Hike the Storybook Trail at Burgess-Brown Land

    Introduce your children to the wonders of spending time in the woods with HCT’s inaugural storybook trail, featuring Owl Moon, the children’s book by Jane Yolen. Now open from March 15th – April 2nd, you’ll find the start of the walk at the Brown-Burgess Land trailhead entrance at the end of Murray Lane in Harvard, MA. Ideal for young readers of all skill levels, the storybook trail offers an opportunity to experience Owl Moon while wandering along a ½ mile path through the woods. Each station contains two pages of this children’s book, chosen to help build connection

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New Year’s Day 2021 Poetry Walk

This year our traditional HCT New Year’s Day Walk will be modified in keeping with best practices for safety during the pandemic. We are hosting a Poetry Walk on the Burgess-Brown land, and participants are advised to walk alone or in small groups that maintain appropriate social distance.  A favorite HCT trail traverses this landscape and scattered along the path you will discover, among the trees, poems about winter and new beginnings. We hope that the self guided and reflective nature of this activity helps us all to confidently step into a bright and hopeful new year, when we can

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Shaker Spring House Trail

An often-overlooked trail here in Harvard is the Shaker Spring House trail! It’s recently been refreshed, and the 45-min loop offers beautiful walk through forest and wetlands as well as a close-up look at a historic landmark: the Shaker Spring house. The house and water system underneath was originally built by the Shakers in 1855.  Suffering from a drought, they laid an aqueduct about a mile long from the spring at this site to a reservoir in Shaker Village (now Route 2 runs between these two sites, so you won’t be able to hike from this trail over to the

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CARES ACT Changes to Charitable Giving

HCT Members & Friends: The COVID 19 Stimulus Package, also known as the CARES Act contained language that impacts the way your charitable contributions to the organizations you care about are rewarded by the IRS. To highlight a few of these changes: The adjusted gross income (AGI) limit for cash donations was increased for individuals. In 2020, cash contributions may be deducted up to 100 percent of your AGI (increased from 60 percent). If you’re between 59½ years old and 70½ years old, benefits similar to a QCD (Qualified Charitable Distribution) are now available; you can take a cash distribution

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Review: 2020 Annual Meeting

For those who may have missed it, the 2020 Annual Meeting was one of the best attended anyone can remember. Nearly 70 individuals joined our Zoom meeting, and all learned something new about how mycorrhizal relationships work, how trees share, and how fungal species establish relationships with plants while avoiding other fungus. We also learned how all of the preceding three statements are all referencing the same wood-wide web! Dr. Susan Goldhor, of the Boston Mycological Club has left us all with a better understanding and appreciation of the many ecological processes taking place right under our feet that we

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Annual Meeting

The Harvard Conservation Trust’s Annual Meeting will be held on Wednesday, November 18th at 7:00 pm, and we invite you to join us. Our invited speaker this year is President of the Boston Mycological Club, Susan Goldhor. She will speak to us about fungi, conservation, and the ways in which they are related. Ms. Goldhor will begin speaking at about 7:30 pm, following the completion of the required Trust business. This year’s highlights will include a review of a very busy year in land protection with a video tour of some recent successes, the introduction of HCT’s new Executive Director,

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Brehm Trail Re-Opened with Student Trail Work

The HCT has just re-opened the Brehm trail!  It’s a great hike or ride, with some significant hills to climb if you’re looking for a cardio workout.  You’ll find the new trailhead, marked with an HCT sign, just west of 149 Stow Road, on the north side of the street. There’s parking for 3-4 cars alongside the road across the street, or you can park at the town gravel pit, which sits back from the road about 150 yards west of the trailhead. The new Stow Road entrance trailhead provides easy access into the Brehm lands, purchased by the Trust

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Choosing What to Conserve

How does HCT know which lands to pursue and protect? The Lands Protection Committee has created a matrix to help sort the variable and drive the process.

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