Author Archives: Eileen Samberg

SOLF Completes Linda Hubley Scholarship Fund Challenge

The Southborough Scholarship Committee created a new scholarship to honor the memory of Linda Hubley, a woman who championed both state and local environmental causes. During her career, Linda worked for the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Management, Division at both Hopkinton State Park and Walden Pond State Reservation in Concord. Later she worked with the USDA in Worcester on the Asian Longhorned Beetle Eradication, Plant Protection and Quarantine program and retired in November of 2019 as a supervisor. Locally she helped form SWAMP, a group that studied the Sudbury River and which would be absorbed by the SUASCO Watershed Council. She was also involved locally as a volunteer in the schools and served as an election worker. Somehow Linda found time to start the first on-line newspaper for Southborough. The state legislature honored her extraordinary contributions with an Unsung Hero award. SOLF chose her as the recipient of the Elaine Beals Conservation Award in 2010.

Recognizing how appropriate it is to honor Linda’s memory with a scholarship that will help keep her legacy alive by helping a student who pursues environmental education, the SOLF Board issued a challenge to match up to $1000 in donations to the fund. We are thrilled to say that our challenge was met and exceeded. We raised $1600 in donations. That means that with SOLF’s $1000 portion of the challenge we are able to present the Southborough Scholarship Committee with $2600 toward the Linda Hubley Scholarship Fund.

You can read about the scholarship and Linda at

SOLF Annual Meeting on Wednesday, May 18

Mark your calendars for the Southborough Open Land Foundation’s Annual Meeting on Wednesday, May 18 at the Community House in Southborough, with a reception and light refreshments at 6 pm, followed by a presentation at 7 pm by Peter Alden — Concord native, ornithologist, naturalist, author — on changes over time to Concord’s bird and mammal inhabitants. Read more about Peter here. Meet the SOLF Trustees and help congratulate Jim Gorss, the winner of the Elaine Beals Conservation Award. See the flyer here.

Recipients of the Elaine Beals Conservation Award

Elaine Beals was among the founding members of the Southborough Open Land Foundation. She served on the Board of Trustees of SOLF, including holding the position of treasurer for many years. She was dedicated to the preservation of the environment and open space, reinforcing her conservation ethic as a member of the Town of Southborough’s Open Space Preservation Commission. In the 1950s and 60s, Elaine and her husband Philip purchased 190 acres of land abutting their farm to protect it from development. All of that land is now under permanent conservation restrictions. Fifty-six acres of it was gifted to SOLF in 2009, property that is now known as the Elaine and Philip Beals Preserve.  In her honor, SOLF presents the Elaine Beals Conservation Award each year to a local resident who has shown outstanding leadership in environmental conservation. The first Elaine Beals Award was presented to Elaine on the occasion of her retirement from the Board of Trustees of SOLF.


The recipients of the award are:
2022 – Jim Gorss
2021 – Lisa Braccio
2020 – Kat McKee
2019 – Beth Rosenblum
2018 – Carl Guyer
2017 – Alan French
2016 – Christa Brady and the Friends of the Burnett-Garfield House
2015 – Rep. Carolyn Dykema
2014 – Elizabeth Meyer
2013 – Rhonda Russian
2012 – Meme Luttrell
2011 – Richard Upjohn
2010 – Linda Hubley
2009 – Carol Gay
2008 – David Morgan
2007 – Peter Kallander
2006 – Frederica Gillespie
2005 – Elaine Beals

Jim Gorss Receives 2022 Elaine Beals Award

Jim Gorss, a founding member and longtime Chair of the Stewardship Committee, is being honored for his contributions to our town by the Southborough Open Land Foundation (SOLF) with the 2022 Elaine Beals Conservation Award.

Before relocating to Harvard, Jim served on the Stewardship Committee while living and raising his family in Southborough. Throughout his tenure on Stewardship he demonstrated his love for the land and commitment to conservation values. For example, he created and maintained a popular trail system at Breakneck Hill, introducing many to the joys of being outside. He advised many Scouts on their Eagle Scout projects there as well and tended to the property with eagle eyes for both the welcome native plant species as well as new invasive species threats.

SOLF Trail Use Policy for Beals Preserve

Beals Preserve is privately owned and maintained by SOLF.
We welcome public use from dawn to dusk. Please respect our Trail Use Policy.

  • Trails are for walking, jogging, cross country skiing, and snowshoeing.
  • Dogs are permitted but must be on leash; dog waste must be picked up.
  • No motorized vehicles are permitted except for maintenance by SOLF.
  • No bicycles are permitted.

Click here to learn about Beals Preserve. Click here for a trail map of Beals Preserve.

Clean-up at Beals Preserve Is Ongoing

Board members and volunteers have been meeting at the Beals Preserve kiosk on Saturdays at 10 am to do invasive clean-up, remove overgrowth from valuable trees and shrubs, and reveal the stone wall along the lane. Please join us! Follow us on Facebook for the next dates or email us at Bring sturdy gloves, loppers, etc.

Debbie Costine, on Saturday, May 14, once again rounded up volunteers to work at Beals Preserve, continuing cleanup around the kiosk area and under the large juniper. Volunteers were Erin Flowers, Lawrence Spezzano, and Eileen Samberg. Debbie pointed out horsetail (equisetum) “spreading its wings”. About to move some brush, we discovered a bird’s nest with eggs, likely song sparrow, so we left the brush until the brood hatches and flies away.

Another successful cleanup day on Saturday, May 7. Whitney Beals, on his tractor, worked on the area by the kiosk and the old horse fence, removing a number of invasive honeysuckle shrubs and buckthorn saplings, and along with Eileen Samberg, freed the fence. Meanwhile Kathryn Korostoff and Debbie Costine pruned a silky dogwood, removing the overgrowth encroaching on the lane, and revealing more of the wall.

On April 30, Debbie Costine and Brett Peters cleared some of the wall, removing multiflora rose and bittersweet.

On April 16, Debbie Costine and Kathryn Korostoff (Native Plant Gardens of Southborough) were able to spend a couple of hours clearing invasives from one of the posts and gates near the kiosk.

Ongoing Saturday morning trail-work continues at Beals Preserve. On April 9, SOLF Trustees Debbie Costine and Eileen Samberg, and volunteer Brett Peters cleared out around an impressive High Bush Blueberry along the Old Farm Lane to feature its beautiful colors and structure. See the “before” (with Eileen and Brett) and after. Looking forward to seeing it bloom and berry. Next work day, April 16.

Bigelow Wildlife Refuge Update: Knotweed Control

Although best known for the rustic landscapes and hiking trails of our Beals Preserve, did you know SOLF also maintains about 20 properties and community spaces in town? SOLF trustee Lawrence Spezzano and volunteers having been working to remove invasives and beautify our newest property trail at our Bigelow Wildlife Refuge near the end of Bigelow Road in Southborough. If interested in helping, please contact SOLF at When you come to work, bring gloves, firm rake or pruners, if you have them!

Lawrence has been laying down a wire mesh to slow the growth of knotweed. As the stems continue to grow, they will expand in diameter. At a certain point, the stems will push against the steel mesh and girdle themselves. The surface growth (stems and leaves) of the plant wilts and will eventually die, but the rhizome will continue to push new stems up through the ground (and wire mesh). This will continually kill the stems and will lead to the depletion of rhizome carbohydrate stores, which are required by the stems for growth.

Earth Day Walk at Beals Preserve on April 22

As part of the town-wide Planet Palooza Earth Celebration, SOLF sponsored “A Walk Back in Time” on April 22 at 11am at Beals Preserve – a review of the history of the Beals Preserve use since 1900. Participants met at the Pollinator Preservation Garden in the Main Street Field at Beals Preserve for a brief overview of the new pollinator garden before heading out for the history & nature walk. Kathryn Korostoff and Freddie Gillespie gave the garden presentation, and Whitney Beals gave a engrossing talk about the agricultural use and acquisition of the fields that became Beals Preserve.

Donate to the Linda Hubley Fund via SOLF and SOLF Will Match

What?: The Trustees of SOLF are issuing a challenge. We will match donations to the newly established Linda Hubley Scholarship Fund up to a total of $1000. Make this donation as part of the town-wide Planet Palooza Earth Day Celebration.

Why?: Linda was one of Southborough’s champions of the environment. .SOLF recognized Linda’s lifelong devotion to environmental protection by awarding her the Elaine Beals Conservation Award in 2010. We want to continue honoring her legacy by supporting the newly established Linda Hubley Scholarship Fund. You can read about the scholarship and Linda at

How?: Send a check payable to the Linda Hubley Scholarship Fund and mail it to:
SOLF, PO Box 345, Southborough, MA 01772, or donate online on our Support SOLF Today page (details on that page). We will see that it gets to the town scholarship committee, but need to have it mailed to our address for the match.