Westborough Land Trust NEWS
Spring 2012

Read About . . .

WCLT Expands Its Scholarship Program
to Mark 15th Anniversary

Two $1,000 scholarships now offered to essay contest winners [MORE]

Wine Tasting Party to Celebrate
WCLT’s 15th Anniversary

Join the festivities on Sunday, March 25 [MORE]

Live Animal Show:
Snakes of New England and the World

Meet the man who presents the snakes [MORE]

Join WCLT’s 14th Annual Town-Wide Earth Day Clean-up

Make a year’s worth of difference [MORE]

WCLT and Local Eagle Scout Candidates Work Together

More than 46 Eagle Projects and 2.5 scout-years of effort [MORE]

WCLT and a Girl Scout Gold Project

Your land trust works for the first time with a Girl Scout Gold Award Project [MORE]

Celebrating the Nature of Westborough

Digital Gallery Displays Photos from “Wild in Westborough” [MORE]

WCLT Says Thank YOu

Thanks to our judges and sponsors for making this a successful event [MORE]

Continue Celebrating the Nature of Westborough

Share Your Nature Photos on WCLT’s Wildlife Sightings Page [MORE]

Two $1,000 scholarships now offered to essay contest winners

WCLT Expands Its Scholarship Program to Mark 15th Anniversary

This year your land trust is expanding its scholarship program at Westborough High School (WHS), as one way of marking our 15th anniversary year. The Westborough Community Land Trust (WCLT) will now offer two $1,000 scholarships to graduating seniors, rather than one $500 scholarship.

“The expanded scholarship program is one aspect of our increased community presence in our 15th year,” said John Metzger, WCLT president.

As in the past, the WCLT scholarships will be awarded to graduating seniors on the basis of essays submitted in WCLT’s annual Earth Day Essay Contest, which runs March 1–April 2 this year. The scholarships will be presented to essay contest winners at Westborough High School graduation. WCLT has provided a scholarship since 2006.

“We are pleased to offer this greater encouragement and assistance to environmentally minded seniors,” said Annie Reid, acting chair of the WCLT scholarship committee.

Any graduating senior may enter the essay contest and apply for the scholarships, reflecting the WCLT view that the environment is important for everyone. Seniors do not have to be planning an environmental focus in their studies or career. Also, the contest and scholarships are open to graduating seniors whether or not they plan to attend college.

The scholarship forms and essay contest details are available in the WHS Guidance Office as of March 1, 2012. Applicants must submit their Earth Day essays to the WHS Guidance Office by Monday, April 2, 2012.

Essays should be 500–750 words and should address one of these three topics:

  1. An environmental issue in Westborough Describe an environmental issue that affects a natural resource in Westborough. Propose a solution that would address this issue and/or describe activities in which you have been involved that have worked towards solving this particular problem.
  2. Sustainable living in Westborough and beyond Discuss ways that you and others of your generation could live more sustainably on Earth. If applicable, include a description of changes you have made in your own life that have enabled you or your family to live more sustainably.
  3. Protection of Westborough’s natural heritage and special places Describe a place in Westborough that you think is especially important to protect, and explain why. Discuss what you have done or propose ways that you could help to protect Westborough’s natural heritage.

“One goal of the Earth Day essay contest is to encourage young people to talk and write about the environment and their environmental concerns,” explained Annie Reid. “We know many young people care about the natural environment—in Westborough and beyond. They are the environmentalists of tomorrow.”

Please support this effort by your land trust by spreading word of the essay contest and expanded scholarship program to your friends and neighbors.

WCLT Scholarship Hall of Fame:
Recipients and Honorable Mentions 2006–2011
Year Student
Scholarship Winners
2006 Rebecca Danis
2007 Abraham Katz
2008 Evan Gross
2009 Devon Drohan
2010 Kyle Reed-Edwards
2011 Nicole Benoit
Honorable Mention
2007 Isaac Dupree
2008 Eric Chang
Matt Feresten
2009 Abhinau Gupta
Matthew A. Gitkind
2010 Brian Leslie
Kelly M. Reilly
2011 Christopher Smith

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Join the festivities on Sunday, March 25

Wine Tasting Party to Celebrate WCLT’s 15th Anniversary

wine glass

It’s 2012 and time to celebrate Westborough Community Land Trust’s 15th Anniversary with a wine tasting on Sunday, March 25 from 4 to 7 p.m. Proceeds will benefit WCLT and the cause of land preservation and stewardship in Westborough.

Join WCLT for the festivities at Arturo’s Ristorante at 54 East Main Street. All are welcome, so encourage friends, family, neighbors, and acquaintances to attend this unique event.

Special appetizers will be prepared by Arturo’s Ristorante, and an assortment of wines will offered by Julio’s Liquors. The evening will include music by the Westborough High School string quartet and door prizes including a GPS.

Tickets are $30 for WCLT members and $40 for non-members. If you purchase two tickets for $80, you will receive a complimentary $35 WCLT membership.

Purchase tickets at Arturo’s (cash or check) or send a check payable to WCLT to PO Box 838 Westborough, MA 01581.

For more information please visit our website, email us, or contact Maureen at 508-366-6326.

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Meet the man who presents the snakes

Live Animal Show: Snakes of New England and the World

Rick Roth
Rick Roth

On Saturday, March 31, the Westborough Community Land Trust invites the public to the live animal program, “Snakes of New England and the World,” presented by Rick Roth and the Cape Ann Vernal Pond Team. The program will be held at 10 a.m. in the Knights of Columbus Hall, 17 Willow Street. This presentation is free, but donations will be accepted. This program is supported in part by a grant from the Westborough Cultural Council, a local agency supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

While other boys were playing with legos, Rick Roth was collecting snakes. His fascination with snakes dates back to kindergarten, when a small northern brown snake crossed his path. “I was hooked,” says Roth. Soon he began bringing home local snakes like garter snakes, and milk snakes, to the surprise and approval of his mother. When it was apparent that his interest was real, “I got a snake book for every birthday, and my knowledge just grew,” notes Roth. “As I got older, I bought more exotic snakes and had a boa in high school.”

Now 80 snakes share Roth’s home in Gloucester. Collecting many snakes requires a license, and Roth has both a scientific collecting license and a propagator’s license. “My permits are for education—that’s the whole reason I have snakes,” says Roth. He and the Cape Ann Vernal Pond Team take the snake program into schools, libraries, and camps to teach children about snakes and to appreciate their beauty. “I believe that fear of snakes is acquired,” he says. “Children aren’t afraid of snakes, and by the end of the program most children will touch them.”

The Cape Ann Vernal Pond Team, of which Roth is a member, emphasizes the preservation of wild habitat. “There’s no wildlife that hasn’t suffered a loss of habitat,” says Roth, “and snakes are no exception. The beautiful black indigo snake of Florida is on the endangered list, purely due to development. In Massachusetts, the copperhead and timber rattlesnake are rare because the colonists exterminated them out of fear, and the populations have not bounced back.”

The farther north, the snake population is less. For example, Arizona has more than 100 snake species but Massachusetts has only 14 species. “People often can’t tell one snake from another although they claim they can,” says Roth. “Many people kill any snake they see, and we’re trying to change that.”

By helping people to become compatible with animals, like snakes, the Cape Ann Vernal Pond Team hopes to encourage people to think about wild habitat when they make a choice affecting the environment.

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Make a year’s worth of difference

Join WCLT’s 14th Annual Town-Wide Earth Day Clean-up

Trash at Bellows Road
Photo by Bruce Tretter
Trash at Bellows Road

Make a year’s worth of difference for all of Westborough—as you and others have been doing since the early years of WCLT!

Please join the WCLT-sponsored 14th annual town-wide Earth Day clean-up on Saturday, April 21, rain or shine. Winter is winding down and spring is coming, but trash has been accumulating around town, as you can see in recent photos.

Early risers can meet at 6:30 a.m. at either West Meadow Plaza (Rt. 9/135 intersection) or Bellows Road (behind Friendly’s parking lot). Families and those who want a later morning start are invited to meet at the Lake Chauncy parking lot on Lyman St. at 9:30 a.m. for assignment to much-needed-clean-up sites.

Trash along Rt. 30 at the Rt. 9 underpass
Photo by Bruce Tretter
Trash along Rt. 30 at the Rt. 9 underpass

Please wear gloves and sturdy shoes—and encourage a friend to join you. It’s a great event! And a WCLT tradition!

Consider organizing friends, neighbors, co-workers, or a youth group to clean up an area during the period before or after the clean-up date.

For more information and/or to suggest sites in town that need a trash cleaning, please contact Bruce Tretter by email or at 508-446-7790.

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More than 46 Eagle Projects and 2.5 scout-years of effort

WCLT and Local Eagle Scout Candidates Work Together

Alex Barnhart and crew moving a log at the new Fish and Wildife trail
Photo by Brian Barnhart
Alex Barnhart and crew moving a log at the new Fish and Wildife trail

For more than a decade, your land trust and local Boy Scouts have worked together to make Westborough’s natural environment easier for town residents to enjoy. As one part of this effort, WCLT has sponsored at least 46 Eagle Projects, which have enormously benefited the Charm Bracelet trail system, other trails, and Westborough’s open spaces.

For their projects, Eagle Scout candidates from Troops 4, 100, 101, and 382 have planned and performed outdoor work such as creating and improving trails, building bridges over streams and bog bridging on trails, removing invasive plants in open space areas, constructing kiosks and fences, making trail signs, and more.

A partial list of Eagle Projects and the Scouts who performed them appears below.

Commenting on the magnitude of the Eagle Scouts’ effort, Don Burn of the WCLT stewardship committee said, “The Scouts averaged over 100 hours a project, so this partial list represents roughly 2.5 scout-years of effort.”

The total number of Eagle Project performed with WCLT has more than doubled in the past 5 years, since WCLT’s 10th anniversary in 2007.

WCLT is pleased to take the occasion of its 15th anniversary year to recognize and thank the Eagle Scouts and all those who worked with them for their hard work and valuable contributions.

Eagle Project Hall of Fame (partial list)

Year Troop Scout Description
2001 101 Andrew Zimmerman Bridge at base of Cedar Hill
2001 100 Eric Reger Information Kiosk at Headwaters Conservation Area
2002 4 Bob Panas Trail from Mill Pond boat ramp to Fisher St.
2002 100 Seth Rowell Trail from Cedar Hill parking lot to the corner of Lyman and Haskell
2002 4 Tyler Whitney Build and install twenty owl boxes and place them around SuAsCo (and maybe Sandra Pond as well)
2002 100 Alan Lai A trail to be created that circles Gilmore Pond. A small bridge will be created to cross the spillway at the outlet of the pond.
2002 382 Dave Eypper Loop trail at Bowman Street
2002 382 Ross Giovannucci Charm Bracelet trail needs to be created from Gilmore Farm Road to Isaac Miller Road. The CB section will connect to the Gilmore Pond loop trail.
2002 382 Sean MacDonald Charm Bracelet section between Adams Street and Gilmore Farm Road
2002 100 Pat Dunbeck Build a teaching platform at HCA to be used by the new school’s teachers and students
2002 100 Tom Blackney Information kiosk at Gilmore Pond
2003 100 Will Kelly Trail signs at Headwaters Conservation Area
2003 100 Jesse Kidd Information kiosk near the boat ramp on Mill Road
2003 382 Andrew “Drew” Banks Create a trial to avoid part or the entire road walk near the pump houses on the HCA side of SuAsCo Charm Bracelet section
2003 382 Scott Howland Build a loop trail in Wile Forest, which is owned by New England Forestry Foundation (NEFF)
2004 382 Jonathan Nadler Nature Trail at Gibbons School
2005 100 Andrew Dunbeck Finalize CB section near the exit to Long Drive
2005 100 Evan Gross Build a bridge across the stream at the end of Pheasant Lane. Trail currently walks across a stone wall that is dangerous.
2005 4 John Birkholz Rebuild western end of the Malley Trail including a couple reroutes
2007 4 Greyson Tomas Removed fencing in the eastern part of Fish and Wildlife
2008 100 Russell Miller Improve North Shore Trail including eliminate bottle dump and some bumps in the trail
2008 382 Alex Cole Remove fencing on south side of Fish and Wildlife
2009 100 Noah Rhein Fix and add new bog bridges on the Malley Trail and in HCA
2009 382 Tom Whalen Rebuilt trails near Rosewood Place
2009 382 Kyle Reed-Edwards Invasive removal at Gilmore Pond
2009 100 Ben Roth Invasive burning bush removal at Indian Pond
2009 382 Sam Pierce Invasive removal at HCA
2009 382 Nathan Askew Removing fencing near Little Chauncy in Fish and Wildlife
2009 4 David Lamont Developed map of some Charm Bracelet trails with maintenance needs
2009 4 Sam Bryan Developed map of some Charm Bracelet trails with maintenance needs
2009 4 Bryan Leslie Stenciled storm water drains and did community awareness and a database
2010 4 James Murray Mapped stone walls in Nourse Street Area
2010 4 Zach Brush Invasive Plant removal at Gilmore Pond
2010 382 Mike McElligott Rework of Fox Hill Trail near Mill Road
2011 100 Dan Buress Invasive Plant removal north end of Indian Pond
2011 4 Dan Murphy Invasive Plant removal at Indian Pond
2011 100 Eric Brandt Removal of farmers dump on Upper Jackstraw Brook Reservation
2011 100 Alex Barnhart Reopened trail closed for over 20 years at Fish and Wildlife
2011 100 Mouli Gandi Invasive Plant removal at west end of Gilmore Pond
2011 100 Brian Coutinho Invasive Plant removal at Indian Pond
2011 100 Sam Mayo Bridge repair at Bowman and woodchips on entrance to Bowman West
2011 382 David Whalen Invasive removal at HCA
2011 4 Jake Sanders Reopened Hocomocco Trail
2011 4 Josh Saari New trails and improvements at Oak Bluffs
2011 100 David Zingher Reroute of Fox Hill Trail near Fisher Street

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WCLT and a Girl Scout Gold Project

In 2010 your land trust worked for the first time with a Girl Scout earning her Gold Award by performing an environmental project. (A Gold Award project is the Girl Scout equivalent of a Boy Scout Eagle project.) WCLT is pleased to encourage and benefit from this work on behalf of Westborough’s environment by a Girl Scout. We hope to participate with other Girl Scouts in future Gold projects focused on Westborough’s natural environment.

Gold Project Hall of Fame

Year Troop Scout Description
2010 30195 Elizabeth Anderson Raise, release, monitor Galerucella beetles to control purple loosestrife

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Celebrating the Nature of Westborough

Digital Gallery Displays Photos from “Wild in Westborough”

In October, “Wild in Westborough,” your land trust’s 2011 photo contest and exhibit, celebrated the nature of Westborough that you seek to protect. This celebration continues—see these winning photos and several of the other 32 entries now displayed on WCLT’s new digital photo gallery:

Fall Sky

First place: “Fall Sky” by James McAlice of Westborough, photographed at Westborough Shopping Center. The judges described it as the most dramatic photo, with colors popping off an energized sky and very well balanced.

Splash of Red

Second place: “Splash of Red” by Kaleigh Wright, age 12, of Westborough, taken at Robin Road. The judges called it a beautiful composition in its simplicity, with a Japanese-like quality with S-curves, and with the red popping on the dark background.

Crystalline Leaves

Third place: “Crystalline Leaves” by Barry Hall of Westborough, taken at Wile Forest in Westborough. The judges characterized the photo as a “landscape of the ground,” a photo of leaves and ice which borders on the abstract with its many shapes and layers. It has design, place, and reflection, according to the judges, with three layers that penetrate the ice, allowing the viewer to see beneath the ice and tying into the leaves on top.

Garter Snake

Honorable mention: “Garter Snake” by Frank Vitale of Sudbury, taken in Westborough at Cedar Hill/Sawink Farm Reservation. The judges noted its S- curves and sense of the snake’s motion, making it appear as if the snake has personality. They described it as a good motion shot without movement.

People’s Choice: “Splash of Red” by Kaleigh Wright of Westborough, the same photo that also won second place. The “People’s Choice” was determined by the votes of visitors to the exhibit.

To view more photos, visit the digital nature photo gallery on the WCLT web site at: http://westboroughlandtrust.org/gallery.php

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WCLT Says Thank You

For serving as judges in “Wild in Westborough,” our 2011 photo contest, WCLT thanks:

  • Ellen Bishop,
    graphic designer
  • Nancy Engberg, award-winning photographer specializing in black and white and hand-colored imagery
  • John Hayes, art instructor at Westborough High School.

For helping to sponsor “Wild in Westborough,” our nature photograph contest and exhibit, WCLT thanks these local businesses:

  • Art and Frame Emporium
  • Green Thumb
  • Olde Nourse Farm
  • Tatnuck Bookseller

We couldn't have done it without you!

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Continue Celebrating the Nature of Westborough

Share Your Nature Photos on WCLT’s Wildlife Sightings Page

Blue-Spotted Salamander
Blue-spotted salamander photo by Dana Perry

All year long members and nonmembers alike are welcome to celebrate the nature of Westborough by sending email reports and/or photos of wildlife sightings—both plant and animal—and landscapes to the “Sightings” page on the WCLT web site. Report what you see in Westborough, even in your own yard. Using email, send a note about what you’ve seen, or send photos.

Find WCLT’s “Sightings” page at: http://www.westboroughlandtrust.org/sightings.php

Check the “Sightings” page to see what other people are reporting. Highlights on the Sightings page from the past year include a photo of a blue-spotted salamander, which is listed as a species of special concern in Massachusetts, and Tim Novak’s video clip showing spotted salamanders migrating to a vernal pool in Westborough.

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