Littleton

Habitat Management in Littleton

At our Smith Conservation Land, which abuts Beaver Brook in Littleton, SVT will be taking action to control and reduce the impacts of aggressive Asian bittersweet vine so that our native pollinators, birds, and plants can thrive. 

Learn more about our plan.

Red-bellied Woodpecker in Littleton

October 22, 2020

A red-bellied woodpecker at Smith Conservation Land in Littleton, photographed by Gail Sartori.
A red-bellied woodpecker at Smith Conservation Land in Littleton, photographed by Gail Sartori.
A red-bellied woodpecker at Smith Conservation Land in Littleton, photographed by Gail Sartori.
A red-bellied woodpecker at Smith Conservation Land in Littleton, photographed by Gail Sartori.

Gail Sartori photographed this red-bellied woodpecker at Smith Conservation Land in Littleton.

Nature in Littleton

October 22, 2020

A red squirrel at Yapp CR in Littleton, photographed by Gail Sartori.
A red squirrel at Yapp CR in Littleton, photographed by Gail Sartori.
A tree at Yapp CR in Littleton, photographed by Gail Sartori.
A tree at Yapp CR in Littleton, photographed by Gail Sartori.

Gail Sartori photographed a red squirrel in a tree cavity and a tree, shaped like a foot, growing over a rock at the George and Lucy Yapp Conservation Land in Littleton.

Littleton Voters Approve Browns' Woods Project

Littleton Special Town Meeting, October 18, 2020
Littleton Special Town Meeting, October 18, 2020

The effort to protect Browns' Woods got a big boost on October 18, when Littleton voters overwhelmingly supported the purchase of the property at a Special Town Meeting. This vote follows an earlier announcement that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has awarded a grant to the town to be used toward the purchase (see below).

SVT is participating in the effort to protect this property and add it to Littleton's local conservation lands. We will raise funds to cover the costs of holding a conservation restriction and to offset expenses for the Town. The Littleton Conservation Trust is helping with outreach and has made a very generous $10,000 contribution to SVT's fundraising campaign. 

Learn more and donate to this effort.

Littleton Project Receives State MVP Grant

Good news for the Town of Littleton: In September, the town received a $763,050 "MVP" Action Grant from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The town will use the money to purchase and protect the Browns' Woods property and create a link between other conserved lands in the area.

MVP, or Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness, grants were created by the Baker-Polito administration to encourage Massachusetts cities and towns to become more resilient in the face of climate change. The grants help municipalities identify climate hazards, develop strategies to improve resilience, and implement priority actions to adapt to climate change. In September, the state awarded $11.1 million in MVP grants, bringing the total to $44 million since 2017.

The Town of Littleton will use its grant toward the purchase price of the Browns' Woods property, which sits on Tahattawan Road and Harwood Avenue. The conservation of Browns' Woods will protect a local watershed and create a corridor of conservation lands that include Prouty Woods, Long Lake, and the Littleton Town Forest.

SVT supports the conservation of this property because of its many ecological features. Browns' Woods consists of upland hardwood and softwood forests, shrub land, emergent wetlands, and a potential vernal pool. The property and adjacent Long Pond ecosystem supports habitat for beaver, otter, muskrat, bobcat, fox, coyote, groundhog, raccoon, fisher, mink, stoat/ermine, and smaller mammals. Over 125 species of birds have been observed in the area.  

The MVP grant covers only part of the purchase price, so during a Special Town Meeting on October 17 (postponed to October 18 due to weather), residents will be asked to approve the use of Community Preservation Funds for the purchase. We encourage our Littleton members to vote yes!

If residents approve the use of the funds, SVT and the Littleton Conservation Trust will set out to raise additional money for the project, and SVT is expected to hold a conservation restriction on the land. Learn more about Browns' Woods.

Northern Water Snake in Littleton

April 29, 2020

A northern water snake in Littleton, photographed by Christa Collins.
A northern water snake in Littleton, photographed by Christa Collins.

Christa Collins photographed this northern water snake at Littleton Conservation Trust's Sprong Land.

Grand Opening at Smith

Dan Stimson and Laura Mattei (at right in photo) led the walk for our conservation partners. Photo by Rick Findlay.
Dan Stimson and Laura Mattei (at right in photo) led the walk for our conservation partners. Photo by Rick Findlay.
The walkers paused along the trail to discuss the wonderful wildlife habitat at Smith Conservation Land. Photo by Rick Findlay.
The walkers paused along the trail to discuss the wonderful wildlife habitat at Smith Conservation Land. Photo by Rick Findlay.

On Sunday, January 12, a day when the weather seemed more appropriate for early June, SVT and our conservation partners held a grand opening trail walk at the Smith Conservation Land on the Littleton-Harvard town line.

SVT's Laura Mattei (Director of Stewardship) and Dan Stimson (Assistant Director of Stewardship) led the walk for the project partners who helped purchase and protect this property. In attendance were representatives of Harvard Conservation Commission, Harvard Conservation Trust, Littleton Conservation Trust, and Littleton Conservation Commission. We were also pleased to welcome Steve Smith of the Smith family, who previously owned the land.

To make it easier for the public to access the trails, we have created a parking area on Whitcomb Avenue in Littleton. With trail loops now open on both sides of the road, Smith Conservation Land boasts expansive views of both Beaver Brook Marsh and Black Pond Ravine.

Get directions and a trail map.

Trails Now Open at Smith

We've been talking about the Smith Conservation Land for months, and now you can see it for yourself.  

SVT has opened the hiking trails on this 60-acre property that spans the Littleton-Harvard town line. We've also added a parking area on Whitcomb Road.

Smith offers hikers expansive views of both Beaver Brook Marsh and Black Pond Ravine. There are trail loops on both sides of the road, and you can extend your walk by continuing onto additional Town of Harvard conservation lands. 

Directions and a trail map are available on our Smith Conservation Land page.

PDF icon Smith Conservation Land Trail Map

SVT and the Town of Harvard share ownership of these stunning properties that provide essential habitat for numerous species of wildlife. With help from private donors, SVT purchased the 48 acres in Littleton, while the Town of Harvard purchased the 12 acres in Harvard. The Littleton Conservation Trust holds a conservation restriction over all 60 acres.

With a new parking area on Whitcomb Avenue in Littleton, and trail loops now open on both sides of the road, Smith Conservation Land boasts expansive views of both Beaver Brook Marsh and Black Pond Ravine.

Learn About Land Ecology from the Expert

Richard T.T. Forman, Professor Emeritus at Harvard University's Graduate School of Design and an SVT board member, is widely considered to be the "father" of landscape ecology. On Friday, November 8, Richard will be giving a public presentation on landscape ecology, co-sponsored by the Littleton Conservation Trust and SVT.

In this public education forum, Richard will discuss local conservation topics, including landscape-scale land protection in the region (such as the such as the High Ridge Initiative) and wildlife corridor passageways under barriers such as Route 2. 

Landscape Ecology: Towns, Ecology and the Land
November 8, 2019
7:00 pm

Littleton High School
56 King Street
Littleton, MA

The program is free and open to the public. No registration is required. (The program will be preceded by LCT’s Annual Business Meeting at 6:30 pm.)

For more information, visit the Littleton Conservation Trust website.

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