Open fields provide habitat that is uncommon in New England, because unmanaged fields succeed into forests or become developed. These habitats enhance landscape diversity and biodiversity. Wildlife such as grassland nesting birds, nesting turtles, pollinators, and other insects require open fields.
Below are a few of the efforts to preserve open field habitat in the Metrowest Conservation Alliance (MCA) region.
Matt Morris, TerraCorps/AmeriCorps Member at SVT, worked with the Town of Littleton to prepare Field Management: Mowing Strategies to Maintain Ecologically Valuable Fields for the MCA.
Greenways Conservation Area, Wayland
People for Pollinators, Lincoln
- People for Pollinators is a collaboration of the Lincoln Land Conservation Trust, the Birches School, Lincoln Agricultural Commission, Lincoln Conservation Commission, Lincoln Garden Club, Stonegate Gardens and other individuals dedicated to the promotion, protection, and creation of native habitat that supports the vitality of pollinators.
- People for Pollinators is restoring a former hay field into a pollinator meadow with native perennial seed and plant plugs that are protected from pesticides. This property is owned and protected by the Lincoln Land Conservation Trust. We are gathering the Lincoln community together around the project to help install this public meadow, as well as to educate visiting children and adults about pollinators, and the protection and vitality of pollinator species through healthy habitat.
- We invite all people from all over to join our efforts and bee involved! Click here to learn more.
Wolbach Farm, Sudbury - An example of small field management.
- Wolbach Farm, SVT's 53-acre headquarters in Sudbury, contains a rich diversity of natural features and habitats, including a small open field and wet meadow along Route 27 adjacent to Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge. In order to maintain this 4-acre field as a high quality habitat for butterflies, other insects, and diverse wildlife, SVT mows half the field late in the season annually, alternating sections each year. Leaving an unmown section of the field provides refugia for insects.
- The field also contains a dense stand of invasive purple loosestrife. Since the introduction of Galerucella beetles as a bio-control approach to combat the loosestrife, mowers cut around patches to avoid disturbing the beetle population and impairing their ability to eat away at the invasive plant.
- Due to the small size of Wolbach field, the area is not ideal for grassland bird nesting.
- From MassWildlife: Managing Grasslands, Shrublands and Young Forests for Wildlife
- From the Trustees of Reservations: Ecological Management of Grasslands: Guidelines for Managers
- From Mass Audubon: Web Page on Grassland Bird Management
- From SuAsCo CISMA: Galerucella Beetle Project for Purple Loosestrife Bio-control for 2012
- Restoration and Management Case Studies, A Presentation by Bruce Scherer