News & Events

2016 Open Space & Recreation Plan Survey

The Harvard Conservation Commission has begun the process of updating the Town of Harvard’s 2008 Open Space & Recreation Plan, and is requesting public participation in the process with a short survey. The updated plan will set the Town’s open space and recreation goals for the coming five years, and the public survey is critical for ensuring these goals accurately reflect community interests. This survey will be open from May 6 through May 26.

Please take a moment to complete the survey, which you can directly link to at:

 Or, you can visit the Town website at:

If you prefer a paper copy of the survey please contact the Land Use Administrator, Liz Allard, at 978-456-4100 ext. 321 or  Thank you!


The Harvard Conservation Trust’s 36th Annual Tree-For-All:

urday, April 30
Tree-For-All at the
Transfer Station, 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Sunday, May 1
Tree-For-All in the
Town Center, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM 

The Harvard Conservation Trust will distribute nannyberry viburnum seedlings at the Transfer Station on Saturday, April 30th  from 8 a.m. to noon, and on the Harvard Common on Sunday, May 1st from 10 a.m. to noon.  These nannyberry seedlings were grown from seed at the New Hampshire State Nursery.  Their flat-topped clusters of white flowers bloom in the spring and develop into fruits that turn bluish-black in the fall.  Its fruits can persist into winter and provide a sweet and edible food source for many species of birds, wildlife and people.   The shrubs are free to Harvard Conservation Trust members and are available to non-members for a $5.00 contribution.

Photo credits: top - USDA, NRCS. 2016. The PLANTS Database (; bottom - Keith Kanoti, Maine Forest Service,

Join naturalist Wendy Sisson on a guided walk of one of Harvard's largest clusters of conservation lands.  You will also learn about a timely opportunity to add a key parcel to this wildlife rich cluster of natural lands.


HCT Co-sponsored Warner Free Lecture:                                

warner free lecture

125th Anniversary of Frederick Law Olmsted's Emerald Necklace Park System
Friday, March 11, 2016– 7:30 p.m.

In the late 1800s, landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted (1822-1903) designed the park system that we now know as Boston's Emerald Necklace. Alan Banks, a park ranger from the Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site will discuss this historic park system. Stretching from Back Bay to Dorchester, this inviting green space connects people and nature, just as Olmstead intended more than 100 years ago.

Volunteers Hall at Harvard Public Library, 4 Pond Road  Free!


NEW DATE:  Saturday February 13th!!!

Due to the lack of snow we are moving the tracking program to Saturday February 13th.  Mark your Calendars and see information below for details.

Saturday, February 13, 2016. 9:00 AM - 11:30 AM.

Location: Prospect Hill Conservation Complex, Harvard, MA. Park at DPW parking lot, next to soccer field parking lot, on Depot Road.
Suitability: Adults of all levels of experience.
What we'll do: A large, brushy wetland, a meandering stream, and mixed forests of a variety of age classes make this a wonderful place for winter tracking. Depending on conditions, we might find evidence of fisher, fox, coyote, bobcat, otter, mink, deer, and a variety of smaller mammals. We may see grouse snow roosts on this property. Dress in layers , wear warm, waterproof boots, bring snowshoes if necessary, and be prepared for bushwhacking.
Limit: Maximum of 10. Leader: Janet Pesaturo.
Level of difficulty: Usually moderate, but deep snow can make off-trail travel very difficult.

To register
, please contact David Outman at or call the HCT office at 978-456-9292

And from our neighbors . . .

Registration for the Tom Denney Nature Camp Summer 2016 program opens February 1 at tdnc.boltonconservationtrust.orgSee website for details.

Thank you to all who joined us for our Annual New Year’s Day walk!  And a special thanks to the Community Harvest Project for co-sponsoring this year’s walk, and providing indoor space for cookies and hot cocoa.  (Click here for photos . . .


November 17, 2015

The Harvard Conservation Trust Annual Meeting took place at the Harvard Public Library, Volunteers Hall, and featured the presentation – A New England Food Vision: Conversations For Healthy and Thriving Communities (Click here to see photos...)


Mushroom Walk -- October 3, 2015  10:30 AM 

The Harvard Conservation Trust will host a mushroom walk and talk October 3, at 10:30, beginning at 56 Stow Road.  Join mushroom enthusiast Al Ferry for a walk in the woods to learn about Harvard’s fabulous fungi. The walk will take place rain or shine, except for a major downpour. Parking is available. For more information, call Abbe Alpert at 978-456-6892.

Saturday, September 26th
 from 9 AM to noon.

Help Pick Apples for Community Harvest Project!
Community Harvest Project is an organization that supplies food banks throughout Worcester County.

Due to logistics, we are limited to 35 volunteers, and volunteers must be at least a high school freshman.  No prior apple picking experience is required.  If you are interested in helping, please reply to and let us know how many people will be volunteering.

We hope you will join us in supporting this very worthwhile cause.

Sunday, Sept 13, Start time: 10:00 AM

6th Annual Run-For-The-Hills 5K Trail Run
34 Lancaster County Road
Harvard Park and McCurdy Track
This is a fun and beautiful way to get out and enjoy our woods.

Registration information: 


"Greenway Heroes: Profiles in Land Conservation” will have a free showing Wednesday night, August 19th7 – 8 PM at Fruitlands Museum in the Wayside Room
as part of Fruitlands “Food for Thought Film Series.”

This 10 minute film produced by Pepperell resident Susan Edwards and co-directed by Westford resident Joy Reo tells the inspiring stories of three landowners who donated, sold or set up conservation easements to protect their family land for the common good.  The film features interviews with Harley Holden of Shirley, Tom Jarvela of Townsend and Leigh Hudson of Princeton.  For additional information about the film please view the web page -


Ongoing Events: 

Take our Trail Challenge and win a prize!
The weather is finally warm, the trails have been surveyed, and there are control punches and/or instruction cards in the appropriate places.  All is ready for people to take on the Challenge!

Recent Events:

Winterfest! Saturday, February 7
at Fruitlands Museum Read more here

The Trust’s Annual New Year’s Day Walk was held on the trails at Fruitlands Museum.   Click here for more

Annual Meeting - November 19.  Mary Holland returned as featured speaker.  See photos

Run for the Hills 
was held September 7 - our 5th year! Photos here 



Introducing David Outman, HCT's New Executive Director
Click here to learn more 

Elizabeth May Hawthorn tree dedication - June 1, 2014

Our Mission

The Harvard Conservation Trust, HCT, is a private, charitable, non-profit land trust. Our mission is “to preserve the unique character and natural resources of Harvard.”

We actively seek to preserve:

  • Harvard’s rural and agricultural character;
  • Open lands for outdoor education, recreation, and enjoyment;
  • Areas of historical significance or natural beauty;
  • The Town’s water resources, marshland, swamps, wetland, and wildlife.
  • Sites of educational and environmental significance. 

Click here to learn more about our work.

Between 1985 and 2000 Harvard lost over 1300 acres of open space. Please help us in our efforts to preserve Harvard’s valued landscape.

"I want to do something splendid... something heroic
or wonderful that won't be forgotten..."

- Louisa May Alcott,
Little Women