
Calling all birders! With our first spring at Stonefield Farm, we are eager to learn about the birds living in and migrating through the area. Join us on a surveying walk, led by our very own Duck Caldwell. For this project, we are specifically seeking volunteers with some birding knowledge or experience to help us survey what we see and hear. If you have questions about this trip, email email@example.com/ Before signing up for a volunteer project, please be sure that you have completed the New Volunteer Registration Form.
Environmental Voter Project (EVP)
EVP’s mission is to identify inactive environmentalists and transform them into consistent voters to build the power of the environmental movement. They estimate that over 8 million environmentalists did not vote in the 2020 presidential election and over 12 million skipped the 2018 midterms. EVP is a nonpartisan nonprofit focused on a simple high leverage solution to the problem: with a 6 year track record of success, they’re accurately identifying these non-voting environmentalists and efficiently converting them into a critical mass of consistent voters that will soon be too big for politicians to ignore. To learn more about them visit https://www.environmentalvoter.org/about and to get involved, visit https://www.environmentalvoter.org/get-involved
Goat Hikes – Good Pickin’ Farm
5 Gould Road, Westford
Goat Hikes. $65/group up to 8 people. Informative nature hike led by an ecologist, focusing on different flora or fauna of the area that is seasonal. Have fun while the goats walk and run along with you and enjoy their silly antics! For more information call 425-306-7203 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
April 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 www.centralmagoatrental.com 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. Click here for Dog Friendly Hikes
Spring Ahead of Jumping Worms –Jumping worms (aka snake worms, crazy worms) are widespread and spreading aggressively throughout the Northeast. These invasive earthworms are noticeably larger than the established earthworms and thrash violently when disturbed. Damage caused by jumping worms includes devouring leaf litter that regenerates soil and over-aerating the soil, causing nutrients to each out, roots to loosen, and soil to erode. Read what Native Plant Trust is doing and a what you can do to stop their spread. What Native Plant Trust is doing to prevent the spread of jumping worms: All wood chips and compost used at Garden in the Woods are produced on site. We use new plastic pots for most of the plants we sell. We clean and sanitize any reused pots. Native Plant Trust, nativeplantrust.org for more information.
Garlic Mustard Season!
Neighborhood Pull Season: Now through- May 31.
Venture out and pull Garlic Mustard on your own! Need some exercise this weekend? It’s the start of garlic mustard season! Plants are up and easy to spot right now. Pull the plant up by the root. Tear it apart and shake soil out of the roots. From https://concordma.gov/778/Garlic-Mustard-Alliaria-Petiolata: Remove the plant with its entire root system or new plants may sprout from root fragments. Take care not spread any plants that have gone to seed. Remove completely from the site and dispose of in garbage bags. Foliar spray is not recommended as it can be harmful to the surrounding flora and fauna. Please check with Bettina Abe, email@example.com, about pulling Garlic Mustard at the Acton Arboretum.
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 smile.amazon.com 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.
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 the support of our members. Visit our ACT website, and click on “Join Us”!