Events of Interest November 26, 2022

Dear Friends and Acton Conservation Trust Members,

I hope everyone had  a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday with friends and family  – so much to be grateful for.

Fungi in Camp Acton – this one is called Oxyporus

The following news and events may be of interest: If you prefer, you may read “Events of Interest” on our website,

Now – December 17 
Experience Destination:  Nature, An Evocative Juried Art Show

Tuesday through Thursday: 12 – 6 pm, Friday, 12-3 pm, Sat & Sun 11-3 PM
Fivesparks, 7 Fairbank Street, Harvard, MA
Featuring works from over 50 regional artists who have been inspired by the thousands of acres of protected land in Harvard, Massachusetts. Sarah Montross, Senior Curator at the DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park has juried the show, selecting the exhibited works and awarding top prizes. The exhibit will also feature an immersive video installation created by Bearwalk Cinema. See these natural landscapes and wildlife habitats through the eyes of talented artists.  All art is available for purchase.  Visit

Monday, November 28 through 1/30, 2/2, 3/27, 3/30, 5/29, 6/1, 2023 (Total of 4 Discussions Sections)
Women of the Land (WOTL) Book Club Sign Up:  Braiding Sweetgrass
Sitting 1: 11/28 12-1PM, Sitting 2: Thursday, 12/1 7-8 PM  Start through section “Tending Sweetgrass”.
This year’s Women on the Land book club, we will be reading “Braiding Sweetgrass” by Robin Wall Kimmerer in ~100-page segments. For any questions, please email Lina Clifford at
There will be four Zoom book discussions and two dates/times for each discussion to help accommodate for everyone’s schedules. Discussions will occur every other month and each discussion will have a Monday afternoon 12-1PM sitting and a Thursday evening 7-8PM sitting.

Thursday, December 1  
Shrubs in Winter (AKA Naked Shrubs)
In-Person Field Workshop 
Acton Arboretum and Bog, 2 Taylor Road, Acton
10-12:30 pm 
Join Naturalist, Roland “Boot” Boutwell for our field workshop at the Acton Arboretum and Bog for a close look at 15-20 native New England shrubs, plus a couple of non-native invasive species.
Bring lunch and a hand lens if you have one.  
Fee: $60 MACC members | $ 80 Non-members | $ 45 Full-time students. Limit: 12.
Space is Limited. Register Today.  Contact Michele Girard, 617-489-3930.   
Sponsored by MACC, Mass. Association of Conservation Commissions. 

Saturday, December 3 
Member Appreciation Evening of Astronomy 
5-7 PM  
To show appreciation for our wonderful members, we’re partnering with Amateur Telescope Makers of Boston for an Evening of Astronomy! The night of December 3 offers a nice selection of objects to observe. The moon will be in the evening skies along with Saturn, Jupiter, and Mars, Uranus, and Neptune. Many deep-sky objects will also be visible. 
This is an in-person event for Acton Conservation Trust members only. Please register below.  Not a member yet and want to attend? 
Visit to join before registering.
This event is perfect for families! Dress warmly… wear several layers and bring a hat and gloves. We will be outdoors with plenty of hot beverages and other refreshments for you to enjoy. 
Clouds or extreme low temperatures will cancel observing. We will consult the local weather forecast and contact you by 2:00 p.m. that day (December 3) with a GO/NO GO decision. 
For more information or questions, please contact Jody Harris at

December 8
Doug Tallamy presents Nature’s Best Hope  – Lincoln Land Conservation Trust
7 PM 
Virtual program
Recent headlines about global insect declines, the impending extinction of one million species worldwide, and three billion fewer birds in North America are a bleak reality check about how ineffective our current landscape designs have been at sustaining the plants and animals that sustain us. Such losses are not an option if we wish to continue our current standard of living on Planet Earth. The good news is that none of this is inevitable. Tallamy will discuss simple steps that each of us can- and must- take to reverse declining biodiversity and will explain why we, ourselves, are nature’s best hope.
The night’s focus will be on how to create backyard biodiversity in Lincoln, connect habitats throughout Town, and increase resilience against climate change. All are welcome at this free, virtual program. Register here.

Sunday, March 12 
Preview of ACT Annual Meeting:  “Eyes on Owls” 
1 PM – 2:30 PM    
Acton Town Hall, 472 Main Street,  Room 204, Acton, MA 
Naturalists Marcia and Mark Wilson will introduce you to 6 live owls up close and personal!  After much anticipation, Marcia brings the owls out one by one.  Each bird is safely perched on her glove as she walks close to everyone, providing intimate views of these secretive birds of prey.  And, everyone gets to practice the owls’ calls during the hooting lessons!  The Wilsons highlight the owls’ unique adaptations, habitats and behaviors in the wild, while sharing tips on how you can look for owls yourself.  Questions are taken once the owls come out. 
1 PM Business Meeting
1:30 PM-2:30 – Eyes on Owls Presentation 
Acton Town Hall, Room 204 and Zoom

“Garden As If the Earth Matters”!   Recording available! 
The link to Anna Fialkoff’s talk last 10/13 “Garden as if the Earth Matters”  has been added to our website: 
If you missed her talk, you can still hear how gardening with native plants helps foster biodiversity and  and creates more resilient landscapes.

Our December 3 member appreciation Evening of Astronomy event is now live on our website as well:  We’re partnering with Amateur Telescope Makers of Boston. The night of December 3 offers a nice selection of objects to observe. The moon will be in the evening skies along with Saturn, Jupiter, and Mars, Uranus, and Neptune. Many deep-sky objects will also be visible. 

BAG Boston Area Gleaners!
Giving Tuesday is a global day of charitable giving, falling on the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving. As we enter the holiday season, your Giving Tuesday donations will help fill four of our trucks with fresh produce for families and communities in need of food access. 
To give you an idea of impact, a $25 donation fills a banana box with produce, which is equal to 160 servings (40 pounds) of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Donate before or on Tuesday, November 29th to help reach our goal!

News from the Massachusetts Land Trust Coalition, November e-news. Public Lands Preservation Act (PLPA) Passed by the Legislature – the Governor’s turn is next!

Some 20 years after it was first introduced, An Act preserving open space in the Commonwealth, also known as the Public Lands Preservation Act (PLPA), was passed by the legislature on November 10 and now awaits the Governor’s signature. The bill codifies key aspects of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs’ Land Disposition Policy, often referred to as the “No Net Loss Policy”. This 1998 policy states that parks and conservation land subject to the protections of Article 97 cannot be converted to another use unless land of comparable natural resource and economic value is designated to replace it. Though an excellent policy, it has been variably enforced over its 24-year history and — without the force of law — could be ignored or rescinded at any time by a future administration. Codifying its key provisions into law has been MLTC’s top legislative priority in recent years, so this is a significant victory!  

View the coalition statement thanking the legislature and urging the Governor to sign the bill. We extend our appreciation to the late Phil Saunders, who championed the bill for 20 years, to tireless lead sponsors Sen. Jamie Eldridge and Rep. Ruth Balser, and to our coalition partners. View the full text of the bill here

New Natural Climate Solutions Report
Highstead recently released New England’s Climate Imperative: Our Forests as a Natural Climate Solution, which includes five strategies to increase carbon sequestration and storage in New England’s forests, and aligns with existing science and research, such as the Commonwealth’s 2050 Decarbonization Roadmap, New England Forestry Foundation’s 30 Percent Climate Solution, and Wildlands and WoodlandsRead the report.

Native Groups Seek to Repair Lands Damaged by Colonization
Source: WBUR / Philip Marcelo, Associated Press
The Wampanoag Common Lands seeks to restore a 32-acre former Catholic summer camp on the banks of the Muddy Pond in Kingston to something closer to what it might have looked like before European colonization transformed it, including re-introducing native plants significant to the Wampanoag culture. Ramona Peters, a Mashpee Wampanoag who founded The Native Land Conservancy, which received the donated land this year, said the effort is all the more meaningful because the land is some five miles from where Pilgrims arriving on the Mayflower established the English colony of Plymouth, near the remnants of a Wampanoag community wiped out by European disease. Read the article.

SAFETY ALERT:   Wear blaze orange this fall during outdoor visits and activities!
Hunting is now through end of December. 
Be safe, be seen! While hunters are required to wear blaze orange during certain seasons, all people who are outdoors this fall should wear blaze orange as a precaution for increased visibility.
Mass Wildlife Hunting Information. 
Video: See hunting season video on the effectiveness of blaze orange

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 instructions.

Hope you had a Happy Thanksgiving!


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”!