Help Protect More Land—Give the Gift of Membership

Left: Photo by Mark Levinson. Right: Order a gift membership, and we'll prepare a Trail Guide for the recipient!

Our new Strategic Plan calls for SVT to accelerate the pace at which we protect land. Since our founding in 1953, we have participated in the protection of 8,000 acres in the region. By 2050, we want to protect 12,000 more!

As SVT ramps up the pace of our work, we’re going to need support from more of the 700,000 residents of the region. Thousands of people must stand up for conservation if we are to protect thousands of acres in the coming decades.

Please help us ramp up our efforts. Share your love of nature with your friends and family by giving them SVT Gift Memberships. They’ll be joining a great group of conservationists. You’ll have the satisfaction of knowing you are helping to protect  more natural areas, more working farms, and more wildlife habitat.

Bonus: Gift Memberships at the $60 level and above include a copy of our newly updated Trail Guide: 42 Walks West of Boston (not available for purchase). We can mail the Trail Guide to you or the recipient, or you can stop by our office to pick up a packaged copy. Learn more.

Already a member? Learn how you can receive a copy of the Trail Guide.

Concord Christmas Bird Count: Volunteers Wanted

House Finch. Photo by Joan Chasan.
House Finch. Photo by Joan Chasan.

For more than 100 years, the National Audubon Society has conducted a Christmas Bird Count (CBC) to help researchers understand how the birds of the Americas  are faring. Thousands of volunteers across the U.S., Canada, and other Western Hemisphere participate in this annual census and count birds over a 24-hour period. 

The CBC is divided into hundreds of “count circles,” each of which will select its own count day between December 14 and January 5. Everyone is invited to participate in this citizen science project, but you must join an official "count circle" for your results to be counted.

SVT participates in the Concord Circle of the CBC, which has planned its count day for December 30. Participants can either join a field party or stay in the warmth of their homes and count visitors to a bird feeder.

 The Concord Circle's website lists these expectations for the 2018 count:

Our circle may witness a strong flight of winter finches judging from county reports of purple finch numbers and, to the surprise and delight of bird lovers, evening grosbeaks populating fruit trees and feeders all over New England and further south. Middlesex eBird is broadcasting rare bird alerts for red crossbill—flyovers and a few individuals on cones. Time and effort spent learning the flight calls of both crossbill species and evening grosbeak will pay off in birding gold. 

To learn more and register, visit the Concord Circle’s website:

Plus, read our December 2017 Spotlight article on Norm Levey and the Concord Christmas Bird Count.

Get in the Holiday Spirit: Holiday Open House in Sudbury

SVT has once again decorated a Christmas tree for the annual Holiday Open House event at the Hosmer House in Sudbury. Each year, the Sudbury Historical Commission invites nonprofit organizations to decorate this 1790s-era house in the center of town, and the public is invited to enjoy the decorations on the first two weekends in December. This is the third year that SVT has participated.

Based on the 2018 decorating theme of "Hosmer's Winter Wonderland, " SVT has named our tree "Outdoors with Nature." Other participating groups include two Sudbury garden clubs ("A Dollhouse Dream" and "Winter's Feast"), the Parmenter Foundation ("Winter in the Woods"), Janice Milley God Star Mohter ("Gold Star Famly Tree"), and two troops of Sudbury Girl Scouts ("Jan Brett's The Mitten"). 

The Holiday Open House will be held December 1-2 and December 8-9, from 11:00 a.m. to 4 p.m.

On Saturday, December 1, the house will open for extended hours until 6:00 p.m. to coincide with the town-wide Menorah and Tree Lighting ceremony, which is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. on Sudbury Town Common.

Tour the Hosmer House and enjoy the decorations for yourself! Complimentary refreshments will be available at this festive event, and holiday gifts, including homemade gingerbread men, will be available for purchase. Admission is free, although donations are welcome. 

Hosmer House is located at the intersection of Rte. 27 and Concord Road in Sudbury.

Support Our Feathered Friends on Giving Tuesday 2018

Giving Tuesday 2018. Photo by Raj Das

On Tuesday, November 27, please show your support of local conservation by contributing to SVT's #GivingTuesday campaign. 

SVT is dedicating #GivingTuesday, the global day of giving that offsets the consumerism of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, to the protection of bird habitat on our local conservation land. 

Your donation to SVT for our #GivingTuesday campaign will support Healthy Habitats for Our Feathered FriendsLearn more.

Donate Now

Your gift can go twice as far: A generous SVT member has pledged to match total contributions up to $8500!

Escape Black Friday: "Give Thanks for the Land" Instead!

Give Thanks for the Land with SVT on Black Friday
Give Thanks for the Land with SVT on Black Friday

New Location: Memorial Forest in Sudbury     

The tradition continues! SVT is once again leading our annual "Give Thanks for the Land" walk, but this year it will be held the day after Thanksgiving. 

Avoid the mall and the traffic jams on Black Friday. Instead, join Executive Director Lisa Vernegaard on this moderate-to-fast-paced walk through our Memorial Forest Reservation in Sudbury. It's a great chance to enjoy some fresh air while working off your Thanksgiving feast. (No dogs, please.)

Friday, November 23
10:00 am to Noon
Learn more and register

This walk was originally scheduled for Cedar Hill in Northborough but has been relocated.

Conservation Wins at the Ballot in Berlin, Sudbury

Good news! SVT learned today that voters in Berlin and Sudbury approved ballot measures that we supported.  

In Berlin, voters approved the Community Preservation Act (CPA), which will levy a surtax on property taxes in order to create a fund that can be used on local projects such as Open Space, Historic Preservation, Recreation, and Affordable Housing. The Town reported the election results on its Facebook feed: Yes--976, No--726, Blank--58.

In Sudbury, the effort to purchase and protect Broadacres Farm was also approved. The purchase will permanently protect 20 scenic of pasture and wildlife habitat and will allow the Town to expand the adjacent Featherland Park. According to the Town's website, the final vote tally was Yes--5924, No--3011, Blank--545.

SVT congratulates both towns. We are thrilled to see that conservation is important to the voters in our region.

Office Volunteer Project on November 13

Interested in helping out in the SVT office, but your day job gets in the way? Here's the opportunity for you!  

We are seeking 6 to 10 volunteers for the evening of Tuesday, November 13, when we'll be stuffing envelopes for our Fall Appeal.

We'll work from 6:00 to 8:00 pm at the SVT office, and SVT staff will provide a light meal for those who help out. Bring a friend!

Please register with Deborah Sargent at [email protected] or 978-443-5588, x110.

"Curious Garden" Comes to the Storybook Trail

We have posted a new book to the Storybook Trail at Wolbach Farm. The Curious Garden by Peter Brown tells the tale of Liam, a boy who decides to take care of a struggling garden. Over time, the garden spreads throughout downtrodden parts of the city, turning the previously gray landscape green. 

The Storybook Trail is located along the George Lewis Memorial Trail at SVT’s Wolbach Farm at 18 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 through the woods could be snowy or muddy.

New Trail Opens at Wayside Forest in Framingham

Wayside Forest Trail Opening. Photo by SVT Staff.
Mayor Yvonne Spicer (second from left) spoke to the gathering before the inaugural Wayside Forest trail walk. Photo by SVT Staff.
Wayside Forest Trail Opening. Photo by Sandy Gotlib.
To open the trail at Wayside Forest, SVT's Christa Collins (left) prepares to cut the ribbon held by Carolyn and Andy Limeri. Photo by Sandy Gotlib.
Wayside Forest Trail Opening. Photo by Sandy Gotlib.
SVT's Christa Collins (left) led the inaugural trail walk at Wayside Forest. Photo by Sandy Gotlib.

On Sunday, November 4, we formally opened the new trail at SVT's Wayside Forest reservation in Framingham. We kicked off the event with a small reception at the Friend's Meeting House on Edmands Road. About 50 area residents toasted the trail with a cup of cider before heading out for the grand-opening trail walk.

SVT and the City of Framingham protected the 52 acres of Wayside Forest on Wayside Inn Road this past summer, when SVT purchased the land from George and D.D. Harrington. The City, which secured a state grant that went toward the purchase price, holds a conservation restriction over the property. 

During the brief reception, Framingham Mayor Yvonne Spicer spoke about the importance of open space, noting that "when it's gone, it's gone forever."  Christa Collins, SVT's Director of Land Protection, thanked the project partners in attendance, including Marianne Iarossi, Senior Planner for Framingham; Rob McArthur, Framingham Conservation Administrator; and Clay Hutchinson, the City's Communications and Land Stewardship Coordinator. 

Christa also acknowledged members of SVT's Board and SVT's Land Protection Committee, and she thanked all those who donated to the project and made its success possible. Finally, Christa expressed gratitude for the generosity of the Harringtons, who have long worked to conserve land in northwest Framingham and who sold us the Wayside Forest property for about half its market value.

The trail at Wayside Forest is an extension of the trails on our adjacent Henry's Hill reservation. Those trails connect to the Bay Circuit Trail, allowing for a full day of hiking through the nearby the City of Framingham's Wittenborg Woods, various Town of Sudbury lands, and Callahan State Park.

Trail maps for Henry's Hill and Wayside Forest are available on the SVT website and in the kiosk at the Henry's Hill trail head at 14 Wayside Inn Road.

SVT Encourages Sudbury Voters to Protect Broadacres Farm

Calling all Sudbury voters!  SVT encourages you to Vote YES on Question 5 to Protect Broadacres Farm.

During a Special Town Meeting on October 15, Sudbury voters overwhelmingly gave initial approval to the purchase of Broadacres Farm on Morse Road. To go forward, the project must still be approved by a ballot vote at the annual town election, which is underway now through November 6.

SVT has long supported the protection of Broadacres Farm. In addition to sitting near other conserved properties in town, Broadacres Farm offers excellent agricultural land and includes high-quality wildlife habitat.

Please cast your vote in favor of purchasing Broadacres! Election day is November 6.

Early voting has started and runs through November 2. Information on early voting and precinct location is available on the Town's website.

Approval at the polls will mean permanent protection of 20 scenic acres of pasture and wildlife habitat, plus expansion of the adjacent Featherland Park.

For more details about the property and the ballot question, visit the Town of Sudbury website or the Friends of Broadacres Farm website.