Category Archives: Past Events

Review of SOLF 2022 Annual Meeting

The Southborough Open Land Foundation had its Annual Meeting on May 18, 2022 at the Southborough Community House. The evening started with a wine and cheese reception followed by a welcome by Vice President Debbie Costine. Debbie gave an overview of SOLF and its relationship to the town, explaining that SOLF is a private non-profit tax-exempt organization, and that the land, including Beals Preserve, is the private property of SOLF, and that the land is open to the public.

President Whitney Beals then gave a review of the activities and accomplishments over the past year, pointing out that we are the stewards of our 15 properties, with Beals Preserve our hallmark parcel. Debbie Costine has been spearheading Saturday work crews at Beals Preserve, clearing along the main lane, controlling the invasive and highlighting native trees and shrubs. Kat McKee, chair of the Southborough Trails Committee, and scouts from Troop 92 worked on maintaining the joint trail systems at Templeman Woods, a SOLF property and Watkins Woods, a town property. At Bigelow Wildlife Refuge, Eagle Scout Robby Stewart, with oversight by trustee Lawrence Spezzano, built a path and a viewing platform, and Lawrence has been working on knotweed control using fine wire mesh.

We lost Linda Hubley, a dear friend, in 2021. The Southborough Scholarship Committee started the Linda Hubley Memorial Scholarship Fund for students with a strong interest in environmental studies. Linda worked on environmental causes, volunteered in schools, was an election worker, started the first online newspaper in Southborough. She was awarded the Elaine Beals Conservation Award in 2010. SOLF issued a challenge to match $1000. We received $1600 in donations for the scholarship fund, making a total of $2600. Skip Hubley and two representatives of the Scholarship Fund (Kathleen Kuklewicz and Alexandra Mills) accepted the donation from VP Debbie Costine.

Skip Hubley accepting check for Linda Hubley Memorial Scholarship

Whit Beals then presented the Elaine Beals Conservation Award 2022 to Jim Gorss. Jim lived close to Breakneck Hill, a town property. He was responsible for much of the look and accessibility of the property that we enjoy today. He was on and chaired the Stewardship committee. He also installed fencing at the Beecology Garden. Congratulations to Jim for this well-earned award.

Whit Beals and Jim Gorss

Debbie Costine Introduced Peter Alden, our speaker for the evening. Peter gave a highly informative and entertaining presentation on perspectives on changing wildlife populations in New England since the time of Henry David Thoreau; new arrivals like the cardinal and moose and those no longer seen like the ruffed grouse.

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.

At our Annual Meeting on May 18, SOLF VP Debbie Costine presented Skip Hubley, Linda’s husband, with a $1000 check for the Linda Hubley Memorial Scholarship. Looking on were two members of the Southborough Scholarship Committee, Kathleen Kuklewicz and Alexandra Mills.

You can read about the scholarship and Linda at https://www.mysouthborough.com/2022/03/04/town-announces-linda-hubley-memorial-scholarship/.

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.

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.

Art on the Trails 2022: June 13 to September 11

The Southborough Open Land Foundation, in collaboration with Southborough Artist Catherine Weber, is pleased to present the 2022 Art On the Trails, with the theme: EXPOSURE. The exhibition will be installed from June 13 to September 11, 2022 at Beals Preserve. With the generous support again this year from Southborough Community Fund and the Southborough Cultural Arts Council, all accepted artists will again receive $100 stipends. Link to a map of the installations.

Art on the Trails 2021: Mending

The Southborough Open Land Foundation, in collaboration with Southborough Artist Catherine Weber, is pleased to present Art On the Trails 2021: Mending from June 13 to September 26, 2021 at the Elaine and Philip Beals Preserve, Southborough, Massachusetts. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, however, there will be no opening reception this year. Instead, there will be live streaming of the installation process on June 12 & June 13. For more information on scheduled events, click here 2021 Art on the Trails: Mending.

Proposed Southborough Town Lighting By-Law

SOLF supports the new Lighting By-Law to be voted on at SOUTHBOROUGH TOWN MEETING. There are two changes to the existing by By Law:

1.  To adjust the color “temperature” of any new LED lighting in town to limit light pollution and protect human health and the environment.

2.  To modernize the way that lighting plans can be put together to offer more flexibility and customization.

You can read a list of Frequently Asked Questions About the Proposed By Law Here

In Search of Mongolian Wolverines: Rebecca Watters, January 9, 2020

The Southborough Open Land Foundation (SOLF) invites you to a presentation by Rebecca Watters about a 350 mile cross country ski trek through the Altai Mountains of Mongolia in search of evidence of wolverines and other wildlife. Rebecca will also talk about wolverine/wildlife research in the United States. Rebecca is a graduate of Algonquin Regional High School, St. Lawrence University, and Yale University. She is Executive Director of the Wolverine Foundation and works with Round River Conservation Studies directing a student study abroad program in Mongolia where she works closely with the National Parks administration.

7:00 PM, Thursday, January 9, 2020
Southborough Library, 25 Main Street, Southborough, MA

The program is free and open to all. No registration is required.

Expedition Members

Expedition Members with Rangers

2019 Annual Meeting, May 4, 2019

SOLF held its annual meeting Saturday May 4,  at the historic 1812 Deacon Webster Johnston House, 49 Lynbrook Road, Southborough, MA, home of the L’Abri Fellowship, donors to SOLF of a 5.5 acre parcel of land across from their historic home. The meeting began with a welcome by Ben Keyes of L’Abri Fellowship followed by walk  to the little brook on our newly acquired land and an unveiling of the sign identifying the new land. The meeting continued with the presentation of SOLF’s Annual Elaine Beals Conservation Award to Beth Rosenblum, recently retired Conservation Agent for the Town of Southborough. SOLF President Whit Beals presented Beth with a carving of a Barn Swallow done by Southborough artist Ben Keyes.

SOLF President Whit Beals presenting the Ealine Beals award to Beth Rosenblum.

SOLF President Whit Beals presenting the Ealine Beals award to Beth Rosenblum.

The meeting continued with a tour of the historic house, a summary of SOLF’s 30 years of land protection and a wine and cheese social hour.