Dear Friends and Acton Conservation Trust Members,
Bulette Conservation Land gained 20 acres, a new parking area on Arlington Street and a perfectly gorgeous bridge over Grassy Pond Brook. Now it’s easier than ever to walk from Bulette to Grassy Pond to Nagog Hill Conservation Lands. (From https://www.instagram.com/actonconservationtrust/?hl=en. To watch the video and to see more pics of nature in Acton, visit ACT’s Instagram page.)
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.
Tuesday, May 30
Film: Dam Removal Double Feature
Lowell National Historical Park Visitor Center, 24446 Market St., Lowell, MA
To register visit https://lowelllandtrust.org/about-us-2-2/ecofilm-rsvp/
This film double feature will also be screened virtually – please let us know that you need the Zoom link in your RSVP.
About the films:
A Watershed Moment: tells the story of an all-hands effort involving fishermen, three coastal Maine communities, non-profit organizations, and state and federal management agencies to restore fish passage throughout the entire Bagaduce River Watershed in Maine. 42 min. 2022.
Swimming Upstream: Discusses the intersection between the inter-relationship of native tribes, environmental justice, culture, water resource stewardship, and dam removal. 28 min. 2022.
Free event in partnership with the Lowell Film Collaborative. We thank our sponsor, Enterprise Bank, for making this film series possible.
A special thank you to our venue partner, Lowell National Historical Park.
Wednesday, May 31,
Storytime at Liberty Tree Farm
Come to a special storytime at Acton’s historic Liberty Tree Farm. This event is the start of a series of collaborations between the Acton Memorial Library and Liberty Tree Farm. Throughout the summer and into the fall, children will have the opportunity to visit the farm and read to a horse and 3 dwarf goats, Please subscribe to our social media and online calendar for future dates.
Registration is limited, so please do not sign up unless you fully intend to attend.
Thursday, June 1-15
Acton Boxborough Bioblitz
Please join us as we document and celebrate biodiversity in Acton and Boxborough, which together host over 2,000 acres of conservation areas. From cattail marshes and ponds to fields and forests, these habitats thrive with snapping turtles, frogs, insects, birds, and mammals galore. Another 3,000 acres of private lands provide habitat for wildlife, including what’s two steps outside your door! What kind of wildlife lives here? Let’s find out June 1-15.
How to participate? Download the “iNaturalist” app on your smartphone and click on our “Nature of Acton and Boxborough 2023” project. Or visit https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/nature-of-acton-and-boxborough-june-2023.
Starting June 1st, snap away at any plant, animal or fungus you see and get it on our list. Can we break 200 species this year? Who can ID the most? Taking observations of wildlife helps advance science too! According to National Geographic, “High quality data uploaded to iNaturalist become part of the Global Biodiversity Information Facility, an open source database used by scientists and policy makers around the world.” Happy BioBlitzing!
We continue our observations from the Acton Boxborough BioBlitz as part of the City Nature Challenge Boston area in 2021. The 2023 BioBlitz is a collaboration of people from Acton Conservation Trust, Boxborough Conservation Trust, Green Acton, Acton PIP STEM, Acton Men’s Outdoor Club and Energize Acton. Questions? contact Matt Lieban, firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
Sunday, June 4
Vernal Pool Exploration!
12 pm and 1 PM
Parking by Brookfield’s 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.
Spots are limited! Priority will be given to Harvard Conservation Trust members. Not a member? To ensure that your family enjoys this and other events throughout the year, visit https://harvardconservationtrust.org/join-hct.
This is a family fun event filled with excitement and discoveries!
Saturday, June 10
Boxborough Conservation Trust’s 25th Anniversary Party
2-5 PM (rain date June 11)
Sargent Memorial Library Lawn,
Singer-songwriter Oen Kennedy will join us for an outdoor concert – he sings of and celebrates every living thing, from slime molds to sycamores, and is an incredible award-winning talent!
There will be a scavenger hunt for kids, and guided hikes for adults. Enjoy a drink from True West, and spread out your blanket for a picnic. Games and toys and bubbles will be available on the lawn for kids.
Celebrate during the entire month of June with our exhibits in the meeting room! Do you have a nature-themed photograph or painting of a local subject to contribute? Submit an image to email@example.com by May 28th! We will have a Thankfulness Tree in the library where you can share your leaves of thanks – memories of a favorite walk, event, or other reason that you’re thankful for BCTrust and the land we protect in town. Other exhibits/displays include a timeline of the BCTrust’s 25 years of accomplishments and the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid Project that the Acton Boxborough High School students have been working on.
Thursday, June 15
Evening Firefly Walk
In-Person in Lincoln, MA
Avalon Owens returns to Lincoln, MA in mid-June to lead a firefly walk through one of the fields that she has studied extensively. Participants will meet at Town Offices at 8:00 P.M. for a brief (indoor) tutorial on firefly behavior. Then the group will head out to a nearby field. We expect to return to the parking area by 9:15 P.M.
Avalon Owens holds a PhD in Biology from Tufts University, and has studied fireflies in Lincoln for many years. This walk is a continuation of LLCT’s efforts to offer educational opportunities to the community on light pollution and its impacts on Lincoln’s wildlife.
Open to all, no experience necessary. We will be walking through fields with tall grass at night. Participants should take all necessary safety precautions against poison ivy, ticks, etc. Only lights with red filters will be used out in the field. Filters and tape will be provided, and participants are welcome to bring their own. Our focus will be on wildlife-no pets on this walk.
This is a free program, but space is limited so registration is required. Detailed parking directions and more information will be emailed to participants in advance of the walk. Waitlist only: Register HERE
Senate Adopts Budget Amendment #66 $30M for the CPA Trust Fund
The Community Preservation Coalition is thrilled to report that the MA Senate has just adopted an important amendment that may help address this year’s declining revenue for the CPA Trust Fund. During the Senate FY24 budget debate this morning, Senator Cynthia Stone Creem’s budget amendment, “Community Preservation Trust Fund,” was adopted. This legislation would allocate up to $30 million in state budget surplus funds for this November’s statewide CPA Trust Fund distribution.
What Comes Next?
At the end of this week, the Senate will vote on the final version of their FY24 state budget. In June, a six-member conference committee will be charged with reconciling the differences between the House and Senate versions of the budget. The Coalition will advocate with the conference committee to ensure that the final budget includes funding for CPA, and once the Committee completes its work, the budget will then head to the desk of Governor Healey for her signature.
Make Way for Duckl…Turtles!
In mid-May turtles get more active trying to find a mate and food. They often cross the road to see what’s on the other side. So be on the lookout and slow down when driving near wetlands and places you’ve seen turtles before. Learn more.
Walden Pond in Concord
7 am-7 pm
915 Walden St.
firstname.lastname@example.org; 978-369-3254, bridal paths, and farm roads.
Boat ramp Sunday – Saturday: 5 AM – 7 PM.
Parking: MA resident $8; Non-MA resident: $30
Annual and senior passes NOT sold in park, click here to purchase an annual pass, click here to purchase a senior pass.
Emerson-Thoreau Amble, Concord, MA
Tour starts at the Concord Gun House,/trail entrance along the corner of Lexington Road and Cambridge Turnpike.
Our certified town guide leads an interactive hike that follows a meandering natural path similar to the one Emerson and Thoreau strolled as they walked from the town center to Walden Pond and Henry’s cabin site. Reflect on the power of the natural world and how it influenced both Henry David Thoreau and the world in which he lived.
Tour is 90 minutes to 2 hours. Wear sturdy hiking shoes as the terrain is rough.
Click here to register.
Camp Acton is Open
Pope Road, Acton
Fee is $25 per site reserved through he Recreation Department.
Limited to 10 people per site. Visit http://trails.actonma.gov/ to learn more about Camp Acton.
Please complete the registration form 48 business hours prior to desired reservation date.
Payments are due upon reservation confirmation.
Portable toilet on site.
All users must follow social distancing, regulations and posted guidelines.
Please complete and send camp Acton Permit application via email to email@example.com or fax to 978-929-6333.
Please allow up to two business days to process.
Boxborough Birders is a local, all-volunteer group of bird watchers with varying levels of experience. Local walks in Boxborough, Acton, Harvard, Stow, Bolton, Littleton, are organized during spring and fall migration and occasionally beyond. Our walks are free of charge and most are scheduled on weekends. (Due to Covid-19 pandemic, all scheduled walks for 2021 will be limited in size, masks will be worn, no shared equipment and social distancing required). Visit their website at: boxboroughbirders.org for links to local birding spots, photos, and more. You can sign up there to be on our mailing list and get all the information you need. We hope you will join us out on the trail soon.
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 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.
DOG FRIENDLY HIKES
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
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”!