Announcing our new citizen science tool, Chronolog, a photo stand for our visitors to take pictures from the Upper Meadow (near the Lone Wolf trail) looking north towards Main Street (Route 30). The stand is right by our new beautiful bench built and installed by Cassie Melo for her Eagle Scout project. You, the visitor, take a picture and email it to the Chronolog site, helping to produce a time lapse set of photos all taken from the same spot over time and seasons. Let the fun begin! You will receive a confirmation with a Chronolog link for the Beals Preserve time lapse photos. Learn more at https://solf.org/beals-preserve-chronolog-project/.
The Chronolog project is co-sponsored by SOLF and SWCA Environmental Consultants.
Thanks to Cassie Melo and her Eagle Scout project, visitors to The Elaine and Philip Beals Preserve can now take advantage of two beautiful oak benches on which they can relax and enjoy the scenery. Cassie, a member of Troop #823, along with some help from her father, John Melo, built and then on April 9 transported the two benches to the Beals Preserve Main Street parking lot. Trustee Whit Beals and his gator transported the benches to the placement sites. One of the benches is across from the Lone Wolf Trail entrance in the Upper Meadow. The second is along the Riding Ring Trail, on the right, under some pine trees. Congratulations to Cassie on a job well done!
The first set of pictures was a walk with Cassie to determine placement in the Upper Meadow.
Saturday morning trail work by SOLF Trustees and volunteers has begun again! There’s always work to do from sprucing up our entrances to clearing and keeping invasives at bay and trails clear, for our first day, April 15, it was volunteer Kathryn Korostoff and Trustee Debbie Costine, doing what they enjoy: cutting, clearing and chatting. [Pictures by Trustee Debbie Costine]
On Sunday, November 20, Cub Scout Pack 1 learned about and practiced trail maintenance at two of our properties, Beals Preserve and Templeman Woods.
The older Cub Scouts and their parents worked with Board members Brett Peters and Larry Samberg at Templeman Woods-Watkins Woods off Rt. 85 by the Mass Pike overpass. With some hard work, they improved trail conditions through addition of new trail markers, clearing limbs and other trail blockages, enhancing trail sight lines, and cleaning up trash and litter from the area. Big thanks to the Scouts and parents who stepped up to help out!
The younger Cub Scouts and their parents worked with Board members Whit Beals, Debbie Costine, Lawrence Spezzano, and Eileen Samberg at Beals Preserve, starting at the Red Gate entrance. The Scouts learned about the importance of water bars to channel water off the trail, and helped clear them. Then the group walked down the trail to the Riding Ring junction, where they learned about invasives, pulled bittersweet and small buckthorn and burning bush saplings, watched and helped Whit Beals use a “puller bear” to pull larger buckthorn and burning bush saplings out by their roots. Big thanks to the Scouts and parents!
Whitney Beals, president of the Southborough Open Land Foundation (SOLF), led a group of about sixteen on a history walk at the Elaine and Philip Beals Preserve on Sunday, October 16 , 2022.
In the 1950s, Whit’s family purchased land on both Chestnut Hill north of route 30 and what is now the Beals Preserve south of route 30. You can read his entertaining and educational talk, describing the land purchase, the conservation restrictions to save the land from development, the history of the ice pond, and plans to maintain the trails, the forest, and the meadows.
We are happy to announce that there is now a small parking area at the Beals Preserve Main Street Field on Route 30. The entrance to the parking area is on the south side of Main Street, between two stone pillars, east of Northborough Road and west of Chestnut Hill Road. Pull into the fenced area (it is currently grass, but will likely be layered with wood chips), and park perpendicular to the road at the stone wall, to the right of the sign post. Walk down the field through the opening in the fence to the lane and then across the bridge over the Wachusett channel.
SOLF trustees and volunteers worked for a few hours Saturday morning September 11 to spruce up the primary entrance of the Beals Preserve: around the kiosk and bridge on the old farm lane that goes down from Main Street. We did this to properly welcome and accommodate the visitors attending the closing and poetry reading of the annual Art on the Trails on September 12.
A visitor to Beals Preserve noted a tree was down across the Hickory Trail. On Saturday, August 13, Whit Beals, Larry Samberg, Eileen Samberg, and Kathryn Korostoff worked together to clear the trail, using chain saws and lopper. The group also cleared some low hanging branches at other spots on the trail.
Freddie Gillespie, chair of the Southborough Open Space Preservation Commission, has been recruiting volunteers to install a Pollination Preservation Garden at SOLF’s Beals Preserve. Preliminary work was done last summer and fall. After poison ivy control work and garden prep in June, volunteers did a major planting on July 16–17.
Volunteers did another major planting on Saturday, July 23, in spite of the heat wave. Volunteers, including SOLF Board Members Sally Watters, Debbie Costine, Larry Samberg, Eileen Samberg, and SOLF volunteers Brett Peters and Kathryn Korostoff, started early at 8 am and worked to almost 12 noon. Great job, everyone!
Volunteers worked again on Saturday, July 30, taking the project close to completion. And more work was done on Saturday, August 6.
The Pollination Preservation Garden is getting a lot of love from Freddie Gillespie and her volunteers. Here is how it looks on September 14, 2022.
Southborough Open Land Foundation PO Box 345 Southborough, MA 01772
A Special Thanks
SOLF extends a special thank you to Jack Downs of Elder, Gaffey & Paine, PC, Marlborough, MA, for his pro bono tax preparation services.