Tour a New Conservation Project

SVT and the Town of Harvard are teaming up to purchase the 49-acre Smith Property on the Harvard-Littleton line. By acquiring this land, we can ensure that its spectacular ecological assets are well managed in perpetuity, and we will be able to create public hiking trails that connect to those on adjacent conservation lands.

The Smith Property consists of 49 acres of forest, open fields, wetlands, and old farm fields. The property is wedged between Black Pond in Harvard and Beaver Brook in Littleton, with 1200 feet of frontage on both sides of Whitcomb Avenue in Harvard and Littleton. The Littleton Conservation Trust currently holds a conservation restriction (CR) over part of the land.

The public is invited to tour the property during a walk led by SVT’s Sr. Land Protection Specialist Ashley Davies:

The walk is free and open to all ages.

The effort to acquire the Smith Property is part of a new initiative for SVT—the Ridge Initiative—an effort to protect over 800 acres of land along a ridge that runs from southwest to northeast along the Harvard, Boxborough, and Littleton lines. This area includes hundreds of acres of already protected lands as well as hundreds of acres of unprotected lands that emerged as some of the highest priority land for protection in SVT’s service area through a recent analysis of ecological values. A property that SVT and the Harvard Conservation Trust have conserved, Horse Meadows Knoll, serves as the southern anchor of the Initiative’s project area. The Smith Property serves as the northern anchor.

Learn more about the project to protect the Smith Property.

Job Openings at SVT

SVT Staff, Spring 2018

Want to join a great group of dedicated conservationists? SVT is soliciting applications for two new part-time positions:

The Community Conservation Specialist (20 hours/week) will help build community support for conservation by liaising with municipal boards and committees and representing SVT on certain conservation issues. The position will involve community outreach and engagement. It requires a bachelor's degree and three years experience in related work, or a master's and one year of experience. Application deadline: July 15. Read more.

The Development Associate (10 hours/week) will process gift transactions in our Sudbury office, provide administrative support, and assist in the planning of outreach events. The position requires a minimum of an associate's degree and two years' experience in gifts processing or similar data entry. Application deadline: June 22. Read more.

Wayside Forest: Final Countdown!

Wayside Forest, Framingham

SVT and the City of Framingham are in the closing push of the effort to protect the 52-acre Wayside Forest in the northern part of Framingham.

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has offered a generous $217,000 grant for the project to the City of Framingham, provided we close on the sale by June 30. We don't want to lose out on this opportunity, and we've been working hard to raise the additional $222,000 from foundation grants and private donors.

We've had a lot of success, but we aren't done yet. With less than a month to go before our deadline to purchase this beautiful woodland, we have $60,000 left to raise.

Will you please make a donation to help save this land?  Read more about the project.

It's Tick Time

As you may have noticed, ticks are out in full force and have been getting a lot of coverage in the local news.

SVT encourages you to enjoy the out of doors, but please take precautions to protect your health. 

Deer ticks can carry disease and are active year-round. The nymphs are very small--about the size of the head of a pin.

Here are some ways to prevent these crawling insects from hitching a ride and attaching themselves to you:

  • Avoid brushing against plants and trees.
  • Wear light-colored clothing and tuck pants into socks; wear a long-sleeved shirt, shoes instead of sandals, and a hat.
  • Check for ticks immediately after outdoor activities. 
  • If you find a tick, use tweezers to grasp the tick as close as possible to the skin and pull straight out. Consult your doctor for more information.

You can refresh your identification skills and help track tick activity at

If you've removed an attached tick, you can send it to the UMass Laboratory of Medical Zoology to be tested for disease-casing pathogens. Go to to learn more.

Beer & Wine in the Barn: You're Invited

SVT members are invited to bring a non-member guest to "Beer & Wine in the Barn" at Wolbach Farm on May 19.

At this Member-Guest "Happy Hour" event, you and your guests can sample local craft beers and seasonal wines while mingling with other SVT members.

It's a great way to introduce your friends and family to SVT and encourage them to become members for themselves.

Admission is free, but each member who attends must bring a non-member guest. All attendees must be at least 21 years of age.

Beer & Wine in the Barn
May 19
4:00 to 6:00 pm

Wolbach Farm
18 Wolbach Road

Please register by May 16.

We look forward to seeing you on the 19th!

Thank you to Sudbury Wine & Spirits for sponsoring Beer & WIne in the Barn.

TerraCorps/AmeriCorps Opportunities at SVT

SVT is seeking three TerraCorps/AmeriCorps Members for the 2018-2019 service year. These full-time, 11-month positions provide wonderful experience for anyone interested in a career in land conservation.

TerraCorps is a Massachusetts-based organization that is part of the national AmeriCorps program. Each year, AmeriCorps engages more than 75,000 Americans in intensive service at 21,600 sites including nonprofits, schools, public agencies, and community and faith-based groups across the country. 

TerraCorps supports 36 AmeriCorps Members who serve in land trusts and agricultural-based organizations across the state. Members serve for 11 months and receive a living allowance, an education award, and additional AmeriCorps benefits. 

The 2018-2019 service year will run from August 27, 2018, through July 26, 2019. 

SVT has openings for three TerraCorps/AmeriCorps Members at our headquarters in Sudbury, MA:

Community Engagement Coordinator (CEC)
The CEC will work with our Membership and Outreach staff to build awareness of SVT and encourage area residents to support our work. The CEC will collaborate with SVT partner organizations on mutually beneficial projects. The CEC will also help to increase awareness of SVT on our hiking trails through conversations with visitors and through expanded marketing efforts.

Read the full description and application instructions for the CEC position.

Land Stewardship Coordinator (LSC)
The LSC will be an integral part of the Stewardship staff, which is responsible for monitoring and caring for SVT properties. As SVT works to increase its support to local land trusts and municipal conservation committees, the LSC will help assess community-level conservation land stewardship needs and will develop training and service days to address those needs. We anticipate the stewardship issues will focus on invasive species, deer, field and early successional habitats, and connecting trail networks. Other potential projects include collaborating with community groups on developing pollinator habitats and gardens, connecting trail networks, and hosting invasive plant identification, mapping and control trainings.

Read the full description and application instructions for the LSC position.

Regional Conservation Coordinator (RCC)
The RSC will work with SVT's Land Protection staff to plan and coordinate conservation education programs for a regional consortium of land trusts, conservation commissions, agencies, and landowners in MetroWest Boston known as the West Suburban Conservation Council (WSCC). The RCC will coordinate with land protection and stewardship staff at SVT to organize two meetings of the entire WSCC, and meetings of sub-working groups as needed and desired.  Other projects might include organizing SVT’s annual legislative breakfast, and researching relevant legislation and pending legislation; organizing workshops, such as conservation options for landowners; and providing general assistance for land protection projects.

Read the full description and application instructions for the RCC position.

Trail Fest 2018 Scheduled for June 2 in Littleton

Trail Fest 2018
Trail Fest 2018

SVT is holding our annual celebration of local trails on Saturday, June 2, at the George and Lucy Yapp Conservation Land in Littleton. Our co-hosts for this year's event are the Littleton Conservation Trust and the Town of Littleton. 

We invite everyone to join us. Trail Fest is always a fun day of hiking and camaraderie. We'll enjoy guided trail walks in the morning and then gather for lunch at noon. While you eat your burgers and dogs, you can sit back and enjoy some live music, and the young children can enjoy the petting zoo. 

It's a great way to kick off the summer!

Learn more

SVT Seeks Summer Stewardship Intern

SVT has an opening for a Stewardship Assistant Intern for Summer 2018.  Primary responsibilities will include general monitoring of properties, including locating, marking, and monitoring property boundaries.

The Intern will also assist with other activities including both office and field work (such as property and trail maintenance) and working with volunteers on various stewardship tasks. There is also an opportunity to assist with trail data for applicants with GIS experience.

The Intern must either have a bachelor's degree or be an upper-level undergraduate in the natural sciences or related field. This is an 8- to 10-hour per week position. It is unpaid, but we are willing to work with your school to transfer time for academic credit.

Read the full description and application instructions.


Great Oak Farm Is Conserved!

Great Oak Farm. Photo by Brent Mathison
Great Oak Farm. Photo by Brent Mathison

The Town of Berlin and SVT have good news: We officially acquired a conservation restriction on 39 acres of Great Oak Farm on April 27.

Many thanks to the Bentzen family for their generosity, to Beezy Bentzen for managing this project for her family, to the Town of Berlin for its tireless support of conservation, to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for its financial support, and to the many individuals who donated funds to this project.

The Bentzen family sold the conservation restriction on the 39 acres at a below-market-value price. The Bentzen family will continue to own the property, but have graciously granted a perimeter trail as part of this transaction. In addition, they donated an abutting 1.2-acre parcel to the Town of Berlin that will be used for a parking area.

An SVT volunteer crew was hard at work on April 21, readying the trail, which Steen Bentzen has long hoped to open to the public. We'll announce the trail opening in the next few months.

The family is thrilled that Steen Bentzen’s wish to conserve his property for future generations has been realized, and we are grateful to be the beneficiaries of his vision!

"Volunteer Week" Projects Postponed

Because of the inclement weather on Sunday, April 15, we have rescheduled two of the programs we had planned for National Volunteer Week:

  • Glossy Buckthorn Pull at Memorial Forest in Sudbury: Rescheduled for Friday, April 20, at 3:00 p.m. If you would like to participate, please e-mail Laura Mattei at [email protected].
  • Roadside Cleanup in Framingham: Rescheduled for Sunday, April 29, 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. Learn more and register

We have also planned these projects for Volunteer Week:

  • Knotweed Removal at Gowing's Swamp in Concord: Friday, April 20. Two shifts: 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:00 to 3:30 p.m. Learn more and register
  • Trail Work Day at Great Oak Farm in Berlin: Saturday, April 21, 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Learn more and register


Volunteer Orientation

New volunteers and those interested in learning about volunteering for SVT are encouraged to attend our Volunteer Orientation:

Monday, April 23
6:00 p.m.
18 Wolbach Road

Contact Michael Sanders at [email protected] to learn more and register.