News

SVT and OARS Hold Third Legislative Breakfast

SVT and OARS sponsored our third annual legislative breakfast at the Assabet River National Wildlife Refuge visitors' center on April 5th. We coordinate this event in order to strengthen relationships with legislators and discuss priorities in land and water issues.

Constituents from across our service area had a chance to interact with members of our state legislature during the two-hour session. Conversation topics ranged from climate change to pollinator protection to ensuring a healthy and abundant (but not too abundant) water supply for our region.

Several area legislators were in attendance: State Senator Jamie Eldridge and State Representatives Carmine Gentile, Kate Hogan, Tami Gouveia, and Danielle Gregoire. Senator Michael Barrett and Representative Jennifer Benson were unable to attend but sent aides in their place.

Thank you to Roche Bros. for donating the food for this event.

Learn About "The Very Impatient Caterpillar" on the Storybook Trail

With the arrival of spring, we've posted a new book to the Storybook Trail at Wolbach Farm: The Very Impatient Caterpillar. This story, written by Ross Burach, is a fun tale that incorporates lessons about metamorphosis AND patience. 

The Storybook Trail is located along the George Lewis Memorial Trail at SVT’s Wolbach Farm on Wolbach Road in Sudbury. The trail is only ¾-mile long—the perfect length for a walk with young children.

We have posted the pages of the book on 12 stations along the path, so you can read the story in sections as you walk through the woods.

Be sure to wear appropriate footwear. The trail could be muddy at this time of year.

After you finish the Storybook Trail, we invite you to stop in at the Nature Nook on the side of our office building. The Nature Nook offers families an interactive way to learn more about our natural surroundings. Activity sheets, crafts, and children's books feature the plants and wildlife of Wolbach Farm and other local conservation areas.

SVT Seeks Two AmeriCorps Members for 2019-2020

SVT has openings for two TerraCorps-AmeriCorps Members for the 2019-2020 service year. These full-time, 11-month positions provide wonderful, hands-on 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 service at nonprofits, schools, public agencies, and community and faith-based groups across the country. 

TerraCorps supports 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 2019-2020 service year will run from August 26, 2019, through July 31, 2020. 

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

Land Stewardship Coordinator (LSC)
SVT is increasing its support to local land trusts and municipal conservation committees to build regional capacity for land stewardship. The LSC will serve with SVT's Stewardship staff to assess community-level conservation land stewardship priorities and needs. The LSC will meet with and interview local land trust and municipal conservation representatives and boards. in order to develop training and service days to address those priorities and needs. We anticipate the stewardship issues will focus on invasive species, deer impacts and control, building climate resiliency, managing field and early successional habitats, and connecting trail networks. This initiative is part of continued development of the capacity of the Metrowest Conservation Alliance and the Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area, two regional conservation collaboratives.

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

Regional Conservation Coordinator (RCC)
The RCC will work with our Land Protection staff to coordinate a series of workshops for landowners and the general public that emphasize a community-based approach to conservation. Workshops would be spread out throughout the year, and will focus on different land management and land conservation techniques. 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.

   

Represent SVT at Spring Events in Framingham

SVT is seeking volunteers to help with our outreach efforts at three events in Framingham during Spring 2019:

Earth Day Festival, Saturday, April 27
Stearns Farm Plant Sale, Weekends of May 11-12 and May 18-19
MetroFest, Saturday, June 15

Volunteers will staff the SVT table at each event and converse with attendees about our work.

You'll have fun interacting with others while encouraging them to support SVT. Each volunteer shift lasts only 2 hours. Learn more.

SVT Announces Volunteer "Bark Ranger" Program

Engaging Dog Walkers on SVT Trails

Do you love walking SVT trails? Engaging with others? Have a passion for the environment? If so, then you might have the skills to be an SVT Bark Ranger.

SVT is seeking volunteer Bark Rangers to interact with dog walkers at our Gray and Memorial Forest Reservations in Sudbury and our Greenways Reservation in Wayland in order to spread awareness of property rules and regulations. This will include hiking our trails twice a week from May through July to engage visitors about their dog-walking habits and encourage good stewardship.

By educating dog walkers about proper dog etiquette, Bark Rangers will play an important role in SVT's conservation efforts. We want to ensure our trails remain enjoyable for all visitors and also ensure that dogs do not harm critical wildlife habitats. 

A key part of the job will involve explaining the negative impacts that free-running dogs can have:  They can trample and damage vegetation and disturb ground-nesting birds and other wildlife. By running into a stream or pond, dogs add sediments to the water and destroy aquatic species. In addition, dog waste that is not picked up introduces harmful bacteria that can be drawn into groundwater.

Requirements

  • Attend a two-hour training session on Tuesday, April 23, from 6:30 to 8:30 pm.
  • Commit to monitoring at least twice per week for at least 1 hour per visit, from May to July.
  • Submit a data-collection report after each outing.
  • Willingness to approach strangers and provide positive reinforcement when good dog behavior is observed or provide gentle reminders and suggestions when dog owners are behaving badly.
  • Possibly run dog outreach events at trail heads.

This is a pilot program that will help us assess the value of having Bark Rangers on our conservation properties.

Want to make a difference? Become a Bark Ranger!
If you're interested, please take 5 minutes to fill out our Bark Ranger Application Form.

For more information contact Trevor Nelson at [email protected] or 978-443-5588 x137

Family Woodland Scavenger Hunt Planned for School Vacation Week

Explore the beautiful landscape of Upper Mill Brook in Wayland with Frances Pollitt, who has been enjoying this land since she was a girl.

Children (accompanied by their own caregivers) will be encouraged to make a closer observation of their surroundings by participating in a scavenger hunt of the natural world.

Wednesday, April 17
Upper Mill Brook Reservation, Wayland

Registration Required: SVT Members--Free; Non-members--$10 each.

Register now

SVT Announces Projects for Volunteer Week 2019

SVT has planned several projects for National Volunteer Week 2019, which is scheduled for April 7-13, 2019:

SVT Volunteer Orientation: Learn about our year-round volunteer opportunities.
Monday, April 8
6:00–7:30 pm
Wolbach Farm, Wolbach Road, Sudbury
Register now All those who recently started volunteering at SVT as well as anyone interested in learning about volunteering should attend.

Office Volunteer Night: Help SVT prepare a spring mailing in a collegial environment at the organization’s headquarters.
Thursday, April 11
6:00–8:00 pm
Wolbach Farm, Wolbach Road, Sudbury
Register now

Trail Work: Join the effort to create a hiking trail at SVT’s newest property.
Saturday, April 13
9:00 am–Noon
Smith Conservation Land, Littleton
Register now

Buckthorn Pull: Help remove this non-native invasive plant from the lovely Memorial Forest in Sudbury.
Saturday, April 13
9:00–11:30 am
Memorial Forest, Sudbury
Register now

Coyote Presentation on March 26: New Location, Seats Still Available

Photo by Dawn Puliafico

On Tuesday, March 26, SVT will present "Understanding Coyote Behavior" in partnership with WayDOG, the Wayland Dog Owners Group.

Dr. Jon Way, founder of Eastern Coyote/Coywolf Research, will share his expertise on eastern coyotes in Massachusetts.

This photo and video presentation will cover coyote ecology and behavior as well as hybridization with western coyote and wolves.  

The program has proved to be so popular that we have moved it to a larger facility: First Parish Church at the intersection of Rt. 27 and Concord Road in Sudbury.  Plenty of seats still available! 

Tuesday, March 26, 2019
7:00 - 8:30 pm
First Parish Church, Sudbury

Free for SVT members. Register today.

 

Effort to Save Elizabeth Brook Knoll Is Underway

Elizabeth Brook Knoll. Photo by Simon Bunyard, BCTrust

In 2018, SVT and the Harvard Conservation Trust successfully protected Horse Meadows Knoll, a beautiful 47 acres on the Harvard-Boxborough line. Now, the Boxborough Conservation Trust (BCTrust), with SVT’s assistance, has a chance to conserve the adjacent Elizabeth Brook Knoll, a lovely 15-acre property that sits on the Boxborough side of the town line.

By protecting Elizabeth Brook Knoll, we’ll be able to extend the trail system from Horse Meadows Knoll and enable everyone to enjoy this intriguing landscape.

Elizabeth Brook Knoll and Horse Meadows Knoll sit at the southern edge of what we call the “High Ridge.” This 12-square-mile area in Harvard, Littleton, and Boxborough is rich with wildlife habitat, abundant native plants, and important sources of drinking water.

SVT and other conservation groups are working to protect these resources before they succumb to development pressure. We have taken the first steps toward success by protecting Horse Meadows Knoll and the Smith Property in Littleton (which sits at the north end of the High Ridge).

Can you help put the next piece of the puzzle in place by contributing to the protection of Elizabeth Brook Knoll?

BCTrust has secured an $84,000 state grant that puts a big dent in the $189,000 project cost, and a closing is scheduled for March 22. An additional $76,500 has been committed from other sources including the BCTrust, SVT, the Boxborough Conservation Commission, and the Fields Pond Foundation. But we still need to raise $30,000 to close the gap.  With your support, we can reach our goal and protect this land.

Please donate today

SVT Acquires Smith Property!

View from the Smith Property. Photo by Paul Bakstran

On February 15, 2019, Sudbury Valley Trustees (SVT) acquired the Smith Property, a spectacular 49-acre property on Whitcomb Avenue in Littleton. 

The property boasts expansive views of Beaver Brook Marsh and Black Pond, and it provides valuable habitat for numerous species, including bobcat, bear, coyote, and porcupine, all of which have recently been spotted on the land.

In addition to our acqusition, the Town of Harvard's Conservation Commission purchased the 12 acres of the Smith Property that sit on the Harvard side of the town line. Going forward, SVT will manage the combined 61 acres. 

SVT thanks the many individuals and foundations who contributed to our fundraising efforts, which included a crowdfunding campaign in November 2018.

SVT also thanks the Littleton Conservation Trust (LCT) for its support of the project. The LCT will continue to hold a conservation restriction over the property to ensure its ecological values are preserved.

We are currently working on a management plan and have sought input and advice from Harvard and Littleton residents. In addition, we will be conducting a BioBlitz environmental survey in June to catalog the species that live on the land. Everyone is invited to help!

To teach you the skills needed for the BioBlitz, we will hold two Discovery Days at the property in May and June. The May 18 session will focus on plants and pollinators. The June 1 session will cover herps and aquatics. Discovery Day participants can then join SVT for the BioBlitz on June 22, when we'll compilie a complete list of the species we encounter. Registration is required for all sessions (learn more).

We are also working on hiking trails that will provide public access to this reservation while remaining sensitive to the important wildlife habitat on the property. LCT will partner with us on the maintenance of the trails. A grand opening is anticipated for this upcoming summer.

Thank you to everyone who supported this project. We hope you'll take time to explore the land when the trails are complete.