2017 Annual Meeting: Art on the Trails, Elaine Beals Awards, e-Awakening and the Bay Circuit Trail
Published on May 23, 2017 by Hal
The 2017 Annual Meeting of the Southborough Open Land Foundation (video), held May 17, 2017 was highlighted by the presentation of both the 2016 and 2017 Elaine Beals Conservation Award and an illustrated discussion on the Bay Circuit Trail by Marilyn and Dan Brielmann of e-Awakening. The meeting opened with a brief overview by Catherine Weber on the upcoming Art on the Trails Exhibition. Following this, the 2016 Elaine Beals Award was presented to Christa Brady and the Friends of the Burnett-Garfield House in recognition of their efforts to preserve the property at 84 Main Street. The group helped educate the community about the historical significance of the property and the importance of placing a historic preservation restriction on the property. SOLF also took the opportunity to present special awards recognizing two Algonquin High School students, Jen Fox and Bridget Brady, for their leadership in leading the protest which awakened the town to the impending demolition of the house at 84 Main Street.
Alan French, founder and former chairman of the Bay Circuit Alliance, was presented with the 2017 Elaine Beals Award. Alan has worked tirelessly for over thirty years to reinvigorate the Bay Circuit Trail concept and bring it to completion. An idea first conceived in 1929 by a man named Benton MacKaye, the trail was to be a greenway, in a wide arc of open space roughly in the vicinity of what is now route 128. It would provide a natural respite for the growing population. Now, the trail is in a much larger arc of over 230 miles of trail with Newburyport at one end and Duxbury at the other. Southborough is at its westernmost point. In the process, many acres of land have been protected and many many people have enjoyed these beautiful trails close to home.
Following the presentation of the awards, the husband and wife team of e-Awakening, Marilyn and Dan Brielmann, gave an illustrated discussion of walks along portions of the Bay Circuit Trail, accompanied by original songs of Dan Brielman. Marilyn and Dan are environmental activists and educators whose mission is to tell green stories and build a sustainable environment through books, music and video. You can watch a video of their presentation here (their presentation starts at about 20 minutes). More information, including videos of the Bay Circuit Trail, books, and Dan’s recordings, are available on their website e-Awakening.
2017 Elaine Beals Award Presented to Alan French
Published on May 18, 2017 by Hal
May 13, 2017 Birdwalk at Breakneck Hill Conservation Land
Published on May 14, 2017 by Hal
On a gray and cold Saturday morning, the Southborough Open Land Foundation participated in Mass Audubon’s annual “Bird-a-thon” with a bird walk led by Jeff Collins, Director of Mass Audubon’s Ecological Management Department. The 18 participants in the walk saw a large variety of New England birds including
Red-tailed Hawk, American Crow, Brown-headed Cowbird, American Robin, House Sparrow, Black-capped Chickadee, Red-winged Blackbird, Gray Catbird, Mourning Dove, Cedar Waxwing, Bobolink, Yellow Warbler, Double-crested Cormorant, Song Sparrow, European Starling, Northern Flicker, Chipping Sparrow, Savannah Sparrow, Eastern Bluebird, Baltimore Oriole, American Goldfinch, Downy Woodpecker, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Tufted Titmouse, an elusive Red-eyed Vireo that we could hear, but not see, White-breasted Nuthatch, Tree Swallow, and Common Grackles. The confirmed sighting of a Savanah Sparrow and a Bobolink by everyone on the walk was exciting because these are two species that the Stewardship Committee and Conservation Commission have been managing the grasslands to provide breeding grounds. The walk was funded in part by a grant from the Southborough Community Fund (SCF), Foundation for Metrowest.
May 17, 2017, 7:00 PM, Join Us at Our Annual Meeting, Community House, 28 Main Street, Southborough
Published on April 10, 2017 by Hal
The Southborough Open Land Foundation will hold its annual meeting on Wednesday, May 17, 2017 at the Southborough Community House, 28 Main Street, Southborough at 7:00 PM.
Join us at the meeting where Dan & Marilyn Brielmann of e-Awakening along with Alan French will be your guides taking you along the Bay Circuit Trail, a 200 mile natural wonder that arcs around the City of Boston from Newburyport, through Southborough and other Metrowest communities, to Kingston, MA. In addition, Alan French will be presented the Elaine Beals Conservation Award, presented annually by SOLF to a person who has worked to help protect the environment in Southborough and the region. Alan French is an Andover resident and was the founder, Chairman, and Executive Director of the Bay Circuit Alliance, Inc. He will talk about the more than 25 years he was involved with this project and making it a reality. The Elaine Beals Conservation Award was created in 2005 to honor Elaine Beals for her many contributions to conservation and the protection of the environment in Southborough and the region.
The meeting is free and open to the public, you need not be a member of SOLF to attend. Click here for a flyer on the event.
Nick Hills Eagle Scout Project at Beals Preserve
Published on June 3, 2016 by Hal
The Southborough Open Land Foundation congratulates Nick Hills of Southborough Boy Scout Troop 1 for achieving his Eagle Scout Rank on June 4, 2016. Nick’s Eagle Scout Project was a trail renovation at Beals Preserve. There was a serious erosion problem on the Old Farm Lane Trail at the Red Gate Lane entrance area. During heavy rain storms, the water would overflow the storm drains at the cul de sac and pour down the trail, causing the trail to erode badly. When Nick came to us looking for a project, we met with him to explain the problem and showed him the area of concern. He immediately demonstrated a grasp of the situation, asked pertinent questions, made several suggestions, and then forged ahead with the project. Not only did he and members of the troop build the water breaks, but they also improved the small stone wall at the entrance area, enhancing the visual appearance. Nick showed understanding of the problem with which he was presented, initiative in trying to help solve it, and leadership in executing the project. SOLF is grateful for Nick’s work and congratulates him on achieving the rank of Eagle Scout.
Citizen Science: The SOLF Wildlife Survey at Beals Preserve, May 26, 2016, 7:00 PM, Southborough Library
Published on May 17, 2016 by Hal
Join SOLF Trustee and Wildlife Survey Coordinator Lawrence Spezzano for a discussion of the project. Click here for more details on the program. Thursday, May 26, 2016, Southborough Library, 7:00 PM.
Birdwalk at Beals Preserve, May 15, 2016
Published on May 16, 2016 by Hal
Jeff Collins from Mass Audubon led a birdwalk at Beals Preserve on a beautiful May morning, May 14, 2016. A large number of species, including a Red-winged Blackbird, European Starling, Barn Swallow, Canada Goose and Goslings, Mallard Duck, Yellow Warbler, Warbling Vireo, American Goldfinch, Tree Swallow, Barn Swallow, Song Sparrow, Gray Catbird, Northern Rough-winged Swallow, Eastern Kingbird, Common Grackle, Great Blue Heron, Common Yellowthroat, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Baltimore Oriole, Eastern Bluebird, Green Heron, Brown-headed Cowbird, Chipping Sparrow, Ovenbird, Pine Warbler, Tufted Titmouse, American Robin, Northern Mockingbird, and Northern Flicker, were either heard or seen by members of the walk . Some photos of participants, and Beals Preserve taken by Doris Cahill are shown below.
May 11, 2016, Annual Meeting: Wildlife Photographer Peter Christoph
Published on May 12, 2016 by Hal
The Southborough Open Land Foundation held its annual meeting on Wednesday, May 11, 2016, at the Southborough Community House, 28 Main Street, Southborough. The meeting featured wildlife photographer Peter Christoph, a full-time wildlife photographer, speaker, and author from Lancaster, MA, speaking on Birds, The Epic Adventures of a Massachusetts Bird Photographer. His program was a narrated slide show of his favorite bird photographs, all taken in Massachusetts. Peter also shared stories of his photographic adventures and the techniques he uses to capture his images as well as his favorite places to take photos of birds in their natural habitat.
Children’s Program on Beavers and Their Habitat, Saturday April 2, 2016, Southborough Library, 2:00 PM
Published on April 4, 2016 by Hal
On Saturday, April 2, 2016, Lisa Carlin of Mass Audubon’s Broad Meadow Brook Conservation Center and Wildlife Sanctuary will present a children’s program on beavers and their habitat. Children will “create” their own beaver dam and/or lodge with playdough and pretzels. The presentation is at the Southborough Library, 25 Main Street, Southborough, 2:00 PM. The program is free, but registration is required. Call the Library at (508) 485-5031 to register. The program is appropriate for children ages 5 to 9.
This program is funded by a grant from the Southborough Community Fund (SCF), Foundation for Metrowest.
All About Beavers, February 23, 2016
Published on January 10, 2016 by Hal
On Tuesday, February 23, 2016, Mike Callahan of Beaver Solutions, LLC, Southampton, MA , discussed solutions open to us when beavers begin to affect our property. He discussed the importance of beavers in creating and maintaining wetlands. He indicated that beaver ponds influence water quality by storing water and slowly releasing it. This process allows suspended particles to settle and detoxify many runoff toxins. Despite these benefits, however, there are often conflicts when beaver dams threaten homes or septic systems. Mike presented potential solutions to these conflicts including flow control devices to control flooding from beaver dams and trapping where necessary. You can watch the presentation here.
This program was funded by a grant to SOLF from the Southborough Community Fund (SCF), Foundation for Metrowest.