News

Honor Juneteenth with a Walk through Nature

Sudbury for Racial and Social Justice (S4RSJ) and Sudbury Valley Trustees (SVT) invite you to tour Memorial Forest in Sudbury on June 19, 2021, in honor of Juneteenth. We have mapped a 2.5-mile route at the property in recognition of the two-and-a-half long years it took to notify enslaved people in Texas that they were free.

Parking for the trail is available at 225 Dutton Road in Sudbury.

Download this special Juneteenth brochure, which offers information about Juneteenth, S4RSJ, and SVT. The brochure also includes a trail map of the 2.5-mile route.

 

SVT Seeks Second Stewardship Field Assistant

Baylor Ashe, who recently joined SVT as a Summer Field Assistant, is already showing his proficiency with the DR Field and Brush Mower.

SVT has an opening for a Stewardship Field Assistant (SFA) to conduct manual pulling and control of invasive plants, working alone and with volunteers. The SFA will also mow trails, conduct routine trail maintenance, and assist with other conservation land stewardship tasks as needed.  

This temporary position runs until October 30, but we will consider an August 25 end date for the right candidate.

Read the full description and application instructions.

SVT Hires Summer Field Assistant

Baylor Ashe has joined SVT as a Summer Field Assistant in our Stewardship Department. Baylor is a student at UMass Amherst, where he is majoring in natural resources conservation.

Although Baylor will work on many SVT properties, a grant from the National Environmental Education Foundation will cover the time he spends fighting invasive plants and improving a trail at our Smith Conservation Land in Littleton.

Welcome, Baylor!

Lincoln-Sudbury Students Pitch in on SVT Properties

L-S seniors assisted the effort to create a trail connection at our Lyons-Cutler Reservation.
At Memorial Forest, the L-S students pulled glossy buckthorn near our pitch pine/scrub oak restoration area.
Two students worked together to pull up an impressively long buckthorn root.
Our Wolbach Farm property is much tidier, thanks to the L-S seniors who cleared brush and pulled lilies of the valley.

On June 1, SVT received assistance from seniors at Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School who volunteered with us as part of their Community Service Day. As their high school careers wind down, these students eagerly pitched in to help with several projects.

At our Lyons-Cutler Reservation in Sudbury, one group trimmed brush from a trail and hauled out lumber from a damaged bridge. Their efforts will help us re-establish a connection to a trail head on Raymond Road.

Other students pulled up glossy buckthorn at Memorial Forest--part of our long-term effort to manage invasive plants at the property. The L-S students worked near our pitch pine/scrub oak restoration area, and two of them worked with enough gusto to pull up a buckthorn root that was more than 5 feet long. 

We also welcomed a number of students to our Wolbach Farm headquarters, where they did a great job in helping us tidy our property for the summer. Some cleared brush along the road and in the fields, and others pulled lilies of the valley that were aggressively spreading up the hillside behind our headquarters.

Thank you to all of the students for your hard work!

TerraCorps/AmeriCorps Opportunities at SVT

Matt Morris led a Forest Health Walk on Earth Day 2021.

SVT is seeking two TerraCorps/AmeriCorps Members for the 2021-2022 service year, which runs from  August 30, 2021, to July 29, 2022. Based out of our headquarters in Sudbury, MA, these full-time positions provide wonderful experience for anyone interested in a career in land conservation. (See what former SVT TerraCorps Members have said about their service.)

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. Read the full description

Community Engagement Coordinator (CEC)
The CEC will work with our Development & Community Engagement staff to build awareness of SVT and encourage area residents to support our work. Read the full description

TerraCorps is a Massachusetts-based organization that is part of the national AmeriCorps program that annually engages more than 75,000 Americans in service at nonprofit organizations, schools, and public agencies. TerraCorps oversees AmeriCorps Members who serve in land trusts and agricultural-based organizations in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. Members receive a living allowance, an education award, and additional benefits. 

Protect O’Donnell for Everyone

O'Donnell Property. Photo by Dany Pelletier
O'Donnell Property. Photo by Dany Pelletier

SVT is part of an exciting effort to conserve the O’Donnell Property in Marlborough and add it to Callahan State Park. 

SVT, Massachusetts DCR, and the City of Marlborough want to safeguard important wildlife habitat while also ensuring that everyone can access a popular portion of the hiking trail that crosses the O’Donnell Property.

We must raise $113,500 by June 1 to help Massachusetts DCR purchase the land and add it to the state park.

Will you please help? Please visit our crowdfunding page to learn more and lend your support to this important conservation effort.

Thank you!

Area High Schoolers Help Out at Sawink

On April 21, SVT's Dan Stimson and Jonathan Haarstick worked with students from Algonquin Regional and Westborough High to clean up the fields near the trailhead at SVT's Sawink Farm in Westborough. The small fields are kept open for their scenic quality and for habitat, especially for insects.

The work day was coordinated through a student-created and student-led organization called Verity The site helps community members find local organizations where they can volunteer and make an impact.

Find Volunteer Opportunities on Nature Groupie

Interested in volunteering to help take care of a natural area? Check out Nature Groupie, a website managed by the University of New Hampshire that lists numerous volunteer opportunities throughout New England. 

SVT is one of more than 200 organizations that post volunteer projects and training sessions on Nature Groupie as a way to reach a wider audience. Using the site, you can search for opportunities by location or by project (such as invasive plant removal, trail work, or wildlife monitoring) and then register for those that interest you. Nature Groupie will forward your information to the sponsoring organization.

“With Nature Groupie, prospective volunteers only need to visit one website to find opportunities,” explained Matt Morris, an SVT AmeriCorps Member. “Volunteers who may have never heard of SVT can find these opportunities and help us take care of the land we protect.” 

Jonathan Haarstick, another SVT AmeriCorps Member, added that “We are using this tool to address the need for stewardship volunteers as identified by our partners at the Metrowest Conservation Alliance. Nature Groupie provides a larger pool of volunteers for all organizations.” 

SVT is encouraging local partners to adopt the service to provide volunteers with easy access to opportunities. As more and more groups start to use Nature Groupie, it will provide better service both to volunteers and to the organizations that need their help.

We also encourage anyone interested in volunteering at SVT to visit the site, where you'll find listings for several upcoming work days dedicated to invasive plant removal. Check it out today

 

Dogs Must Be Leashed At Desert Natural Area

As of May 1, 2021, dog walkers visiting the trails of the Desert Natural Area (including SVT's Memorial Forest) will be required to leash their dogs at all times. In addition, visitors and their pets must remain on the trails. 

This new policy is designed both to protect the wildlife and wetlands in the conservation area and to ensure an enjoyable experience for all visitors.

Straddling the Sudbury-Marlborough line, the Desert Natural Area comprises several properties:

  • Memorial Forest (Sudbury Valley Trustees)
  • Hop Brook Marsh (Town of Sudbury)
  • Desert Conservation Land (City of Marlborough)
  • Marlborough-Sudbury State Forest (Mass. DCR)
  • General Federation of Women’s Clubs of Massachusetts’ Memorial Forest

SVT and our partner land managers have been working together for over 25 years to protect the special resources in the Desert. Over time, free-running dogs have threatened these resources, and we have determined that the best solution is to require that dogs be leashed at all times.

"We encourage people and their dogs to enjoy our trails, but we need to implement the balance between conservation and recreation," said Laura Mattei, Director of Stewardship at SVT. “Keeping dogs on a leash will help to protect the many species of wildlife that live here.”

We thank everyone for complying with this new policy and for helping to protect the important conservation values of the Desert Natural Area. Read more about the policy.

SVT and our partners are also recruiting volunteer Bark Rangers who will walk the trails and discuss the policy with trail visitors. Interested in helping out? Please email us at [email protected]

SVT Accepts CR in Sudbury

In March, SVT accepted a conservation restriction (CR) on the Libby-Dickson land owned by the Town of Sudbury.

The property spans two parcels, which total around 25 acres and sit adjacent to the King Philips Woods conservation land on Rte. 27. The Town purchased the land using Community Preservation Act (CPA) funds in 2003 and 2005.

The Libby-Dickson land and King Philips Woods sit directly across Rte. 27 from our Wolbach Road headquarters, and SVT will now be responsible for ensuring the Libby-Dickson parcels remain in their natural state.