Southboro Open Land Foundation

people looking over meadow at sunset

Review of SOLF 2022 Annual Meeting

Published on May 28, 2022 by Eileen Samberg

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.