2017 Annual Meeting Scheduled for September 10

Mainstone Farm--View from the Top. Photo by Raj Das

Make plans to attend our Annual Meeting at Mainstone Farm in Wayland, the site of one of our largest land protection projects. Mainstone Farm was protected in April 2017 when the Town of Wayland and SVT purchased conservation restrictions on this 208-acre property.

Sunday, September 10, 2017
Mainstone Farm
87 Old Connecticut Path
(Click here to obtain Google Map Directions)

The meeting will be held outside under a tent, so please dress appropriately. Please: no dogs.

2:00 - 3:00
Social Hour & Trail Walks

Enjoy light refreshments and take a guided tour of the property.
(Please RSVP if you want to join a trail walk; see below.)

3:00 - 3:15
Celebrate Mainstone Farm's Protection

Join us in a toast to the project's success. 

3:30 - 5:15
Business Meeting

Election of Board Members, a recap of the past year, presentation of annual conservation awards, keynote address.

Keynote speaker: Rand Wentworth, president emeritus of the Land Trust Alliance and currently the Louis Bacon Senior Fellow in Environmental Leadership in the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard University.

RSVPs appreciated so we can plan refreshments and the trail walks. No dogs, please.
978-443-5588, x110

Thank you to the Hamlen Family for generously allowing us to hold the meeting at Mainstone Farm.

Also, thank you to Village Bank, Middlesex Savings Bank,  Baldwin Insurance Agency, and Roche Bros. for their support of our Annual Meeting.

Results of Red Flag Project

88. That's how many piles of dog waste we found along the loop trail of Gray Reservation in Sudbury this past spring. We marked these piles with small flags to draw attention to the amount of dog waste being left on trails.

SVT embarked on the Red Flag project at the suggestion of Emily Anderson, one of our MassLIFT-AmeriCorps members. Emily wanted to remind dog owners that dog waste is more than an unsightly nuisance. Dog waste carries bacteria that have serious, harmful impacts on the land and water in the area.  SVT has published a brochure that explains these impacts.

By flagging the dog waste, Emily hoped to bring attention to how must waste is left along our trails. She was amazed to place 88 flags along a trail that takes only 20 minutes to walk. And this was at a reservation where SVT provides a dog waste station with bags and a bin for disposal.

Sydney and Robin Merrill, a local mother-daughter team who serve as volunteer Preserve Stewards at Gray, said the Red Flag project seems to have had a positive effect. They "have seen significantly fewer instances of dog waste on and along the main trail since the awareness effort ended. For the health of all walkers and dogs, the preservation of plant and wildlife habitat, and the enjoyment of the land and trails by all, we are hopeful dog walkers will continue to pick up after their dogs.”

We appreciate the efforts of dog owners who do pick up after their dogs, and we hope our Red Flag Project will encourage all dog walkers to do so. Thank you.

SVT Featured on Chronicle

SVT was delighted to be featured during the July 5 episode of Chronicle, the WCVB Channel 5 nightly magazine show. The episode described businesses, groups, and landmarks in the Town of Sudbury, which has the 01776 zip code--the most patriotic zip code in the country.

In one segment, SVT Executive Director Lisa Vernegaard invited the public to visit our beautiful Wolbach Farm headquarters to enjoy the grounds and walk the Lewis Trail. 

In another segment, which focused on efforts to fight an Eversource proposal to place powerlines through local conservation lands, Director of Stewardship Laura Mattei described the spiritual connection that many people feel to natural spaces. The show featured stunning images of our Memorial Forest Reservation and Hop Brook.

We are doubly thrilled that this story has already prompted at least one Massachusetts resident to become an SVT supporter.

Watch the entire show, or check out the segments that feature SVT (Segment 2Segment 4), and share it with others.



Storybook Trail Gets New Tale for Summer

The first of July brought a new story to the Storybook Trail at Wolbach Farm in Sudbury: The Great Kapok Tree.

Set in the Amazon Rain Forest, this illustrated tale by Lynne Cherry will help young children learn how a single tree can be home to an array of animals. 

The 3/4-mile Storybook Trail includes 12 stations, each of which contains a page or two of a book written for young readers. Walking the trail with your children is a great way to combine reading with nature exploration. (Please wear proper footwear and clothing for walking through the woods.)

Enjoy an SVT Trail Ale at Rapscallion Table & Tap

Rapscallion Table & Tap, Acton, MA

If you enjoy the occasional pint of beer, here's a chance to sample a local draught and support SVT at the same time.

From mid-July to early October, Rapscallion Table & Tap of Acton is supporting local conservation efforts by renaming its Amber Ale as "SVT Trail Ale." For every pint sold, Rapscallion will donate $1 to SVT. 

While we encourage you to stop in for a pint at any time during this promotion, we invite you meet up with the SVT staff at Rapscallion on July 26, 5:00 to 7:00 p.m., when we'll be trying SVT Trail Ale for ourselves. We would love to see you there. Join us and raise a glass in support of SVT!

Members who attended our Beer in the Barn event in May will recall that representatives from Rapscallion were on hand to serve samples of its locally crafted ales. SVT Trail Ale is an amber ale made with Nugget and Willamette hops and is 5.5% alcohol by volume.

Success! Ciesluk Forest Is Protected--Now Known as Forty Caves

SVT has been creating trails across Forty Caves.

After more than a year of planning, negotiating, and fundraising, SVT and the Towns of Berlin and Clinton have protected Ciesluk Forest, an important natural resource that straddles the town line. And more good news: A formal site survey found that the forest spans 63 acres and not 55 acres as we initally thought.

The Town of Clinton purchased 22 of the acres and the Town of Berlin purchased 41. This past week, SVT agreed to terms on a conservation restriction with each town. Going forward, we will be responsible for building and maintaining recreational trails across the land and ensuring its wildlife habitats remain healthy and vibrant.

The protection of Ciesluk Forest adds to the abutting conservation areas of Garfield Woods, Forty Caves, and Musche Woods. Collectively, these four conservation areas, totaling 241 acres, will now be known as Forty Caves.

"The Towns of Berlin and Clinton were wonderful partners in this endeavor," said Ashley Davies, SVT's Senior Land Protection Specialist, "and we would not have been successful without a grant from the Massachusetts Local Acquisitions for Natural Diversity [LAND] program." The project received also received essential funding from the two towns, foundation grants, SVT, and private donors.

SVT is creating new trails across the land, which will allow us to reopen the access to our Garfield Woods Reservation This land has been closed for several years because the only access point crossed an active railroad line. Stay tuned for news about the trail opening, most likely in early August.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to the success of this project.


SVT Opens New Trail in Hopkinton

SVT's Whitehall Woods Reservation, Hopkinton
Chelsea Polevy, an SVT MassLIFT-AmeriCorps Member, cut the ribbon during a special ceremony to open the trail at Whitehall Woods.
As part of the ribbon-cutting ceremony on June 3, SVT led a trail walk through our new Whitehall Woods Reservation.

On Sunday, June 4, SVT opened the trail at our Whitehall Woods Reservation in Hopkinton for public use. Whitehall Woods is SVT's newest reservation, and its 32 acres complement hundreds of previously protected acres in the adjacent Upton State Forest and Whitehall State Park. 

The trail across this 32-acre property creates a new access point to the trails in Upton State Forest, which spans the Hopkinton-Upton town line. Parking is available at 203 Pond Street, across from Whitehall State Park.

Check our Whitehall Woods Reservation page for a trail map.

The Red Flag Project

If you have visited SVT's Gray Reservation in Sudbury recently, you may have noticed small red flags along the path. What are they marking? Dog waste!

Emily Anderson, a MassLIFT-AmeriCorps member at SVT, is working to raise awareness about the impact that dogs have on conservation land. Emily has used these flags to mark any dog waste that is visible from the hiking trail at Gray. By May 30, she had posted more than 85 flags along the trail!

Learn more about the project, dog waste, and SVT's dog-walking policies.


Brook Trout in Memorial Forest

Memorial Forest, Photo by Raj Das
Memorial Forest Stream, Photo by Raj Das

Earlier this week, a local lover of brook trout was introduced to SVT's Memorial Forest Reservation in Sudbury. He was thrilled to find a cold water stream so close to Boston.

The visitor described the visit in his Small Stream Reflections blog, where he posted beautiful photos of the property. 

We love hearing stories from visitors to our properties. They let us know we are making a difference. Tell us about your visit to an SVT reservation--and send us your photos! 

Earth Day and Volunteer Week: Success Despite the Rain

Sanofi-Genzyme employees volunteered with SVT during National Volunteer Week 2017.
On Earth Day 2017, volunteers from Youth in Philanthropy cleared trails at SVT's Baiting Brook Meadow Farm CR in Framingham.
SVT volunteers cleared trash from the road sides in Northwest Framingham during National Volunteer Week 2017.
Volunteers helped SVT's Stewardship staff clear a new trail at Ciesluk Forest during National Volunteer Week 2017.
SVT Volunteers pulled invasive glossy buckthorn at Memorial Forest as part of National Volunteer Week 2017.

Thank you to everyone who volunteered with SVT on Earth Day 2017 (April 22) and during National Volunteer Week (April 23 - 29). Despite the rainy weather that forced us to cancel or postpone some projects, we enjoyed several successful outings.

On Saturday, April 22, SVT celebrated Earth Day with a great crew from Youth in Philanthropy from the MetroWest Foundation. Led by SVT MassLIFT-AmeriCorps members Lisa Long and Chelsea Polevy and by volunteer Bill Fadden, the crew cleaned up and rehabilitated trails at Baiting Brook Meadow Farm in Framingham. The volunteers also built a trail section to a historic Boy Scout camp on the property. 

On April 23, SVT kicked off Volunteer Week in Northwest Framingham, where a team of volunteers sporting new SVT safety vests beautified roadsides by collecting litter along Edmands and Nixon Roads. Strong teamwork and good cheer made for light work. 

In Westborough on April 27, 22 employees from Sanofi-Genzyme assisted SVT with trail restoration and landscape maintenance at our popular Walkup and Robinson Memorial Reservation.

In Berlin, our Stewardship staff worked with volunteers on April 29 to clear new trails across Ciesluk Forest in anticipation of the land's permanent protection. The trails connect to our Garfield Woods Reservation and will allow us to reopen trails on that property, which have been closed because their only access point crossed an active rail line. 

On April 28, students from Acton-Boxborough High School helped SVT make an important adjustment to the Storybook Trail at Wolbach Farm. Working with MassLIFT-AmeriCorps members Chelsea Polevy and Emily Anderson and with volunteer Kevin Paquin, the students lowered the posts on the storybook stations to "child height," which will make it easier for young readers to read the stories for themselves. 

And on May 1, during a project that was rescheduled because of rain, another band of volunteers fought invasive plant species by pulling glossy buckthorn at Memorial Forest in Sudbury

Wish you had participated in Volunteer Week?  Volunteer Week may be over, but you can still volunteer. We have opportunities available year-round both on our properties and in our office. Check our Volunteer page for more information.