Category Archives: Past Events

The Maple Syrup Making Presentation Now Online

Have maple trees? Want to learn how to tap trees and make maple syrup?

On October 25, 2023, Tony Willoughby, an experienced maple syrup maker, gave a presentation on how you can make your own. You can now view the presentation!

The talk was courtesy of the Southborough Open Land Foundation in partnership with the Southborough Library. But it will be held in Cordaville Hall (aka the Senior Center).

Obviously, to actually take advantage of the tips, you have to have a maple tree on your property (or permission from someone who does). But even those who don’t are welcome to learn more about what goes into making syrup.

Tony Willoughby’s talk covered how to identify different maple trees, when and how to tap, boiling techniques, and filtering & bottling.

SOLF 2023 Annual Appeal is underway

Our 2023 Annual Appeal is underway.

Forests, wetlands, lakes, and open fields are all understood to be important habitat for wildlife. But there’s more! Shrublands, those “overgrown fields,” and small shallow ponds also provide food and shelter for many species. The Southborough Open Land Foundation is working to create and maintain such diverse habitats of native species. This is an important component for a healthy environment.

  • SOLF and the Open Space Preservation Commission honored SOLF Trustee Whitney Beals, a much loved and sorely missed advocate for healthy habitats, with the dedication of The Whit Beals Garden: Biodiversity through Pollination at Beals Preserve.
  • We have launched “SOLF presents: Nature in Southborough,” a monthly column for MySouthborough and our website.
  • Cassie Melo completed her Eagle Scout Project of building and installing two cedar benches at Beals Preserve.
  • Middlesex Savings Bank funded two granite benches, also placed in Beals Preserve.
  • SOLF is prioritizing more trails and maintenance at our properties.
  • Programs such as our recent talk on how maple syrup is made will continue.
  • SOLF will keep building a team of volunteers for trail work.

Your support is essential to helping us keep up this positive momentum. Please consider a tax-deductible contribution to support our efforts that help keep Southborough such an attractive and unique community.

Please go to our support page to make a donation by mail or via Paypal. Thank you!

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.

Maple Syrup Making – Rescheduled to October 25

Have maple trees? An experienced maple syrup maker will explain how you can make your own.

The talk is courtesy of the Southborough Open Land Foundation in partnership with the Southborough Library. But it will be held in Cordaville Hall (aka the Senior Center).

The presentation is scheduled for Wednesday, October 25 from 7:00 – 8:30 pm. No registration required.

Obviously, to actually take advantage of the tips, you’d have to have a maple tree on your property (or permission from someone who does). But even those who don’t are welcome to come learn more about what goes into making syrup.

Tony Willoughby’s talk will cover:

  • How to identify different maple trees
  • When and how to tap
  • Boiling techniques
  • Filtering & bottling

Willoughby has 15 years experience as an amateur maple syrup maker.

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.

Art on the Trails 2023 – Through September 17

Press release from Southborough Artist Catherine Weber:

The Southborough Open Land Foundation invites the general public to visit Beals Preserve for the 7th annual Art on the Trails.. This year’s theme is Transformation. The exhibition will take place again this year at the Elaine and Philip Beals Preserve in Southborough, Massachusetts.

A juried exhibition of sculptural installations will be on view beginning June 10, and closing on September 17. The exhibition is juried by Sculptor Sarah Alexander, Creative Director, Hopkinton Center for the Arts.

Sixteen projects will be exhibited from 21 artists. Artists participating are: Lisa Barthelson (Rutland, MA), Ted Castro (Acton, MA) , Marie Despres (Grafton, MA), Holly Ewald (Providence, Rhode Island), Maxwell Fertik (Providence, Rhode Island), Gints Grinbergs (Dedham, MA), Matthew Haberstron (Medford, MA), Meagan Hepp (Brighton, MA), Linda Hoffman (Harvard, MA), Alexandra Ionesco (Providence, Rhode Island), Denise Johnson and the students of Margaret Neary Elementary School (Southborough, MA), Jon Laustsen (Providence, Rhode Island), August Lehrecke (Providence, Rhode Island), Hope Lesson (Providence, Rhode Island), Madeleine Lord (Dudley, MA), Gena Mavuli (Boston, MA), Margot McMahon (Oak Park, Illinois), Matthew P. Muller (Providence, Rhode Island), Hildreth Potts (Garrison, NY), Bridie Wolejko (Lunenburg, MA), and Melanie Zibit (Shirley, MA).

Art Juror Sarah Alexander said of the selection process, “It is always a challenge to select from many excellent submissions. I am confident that the work, while diverse in material and subject, will present a cohesive show along the trails of the Preserve. I look forward to seeing it installed!”

A representative of Southborough Open Land Foundation (SOLF) said, “The Southborough Open Land Foundation is pleased that the Elaine and Philip Beals Preserve serves as the beautiful backdrop for the 7th Annual Art on the Trails. It is fascinating to see the intersection of art and nature as various aspects of the preserve serve as inspiration for the artists’ creations.”

In addition to the installations, the program will include poetry written in response to the work and will be juried by poet Maura Snell. A prize winning poem will be selected from submissions by Scituate poet Joanne DeSimone Reynolds .

Learn more about this event at

Our Partners

We are honored to have the generous support from the following organizations:

Southborough Open Land Foundation

The Southborough Open Land Foundation (SOLF) is a private land trust founded in 1988. The all-volunteer organization with over 300 local members and a Board of Trustees, preserves and protects open space in Southborough, Massachusetts. SOLF manages 191 acres of open space as well as sponsoring a variety of nature-based recreational and educational activities in cooperation with the Southborough Gardeners, Arts Center at Southborough, Southborough Extended Day, Boy and Girl Scouts, Southborough Recreation, and other organizations including walks, plant lectures, trail maintenance, field trips for school children, snowshoe clinics, art shows, and Earth Day clean-ups. SOLF also collaborates with the Town of Southborough, other land trusts, and state and federal agencies to conserve open space and promote biodiversity.

Southborough Community Fund

The Southborough Community Fund (SCF) promotes a spirit of philanthropic giving to fund the critical needs and the wonderful wants of Southborough citizens. Established in 2014 by local residents as a fund of the Foundation for MetroWest, the SCF is a source of financial support, as well as a convening mechanism to foster innovation and collaboration across the townspeople and the organizations designed to benefit them. By providing opportunities in the areas of Family Support, Arts, Culture, and Environment, the Fund enables residents to make an immediate impact in their community. Visit their website at

Additional funding comes from Ginny Martins & Associates and Fay School.

February 3: Theme and art Juror announced
February 15: Call for art opens
April 15, midnight: Call for art closes (no exceptions)
April 30: Art selections announced
June 10: Artists install work – Public Invited to attend
June 12: Submissions for poetry open
July 31, midnight: Deadline for poetry submissions
August 25: Poets notified
September 17 (3–5 pm): Closing Poetry Reading and Reception. Poets read work along the trail in response to art installations.

Rotary Club Day at Pollinator Garden on May 20

On Saturday, May 20, 2023, 12,000 Rotarians from 450 clubs across five states will be doing a wide variety of local service projects in their communities. The Southborough Rotary Club will be working with Freddie Gillespie, Open Space Preservation Commission Chair and Pollinator Preservation Garden expert, at the Pollinator Preservation Garden at Beals Preserve from 9:00 – 11:00 am.

SOLF Annual Meeting on Wednesday, May 10

Please join us for the Southborough Open Land Foundation’s Annual Meeting on Wednesday, May 10 at the Community House at 28 Main Street in Southborough. The evening starts at 6 pm with light refreshments, followed at 7 pm with Trustee introductions and remarks, the presentation of the 2023 Elaine Beals Conservation Award to Al Bezanson, and a program by Trustee Debbie Costine entitled, “A Virtual Walk in the Woods.”

Artist and “curious naturalist,” Trustee Deborah Costine is the past Vice-President of Southborough Open Land Foundation, a long-time member of Sudbury Valley Trustees SVT, and a National award-winning puppeteer. Slow, solitary walks in the woods pausing often to look carefully and taking pictures is what grounds her. In this presentation, previously hosted by SVT in 2021, Debbie will take her audience along with her, settling into the rhythm of the forest and looking at some of her favorite photos.

Earth Day Clean-up April 22, 2023

SOLF trustees and volunteers participated in this year’s Earth Day clean-up, starting at the trailhead to Templeman Woods on Route 85, and heading south past Richards Road, stopping at our other property at Lambert Corners.

Program on Eastern Coyote/Coywolf on April 27

On April 27 at 7 pm at the Southborough Library, SOLF, in conjunction with Earth Day, offered a program by Dr. Jon Way on The Eastern Coyote/Coywolf – How Coyotes behave and live so successfully near people.

Topics included:

  • The typical home range and territory size of the Eastern Coyote.
  • Its movement and activity patterns.
  • Its sociality, denning behavior, and hybridization.
  • Many photos and some video clips.

The presentation ran about one hour and a half, including questions and book sales. Our thanks to the Southborough Library for hosting the event.

Jonathan (Jon) Way has a B.S. (UMass Amherst), M.S. (UConn Storrs), and doctorate (Boston College) related to the study of eastern coyotes/coywolves.

Trustee Sally Watters, Jon Way, Trustee Debbie Costine