WCLT 2019 Summer Newsletter

A Word from the President

I love spring and everything about it: Crocuses peeking through snow; rogue daffodils and tulips planted by squirrels; the chartreuse color of resurrected moss in our backyard lawn; and peeking-out tree leaves. I love the many rain showers, the sound of spring peepers (Pseudacris crucifer), and even the damp earthy smell of decaying vegetation.

In April’s Board of Directors meeting, Karen Yeowell (also member of WCLT’s Stewardship Committee) reported on her activities at the 2019 Massachusetts Land Conservation Conference at Worcester Technical High School. Karen mentioned that one of her favorite presentations was on native pollinators, a talk by Worcester Polytechnic Institute’s Research Assistant Professor, Robert Gegear. 

This inspired and reminded me to share with you that in past few years, I have found another reason to celebrate spring: the emergence of bees – not the honey bee (Apis mellifera, which was brought to North America in the 1600s with European colonization) – but other types of bees, like mason bees. Some mason bee species are native to Massachusetts, most are solitary, and as a group pollinate native plants and some commercial crops. Each female mason bee builds her own nest in a small cavity: perhaps a hollow stem, a crack between rocks, holes drilled in a block of wood, spaces between shingles. Once I noticed nests in the handle of a shovel. Each nest is a collection of cells, and each cell contains one egg and enough pollen/nectar for one larva to grow and pupate. After completion, the nest is sealed with mud, hence the name “mason” bee. 

Mason bees are fascinating to watch as they go about their business with single-mindedness. How each bee recognizes her own nest hole is especially fun to watch. You might look for mason bees in your own garden rock walls. Or if you’re so inclined, build your own mason bee houses to encourage our native pollinators to stick around. 

Gillian Beamer, WCLT President
WCLT Receives $93K MassTrails Grant

WCLT president Gillian Beamer has announced the good news that WCLT will receive a $93,000 MASSTRAILS GRANT from the state of Massachusetts for work to make the Gilmore Pond Trail a universal-access all-persons loop trail. Congratulations to the Stewardship Committee for their great work on the grant application!
The project will modify the existing ⅓-mile Gilmore Pond Trail to be accessible to all persons, including the mobility- and visually impaired. The work will include the grading of the trail with stabilized stone dust and boardwalks and the addition of a post and rope handrail. These renovations will allow underserved members of the community to access one of the most beautiful "charms" of Westborough's Charm Bracelet network of trails. The trail will also be stroller-friendly. This project is a first step in WCLT’s goal of making this trail ADA-compliant and universally accessible. 
The grant will cover materials and professional labor, but hundreds of volunteer hours will also be needed to complete the construction. The Stewardship Committee hopes to begin work this summer. 
WCLT’s project is one of 71 funded by $5 million in MassTrails Grants. The Baker-Polito administration announced the grants on June 26.
Click here for the Gilmore Pond trail map
Thanks to Randy Waterman and Bruce Tretter

At WCLT’s 2019 Annual Meeting, president Gillian Beamer gave public recognition and thanks to Randy Waterman and Bruce Tretter for their many years of productive work on behalf of WCLT.  

Randy Waterman served on the Land Preservation Committee for most of the time since he first joined WCLT in 1997, including about five years as chair. Through his contacts and meetings with landowners and business owners, he was instrumental in securing easements and several parcels of land for WCLT. He was also involved in planning the restoration of the Gilmore Pond area as a woodland park.  In 2008 Randy accepted WCLT’s Community Service Award on behalf of his company, Waterman Design Associates, for their role in developing the landscape plan for Gilmore Pond.

Bruce Tretter has played a key role in coordinating WCLT’s annual town-wide Earth Day Clean-up since at least 2007. “Picking up trash is cool! Just look at how the town looks after the clean-up,” Bruce said in 2012 upon receiving the WCLT President’s Award for his efforts. The Earth Day Clean-up not only creates a cleaner and greener Westborough but also provides an occasion for families, organizations, and local businesses to take part in community service. The event has grown from one that removed 40 bags of litter from Westborough’s streets in 2008 to one that removed 150 bags in 2013 and 410 bags in 2019 and now marshals the efforts of hundreds of volunteers of all ages. WCLT has sponsored the Earth Day Clean-up since 1998, right after the land trust’s founding in 1997.
WCLT President’s Award honors Rachel Radin

Congratulations to Rachel Radin, who was honored with WCLT’s 2019 President’s Award at this year’s Annual Meeting in mid-June.  The President’s Award recognizes a member for exemplary service to WCLT. Rachel has worked behind the scenes as WCLT’s web master for 14 years (since 2005) and is a valued long-time member of the Education Committee and the newsletter team. WCLT president Gillian Beamer presented the well-deserved award. 
Earth Day Clean-up and Picnic
Bigger & Better than Ever!
Left: Volunteers from Westborough Gurdwara Sahib, Right: EMSEAL volunteers
WCLT’s Earth Day Clean-up & Picnic was bigger and better than ever this year.  A record 320 volunteers filled 410 bags with litter, and then enjoyed a picnic lunch in fine spring weather at the Bay State Commons Green.
Regular participants and new participants alike contributed to making the day a success and Westborough a cleaner town.
“Our business partner EMSEAL has been a backbone of the effort over the years,” said Janet Anderson, WCLT Education Committee chair and a key organizer of the event. “The Westborough Gurdwara Sahib (the Sikh Temple) was one of several new groups participating this year. Word about this annual community event is definitely spreading!”
In addition, Janet said, “we thank all individual volunteers and those from Westborough Connects; Westborough Civic Club; Westborough Rotary Club; Fales and Mill Pond Schools; Cumberland Farms; Crossfit Prototype; E.L. Harvey; Explorer Post 85; and several Cub, Boy, and Girl Scout troops. Big thanks, as always, to the Westborough Department of Public Works.”
WCLT also thanks the local businesses that donated food and beverages for the picnic. They include Arturo’s Ristorante, Tavolino Italian Gourmet, Roche Bros., both Westborough Stop & Shops, as well as Mugford’s Flower Shoppe which gave flowers to volunteers. “We had enough food for everybody at the picnic lunch for volunteers,” Janet said, “and it was a great day of the community coming together!”
WCLT thanks clean-up co-organizers Janet Anderson, Bruce Tretter, and Kelley Petralia. Thanks too to Rachel Radin for implementing the online advance sign-up.
Post Your Nature Sightings!
You never know what wildlife you might see around Westborough!  In the past year, sightings in town included a bobcat sighted by Ann Stetson and wood frogs sighted by Janet Anderson.

Anyone can view the WCLT Facebook page, even without a Facebook account. (Note: you can click the "Not Now" link if Facebook asks you to log in or create a new account.)
Report your own local nature sightings under “Posts” in the “Visitor Posts” column on WCLT's Facebook page!

If you don't have a Facebook account, you also can e-mail your nature sightings & photographs for posting to sightings@westboroughlandtrust.org .

We welcome all nature, whether plants, insects, animals, fungi, or something else! Include your name, what you saw, and where. Photos are welcome but not required.

Bobcat photo courtesy of Ann Stetson. Wood frog photo courtesy of Janet Anderson
Gay wings (fringed polygala) courtesy of Garry Kessler
Wildflower Treasures at Gilmore Pond and Libbey/Wile
On WCLT's May 19 spring wildflower walk, education committee chair Janet Anderson led 18 people into the woods at Gilmore Pond and Libbey/Wile to discover some of the wildflower treasures of May.

Around Gilmore Pond the group saw:
Jack-in-the-pulpit  •  skunk cabbage  •  bluets   •  mayapple  •  marsh marigold 
nodding trillium   •  starflower   •  blueberry  •  wintercress   •  dandelions   •  chickweed
At Libbey/Wile & on the Charm Bracelet trail, the walkers enjoyed some of the same wildflowers as above, plus these:
gay wings (fringed polygala)  •  dwarf ginseng   •  marsh blue violets   •  wild lily-of-the-valley (Canada mayflower)   •  wind flower (wood anemone)   •  wild oats   •  partridgeberry   •  celandine   •  white violets (sweet white violet) 
Ferns were abundant everywhere:
cinnamon fern & interrupted fern   •  hay-scented fern  •  sensitive fern  •  Christmas fern 
To take your own walk at these lovely conservation areas, download these trail maps:
Gilmore Pond
Thanks to Janet and education committee members Kris Allen, Paula Kirk, and Annie Reid.
Atlantic puffin. Photo courtesy of Garry Kessler
Peek at the Puffins

Do you ever wonder what it would be like to visit a breeding colony of Atlantic puffins, those colorful and clown-like birds which were once hunted almost to extinction and now nest off the coast of Maine?
You can get an idea about that experience from a video of a talk given last February by longtime WCLT member and respected nature photographer Garry Kessler about his recent visits to Machias Seal Island, Maine, home to thousands of nesting puffins. See the puffins and other Maine wildlife https://youtu.be/lweTzrZtd4E.
Live Raptors Thrill Hundreds
Up close and personal with a small owl. Photo courtesy of Ron Smith
WCLT’s March live animal program, “Raptors, Masters of the Sky,” thrilled hundreds of people in late March. It was presented by the ever-popular Tom Ricardi of Mass Birds of Prey Rehab Facility. Two shows drew 375 children and adults, smashing our previous record of 290 attendees. People got to meet and handle hawks, falcons, owls, a vulture, and an eagle. It was a good time for everyone. If you missed this enjoyable event, you can still see it on a Westborough TV .

WCLT’s live animal program is supported in part by the Westborough Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency. The program is also supported in part by Westborough Newcomers Club and the Knights of Columbus http://www.kofc85.org/.

Tom Ricardi, of Mass Birds of Prey Rehab Facility, amazes the crowds with a great horned owl. 
Photo courtesy of Ron Smith
Nicholas Smaldone, Mary McCormack
Read the winning Earth Day essays 

The recipients of WCLT’s two 2019 scholarships were Westborough High School (WHS) graduating seniors Nicholas Smaldone and Mary McCormack. The scholarships were awarded on the basis of essays written for WCLT’s Earth Day Essay Contest. Read the press release and the winning essays. WCLT was also pleased to recognize two other WHS seniors, Bethany Woodcock and Lydia O'Connell, with honorable mentions. 
WCLT Values Our Business Partners

We thank our business partners for helping WCLT to preserve and protect more land and to offer trails and educational programs: EMSEAL Corporation, Pearson Advisory Investor Relations, Thomas Financial Associates, Arturo's Ristorante, and Julio's Liquors. How can your organization join WCLT as a business partner?  Find out by contacting bizpartners@westboroughlandtrust.org.
Try a Trail Close to Home!

Have you seen the new edition of WCLT’sTry a Trail e-newsletter? It features the trail from Mill Pond School to Osprey Point (in the Headwaters Conservation Area)?  Check it out here:
Try a Trail – Mill Pond School to Osprey Point

And if you’re searching for more local trails to walk this season, look at the suggestions and maps in our past Try a Trail e-newsletters:
Try a Trail: John Malley Trail
Try a Trail: Osprey Point
Try a Trail: Gilmore Pond
Try a Trail: Sandra Pond

Write About Your Favorite Trail
If you have your own favorite trail in town, write about it for Try a Trail!  E-mail us (300 words or less). We can add some trail information and share it with others.  Photos welcome!
Watch Videos of WCLT Events and More!
Looking for something to watch when you’re inside this winter? Did you know that Westborough TV (WTV) has more than 40 videos of past WCLT walks, talks, and other events? Get in touch vicariously with Westborough’s great outdoor environment! Explore the offerings available for instant viewing online on Westborough TV’s WCLT page
Programs for 2019 - 2020
Below is a brief list of upcoming WCLT events and important dates.  For information, updates, or cancellations, check the WCLT website calendar or email events@westboroughlandtrust.org.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019
7:00 pm

Concert at the Willows to Benefit WCLT
Free outdoor concert by the Wolverine Jazz Band. Donations collected will benefit WCLT. 1 Lyman Street. Westborough. (Note: Volunteer collectors should arrive at 6:15; contact events@westboroughlandtrust.org to volunteer.)
Sunday, September 29, 2019
1:30-3:30 pm

Hocomonco Pond: Past, Present, and Future
Discover little-known Hocomonco Pond, a “great pond” which was formed by melting glacier ice 11,000 years ago, was used by Native Americans, and was named for a Wamesit Indian evil spirit. Find out about a period of industrial use, when telephone poles were treated with creosote at this site, contaminating the soil, the groundwater, and the bottom of Hocomonco Pond. We’ll tour the Hocomonco Pond Superfund Site with Andy Koenigsberg, who will discuss the geology, history, clean-up process, and future of this land. Meet and park at the Otis Street gate, 24 Otis Street, Westborough.
REGISTRATION REQUIRED. E-mail events@westboroughlandtrust.org
Mill Pond Area trail map

Sunday, October 20, 2019
1:30-3:30 pm

Fascinating Fall Fungi
Discover mushrooms and other fall fungi with mycologist Larry Millman, author of “Fascinating Fungi of New England,” the first-ever guidebook devoted exclusively to New England species. He will focus on mushroom ecology and identification rather than on edibility. Meet at the Walkup & Robinson Reservation, 400 Friberg Parkway, Westborough.
Limit: 18 people.
REGISTRATION REQUIRED. E-mail events@westboroughlandtrust.org
Walkup and Robinson Memorial Reservation trail map
Sunday, October 27, 2019
1:30-3:30 pm

Introducing the Boroughs Loop Trail
The Boroughs Loop Trail (BLT) is a new trail network connecting the hiking paths of Marlborough, Northborough, Southborough and Westborough, encouraging the exploration, enjoyment, and protection of the Boroughs’ natural resources. The trail officially opens on October 5. This walk, co-sponsored by the Sudbury Valley Trustees, will highlight the BLT section that passes through Westborough, starting at SVT’s Sawink Farm property, 30 Walker Street, Westborough MA.
REGISTRATION REQUIRED at Sudbury Valley Trustees 
Crane Swamp Regional trails map
Boroughs Loop Trail website
Board of Directors 2019-2020

Gillian Beamer, President 
Christopher Sassetti, Vice President  
Marjorie Fisher, Secretary 
Kelly Thomas, Treasurer 
Warren Anderson, Member at Large
Adam Last, Member at Large
Vince Aquilino
Ellen Bishop
Pete Dunbeck
Michelle Scerbin
Karen Yeowell
Copyright © 2019, All rights reserved.
Our mailing address is:
PO Box 838, Westborough , MA 01581