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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

Woolly aphids at Assabet River National Wildlife Refuge in Maynard, photographed by Chris Renna.
Woolly aphids at Assabet River National Wildlife Refuge in Maynard, photographed by Chris Renna.

September 21, 2016

Chris Renna photographed these woolly aphids at Assabet River National Wildlife Refuge in Maynard.

A monarch butterfly at Heath Hen Meadow in Stow, photographed by Dawn Dentzer.
A monarch butterfly at Heath Hen Meadow in Stow, photographed by Dawn Dentzer.

September 13, 2016

Dawn Dentzer photographed a monarch butterfly and a spicebush swallowtail caterpillar at Heath Hen Meadow in Stow.

A red-tailed hawk in Framingham, photographed by Steve Forman.
A red-tailed hawk in Framingham, photographed by Steve Forman.

September 9, 2016

Steve Forman photographed this red-tailed hawk on Pleasant Street in Framingham.

A great egret at Assabet River National Wildlife Refuge, photographed by Dave Longland.
A great egret at Assabet River National Wildlife Refuge, photographed by Dave Longland.

September 7, 2016

Dave Longland photographed painted turtles and great egrets at Assabet River National Wildlife Refuge in Maynard.

A ruby-throated hummingbird at Tower Hill Botanical Garden in Boylston, photographed by Steve Forman.
A ruby-throated hummingbird at Tower Hill Botanical Garden in Boylston, photographed by Steve Forman.

September 3, 2016

Steve Forman photographed these ruby-throated hummingbirds at Tower Hill Botanical Garden in Boylston.