Events of Interest May 26, 2022

Dear Friends and Acton Conservation Trust Members,

Get out there and find these spring ephemerals while you can!!

Pink Ladyslipper

Why Trillium Have Become the Poster Child for Endangered Native Plants

Pink lady’s slipper is a perennial orchid.  Please do not disturb it; it will not survive transplantation.  It is found in environments from partial to all shade, most commonly in pine forests but also in deciduous woodlands.  Enjoy!

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 birds-
Members free; Adults $15, Seniors $12, Children (6 to 17) $8 

Now through May 31
No Mow May –  (To Prevent Habitat Loss) No Mow May is a conservation initiative first popularized by Plantlife, an organization based in the United Kingdom, but which is gaining traction across North America to help bees and other pollinators.

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 and (NEW ARTICLE) here –  
Check out this nice list of native ground covers for both shady and sunny areas. 

No Mow May

Saturday, May 28
Three Sisters, Many Hands – a Native American Celebration

2-3:30 PM
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:

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.

Wednesday,  June 1 
Capping off the Climate Action Plan 

12-1:15 PM 
Virtual to register, visit:
At this workshop, you will have an opportunity to provide feedback on the cost-benefit assessment findings by the Eastern Research Group (ERG) that identify the potential greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions, costs, and benefits, including equity and resilience, of high-impact strategies from our Climate Action Plan Blueprint.  We are excited to continue this work and finish off with a final Climate Action Plan in June!  If you would like an early preview of the economic assessments click  here Of particular interest for ACT Members is Strategy 14, “Increase protection of existing open space and potential green spaces throughout town in line with the Open Space and Recreation Plan”.    For questions or comments email or call the office, 978-929-6515.

Wednesdays, June 1, 8, 15, 22, 29…..
Outdoor Weekly Event:  First Topic – Buying Less Stuff 
10-11 AM 
Twin Seafood Picnic Tables, 541 Massachusetts Ave., Acton 
Would you like to reduce your carbon footprint?  The Climate Cafe is a fun and informal gathering where Acton residents can discuss a  fossil fuel free future.  The idea is to provide a forum where people who have experience in certain areas can share their insights and where folks looking to make changes can ask questions about the process.  Each week will be a different focus, with a range of technical and environmental topics.  Bring a beverage from the Acton Coffee Shop and meet us at the picnic tables.  This event is sponsored by  For more information contact

Wednesday, June 8 
Climate Cafe:  Second Topic – Cooling with Heat Pumps

10-11 AM 
Twin Seafood Picnic Tables, 541 Massachusetts Ave., Acton 
Would you like to reduce your carbon footprint?  The Climate Cafe is a fun and informal gathering where Acton residents can discuss a  fossil fuel free future.  The idea is to provide a forum where people who have experience in certain areas can share their insights and where folks looking to make changes can ask questions about the process.  Each week will be a different focus, with a range of technical and environmental topics.  Bring a beverage from the Acton Coffee Shop and meet us at the picnic tables.  This event is sponsored by  For more information contact

Wednesday, June 8
Monarch Butterflies 
7-8:30 PM Webinar over Zoom 
Elke Jahns-Harms returns to share her fabulous photos and stories of monarchs.  Elke and her husband Garth have gotten to know these magical creatures well while raising and releasing over a hundred butterflies.  What makes the butterflies so special? How can we help them?  In this zoom webinar, Elke will discuss facts about monarchs and share stories and photos from their experiences.  Register now,

Saturday, June 11 
Acton Climate Festival 

Noon to 3 PM 
NARA Park Amphitheater 
Celebrate the finalized Climate Action Plan with this free festival including live music, games for kids of all ages, food, and lots of information about sustainability from local organizations and vendors.  Contact the Sustainability Office for the Town Acton ( or 978-929-6611) if you need a ride or if your organization/business would like to have a table at the event.

Wednesday, June 15
Snakes of New England – Live-Animal Program

2-3 pm 
Sponsored by Lincoln Land Conservation Trust and Lincoln Parks and Recreation Department/in-person at Brooks Gymnasium, 6 Ballfield Road, Lincoln
After-school fun for all!  This is a free program and all are welcome.  Donations will be gratefully accepted from those who are able to contribute.  Have you ever caught a glimpse of a snake just as it disappeared and wished you’d gotten a better look?  Now’s your chance to see snakes up close!d  Rick Roth, local snake expert and Director of Cape Ann Vernal Pond Team, will bring his favorite snakes to Lincoln to talk about the incredible reptiles.  No registration required.

Wednesday, June 15 
Solar Power 101 

Virtual Event, Register HERE
As we approach the summer solstice, let’s celebrate the power of renewable energy!  Join us to get an overview of solar generators and storage, along with the different options to consider naqd update on the state and federal incentives to go solar.  Or panel will include an Acton homeowner, a spokesperson for an Acton organization that has installed solar, and a representative of Energy Sage, the solar market place that provides trained advisors who help connect consumers with vetted solar installers.  Register  HERE  or go to  for more information.  This event is sponsored by, dedicated to addressing the climate emergency through education and action to reach net-zero emissions.


Boston Area Gleaners
Wednesday, June 1
Assembling boxes!
Stonefield Farm, Acton, MA 

Assembling boxes
1-4 PM
Stonefield Farm, Acton, MA 
For specific questions email group leader, Christopher,
Sign up to volunteer at


Senate Adopts Budget Amendment 834, $20M for the CPA Trust Fund – from Stuart Saginor, Executive Director of the CPA Coalition.  There’s still another step.  Whether or not the final version of the budget will include surplus funds for CPA will likely be a tough negotiation as the House did not include any additional funding for CPA in their version of the budget.  Stay tuned. The Committee usually issues its report by the end of June, after which it will head to the desk of Governor Baker.  We need these funds for a distribution on par with last year.  For more information visit

This orchard adjoins the Prospect Hill and Dean’s Hill Conservation Lands (Town of Harvard) and Fruitlands (Trustees of the Reservations) and Oxbow National WIldlife Refuge (US Fish and Wildlife Service).  Their goal is to raise funds toward securing a perpetual Agricultural Preservation Restriction (APR) on this 70 acre property next to Fruitlands.   Visit to learn more and about what you can do.

If you missed “Creating Pollinator Habitat in Maynard” the recording is  on this link:
Sponsored by Maynard Community Gardeners.  Attached below is Pollinator Habitat Resources document and “Gardening for Native Pollinators” from the Native Pollinator Task Force, (NPTF)

If you missed the Boxborough Conservation Trust’s Annual Meeting Talk on 3/29/22 by Dr. Doug Tallamy, author of several best-selling books (Nature’s Best Hope, Bringing Nature Home, The Nature of Oaks), and professor of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware.  He cofounded the “Homegrown National Park”, a network of citizens dedicated to planting natives and regenerating biodiversity at home, one yard at a time.  View his complete talk here!  (Passcode: 2Xaq%K@J)

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 and to get involved, visit

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,

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  and choose the date of your hike.

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 leach out, roots to loosen, and soil to erode.  To stop their spread the Native Plant Trust recommends the following:  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, for more information.

A review of Garlic Mustard from  “The Gardener”  May 9, 2021 Sunday Boston Globe: 
Like most invasives, it has a couple tricks up its sleeve.  It will produce up to 1500 seeds per plant with a 100% germination rate.  It also produces chemicals to suppress the growth of everything else around it.  Soon you will have a solid field of garlic mustard where once there was a mixed community of plants.  The last trick is that seeds from a single plant will patiently take turns sprouting for five years afterward.  As the old saying goes, “One year’s seeding, five year’s weeding”  So pull it and bag it.  And keep an eye out next May for new ones.  The good news is that garlic mustard is one invasive weed that is easy to pull., by Carol Stocker, Concord, MA

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

Garlic Mustard

Now through– May 31.  Venture out and pull Garlic Mustard on your own?  Need some exercise this weekend?   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  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,, 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 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 instruction.


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”!