The Trust partnered with the Town of Hanson to preserve an 11.2 acre parcel which is one of Hanson’s earliest CPA-funded open space acquisitions. The Town acquired the Property with the Trust’s assistance several years ago, and we completed the Conservation Restriction earlier this year.
The Property expands a wildlife corridor and green-way along Poor Meadow Brook, a tributary of the Wild & Scenic Taunton River, and helps to protect the nearby Crystal Spring well field. Thanks to Hanson Open Space Committee Chair Phil Clemons for his outstanding work in helping to advance this project to completion.
Willow Brook Preserve is experiencing a makeover this fall with the help of twins, Camden and Colton Cappa, from Pembroke Boy Scouts Troop 105. Both have hiked the preserve in the past and saw some ways that they could enhance visitor experience.
Camden is working on the carpentry side of things, replacing older benches and installing a picnic table which will allow visitors to stop and grab a bite while taking in a view of the picturesque fields at Willow Brook. Colton will be installing signage to help guide walkers to Willow Brook Preserve's most visited spots which include the Tower and the Mary-Harry Todd trail. Colton is also partnering with local drone photographer, Lee Woodward, to get some beautiful HD aerial shots of our preserve which we will be sharing on our Facebook page and website.
During this project, Camden and Colton received help from friends: Coleman Earner, Lucas Evans, Justin Geiser, Connor Giese, Eric/Greg Kaplowitz, Nicholas Palmer, Coleman/Sean Spring, and Thomas Tremblay. If you know of any Boy Scouts who are looking for an Eagle Scout project, feel free to contact email@example.com.
Early this coming November the doors to our Community Conservation Barn will open in celebration! This new building, which replaces the original family barn at Davis-Douglas Farm, is so close to completion, but to finish we need your help! In our final phase of fundraising, your donation will help “Raise the Roof” with 6,000 board feet of local pine for the ceiling of the Conservation Barn.
Our vision is for the Conservation Barn to be a venue for community engagement and environmental learning at Davis-Douglas Farm. Public programs, events, lectures, and meetings at the barn will aid in our mission to connect people to nature, inspiring broader support for land protection. We are most grateful to the community for supporting this important addition to Wildlands Trust’s new home.
While all donations are greatly appreciated, when you contribute $200 or more, you will be invited to our “Raise the Roof” Celebration on November 5, 2016! This level of support makes you a “Roof-Raiser”, and you will be recognized on the donor banner that will hang from the rafters of the finished barn. You can give online or respond to a mailing you may have received asking for your support.
We only have a short way to go before we have completed the restoration of the Davis-Douglas Farm property on Long Pond Road. The beautiful land has been saved, the antique farm house restored, wildlife gardens planted, the iconic water tower has been restored, and the office is bustling! Come for a visit anytime!
Please contact Sue Chamberlain at 774-343-5121 ext 101 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about the project or if you did not receive a mailing and would like one.
On the week of August 15, volunteers from around the country took a Sierra Club working vacation right here at Wildlands Trust! Sierra Club offers these volunteer vacations to "give back to Mother Nature" on public lands across the country. Organizers began planning their trip with Wildlands Trust almost two years ago, and we were all very happy to see it come together at last!
Our week began at Emery Preserve East, on Ship Pond Road in Plymouth. This preserve helped launch Wildlands Trust (then Plymouth County Wildlands Trust) back in 1973 and is now part of the Davis-Douglas Conservation Area. Before we started work on Monday morning, the trail system at Emery East was in need of repair, and the small yet serene Cotton Pond was barely accessible to the public. With twenty two eager volunteers, we knew we could put a trail system here that would do this property justice!
Volunteers armed with hand tools spent hour after hour, day after day cutting, raking, pulling, and hauling. By the end of the week we were able to officially open a trail system ending in a loop to Cotton Pond, which we fondly call the Cotton Pond Trail. Posted signage helped make the opening official! However, there is (always) more work to be done there. If you're interested in helping widen the trail, put in benches, and install steps make sure to check out the September 10 Trailblazers work day!
During the week, these dedicated volunteers not only restored Cotton Pond Trail, but spend time doing service projects all over Plymouth. Here at the Wildlands Trust headquarters, they completed of a compost bin, benches which will be installed on various preserves, and the transplant and seeding of a new pollinator garden. The next morning, a giant pile of wood from a washed up dock and other trash was hauled about a half a mile from the beach to the trail head at Plymouth's Center Hill Preserve.
All of us at Wildlands Trust would like to extend a very big Thank You to the volunteers and organizers of this wonderful trip! We hope to work with the Sierra Club in the future on more projects throughout our service region.
Click here to find out more about Sierra Club working vacations.
While trail clearing this spring in efforts to open up the Hoyt-Hall Preserve in Marshfield to public recreation (stay tuned for official opening announcement – Fall 2016!) Wildlands Trust noticed that heavy patches of the nuisance poison ivy occur along portions of the trail system. Wildlands Trust decided to try a no-chemical treatment with GoGreenGoat to eradicate the poison ivy.
For one week, four goats did a great job browsing down all things green along the walking trail. The Trust will be monitoring the regrowth of the woody nuisance ivy over the next few growing seasons. We will likely reenlist the services of the goats in future projects across Wildlands Trust properties in southeastern Massachusetts.
Seven local students completed Wildlands Trust 2016 Green Team this summer. Despite being in the midst of a July heat wave, Green Team members spent two weeks learning about an array of topics in the environmental field from local professionals and volunteering with them as well. Some of the highlights included:
- Constructing Bluebird boxes for Cape Wildlife Center in Barnstable and learning about wildlife rehabilitation from Lynn Miller.
- A birding walk and workshop with Brian Harrington at our Great River Preserve, followed by trail maintenance throughout Great River.
- A beach cleanup at Center Hill Preserve in Plymouth.
- Constructing a trail at the Halfway Pond preserve to connect to Myles Standish State Park trails.
- Learning about organic growing from Kofi Ingersoll of Bay End Farm in Bourne and harvesting garlic.
Wildlands Trust’s Green Team provides job training for high school students interested in natural resource work. Under the supervision of Wildlands Trust Staff, students undertake trail maintenance and construction, wildlife nesting box construction, beach cleanups, and invasive species removal and farming projects. Students who complete the program receive a stipend for their efforts.
On July 13, the Trust accepted a transfer of 58 acres in the Chiltonville section of Plymouth from the Eel River Watershed Association. Colloquially known as the Whipple Farm or less commonly the Eel River Fields, the property includes open fields, extensive frontage on the Eel River, and pastoral views that provide a striking contrast to Plymouth’s more common landscape features such as ponds, pine barrens, and coastline.
The land is under an Agricultural Preservation Restriction that ensures it will always be used for some type of agricultural activity. Presently, Manomet farmer Jen Friedrich grows vegetables on a portion of the land, and another local farmer harvests hay several times during the year.
With its rolling hills, expansive fields, and historic homes, Chiltonville is one of Plymouth’s most scenic enclaves. The Trust has long had holdings in Chiltonville with the Eel River and Withington Preserves, but this new acquisition joins with these nearby preserves to significantly expand our presence in the area.
While cranberry farming is the most dominant type of agricultural endeavor in Plymouth, the Eel River Fields will always provide fertile ground for a wide range of “terrestrial” farming opportunities. We look forward to working with Farmer Jen and others to explore the possibilities for maximizing the property’s agricultural potential.
Thanks to Mettie Whipple and the Eel River Watershed Association for entrusting this distinctive component of Plymouth’s landscape to the Trust.
By Michael W. Pirrone
The great outdoors might just be greater than you think. There are plenty of us who love to spend as many hours of the day outdoors as we can, and hiking is obviously quite healthy for the body, but few of us ever give a lot of thought to how hiking could benefit our mental health as well. It turns out that hiking might just be your ticket to a brand-new brain, whether you’re passionate about the outdoors, or just force yourself to take a stroll around your local park.
Recent studies about the effects of hiking and nature have been directed at understanding just how this recreational activity affects both the physiological and mental aspects of our brains. One of the main reasons for this glut of research is because we’re spending so much less time outdoors, overall. The average American child now spends half as much time outside as compared to only 20 years ago. HALF. Only 6% of children will play outside on their own in a typical week. Conversely, kids are now spending almost 8 hours per day watching television, playing video games, or using a computer, tablet, or phone for recreational purposes. That number actually jumps up to 10 hours if you count doing two things at once! Overall, Americans now spend 93% of their time inside a building or vehicle.
So, what does this mean for human beings? Well, unless we get a little more proactive about embracing fresh air and dirt under our feet, the prognosis is pretty grim. The bright side is, as with all great medicine, when it comes to the outdoors, a little goes a long way.
Nature really does clear your head.
According to a study published last July in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a 90-minute walk through a natural environment had a huge positive impact on participants. In a survey taken afterwards, those people who took the natural walk showed far lower levels of brooding, or obsessive worry. The control group who spent that 90 minutes walking through a city reported no such difference. Not only that, but the scientists went a step further and did brain scans of the subjects. They found that there was decreased blood flow to the subgenual prefrontal cortex. What in the world does that mean? Well, increased blood flow to this region of the brain is associated with bad moods. Everything from feeling sad about something, to worrying, to major depression seem to be tied to this brain region. Hiking deactivates it.
Unplugging makes you more creative.
Psychologists Ruth Ann Atchley and David L. Strayer found in their 2012 study that after a four-day-long hike in the wilderness, with no access to technology, participants scored a whopping 50% higher on a test known as RAT, or Remote Associates Test. It’s a simple way of measuring the creative potential in people. A series of three words are given, for instance, “same, tennis, and head.” The test-taker has to find a fourth word that connects the first three. In this case, the answer is “match.” A 50% increase is a huge leap up in performance by research standards. Problem-solving skills like this are thought to originate in the same area of the brain that we also use for selective attention and threat detection, meaning our ability to think creatively is being overwhelmed by the constant stimulus of digital, indoor living.
Hiking boosts your focus.
We mentioned selective attention in the previous section but this is bigger than that. Anyone who has ADHD or has raised a child who has been diagnosed with the disorder can tell you, it’s a daily struggle to maintain grades, work performance, even relationships with friends and family. Medication can help alleviate the symptoms, but often ADHD persists into adulthood and that daily habit of popping stimulants can take its toll on your health and your wallet. Well, what about a good hike? A 2004 study came to the pretty obvious conclusion that getting outdoors and doing something active can reduce the symptoms of ADHD. More than that, it can do so for anyone, regardless of age, health, or other characteristics that can change the effect of medication.
Charge your mind’s batteries with a hike.
Hiking is a pretty solid aerobic exercise that burns around 400-700 calories per hour. This is great on its own, but aerobic exercise also has a really positive effect on your brain: it improves your memory. It’s even being studied as a way to help seniors fight off dementia, because it doesn’t just increase your ability to store information, it also reduces memory loss. Outdoor activity has also been shown to improve grades, so it’s a pretty solid choice all around for juicing your grey matter.
Feel better about yourself, from your sweaty head down to your muddy boots.
According to a 2010 report in the Journal of Environmental Science and Technology, even getting out into nature for five minutes at a stretch is enough to give your self-esteem a substantial upgrade. Spending the entire day outdoors results in a second jump upwards! Walking near water seemed to have the biggest effect, so when planning your next hike, be sure to seek out a location with some great streams, rivers, or lakes.
Is hiking the solution to all of life’s woes? Probably not. But what science is showing is that it’s actually a pretty solid candidate for making everyone’s lives a lot better, with very little input. If you already hike, good for you! If you’d like to start, find yourself a sturdy, comfortable pair of shoes or boots and head to a website like EveryTrail, which can help you find your way to the nearest nature.
Be sure to SHARE this story with your friends and family!
To find a Wildlands Trust trail visit our trail page
This article was oroginally published April 11, 2016 on Wimp.com
Well, Wildlands Trust is now part of the hottest new game in the WORLD!!! Pokemon Go!
Our water tower at 675 Long Pond Road in Plymouth is a Pokestop
In simple terms, Pokémon Go uses your phone’s GPS and clock to detect where and when you are in the game and make Pokémon “appear” around you (on your phone screen) so you can go and catch them. As you move around, different and more types of Pokémon will appear depending on where you are and what time it is. The idea is to encourage you to travel around the real world to catch Pokémon in the game. (This combination of a game and the real world interacting is known as “augmented reality.”)
To find out more, go to the Pokemon Go website at http://pokemongo.nianticlabs.com/en/
The Town of Plymouth is updating the Open Space Plan and wants to hear from you about Plymouth’s parks, trails, beaches, ponds and forests.
Would you please take this short 5-question survey and let them know what you think.
Thank you for your help!
Thanks to the generosity of landowners Walt and Sharon Munroe, the Trust recently completed the Munroe Farm Conservation Restriction in Rehoboth. The Munroe Farm’s 100+ acres includes open fields, carefully managed woodlands, a portion of the “Great Maple Swamp”, a large expanse of wooded wetland, several vernal pools, and scenic views that have changed little over Walt and Sharon’s years as stewards of the farm.
The Munroe Farm CR is the Trust’s second in Rehoboth, following the 52-acre CR donated by the Bertozzi family in 1999 and situated just a few miles to the northeast. Both of these CR’s help protect the rural character of North Rehoboth, an area that still retains its bucolic look and feel despite development pressures and Rehoboth’s attractiveness as a bedroom community for nearby Providence.
Supplied by the Munroe family, the above photo captures Walt at a rare moment of respite from his many activities on the farm, and is a fine example of life imitating art. The “statue” is a wood-carving of Walt and his trusty canine companion Sadie, created by Munroe family friend Mike Higgins. It turns out that the statue became something of a local icon even before Walt’s untimely passing last August. The photo was taken at the request of a customer of the Munroe’s Feed and Grain store, who one day stopped by and requested that Walt pose for a picture with his wooden likeness. Ever the gentleman, Walt graciously obliged the customer’s request.
From all of us at the Trust, our most sincere thanks to Walt and Sharon Munroe for their unsparing commitment to preserving their seventh-generation farm, and for their patience and good humor throughout the years it took to complete the CR.
Note: You can learn more about this project by clicking here.
The Woodchucks of Plymouth, a local, all volunteer, woodworking club comprised mostly of retirees, recently delivered 7 well-crafted benches for the Brockton Audubon Preserve in Brockton and Hoyt Hall Preserve in Marshfield.
The late Lenny Barbieri and the late Charlie Stasinos founded the club in 1995 to promote the art of woodworking and to exchange ideas and knowledge of the craft. Under the watchful eye of Bill Nemec, approximately 20 members worked on this project for Wildlands Trust.
Funding for this project came from The Department of Conservation and Recreation - Recreational Trails Grant Program.
Wildlands Trust thanks the Woodchucks of Plymouth for all of their hard work and their beautiful benches.
Did you know that this Saturday, June 11, is National Get Outdoors Day (GO Day)?
National Get Outdoors Day was launched on June 14, 2008. Building on the success of More Kids in the Woods and other important efforts to connect Americans – and especially children – with nature and active lifestyles, various groups agreed to lead an inclusive, nationwide effort focusing on a single day when people would be inspired and motivated to get outdoors. GO Day partnered with federal, state and local agencies, key enthusiast organizations and recreation businesses to promote a healthy, fun day of outdoor adventure aimed at reaching first-time visitors to open spaces and connecting children to the outdoors.
GO Day is an outgrowth of the Get Outdoors USA! campaign, which encourages Americans, especially our youth, to seek out healthy, active outdoor lives and embrace our parks, forests, refuges and other public lands and waters.
What better way to celebrate this day than by taking a hike on one of our great trails on our preserves through out southeastern Massachusetts. Click on the button below to find one of our trails near you. Happy Hiking!!!
Did you know . . . that if you buy things on Amazon that you can contribute to Wildlands Trust through their AmazonSmile program?
What is AmazonSmile you ask??
AmazonSmile is a website operated by Amazon that lets customers enjoy the same wide selection of products, low prices, and convenient shopping features as on Amazon.com. The difference is that when customers shop on AmazonSmile (smile.amazon.com), the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the price of eligible purchases to the charitable organizations selected by customers.
How does AmazonSmile work?
When first visiting AmazonSmile, customers are prompted to select a charitable organization from almost one million eligible organizations. In order to browse or shop at AmazonSmile, customers must first select a charitable organization (and that would be Wildlands Trust!). For eligible purchases at AmazonSmile, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price to the customer’s selected charitable organization.
And that is it!! It is so easy to donate to us just by buying things that you already want. Check it out by clicking on the button below.
and THANK YOU for supporting Wildlands Trust!!
The Wildlands Trust has 2 summer internship opportunities available. Preference will be given to qualified candidates who are college students majoring in an environmental concentration.
Position #1- Natural Resource Monitor
Location: Plymouth, MA
Hours: 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. 12 weekend days between June 25th and August 21st
(some flexibility for you to pick days)
Duties: Intern will monitor the public usage of the Halfway Pond Conservation Area in
Plymouth collecting data that will become the foundation of a management plan.
Skills: Great attitude! Data collection and observation skills, strong interpersonal skills,
good judgement, ability to ride a mountain bike, interest in being outside.
Stipend: $500 upon completion of project.
Position #2 - Trail Intern
Location: Plymouth, MA
Hours: 16 hours per week, through August
Duties: Work to ground truth the accuracy of maps of existing trails so we can prepare a
new publication on hikes in Plymouth. Training provided.
Skills: Great attitude! Comfortable hiking in the woods alone, valid driver’s license,
self-starter, experience with hand tools, strong computer skills. Ability to use GPS
Stipend: $500 upon completion of project.
If interested in either of these positions, please send a cover letter along with your resume to email@example.com. No phone calls please.
Erik Boyer, Property Manager at Wildlands Trust, successfully completed the 3-day Training Workshop for the Keystone Project, held at the Harvard Forest in Petersham, NH this spring.
In ecology, a keystone species is one whose impacts on its environment are larger and greater than would be expected from one species. The Keystone Project invests education and reference materials in important, keystone people making a large impact at their local level. The training covers subjects such as forest ecology and management, wildlife management, land protection, and community outreach. In exchange for the training and take-home resources, graduates of the program, called Cooperators, agree to return to their communities and volunteer at least 30-hours of their time towards projects that promote forest and wildlife conservation.
The Keystone Project is designed to stimulate forest landowners and community opinion leaders to be advocates of sound forest conservation, and to help inform the land management and conservation decisions of their friends, neighbors, organizations, and communities. Keystone Cooperators can be very effective in doing this, since they are well-connected community leaders. Other past Cooperator projects have included permanently conserving their own land, initiating a forest landowner cooperative, promoting management on municipal and conservation lands, writing newspaper articles, hosting educational events, and improving their own properties for wildlife, recreation, and timber.
More than three-fourths of all woodland in Massachusetts is owned by thousands of private families and individuals. Much of this land is at risk of conversion to developed uses. It is important to reach woodland owners as well as communities and land trusts with information on the care of their land. Keystone training is designed to provide Cooperators with skills and information to better engage in this important activity at the local level.
The Keystone Project is organized by the University of Massachusetts Department of Environmental Conservation and UMass Extension, with support from the Harvard Forest, MA Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, the MA DCR Service Forestry Program, and the Leo S. Walsh Foundation.
For more information on forest conservation or Keystone, contact:
Erik Boyer at 774-343-5121 x106 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Wildlands Trust was honored to be part of the ceremony held recently to celebrate the opening of Plympton’s first conservation lands, Cato’s Ridge and Churchill Park. Karen Grey, Executive Director of Wildlands Trust, was a featured speaker at the event held to honor the many partners who helped bring this project to fruition. Grey’s comments addressed the importance of the Community Preservation Act in local land protection. In this case, a $22,000 contribution from Plympton CPA funds leveraged the permanent protection of over 100 acres of open space.
Rain and mud did not deter the crowd of almost 100 people from coming out to celebrate this momentous occasion. We congratulate all involved with impressive accomplishment.
This past month the Duxburrow Path Outdoor Learning Center opened to great fanfare in Duxbury, MA. This community based effort began in 2013 and continues in development currently.
The goal of the project is to create an outdoor learning area for use by all three of the Alden Street schools as well as the community of Duxbury. The newly-opened outdoor learning area follows the trails used by Duxbury’s early European settlers to get around Duxbury and travel to Marshfield and Plymouth.
Phase I including planning, design and preparation for the project has been completed. Now underway, Phase II focuses on the construction of an outdoor amphitheater by Duxbury High School students. The school site offers extensive, unique learning opportunities that will help students take full advantage of project based learning through access to ponds, wetlands, wood areas, marshland, tidal rivers and gardens. It will be dedicated to providing hands-on learning experiences in nature that support and enhance current academic goals while also fostering a love for nature and life long learning
Wildlands Trust was a collaborator on the project from the beginning, working with Science Director Cheryl Lewis to help replicate the Trust’s Climate Lab as the model for the Outdoor Leaning Center.
Thursday, May 12th marked the second time Brockton High SchooL/Wildlands Trust participated in the annual Massachusetts Envirothon Competition. The team of nine Brockton High School students had the chance to compete in the state-wide competition held at the beautiful Hopkinton State Park this year. The team has worked hard since the beginning of the school year, learning the science and social issues behind four key areas of natural resource conservation: soils, water, wildlife, and forestry.
All our students had a great time preparing the hands-on skills necessary for each section, and our Soils sub-team placed 2nd in the Soils Ecostation category!
Additionally, every year has a unique Current Issue Topic, around which the students base their community research. This year’s topic was “Invasive Species Management” and the students created a 3-tiered Action Plan. First, they sent out a survey to local environmental professionals to assess the issue of invasive species, which got back almost 70 responses in just two weeks! Second, they decided to gain hands-on, personal experience by helping to remove a truck-load of invasive Buckthorn and Honeysuckle from Wildlands Trust’s Brockton Audubon Preserve. Third, they filmed their experience and created a PSA video to share with BHS’s 4,000+ students and on Brockton Public Access Television to educate the public about the problem of invasive species. Through these efforts, the team earned both the Community Research Award and the Community Action Award and will have letters sent on their behalf detailing their accomplishments to the Brockton Superintendent of Schools, local newspapers and media outlets, and their district’s state representatives.
Congratulations to our students! We are so proud of all their hard work and dedication!
We would like to thank the Brockton Public Schools Transportation Department for providing transportation to the Envirothon Workshops throughout the year and the Competition.