News 

Wednesday, May 31, 2017 @ 7:00 PM

Presentation/Public Forum on Harvard's Environment, 5/31

Do you love Harvard’s waterways, conservation lands, orchards, trails, parks, and open spaces? Do you support sustainability in town/school policies and practice? Come to the Bromfield School library Wednesday, May 31, at 7 p.m. to hear from local committees, groups, residents, and students working to protect and sustain Harvard, and join in discussion on what we can achieve together!

 

200 Redbud seedlings wrapped and ready to go .  .  . 
scenes from HCT's annual Tree For All


Saturday at the Transfer Station

 
Sunday on the Common

 


Saturday, May 6th/Sunday, May 7th


 Tree-For-All 2017—Cercis canadensis—Eastern Redbud

The Harvard Conservation Trust’s 37th Annual Tree-For-All:
The Harvard Conservation Trust will distribute Eastern Redbud seedlings at the Transfer Station on Saturday, May 6th from 8 AM to noon, and on the Harvard Common on Sunday, May 7th from 9:30 AM to noon.

In early spring, their pink-purple flowers line the bark of their twigs, branches, and trunks, announcing the end of winter.  Redbud has uniquely heart-shaped leaves.  Many birds eat the seeds, and honeybees visit the blossoms. The shrubs are free to Harvard Conservation Trust members and are available to non-members for a $5.00 contribution.

 Saturday, May 6: Tree-For-All at the Transfer Station, 8:00 AM-12:00 PM
 Sunday, May 7:  Tree-For-All in the Town Center, 9:30 AM-12:00 PM



February 17,  at 7:30 PM

HCT Co-sponsored Warner Free Lecture:                                

These, too, are the sounds of nature . . .

Did you know that the “sounds of nature” are not necessarily pleasant, nor is the music that imitates them? Join local musician Stephen Peisch and David Pihl as they present a program of piano music that was inspired by nature, including compositions by Robert Schumann, Franz Liszt, Bela Bartok, Amy Beach, Edward MacDowell, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Allen Hovhaness, Claude Debussy, Stephen Peisch, and William Thomas McKinley.

 

David Pihl, pianist, of Worcester, Massachusetts, studied at Boston University School of Music and received his Master of Music in Piano Performance at the University of Lowell School of Music.  His principal teachers have been Michael Kramer and Anthony di Bonaventura.  He also studied vocal accompaniment in Europe under Ellly Ameling and Rudolf Jansen.  He has performed widely in the Northeast, and, together with Michael Finegold, co-founded the Essex Chamber Music Players.

David Pihl has taught music at Worcester State College, Northern Essex Community College and Becker Junior College.  He is the staff accompanist for the Theatre Dept at Holy Cross College and has been the accompanist for the University of Massachusetts – Lowell Chorus and Westford Chorus.

Volunteers Hall, Harvard Public Library.  Free!  No reservations or tickets required.

 


Annual New Year’s Day Walk



Per tradition, HCT likes to ring in the New Year with a stroll among Harvard’s forests and fields.  Nothing sets the tone for the year ahead like a leisurely walk with friends and neighbors in the crisp rejuvenating air of January.  This year, in the spirit of cooperation and good company, we will join the walk being held at the Oxbow National Wildlife Refuge by the Friends of the Oxbow in collaboration with the Lancaster Community Center.  Meet at the parking lot of the main entrance to the refuge at the end of Still River Depot Road in Harvard; the walk starts at noon. Dress weather appropriate; in the event of hazardous weather, the walk will be cancelled.

For more information about the walk contact Rona Balco at:  978-779-2259; for location and directions visit:  http://www.friendsoftheoxbownwr.org/location-directions.html.

Happy New Year!

 

No State Grant for Horse Meadows Knoll Project

We are disappointed to share the news that Harvard was not awarded the $400,000 L.A.N.D. grant from the Massachusetts Division of Conservation Services for the Horse Meadows Knoll land protection project.  In turn, the $200,000 funding commitment made through the Town’s Community Preservation Committee and Capital Planning and Investment Committee at the October Special Town meeting is nullified.  This commitment was contingent upon the L.A.N.D. grant being awarded.  The absence of grant funding has a substantial negative impact to the financial feasibility of the Horse Meadows Knoll project.  The Trust is weighing options for how to proceed under the current agreement with the landowners, with a decision to be made by Friday 12/23.


Harvard Conservation Trust Annual Meeting

Thursday, November 10, Volunteers Hall, Harvard Public Library, 7:00PM

 

 

HORSE MEADOWS KNOLL VOTE - CORRECTION!


Special Town Meeting
Cronin Auditorium at the Bromfield School, 14 Massachusetts Ave.  October 24, 7:30 PM

Super Town Meeting starts at 7:00, which will then go right into Special Town Meeting.  BOTH take place in Cronin Auditorium at the Bromfield School, 14 Massachusetts Ave.  The Super Town Meeting could conclude early, and with Horse Meadows Knoll being Article 1 on the Special Town Meeting Warrant, this vote might happen before 7:30.  Please consider arriving by 7:00.   

Hope to see you tonight.

David Outman, Executive Director

 


Save the Date:   Mushroom Walk

October 1 at 11:00 AM. 56 Stow Road. 

HCT will host a mushroom walk Saturday, October 1, beginning at 11 AM 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 at 978-456-6892.

 

September 11, 2016 at 10 AM.  Run for the Hills 5k race.  

 

Start and finish on the McCurdy Track with the primary sections of the course on scenic wooded trails and field paths. The trail footing is a combination of crushed pack, dirt, coarse grass with leaves, roots and rocks. There will be a water stop along the route. Thanks to the Town of Harvard and private landowners for use of the lands and open space on race day.

For a course map, go to www.runforthehills.org.

Register online at: www.running4free.com/RaceDetails.aspx?raceid=419

The hills of Harvard, whether it is the views from Prospect Hill, Bare Hill and Dean’s Hill or the landscapes of Holy Hill, Oak Hill and Pin Hill, are deeply appreciated by all who experience their scenery and terrain . . . even on the uphill!

It is true what they say in these parts, “good luck finding the flats to run on. . . ” Well, we might have done just that for this race. There’s no “Heartbreak” on this course. We are proud of both the running legacies in town and the protected land here.

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: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Harvard_MA_2016_OSRP_Survey

Or, you can visit the Town website at: http://www.harvard.ma.us

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

 


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

Sat
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 (http://plants.usda.gov); bottom - Keith Kanoti, Maine Forest Service, Bugwood.org

 


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!


TRACKING WALK POSTPONED

TRACKING WALK POSTPONED DUE TO LACK OF SNOW!!!
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
doutman@harvardconservationtrust.org or call the HCT office at 978-456-9292

 
SAVE THE DATE: January 1, 2016 

The Harvard Conservation Trust and Community Harvest Project invite you to join us for the Annual New Year’s Day walk.  This popular event is scheduled for Friday, January 1st at noon, at the Community Harvest Project’s property at 115 Prospect Hill Road.  We’ll enjoy  scenic vistas, meander through the orchard, and welcome the New Year with our neighbors at CHP. Dress for the weather! Hot chocolate and cookies are served at the end for anyone who needs some warming up.  And a hearty thank you to the Community Harvest Project for co-sponsoring our walk!

 

November 17, 2015

The Harvard Conservation Trust Annual Meeting took place at the Harvard Public Library, Volunteers Hall 

annual meeting 1

Guest Speaker, Brian Donahue, addresses the audience on the New England Food Vision.  As co-author of the this recently released report, Brian shares an approach for New Englanders to produce as much as 50% of their dietary requirements, while at the same time improving the health of communities and the landscape, by the year 2060.

 annual meeting 2

Trustee, Tom Cotton (right) shares greetings with HCT co-founder Frank Coolidge (left)

Trustees and friends mingle and enjoy the delicious tradition of homemade gingerbread and cider to close the Trust’s 42nd Annual Meeting

 


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.  http://cts.vresp.com/c/?HarvardConservationT/2cc44df35c/e296bd85ca/2457bc04fd

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 
 info@harvardconservationtrust.org and let us know how many people will be volunteering.

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

 

Harvard Conservation Trust Hires New Executive Director

 David Outman, ED

David Outman, HCT's New Executive Director

We are very pleased to announce that David Outman has joined us as HCT’s second Executive Director.  David has worked at the Trustees of Reservations for the past ten years in their land protection department.  During his tenure he has exercised nearly every land-protection tool available in the Commonwealth – from outright fee acquisition to conservation restrictions and trail easements.  His land protection work even extends into urban environments.  In Fitchubrg, he was TTOR’s lead on the Gateway Cities Project that that resulted in the creation of a five acre riverfront park with community gardens. 

A resident of Littleton, David is familiar with our local area and our special attachment to “place.”  Coming from a state-wide organization, he has contacts throughout the Commonwealth – individual land trusts, specialists in other conservation organizations, and state agents.  His experience brings myriad examples of how other groups have approached the same challenges that we face at HCT.

The HCT Board of Trustees feels fortunate to have David as our new Executive Director. 



A Winterfest Scavenger Hunt
 was held at Fruitlands Museum on February 7th. 

It was a great day for sledding, and a few intrepid snowshoers found signs of wildlife activity amidst several feet of snow in the woods and open fields.

 

The Trust’s Annual New Year’s Day Walk was held on the trails at Fruitlands Museum.  Some 70 people heralded in the New Year on this cold, sunny day for a walk lead by Trust Vice President Michèle Girard and Trust Associate Sarah Pyne.   Hot chocolate and cookies were gobbled up after the wonderful walk through woods and open field.  Thanks to our hosts at Fruitlands Museum for welcoming us!

 Red Trail NYD Walk

 

 November 19, 2014

Annual Meeting - Mary Holland, a Vermont naturalist, photographer, and popular columnist and author, was the guest speaker at the Harvard Conservation Trust’s 2014 Annual Meeting in Volunteers Hall at the Harvard Public Library.  An appreciative audience followed Mary's presentation of a year in nature, as she chronicled the seasonal changes, month by month.  There was a short business meeting beforehand and the traditional gingerbread and cider were served afterward. 

2014 annual meetingThere was a full house at the 2014 HCT Annual Meeting.

 

mary holland presentationMary Holland begins her slide presentation, "Naturally Curious."

 

Mary Holland and Trustee Pam DurrantMary Holland and Trustee Pam Durrant

 

June, 2014

Dedication of Elizabeth May Hawthorn Trees; Sunday June 1st - It was a beautiful day and the Hawthorn trees were in full bloom, as the Trust and family members honored Elizabeth May, beloved member, past president and community leader.
Trust President, Molly Cutler gives welcoming remarks


Nephew, Carl Schellenberg remembers "Aunt Betty"



The house on the newly acquired Brown conservation land needs a new home.  After careful deliberation and investigation of many options, the Trust has come to the decision that the house, pictured below, has to be moved elsewhere.  If anyone is interested in moving this house to another location should contact Marylynn Gentry, Executive Director at mgentry@harvardconservationtrust.org or call (978) 456-9292.  All offers will be considered.

EVENT NEWS:

May 2014
Tree-for-All occurred on May 3 and 4.  This year's selection was Black Chokeberry which produces an edible berry.  The plant grows easily in wetlands and upland habitat.  The Chokeberry was handed out free to our members on Saturday May 3 at the Transfer Station and on Sunday in the Town Center.  Planting instructions are available here.

Birding with Pat White - On May 3rd, birders joined Pat White to explore the variety of birds found on the Williams land.  A bluebird, warbling vireo, yellow warbler, parula, black and white warbler, female hooded merganser, oven bird, white throated sparrow, flicker and tree swallows were just a few of the birds spotted.

Leader Pat White and Brint Ferguson

April 2014

Walking off the Post Tax-Paying Blues!  On April 19th, minds were cleared as co-leaders Michele Girard and Joyce Grant led a tour of the Trust's newly acquired Brown conservation land.  Visitors enjoyed the variety the property had to offer: open fields, woods, wetlands, vernal pools and a fantastic glacial erratic!  The walk was co-sponsored by the Trust and Harvard's Park and Rec department. 
Trustee Michele Girard - co-leader of the walk

Walker Pat White in front of the glacial erratic

Trail Day
On April 13 Cub Scouts from Den 6 and Den 5 cleaned up the Trust's Ohlin property and the town's Holy Hill trails.  Many thanks for their wonderful efforts!

Den 5 scouts L-R Nick Thornton, John Babcock, Ryan Bilafer, Timur Sahin, Ben Molnar, and Andrew Hopper on the Trust's Ohlin land.


Den 6 Cub Scouts Gavin Maddalone, Jason Morin, Nathan Woolcok and Zack Pelak

January 1, 2014

A Winterfest Scavenger Hunt was held at Fruitlands Museum on January 26th.  The weather cooperated and families turned out for a Trust sponsored outdoor scavenger hunt.  Below three generations formulate a plan of attack.

The Trust's Annual New Year's Day Walk was held on the newly acquired 37 acre Brown property.  Over 30 people braved the cold temperatures for  a walk led by Trust President Molly Cutler.  Hot chocolate and cookies were gobbled up after the wonderful walk through woods and open field.
          

November 30
Post-Thanksgiving Walk:  On November 30, in conjunction with Harvard's Park and Recreation department, the Trust held a walk on the Williams land off Stow road.  In an effort to walk off the Thanksgiving turkey over 20 hardy souls met at the pond and walked to the top of the Drumlin where they posed for a group photo.  Thank you to those who came out; it was a great day.



November 19
Annual Meeting:  Rick Roth, wildlife expert, was the guest speaker at the Harvard Conservation Trust’s 2013 Annual Meeting – celebrating 40 years!  Rick brought live animals that are representative of those found in Harvard’s protected land and in your backyard, including a fisher, a possum, grey fox and a flying squirrel.  The fisher was the main attraction and being nocturnal was quite lively throughout the presentation.  There was a short business meeting beforehand and a birthday celebration, complete with cake after the presentation.  Many thanks to Abbe Alpert for baking such a delicious treat and to our members for being so supportive of the Trust’s mission.

Rick Roth, furry friend, and Board President Molly Cutler

October 2013
Fairy Homes: The Trust held its first "Fairy Home" building event on the conservation land behind HES.  Children of all ages were invited to dress up and participate in constructing fairy homes made out of material found in the woods.  It was a terrific event with many fairies arriving in full regalia to build their houses.   Thank you to Sarah Pyne for organizing and to all the fairies who constructed some amazing dwellings.



Mysterious Rocks:  On Friday, October 18 Peter Waxsman gave a talk, "Discovering Native American Stone Structures in the Massachusetts Woods." His slideshow reviewed the different types of stone structures one can find in wooded areas. In many cases, Peter rediscovered stone structures that have not been used for centuries.  The stone structures are believed to have been used in Native American ceremonies.  Peter's appearance was jointly sponsored with the Warner Free Lecture Series.

Left to Right: Jic Davis, Peter Waxman, and Tom Aciukewicz
    

September 2013
Run for the Hills was held on September 8th under sunny skies and cool weather.  Over 200 runners participated in what is becoming a very popular regional race.  Ted MacMahon, race director, said over 55 towns were represented.  A full list of runners and result are available here.  Runner photos are available here.

Ethan Manning holds down the HCT table

The BIG START

July 2013
Elizabeth May honored: Three Hawthorn trees were recently planted at the Harvard Public Library in honor of beloved Trust member and past president, Elizabeth May.  As you enter the driveway take a look to your left and pause for a moment to enjoy their beauty.

 Nature of My Backyard –  On July 8th, Rick Roth of  Creature Teachers  came to the Harvard Public Library to introduce real native animals that live in our backyards.  Rick brought several animals to the library, including a gray fox, red fox, flying squirrel, woodchuck, porcupine, fisher, box turtle, and painted turtle.  This event was c0-sponsored with the Harvard Public Library
Below, Rick Roth holds a very active fisher!

June 2013
Foraging for your Food: On June 6th Russ Cohen led a wild edibles walk around the grounds of Fruitlands Museum.  Foraged tasty edibles included:  Black Walnuts, Fox Grape, Jewel weed, Plantain, Sassafras, Sheep Sorrel, and Wild lettuce.  Russ is a professional environmentalist and wild foods enthusiast.

May 2013
Birding on the Williams land - Harvard resident Pat White led an early morning walk on the Williams land .  Over 28 species of birds were identified through sight or by sound. The morning's highlight was hearing a Loon flying overhead and calling out.  Other birds included a Great Crested Flycatcher, Ovenbird, Pine Warbler, Wood Duck and Bluebirds.  It was a great walk on a beautiful May morning.  Many thanks to Pat for her guiding and expertise.  

Jim Maxwell, Wendy Sisson, Mary Maxwell, and Pat White

Tree-For-All - HCT's free tree giveaway to members was held Saturday, May 4th and 5th.  This year's selection was the American Hornbeam (Carpinus caroliniana), a small native tree with a wide-spreading, flat topped crown. 

TFA Coordinator Michele Girard hands a tree to member
Jim and son Harry Burns


Trustees Molly Cutler and Lucy Wallace enjoy the event
with Kathy Jackson

Trail Cleanup Day - On a beautiful Sunday, the Wilkins family spent some time cleaning up a trail on Holy Hill.  THANK YOU!!!

John, Jacquie, and Scott Wilkins at Holy Hill

April 2013
Beekeeping; Abnormalities in the Beehive; What is Going On? -  On April 8th, Ken Warchol, Worcester County Bee Inspector, gave a lively talk about the changes in our honeybee population and the problems being encountered by beekeepers.   Sprinkling his talk with humor, including funny anecdotes, Ken showed slides of various diseases currently plaguing the bee population, the ramifications of these diseases, and methods of treatment.  He concluded with a sampling of over 15 different types of honey to taste including some unusual ones: Joe Pye weed, Japanese Knotweed, and Palmetto (from Florida). 
 
    Susan Curtis and George Triantaris sample honey   


       HCT Trustee  Robin Malloy and Ken Warchol

January 2013
We have our First Trail Challenge Winner!  Rob Hult and his dog, Ella, were the first to collect all 14 punches from the markers hidden on town trails.  Congratulations to Rob and Ella! It's not too late!  If you are interested in taking the Trail Challenge and winning a prize, click here.
Rob and Ella

HCT's Annual New Year's Day Walk
Our popular New Year's Day walk was held this year at Prospect Hill (See our trail map for location).  Over 40 hardy walkers met in the Depot Road soccer field parking lot at noon under sunny skies and a brisk wind.  Pam and David Durrant led the informative walk up to the top of Dean's Hill.  Hot chocolate and cookies were provided for fuel before the walk, and for warming up afterward.
 
Chole and Sarah Pyne

 November 27th
Harvard Conservation Trust Annual Meeting:  
"To Feed or not to Feed the Birds" Peter Alden, renowned naturalist and wildlife lecturer spoke to a full house at the Harvard Public library despite the inclement weather.  Before the lecture, a short business meeting was held that highlighted the Trust's efforts over the past year; namely the protection of Elizabeth May's property on West Bare Hill road, volunteer monitoring of all 18 conservation restrictions, hosting eight events that promoted Harvard's outdoor world, the newly launched Trail Challenge, and the generosity of the Trust's members to meet the $10,000 Challenge Match.  Following the meeting, Mr. Alden, a pioneering ecotourism guide who has scouted out and led many of the first birding and natural history tours worldwide gave a lively lecture on the pros and cons of bird feeding. 

September 9th
Our annual "Run for the Hills" event was held under sunny skies and warm weather.  Over 250 runners ran the scenic nature trail through Harvard.  All proceeds go to benefit the Harvard Conservation Trust.  More photos are available here.


August 8th
Wetlands and Watersheds
 
Audubon Ark helped children discover riparian habitats by meeting native animals that live in rivers and ponds.  They explored the plants, insects, and animals that make rivers their homes and the important role these habitats play in local biodiversity.  Audubon Ark brought a Painted Turtle, a Mallard Duck, and macroinvertebrates to the Harvard Public Library for the children to enjoy. 


June 7th
Foraging for your Dinner Walk: Russell Cohen, fresh off his popular talk “Foraging for Food in your own Backyard” at the HCT annual meeting, led a foraging walk for wild edibles at Fruitlands Museum.  Foraged tasty edibles included:  Black Walnuts, Fox Grape, Jewel weed, Plantain, Sassafras, Sheep Sorrel, and Wild lettuce.  Russ is a professional environmentalist and wild foods enthusiast.

May 6th
Trail Clean up day: HCT and the Harvard Conservation Commission invited members and residents to clean up a portion of any trail in town.  One stalwart resident, Rob Traver, of Still River Road was pictured on the front page of the "Harvard Press" May 11th issue, working hard to clear conservation land trails.  Thank you Rob!

May 5th and 6th
Tree For All:  Our favorite annual event was held on on May rth and 6th.  We had many members turn out and even had some non-member residents join the HCT family on the spot!  This year's selection was the Tupelo or Black Gum (Nyssa sylvatica).  An American native found growing from Texas to Maine, the common name Tupelo is derived from a Creek Indian word meaning ‘Swamp Tree’. The Tupelo is considered one of our most beautiful indigenous trees.  The young form is finely textured and symmetrical with horizontal branching that looks lovely covered in snow. In summer the waxy dark green leaves compliment any garden style. Although the flowers are not noticeable because they tend to be hidden by the leaves, they are beloved by pollinators. Tupelo honey is prized for delicious flavor. Female trees produce bluish black fruit in the fall that is a food source for many birds and mammals. Tupelo fruit is a main food source for migrating robins. 

February 4th, 2012
Winter Trail Challenge: The Harvard Conservation Trust partnered with Fruitlands Museum for a Winter Trail Challenge.  Participants of any age, but mostly teams of young children, dropped in during Winterfest to try their observation and map-reading skills.  Those willing to take on the challenge,  roamed the woods looking for clues that, when all gathered, earned them a Harvard Conservation Trust collapsible water bottle.  In addition, two participants, Emily Moran and Jason Romeo won our raffle of $100 towards any rental equipment at EMS.  Congratulations Emily and Jason!

January 1st, 2012
Annual New Year's Day Walk: HCT's annual New Year's Day walk was held at Holy Hill conservation area, off South Shaker road at noon.  Jonathan Feist led over 50 walkers on a relatively warm January day through the secret Shaker worshiping grounds, and into Shaker village.  Cookies and hot chocolate were served. 

Jonathan gives a short introduction to Shaker history and the day's route.
   

The group heads into Shaker Village.

 

November 16, 2011
Russell Cohen gave a very entertaining talk at HCT's Annual Meeting titled "Foraging for Food in Your Own Backyard".  Russ, who is a professional environmentalist and wild foods enthusiast, shared a slide presentation featuring many wild edibles found in your own backyard. He is the author of numerous articles and his recent foraging book, Wild Plants I Have Known…and Eaten is now in its third printing. Russ takes stock in his harvests and dinner preparations using his yield. Several of his recipes have even appeared on PBS’ Victory Garden!  Russ shared some of his baked goods, including a Japanese Knotweed tart, with the audience!
Below is Russell showing off his cookbook to Dennis Delaney, outgoing HCT President.

September 2011
On September 11th, the Harvard Conservation Trust held its second annual 5K trail run; Run for the Hills.  It was a beautiful day with over 240 runners and walkers participating!  Click here for more photos and here for race results.

  

June 2011
Fifth grader, Kelly Pickreign, was awarded a cash prize from Race Director and HCT Trustee Ted MacMahon, for her artfully designed poster of the Trust's annual Run for the Hills 5K trail run.  This year the run is scheduled for September 11th at 2pm at the McCurdy track in Harvard. Great job Kelly!

Kelly and Ted

April 2011
A celebration of Elizabeth May's extraordinary life was held on Saturday, June 11, at at 11:00 am at the Harvard Unitarian Universalist Church in Harvard Ma.  A Harvard resident and former Harvard Conservation Trust President and Trustee, Elizabeth’s contributions were great and widespread.  Elizabeth resided on West Bare Hill Road with views to the west.  Her property boasts the evergreen trees that have played host to the Harvard Conservation Trust’s annual Christmas Tree Sale for many seasons. There was a time in the middle of the last century when her house and property here in Harvard served as a summer retreat and weekend refuge. Those were the days when she was Dean and later acting President of Wheaton College.  Then in the 1970’s, she moved to Harvard permanently.
During her time serving on the Trust, she possessed an unwavering commitment to conservation and was very dedicated to protecting the Watt Land in Still River – over 125 acres. In addition, Elizabeth made a considerable contribution in preserving her 14-acre parcel.  May’s Easement is protected under the auspices of the Harvard Conservation Trust and will be enjoyed for years to come! Read more.

Science Fair Winners announced! 
The Harvard Conservation Trust awarded a cash prize to the following Harvard students for their exemplary exhibits at this year's Science Fair.
Top Prize for the high school went to Jessica and Julia Berger, 11th grade, for "Health of Harvard Forests: Ozone Damage on Eastern White Pine".  Second place prize went to Bernadette Stadler, Katja Lierhaus, and Kaya Phillips, 11th grade, for their exhibit on "Carbon Capture"For the middle school, Top Prize was awarded to Teague Neschke, 6th grade, for "Squirrels Favorite Food".


Julia and Jessica Berger


Teague Neschke, Bernadette Stadler, Katja Lierhaus and Kaya Phillips

January 2011
At the 2011 Harvard Conservation Trust's Annual New Year's Day walk, co
-hosted with the Littleton Conservation Trust, over 50 walkers were treated to a unseasonably warm (but welcome), tour of the Oxbow National Wildlife Refuge.  Rona Balco, of "Friends of the Oxbow National Wildlife Refuge", led the walk, pointing out nature sightings and giving an account of the site's history along the way.  Walkers also enjoyed the traditional cookies and hot cocoa with marshmallows.

Don McIver, left, of the Littleton Conservation Trust joins
Rona and John Balco of Friends of the Oxbow National Wildlife Refuge

   

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

November 2010
At the 2010 Harvard Conservation Trust Annual Meeting, Priscilla Endicott was awarded the William Tolle Hermann prize.
The prize was established in 1986 by the Harvard Conservation Trust to recognize and honor those citizens and friends of Harvard whose commitment and service to our Town have made a difference by enhancing those qualities and amenities that make Harvard such a special place to live. It was considered most appropriate that this award be named in affectionate memory of the former Trustee, the late Bill Hermann of Westward Orchards, as no one better exemplified the spirit of the award.

Priscilla was given a hand-turned bowl, made by local designer & artisan, Dave Durrant. The bowl holds special meaning, not only because of its excellent, local craftsmanship, but also because of the source of the wood Dave used. It hailed from a downed cherry tree on Priscilla's property. While the wood made its way "off-premise" for a short while, it will now return to its origin in a new & different form! It is engraved on the bottom with the following inscription:

Priscilla Endicott
William T. Hermann Prize
2010
With gratitude
Harvard Conservation Trust
Cherry from the "Ark"
D.W.D. 2010


Following the presentation of the award the members were entertained by Dr. Wendy Hagen Bauer, professor of Astronomy at Wellesley College. She gave a fascinating talk on what is above us in the skies - constellations, stars & the cosmos. Her research at the Whitin (White-in) Observatory at Wellesley focuses on the process of mass loss from stars in the late stages of their lives using data from the Hubble Space Telescope.

After the talk, members gathered for the traditional gingerbread, cider, and lively conversation.

October 2010
The Harvard Conservation Trust has moved its office to Fruitlands!
Come stop by the office and explore the museum and grounds.


October 2010
New watertight ammo boxes have replaced the existing treasure hunt boxes hidden in some of our conservation areas. Click here to see the locations and clues to finding these treasures.


September 2010
A successful Run for the Hills 5K was held on September 12, 2010 to showcase and promote open spaces in Harvard. To see photos of the day and runners, click here.


September 2010
We have added a new “Nature Sightings” section to the website. Email any nature photos to the office at mgentry@harvardconservationtrust.org and we will post them on the website.