White-tailed Deer in Berlin
October 28, 2017
Paul Bakstran used his automatically triggered wildlife camera to photograph these white-tailed deer near his home in Berlin. Paul noted that the doe in the first image was followed about a half hour later by a buck in the second image.
SVT and the Town of Berlin have successfully conserved Great Oak Farm with a co-held Conservation Restriction! SVT opened the perimeter trail to the public in November 2018.
Thank you to the Bentzen family for their generosity, to Beezy Bentzen for managing this project for her family, to the Town of Berlin for their tireless support of conservation, to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for their financial support, and to the many individuals who donated funds to this project.
Dragonfly at Forty Caves in Berlin
August 28, 2017
The Forty Caves conservation area includes lands owned by the Town of Berlin, the Town of Clinton, and SVT.
Success! Ciesluk Forest Is Protected--Now Known as Forty Caves
After more than a year of planning, negotiating, and fundraising, SVT and the Towns of Berlin and Clinton have protected Ciesluk Forest, an important natural resource that straddles the town line. And more good news: A formal site survey found that the forest spans 63 acres and not 55 acres as we initally thought.
The Town of Clinton purchased 22 of the acres and the Town of Berlin purchased 41. This past week, SVT agreed to terms on a conservation restriction with each town. Going forward, we will be responsible for building and maintaining recreational trails across the land and ensuring its wildlife habitats remain healthy and vibrant.
The protection of Ciesluk Forest adds to the abutting conservation areas of Garfield Woods, Forty Caves, and Musche Woods. Collectively, these four conservation areas, totaling 241 acres, will now be known as Forty Caves.
"The Towns of Berlin and Clinton were wonderful partners in this endeavor," said Ashley Davies, SVT's Senior Land Protection Specialist, "and we would not have been successful without a grant from the Massachusetts Local Acquisitions for Natural Diversity [LAND] program." The project received also received essential funding from the two towns, foundation grants, SVT, and private donors.
SVT is creating new trails across the land, which will allow us to reopen the access to our Garfield Woods Reservation This land has been closed for several years because the only access point crossed an active railroad line. Stay tuned for news about the trail opening, most likely in early August.
Thank you to everyone who contributed to the success of this project.
Spring Peeper in Berlin
April 29, 2017
Karin Paquin photographed this spring peeper at Forty Caves in Berlin.
Earth Day and Volunteer Week: Success Despite the Rain
Thank you to everyone who volunteered with SVT on Earth Day 2017 (April 22) and during National Volunteer Week (April 23 - 29). Despite the rainy weather that forced us to cancel or postpone some projects, we enjoyed several successful outings.
On Saturday, April 22, SVT celebrated Earth Day with a great crew from Youth in Philanthropy from the MetroWest Foundation. Led by SVT MassLIFT-AmeriCorps members Lisa Long and Chelsea Polevy and by volunteer Bill Fadden, the crew cleaned up and rehabilitated trails at Baiting Brook Meadow Farm in Framingham. The volunteers also built a trail section to a historic Boy Scout camp on the property.
On April 23, SVT kicked off Volunteer Week in Northwest Framingham, where a team of volunteers sporting new SVT safety vests beautified roadsides by collecting litter along Edmands and Nixon Roads. Strong teamwork and good cheer made for light work.
In Westborough on April 27, 22 employees from Sanofi-Genzyme assisted SVT with trail restoration and landscape maintenance at our popular Walkup and Robinson Memorial Reservation.
In Berlin, our Stewardship staff worked with volunteers on April 29 to clear new trails across Ciesluk Forest in anticipation of the land's permanent protection. The trails connect to our Garfield Woods Reservation and will allow us to reopen trails on that property, which have been closed because their only access point crossed an active rail line.
On April 28, students from Acton-Boxborough High School helped SVT make an important adjustment to the Storybook Trail at Wolbach Farm. Working with MassLIFT-AmeriCorps members Chelsea Polevy and Emily Anderson and with volunteer Kevin Paquin, the students lowered the posts on the storybook stations to "child height," which will make it easier for young readers to read the stories for themselves.
And on May 1, during a project that was rescheduled because of rain, another band of volunteers fought invasive plant species by pulling glossy buckthorn at Memorial Forest in Sudbury.
Wish you had participated in Volunteer Week? Volunteer Week may be over, but you can still volunteer. We have opportunities available year-round both on our properties and in our office. Check our Volunteer page for more information.
Ciesluk Forest Project Receives LAND Grant
Good news for our Ciesluk Forest project! The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has awarded $225,920 to the Towns of Clinton and Berlin toward the purchase of the property. These funds—which constitute about 60% of the purchase price—are essential to the effort to conserve this land and protect its natural resources.
The money was awarded as part of the state's Local Acquisitions for Natural Diversity (LAND) grant program. The program was established in 1961 to assist conservation commissions in their efforts to protect natural resources and provide areas for passive outdoor recreation. This year, the commonwealth awarded a total of $3.9 million to 13 projects across the state.
SVT is working with Clinton and Berlin to save the 55-acre Ciesluk Forest property, which abuts our own Garfield Woods reservation and the Town of Berlin's Forty Caves conservation land. For our part, we need to raise $140,000 through foundation grants and grassroots fundraising to ensure the project's success. If we close on the deal in early 2017 as expected, we plan to open new trails through the forest by summertime.
Snapping Turtle in Berlin
June 18, 2016
Paula Tervo photographed this snapping turtle in Berlin.