Southboro Open Land Foundation

people looking over meadow at sunset

September 15, 2018, Birds of Prey with Tom Ricardi

Published on September 23, 2018 by Hal

The Southborough Open Land Foundation (SOLF) presented Tom Ricardi, founder and operator of the Massachusetts Birds of Prey Rehabilitation Facility in Conway, MA, with a program on Birds of Prey at the Southborough Library, September 15, 2018, at 2:00 PM. A large number of children and adults were in attendance to see the variety of birds Tom presented.

You can watch a video of Tom’s presentation here.



May 12, 2018, Bird Walk at Breakneck Hill Conservation Land

Published on May 16, 2018 by Hal

On a damp and cool Saturday morning,  Jeff Collins, Director of Mass Audubon’s Ecological Management Department  led a group of 16 participants on a “Bird-a-thon” day bird walk  at the Breakneck Hill Conservation Land, on Breakneck Hill Road, Southborough.  Altogether, we saw 28 species including a number of Bobolinks, a Yellow Warbler, Indigo Bunting, and an Eastern Bluebird.

Bird walk participants. Photo courtesy of Kathryn McKee

Bird walk participants. Photo courtesy of Kathryn McKee


Annual Meeting, May 9, 2018

Published on May 16, 2018 by Hal

Our 2018 Annual Meeting featured Dr. Martha Gach, Conservation Coordinator , Mass Audubon/Broad Meadow Brook Wildlife Sanctuary and Conservation Center speaking on New England Pollinators and how to support them.  SOLF members learned about  hummingbirds and the many  types of native bees and butterflies in their role as pollinators and what we can do to help them thrive.  You can watch a recording of the meeting here.

In addition SOLF  announced the annual Elaine Beals Conservation Award to  be given to Carl Guyer for his efforts to protect the environment by  making Southborough a Green Community and encouraging recycling.  SOLF also recognized two Algonquin High School students, Shannon Provencal and Kathryn Gowdy, for their outstanding efforts in organizing Hike Southborough Day in September 2017.

May 6, 2018, Our First Summer Stroll

Published on May 15, 2018 by Hal

On Sunday evening, May 6,  eight enthusiastic people participated in the first in our series of “Summer Evening Strolls at the Beals Preserve.”
It was cloudy with a few light sprinkles, but we had a group who clearly enjoyed the quiet calm of walking in the woods with a bit of rain.   Stay tuned!
Summer Stroll Participants

Summer Stroll Participants. Photo by Debbie Costine

October 28, 2017, Massachusetts Birds of Prey with Tom Ricardi

Published on October 29, 2017 by Hal

The Southborough Open Land Foundation (SOLF) presented Tom Ricardi, founder and operator of the Massachusetts Birds of Prey Rehabilitation Facility in Conway, MA, to a large and enthusiastic audience at the  at the Southborough Library, October 28, at 2:00 PM. Tom Ricardi, a retired Fish and Game Warden with more than 30 years experience, is a licensed game rehabilitator and breeder. He brough with him a  variety of live birds of prey  including a Golden Eagle, a Barred Owl, a Harris Hawk, a Turkey Vulture and several other birds under his care. The picture below shows a Harris Hawk that suffered an injury  and is unable to fly or live in the wild. The photo is courtesy of Sally Watters.

Watch a video of the presentation here.  Our thanks to  Southborough Access Media for recording this program and posting it to YouTube.



Harris Hawk

Tom Ricardi with a Harris Hawk











Art on the Trails Thank You Catherine Kundrath Weber

Published on September 27, 2017 by Hal

The Southborough Open Land Foundation extends a tremendous THANK YOU to Catherine Kundrath Weber for pulling off a highly successful “Art on the Trails” project. From original concept, to all the many threads that must be coordinated, to perseverance throughout the entire process to even a celebration walk and poetry reading at the end, she maintained enthusiasm and a “can do” attitude. Because of this, many residents of our town discovered the Beals Preserve for the first time and found a safe place of natural solace to revisit and cherish. Catherine, you are a champion of Art and Nature.


September 23, 2017, Wildlife Tracking with Paul Wanta at Beals Preserve

Published on August 14, 2017 by Hal

The Southborough Open Land Foundation (SOLF) presented naturalist, tracker and teacher of wilderness skills Paul Wanta in an exploration of the wildlife and plants that inhabit Beals Preserve, Southborough, MA. Paul Wanta has taught wilderness and tracking skills to young people for over 30 years. He lead us through the trails of Beals Preserve looking for the tracks and signs of the wildlife present in the Preserve.


June 25: Conservation Options & Planning: A Workshop for Landowners

Published on June 15, 2017 by Hal

The Southborough Open Land Foundation,  with support from the Southborough Open Space Preservation Commission and Sudbury Valley Trustees, invites you to a complimentary workshop to explore options for conserving family land, Sunday, June 25, 2017, 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM, Southborough Community House, 28 Main Street, Southborough, MA 01772. Presentations by Steve Sloan, Owner of Cambridge Consulting, a firm that helps protect natural areas,  farmland, and historic sites across Massachusetts; Frederica Gillespie, Southborough Open Space Preservation Commission; and a panel of Southborough landowners who have successfully conserved their properties.

Please direct questions/RSVPs to Chelsea Polevy by June 21. Email: or call (978) 443-5588 ext.138.

For a flyer on the event, click here.

This workshop is made possible by a generous grant from the Foundation for Metrowest,  Southborough Community Fund.

Art on the Trails, Beals Preserve through September 24, 2017

Published on June 7, 2017 by Hal

The Southborough Open Land Foundation, in collaboration with Southborough Artist Catherine Weber, invites you to enjoy  Art on the Trails: Finding Solace in the Woods, on exhibit through September 24, 2017, at the  Elaine and Philip Beals Preserve, Southborough, Massachusetts.
An exhibition of sculptural installations,  juried by Southborough resident Mary M. Tinti, former Curator of the Fitchburg Art Museum, is on view until September 24th.  Artists exhibiting are Freedom Baird (Cambridge), Lisa Barthelson (Rutland), Gregory Barry (Ashburnham), Chelsea Bradway (Southborough), Crystal Blanchflower (Ashburnham), Bill Cohn (Lexington), Max Francis (Southborough), Miley Francis (Southborough), Hadley Horner (Southborough), Linda Hoffman (Harvard), Lydia J Musco (Royalston), Aneleise Ruggles (West Newton), and Catherine Weber (Southborough).
The theme, Finding Solace in the Woods, is in response to our constantly-connected culture and ever-challenging political climate, there are few places to find quiet moments of respite and meditation away from the stress of daily life.
In addition to the juried exhibition,  SOLF welcomes and encourages creative community members of all ages and talents to contribute installations of all kinds, as space allows. Deadline for public submissions is rolling, from June 8 through the summer.
Additionally, poets are encouraged to submit poetry written in response to the work. Deadline for submissions is July 7. Poetry will be juried by Tishman Review poetry editor, poet, and Westborough resident Maura Snell and Hopkinton poet Cynthia Franca. All accepted poetry will be included in a chapbook along with the art installations which inspired them. Submission guidelines and more information about Art on the Trails: Finding Solace in the Woods can be found at
Learn more about this exciting event at or by contacting Catherine Weber at or 508-523-3605.

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.