Author Archives: Eileen Samberg

Volunteer Work Days for June have been posted

Let’s enjoy working outdoors, soaking up the sunshine, and making a positive impact on our environment. Bring your energy, gloves, and tick spray, and meet your fellow nature enthusiasts. Don’t forget, we start at 9:30 AM – see you there!

Saturday, June 1: Lynbrook Hollow
Saturday, June 8: Beals Preserve
Saturday, June 22: Templeman Woods
Saturday, June 29: Kallander Woods Valley Road – Sign up here

Sign up on the volunteer interest list here.

Please also fill out our survey – we are eager to learn about your volunteer preferences.

Please contact info@solf.org for more information.

Work Days at Eastbrook Farmlands and Bigelow Wildlife Refuge

On May 24 and May 25, board members and volunteers had work days at Eastbrook Farmlands, improving the street appearance, and Bigelow Wildlife Refuge, weeding and improving the appearance of the property.

Eastbrook Farmlands

Bigelow Wildlife Refuge – We were happy to see Eagle Scout Robby Stewart home for the weekend from Wentworth Institute and his dad Jim, as well as volunteer coordinator Kathryn Korostoff and SOLF Trustee Debbie Costine. Robby did a fine job doing all wetlands permitting requirements as well as reassuring any concerns of abutters. Now a beautiful trail goes down to his observation platform and there is now a native plant garden at the entrance!

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:
2024 – Kevin Sanford
2023 – Allan Bezanzon
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

Kevin Sanford Receives 2024 Elaine Beals Award

At SOLF’s May 2028 Annual Meeting, Trustee Debbie Costine presented the 2024 Elaine Beals Conservation Award to Kevin Sanford, a Southborough resident and friend of Whit’s who has transformed Beals Preserve this year – mowing the fields, clearing walls, thinning the woods by the pond, and so much more. Debbie presented the bluebird carved by Ben Keyes, with a plaque reading SOLF 2024 Elaine Beals Conservation Award. Debbie also recognized Mike Sanford, Kevin’s brother, for his work on the pump house and other work at Beals.

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.

Click here to view a 2018 video by Southborough Access Media, Sights in Southborough: Beals Preserve. Thank you Southborough Access Media.

Scout Troop 92 Installs Bluebird Boxes at Beals Preserve

Local Scout Troop 92 has taken on a community service project in collaboration with the Southborough Open Land Foundation. (SOLF) Using a design created specifically for bluebirds, the scouts, under the leadership of Kevin Tyson and George Harris, carefully constructed four nest boxes and installed them at Beals Preserve. These boxes will help support the declining populations of bluebirds. SOLF THANKS THE SCOUTS OF TROOP 92!

Recap of SOLF Annual Meeting on May 8, 2024

The Southborough Open Land Foundation’s held its Annual Meeting on Wednesday, May 8, 2024 at the Community House at 28 Main Street in Southborough. The evening started at 6 pm with light refreshments, followed by Trustee remarks by President Destin Heilman, a presentation on raptor rescue at 7 pm, the presentation of the 2024 Elaine Beals Conservation Award, and a short business meeting.

Destin Heilman talked about Whit Beal’s legacy and the work being done by Kevin and Mike Sanford at Beals Preserve. He also gave an overview of SOLF’s other activities this year, including work at other properties and programming.

Jess Zorge, the founder of Raptor Tales Rescue of Shrewsbury, gave a presentation on her work with raptor rehabilitation. Jess holds both state and federal wildlife rehabilitation and educational permits. Raptor Tales Rescue admits injured and orphaned wildlife from members of the public, as well as State and Federal agencies. RTR has treated over 300 birds of prey since the start of the rescue in 2020. As part of her presentation, she brought Blue, a non-releasable barred owl.

Trustee Debbie Costine presented the 2024 Elaine Beals Conservation Award to Kevin Sanford, a Southborough resident and friend of Whit’s who has transformed Beals Preserve this year – mowing the fields, clearing walls, thinning the woods by the pond, and so much more. Debbie presented the bluebird carved by Ben Keyes, with a plaque reading SOLF 2024 Elaine Beals Conservation Award. Debbie also recognized Mike Sanford, Kevin’s brother, for his work on the pump house and other work at Beals.

Birding walk on April 27 – Beals Preserve

On Saturday, April 27, SOLF hosted a birding walk at Beals Preserve. Eleven people attended the Earth Day Birding Walk at Beals Preserve. Unfortunately the presenter was unable to make it at the last minute, so trustees Sally Watters and Debbie Costine led a walk featuring some property history (like “fox hunts”) as well as some botany and using “Merlin” to identify all the audible birds in the vicinity.

Beals Preserve Maintenance & Restoration

SOLF is undergoing some significant property restoration at the Beals Preserve. This includes the creation of a comprehensive management plan by “Conservation Works” that will include ecological resiliency. Our visitors have already noticed the beginning that has also created some pretty muddy areas in the process! We appreciate your patience!

Recently, Pete Westover from Conservation Works toured the property with Trustees Sally Watters, Debbie Costine, and Eileen Samberg. Also present were Freddie Gillespie Chair of the town’s Open Space Preservation Commission and SOLF Supporter and volunteer Kevin Sanford.

Left to right: Pete, Sally, Eileen, Freddie and Kevin.
Photo by Debbie Costine

Work at Bigelow Wildlife Refuge

This past Saturday, March 9, 2024, SOLF volunteers Kathryn Korostoff and Laurie Guertin joined trustees Lawrence Spezzano and Debbie Costine with some maintenance work at the Bigelow Preserve at the end of Bigelow Road. A large part of the work involved removing quite an excess of bittersweet vines and fallen branches.

On Saturday, March 16, SOLF Volunteers Kathryn Korostoff and Hannah Hayes joined trustee Debbie Costine to continue invasive vine removal at the property.

Upper left: Laurie and Lawrence return from assessing the necessary work. The viewing platform built by Eagle Scout Robby Stewart is in the background. Upper right: Lawrence pulling vines from a tree. Laurie working in the background. Lower left: Long time volunteer, Kathryn Korostoff cuts and tugs. Lower right: Trustee, Debbie Costine wallowed in the leaves and broken branches toward her goal of revealing beautiful moss on old logs.