Beyond Earth Day: Tips for Enjoying Nature

On Wednesday, April 22, SVT marked the 50th Anniversary of the first Earth Day celebration by encouraging everyone to appreciate the wildlife in your own backyard. With the COVID-19 pandemic forcing the cancellation of public celebrations, we thought it was important to commemorate this anniversary and embrace all that nature has to offer.

We collected resources, tools, and apps to help you enjoy the nature in your yard, regardless of whether you have acres of space or a single tree and birdfeeder. 

Even though Earth Day itself has passed, you can still take advantage of these resources to hone your identification skills for common birds and plants, enjoy a nature scavenger hunt, design a garden with native plantings to attract butterflies, and discover more about how life on Earth impacts the night sky.

We also provided resources for virtual programs being held throughout the month, so you can continue to explore nature in the days and weeks ahead.

Please join with SVT to celebrate the Earth and Stand Up for Nature!

Lisa Vernegaard Discusses Earth Day on "In It Together"

On Tuesday, April 21, SVT Executive Director Lisa Vernegaard was a featured guest on "In It Together," a radio program broadcast by WGBH Boston.

Lisa and host Arun Rath discussed Earth Day and SVT's plans for "Earth Day in Your Backyard."

Listen to Lisa's segment.

Framingham Mayor Supports “Yarn Bombing” Project

Framingham’s Mayor Yvonne M. Spicer recently expressed support for the collaborative effort to enliven a local park with handmade yarn flowers. 

Through a project spearheaded by Framingham MakerSpace in collaboration with the City and SVT, area residents are invited to crochet and knit yarn flowers for installation on a chain metal fence at Framingham’s Arlington Street Park.

“A lot has changed in the world since this project was brought to me by Framingham MakerSpace,” said Mayor Spicer. “Engagement with public art feels more important now because while we are all doing our best to socially distance ourselves, we have to make sure we don’t distance our connection to community.

“Art, like yarn bombing, is especially community-based. Every piece is a contribution from someone, from hands, from homes, and from love. I’m excited to share this experience with the community and look forward to the joy residents will receive from visiting the downtown Framingham Arlington Street Park when this project is rescheduled!”

The installation, which was originally planned for May 2, has been delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The project partners will accept flower donations and schedule a new installation date once we reopen our offices. Learn more.

Wanted: Handmade Flowers and Pollinators

Calling all crocheters, knitters, and those who are craftily inclined! Help us bring native "flowers" and "pollinators" to Framingham!

SVT is joining a public arts project to install a field of crocheted and knitted flowers at the Arlington Street Park in Downtown Framingham this year.

Led by Framingham MakerSpace, and with the support of the mayor’s office, the project will enliven a chain link fence at the park. The organizers are seeking knitted or crocheted flowers of any color, size, or design. This offers a great chance to use up leftover yarn.

Learn more about this project and find links to online patterns.

A Message from Lisa

Thanks to the generous and longstanding support of our members, SVT remains strong. Our staff members have been working from home, and we continue our conservation efforts.

We invite you to scroll down and watch the following short video from Executive Director Lisa Vernegaard, which provides an update on SVT's work during the statewide shutdown.


Wendler Property Protected!

On March 30, 2020, SVT and the Town of Berlin completed the protection of the Wendler Property near the town’s boundary with Bolton.

SVT and the Town have been working on this project for several months. We temporarily purchased the 30-acre property with the intent to sell it to Berlin once the town freed up the funds to reimburse us.The town has now purchased the land, and we hold a conservation restriction over it. 

A hiking trail planned for the Wendler Property will link Berlin conservation lands on Lancaster Road with Bolton's Fyfeshire Conservation Area on Wattaquadock Hill Road. Trail work has been suspended during the statewide business closures, but we plan to finish it and announce a grand opening once we are able to hold group activities again. 

Read more about the Wendler Property.

Open Space Conference Moves Online

The Massachusetts Open Space Conference will not be held in person this year. Instead, the organizers have moved the conference online as a series of six webinars based on the most popular workshops.

Presented by volunteer members of open space committees and other municipal committees, the free webinars will cover successful conservation techniques, possible funding sources, and innovative ideas for conservation:

  • Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) program (April 8)
  • Creating Open Space Committees and Keeping Them Alive (April 14)
  • Land Protection Basics: How a Community Can Protect Land (April 15)
  • Stewarding Town Land (April 22)
  • Navigating the Community Preservation Act (April 29)
  • Outreach to Landowners in Your Community (May 6)

Members of local open space committees and other municipal committees concerned with conservation and stewardship are invited to register. More information and a schedule are available at

Questions? Contact Sara Amish, SVT AmeriCorps Member, one of the conference organizers: [email protected]

Hikers: Please Leash Your Dogs!

SVT is pleased that more and more people are discovering and using our trails during the COVID-19 crisis. Exploring nature is a great way to relax during these tense times.

In response to this heavy trail use, however, we have changed our policies regarding dogs on our trails.

For the foreseeable future, we are requiring that dogs on our trails be leashed. Please also keep your dog close by your side.

Unleashed dogs or those on a long leash can approach other hikers or other dogs and create close interactions that do not comply with proper social distancing. 

Thank you for your cooperation. Please see additional Special Trail Policies.

Postponed: Prescribed Burn at Desert Natural Area

SVT and the City of Marlborough have postponed the prescribed burns that were planned for Spring 2020 at the Desert Natural Area and Memorial Forest on the Marlborough-Sudbury line.

With the closing of businesses and the limitations on public gatherings in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was not feasible to hold the burns this year.

Laura Mattei, SVT Director of Stewardship, has rescheduled the burns for Spring 2021. She anticipates that preparatory work, including the creation of fire breaks, could take place in November and December of this year.

The burns are part of a long-term project to restore rare and important habitat at the two properties. An earlier burn (pictured) was held in May 2014.

SVT Trail Policies During the COVID-19 Crisis

SVT trails remain open for independent walks during the COVID-19 crisis, but we ask you to

  • Please comply with state and federal orders regarding public activities.
  • Please follow guidelines recommended by government health agencies.

In addition to our regular Trail Policies, we also ask you to comply with the following:

On the Trail

  • Please be friendly and courteous to other visitors.
  • For social/physical distancing on the trails:
      -Step aside so others can pass while keeping distance.
      -Pause before crossing a bridge if someone is coming the other way.
      -If caught on a long board walk, turn away from passersby so you can pass without breathing on each other.
  • Please do not touch or use benches, map boxes, kiosks, and other physical structures.


  • Leash your dog. Our trails are receiving heavier-than-normal traffic.
      -Unleashed dogs that approach others can cause close interactions.
      -Also, our warm temperatures have led to earlier-than-normal bird nesting, and roaming dogs can upset wildlife.


  • Please park in designated parking areas.
  • If our lots are full, do not park along the edge of the road.
  • Please check our online maps to find the location of other parking areas, and possibly move on to a different property.


  • Please do not use the map boxes at our kiosks.
  • Download or print map from home to avoid having to touch the map boxes. Other options:
      -Scan the QR code at the kiosk to access and download the trail map.
      -Photograph the large map at the kiosk and use the photo as your trail map.
      -Use an online app such as to follow the trail.

Share Your Stories!

We invite you to share your experiences with those who are not able to get out. Please submit photos to our Nature Sightings page. And share your stories on photos with us on Facebook: @SudburyValleyTrust

Please remember that our natural areas are home to an amazing array of plants and animals. We are guests in their home. Please take care not to disturb it.