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Impact

Together with our 2800 members and 200 volunteers, we...

  • Conserve and care for over 4300 acres of fields, forests, and farms in the 36 communities surrounding the Assabet, Sudbury, and Concord Rivers.
  • Maintain more than 55 miles of hiking trails.
  • Help friends and neighbors connect with nature through our events, programs, and outings.
  • Assist local organizations in their efforts to protect the region’s most important natural areas.

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Cowassock Woods, by Joyce Dwyer
Cowassock Woods, by Joyce Dwyer

Cowassock Woods and Ashland Town Forest are composed of a mosaic of mixed hardwood forest types, wetlands, vernal pools and stream corridors. Sixty to eighty year old mixed hardwood forests – mixed oak and oak/hickory forest types - are the dominant natural communities.

These communities differ in structure and species composition depending on the dryness of the sites. Rocky outcrops on the property create the driest sites with more black birch and smaller oaks. There are patches of naturally occurring coniferous species including white pine and eastern hemlock. There is also a large area of planted 70-foot white pine and a smaller area of planted red spruce and red pine in the center of Cowassock Woods. There is a large red maple swamp on the northern section of the Ashland Town Forest and several smaller wetlands on the town property. Cowassock Brook begins at the maple swamp and runs southeast though the SVT portion of the property. This creates a rich corridor of red maple, highbush blueberry, skunk cabbage and a large diversity of sedges and wildflowers. In many areas, even the upland forest contains some wetland indicator species; there is most likely a ledge or high water table creating relatively moist upland soil.

PDF icon Cowassock Woods Brochure and Map

Nature Sightings

A peregrine falcon on City Hall in Marlborough, photographed by Nicholas Milano.
A peregrine falcon on City Hall in Marlborough, photographed by Nicholas Milano.

February 16, 2017

Nicholas Milano photographed this peregrine falcon on City Hall in Marlborough.

A mallard on the Sudbury River in Wayland, photographed by Steve Forman.
A mallard on the Sudbury River in Wayland, photographed by Steve Forman.

February 10, 2017

Steve Forman photographed a pair of mallards on the Sudbury River in Wayland.

White-tailed deer in Stow, photographed using an automatically triggered wildlife camera by Steve Cumming.
White-tailed deer in Stow, photographed using an automatically triggered wildlife camera by Steve Cumming.

February 10, 2017

Steve Cumming used an automatically triggered wildlife camera to photograph white-tailed deer in Stow.

An eastern bluebird in Northborough, photographed by Sandy Howard.
An eastern bluebird in Northborough, photographed by Sandy Howard.

February 5, 2017

Sandy Howard photographed this eastern bluebird near her Northborough home.

A turkey in Sudbury, photographed by Amy Hansen.
A turkey in Sudbury, photographed by Amy Hansen.

February 3, 2017

Amy Hansen photographed this turkey in Sudbury.