"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.


Wayside Forest Project Accelerates

Wayside Forest Photo by M. Iarossi
Photo by M. Iarossi

Big news! The effort to protect Wayside Forest got a huge boost in March when the Commonwealth of Massachusetts unexpectedly awarded the City of Framingham a $217,000 grant for the project (final paperwork is pending).

The catch: The sale must close by the end of June--and we still need to raise an additional $222,000 before that time.

Wayside Forest covers 52 acres of woodland and wildlife habitat along Wayside Road. SVT and the City are collaborating on the protection effort, and we're thrilled that the owners have offered to sell us the property for about half of its market value. The City will hold a conservation restriction on the land if the sale goes through.

To meet the accelerated June deadline, we're launching an urgent fundraising campaign for this project. Learn more about the conservation effort and please donate.

Tour Wayside Forest for yourself at an SVT Bird Walk on May 17 at 7:00 am. Learn more and register

Join the Crowd! Help Protect Horse Meadows Knoll

Great Blue Herons at Horse Meadows Knoll. Photo by Raj Das.
Great Blue Herons at Horse Meadows Knoll. Photo by Raj Das.
The Reservoir at Horse Meadows Knoll. Photo by Raj Das.
The Reservoir at Horse Meadows Knoll. Photo by Raj Das.
Horse Meadows Knoll. Photo by Raj Das.
Horse Meadows Knoll. Photo by Raj Das.


SVT still needs to raise $44,000 to reach our goal of $285,000 for the Horse Meadows Knoll project. We are assisting the Harvard Conservation Trust with the purchase of this beautiful property that overlooks a reservoir and provides valuable habitat for an assortment of wildlife.

Going forward, SVT will hold a conservation restriction on the land, and we will be responsible for maintaining hiking trails and a parking area.

To help close the funding gap, we've launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise $30,000 by May 31.

Please join the crowd!  Please contribute what you can...and share the link with friends and family who care about local conservation. 

Thank you for helping to save this beautiful landscape.

Learn more about the Horse Meadows Knoll project.


Westford Protects Salt Box Farm

Congratulations to the Town of Westford!  At the 2018 Town Meeting on March 24, town residents approved the recommendations of the Community Preservation Committee, which included a provision to purchase a conservation restriction (CR) on 45 acres of Salt Box Farm for $1.13 million.

The CR prohibits development of the 45 acres while allowing farming, grazing, and forestry.  The house, barn, and six acres currently being farmed are not protected by the CR.

Salt Box Farm is located on Wright Avenue, near the Town of Westford’s Prospect Hills Conservation Area and Burns Hill Conservation Area. SVT will co-hold the CR and will construct a trail that connects to trails on abutting conservation lands. Read more about the project.

SVT Seeks Seasonal Stewardship Technician

SVT has an opening for a Part-Time, Seasonal Stewardship Technician.  This 15 hours per week position starts the week of May 21 and runs through October 19.

The Stewardship Technician will assist with property maintenance at SVT reservations and will be responsible for mowing trails and small fields, maintaining trails and signs, and conducting monitoring visits. The Technician will also work on invasive plant removal projects alone and with volunteers.

Qualifications include:

  • Physical ability and willingness to operate a DR Field & Brush mower.
  • Willingness to spend long hours outdoors, sometimes bushwhacking. 
  • Experience with invasive plant identification and removal preferred.
  • Ability to drive a manual transmission required. 

Application deadline extended to April 30, 2018.

Please read the complete job description and application instructions before applying.

Learn to Certify Vernal Pools

It may be hard to think about spring with all of the snow on the ground, but it will be here in less than a week. And with the arrival of spring, we'll soon be seeing vernal pools on our properties.

This spring, SVT will be documenting and certifying vernal pools in the towns of Harvard, Littleton, Marlborough, Sudbury, and Westborough. The time frame for the field work will likely be late April to mid May.

We are seeking trained volunteers to help us in this endeavor. ​If you are interested in assisting us, please make plans to attend our training session:

Vernal Pool Certification Training
Wednesday, March 21
7:00 to 8:30 pm
18 Wolbach Road
Cost: Free for SVT members; $20 for non-members

At this session Matt Burne, Conservation Director of the Walden Woods Project, will provide an overview of vernal pool ecology , vernal pool inhabitants, and breeding wildlife.  He will also provide instruction on how to certify a vernal pool in Massachusetts.

Matt is an expert in vernal pool ecology, co-founder of the Vernal Pool Association, and moderator of the Vernal Pool list serve.

Please register if you are interested in attending. And please invite others you think might be interested.


Volunteer Week 2018: April 15 to 21

SVT invites you to participate in the projects we have planned for National Volunteer Week 2018, April 15 to 21. Please click the links below to learn more and sign up:

April 15: Roadside Cleanup in Framingham
April 15: Glossy Buckthorn Pull at Memorial Forest in Sudbury
April 21: Trail Work Day at Great Oak Farm in Berlin

New volunteers welcome!
If you have never volunteered with SVT before, please fill out a Volunteer Information Form before signing up for a project. Thank you !

Spring-Summer 2018 Program Calendar Now Online

Photo by Sue Kurys.

Check out our 2018 Spring and Summer Program Calendar. It includes dozens of recreational and educational programs, many with reduced fees for SVT members.

Nature walks, wildlife talks, paddles, and more. You're sure to find a program that suits you.

Visit the online calendar to find the complete listings.

Register today. Many programs fill up quickly!

Boylston Protects 95 Acres Near Mount Pisgah

Wrack Meadow Woods

The Town of Boylston has permanently protected 95 acres off Mile Hill Road by deeding seven parcels of land to the Boylston Conservation Commission.

The Town acquired these parcels through "tax takings" during the Great Depression, and at one time local residents used them for gathering ice and pasturing cows. The lands now provide habitat for many species of wildlife.

They are located across the road from Mount Pisgah and are bordered by the Summer Star Wildlife Sanctuary as well as by SVT's Wrack Meadow Woods Reservation. Local residents, members of the Commission, and SVT have long advocated that these lands be permanently protected, and we are thrilled that it has finally happened.

Another plus: These parcels bring the number of acres conserved within the Tri-Town project area to 363, helping SVT and our partners get closer to our goal of 500 acres. 


Memorial Forest: Trails Have Reopened

June 2014: One month after the prescribed burn.

As of Monday, March 12, we have reopened all of the trails at Memorial Forest. Thank you for your understanding as we work to improve the habitat  at this popular property.


The effort to restore pitch pine/scrub oak barrens in the Desert Natural Area and Memorial Forest on the Marlborough-Sudbury border continues. This is a long-term project being undertaken by the City of Marlborough and SVT. We are working to restore these unusual barrens that provide habitat for rare species such as the whip-poor-will and wild lupine.

In the next few weeks, the City of Marlborough and SVT will begin mowing a 14-acre area near trail junctions E and F. We'll also be removing dead trees from that site. The City of Marlborough received a habitat restoration grant from MassWildlife that underwrites this work.

The work will take approximately seven days, and the public will be unable to use portions of the trails while the equipment is onsite.  

Please comply with the "Do Not Enter" signs posted in the affected areas. This is a temporary closure. We will reopen the trails as soon as possible. Thank you for your cooperation.

The area near trail junctions E and F is where we conducted a prescribed burn in 2014. Pitch pine/scrub oak barrens rely on periodic fires in order to rejuvenate. The current mowing and dead tree removal is necessary to create conditions for another safe burn that we plan to conduct in three to five years.

Read more about the habitat restoration project in the Desert Natural Area and Memorial Forest.