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!

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.

Chickatawbut Woods: Fundraising Complete!

Thanks to the support of many generous donors, we have reached our fundraising goal for the Chickatawbut Woods project. SVT will now purchase the property to ensure it always remains accessible to the public.

Working with our partners at the City of Framingham, we hope to close on the purchase by June 1. SVT will buy the land from Impact Framingham, and the City will hold a conservation restriction on it to ensure its ecological properties are protected.

Thank you to everyone who supported this project!

Happy Earth Month from SVT

In this short video, Lisa Vernegaard, SVT Executive Director, shares an Earth Day message of thanks and invites all of our members and friends to Stand Up for Nature and celebrate the earth.

"and then it's spring" Comes to the Storybook Trail

The Storybook Trail at Wolbach Farm now features and then it's spring by Julie Fogliano, with illustrations by Erin E. Stead.

This is a simple tale about a boy (and his dog) who dig, plant seeds, and watch the brown earth for signs of spring. The story gives early readers a chance to try out their new skills.

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, making it the perfect length for a walk with young children.

A few pages of the book are posted on each of the 12 stations along the path. In Fall 2020, Boy Scout Conner Goodwin designed, built, and installed new stations to better protect the book pages from the elements.

Enjoy the story in sections as you walk through the woods! The trail, which goes up and over a hill, can be uneven and muddy. Please wear proper footwear, and note that it's best to leave the stroller in the car.