Category Archives: Beals Preserve Blog

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.

Remembering Whitney Beals

We are sad to share that accomplished conservationist Whit Beals passed away peacefully at home, surrounded by his family, on September 14. His long career included work with the Connecticut DEP, the Roaring Brook Nature Center, the Nature Conservancy in Maryland and Boston, the Town of Wayland, Sudbury Valley Trustees, and the New England Forestry Foundation, from which he retired in 2019. He served as an MLTC Board member from 2011-2021, and was a current member of MLTC’s Conservation Advisory Council. He also served as President of the Southborough Open Land Foundation and was a member of the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority’s Water Supply Citizens Advisory Committee for over 30 years. He was also the architect behind preservation of his family’s land – Chestnut Hill Farm in Southborough. In addition, Whit recently finalized a donation of 550 acres of beautifully managed forestland in Ashburnham to New England Forestry Foundation’s Pooled Timber Income Fund. The donation ensures the property will continue to be managed for forest products as it has been since 1920 and Whit’s two sons, as the designated beneficiaries, will receive a lifetime income stream from the Fund. Whit’s wisdom, positivity and support will be sorely missed. Arrangements are pending. (Taken from Mass Land Trust Coalition Newsletter.)

Whit’s Obituary from Short & Rowe Funeral Home ©2023

You can read a copy of Whit’s obituary here on our website

or follow this link to Short & Rowe Funeral Home.

Beals Preserve Chronolog Project

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

The Chronolog project is co-sponsored by SOLF and SWCA Environmental Consultants.

Dedication of The Whit Beals Garden at Beals Preserve

On September 23, 2023, Freddie Gillespie, Chair of the Southborough Open Space Preservation Commission, and Sally Watters, Southborough Open Land Foundation Trustee, honored Whitney Beals’ dedication and life passion for open space by renaming the pollination garden at Beals Preserve to The Whit Beals Garden – Biodiversity Through Pollination. Whit devoted much effort in recent years to help make this garden become a reality.

Garden Talk and Plant Sale and Honoring Whitney Beals – September 23

On September 23, from 10 am – 12 noon, there will be a Garden Talk and Plant Sale at the Native Pollination Preservation Garden at Beals Preserve. Parking is available at the small SOLF parking area off Main Street and across the street at the intersection of Northborough Road and Main Street. Additional parking is available at the Trustees of the Reservations hiking trails lot (not the farm store lot) on Chestnut Hill Road.

The Whit Beals Garden – Biodiversity Through Pollination. Please join us at 11:00 am as we honor Whitney Beals’ dedication and life passion for open space. Freddie Gillespie Chair of the Southborough Open Space Preservation Commission and Sally Watters, Southborough Open Land Foundation Trustee, will announce the new name of the garden to honor Whit who devoted much effort in recent years to help make this garden become a reality.

Read about the history of the garden here. The garden is an OSPC project in partnership with SOLF.

Beals Preserve Preservation Garden Tour on June 24

On June 24, Freddie Gillespie, Chair of Southborough’s Open Space Preservation Commission (OSPC), gave a tour and talk about the Beals Preserve Pollination Preservation Garden. The tour and talk covered the challenges and benefits of pollination preservation activities in old meadows. The morning’s drizzle did not keep a nice crowd from coming to hear Freddie and to buy plants.

Local vendors sold plants exclusively from Dr. Gegear’s list for at-risk pollinators.

The garden is a partnership project of the OSPC and the Southborough Open Land
Foundation and was established in 2022.

Granite Benches Installed at Beals Preserve

Beals Preserve now has 2 granite benches, in addition to the wood benches built by Cassie Melo for her Eagle Scout project. SOLF trustees Brett Peters arranged for delivery to the property and then prepared the ground and set the legs. Trustees Whit Beals with his trusty tractor, Brett Peters, and Larry Samberg worked to get the benches in place on the legs. One bench is under the tree by the kiosk and the other is by the Pollinator Garden on the Main Street Field side of the property. Well done!

New Benches for Our Visitors at Beals Preserve

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.

April 9, 2023 – Installation Day.

Beals Preserve Saturday Work Day April 15, 2023

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]

Cub Scout Pack 1 Service Projects at Beals Preserve and Templeman

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!