Brockton Envirothon Team Soars at Competition

Each year since 2015, Wildlands Trust has helped coach the Brockton High School Envirothon team for the annual state competition. This past Friday the team spent the morning at Blackstone River and Canal Heritage State Park in Uxbridge competing against twenty-four other teams from across the state. Ten students split up to compete in forestry, wildlife, water, and soils before coming back together to present their research on watershed issues in Brockton. For the first time, the team took first place for their presentation, as well as earning third place in forestry!

  The team presents their current issue research on watersheds to a panel of judges at the May 18 competition.

The team presents their current issue research on watersheds to a panel of judges at the May 18 competition.

Throughout the school year, the team thoroughly investigated the current issue topic “Working with Nature in Watersheds”. They met with climate scientists, city officials, foresters, ecologists, and more at afterschool meetings to help understand the complex watershed issues in Brockton. From the city’s complex drinking water supply issues to green infrastructure initiatives in the Taunton River watershed, these students covered it all.

Taking action, the team assisted Wildlands Trust staff in building a boardwalk over wetlands at Stone Farm Conservation Area to help provide public access to nature while protecting sensitive wetland habitat. Then, they put together a seven-step restoration plan for their school’s degrading Flagg Pond with the help of restoration ecologist Brad Holmes. Step one was to organize a school-wide pond cleanup, where thirty-six students collected enough litter to fill a truck bed. This pond leads directly into West Meadow Brook Pond in West Bridgewater, then to Lake Nippenicket in the Hockomock Swamp, and from there into the Taunton River itself. The rest of the Flagg Pond restoration plan will require a community effort that the school and Wildlands Trust will continue to investigate.

  The team assess conditions at Flagg Pond with restoration ecologist Brad Holmes in April

The team assess conditions at Flagg Pond with restoration ecologist Brad Holmes in April

We are very proud of everything the team accomplished this year. While the majority of this year’s students will be graduating in a few short weeks and going off to college, we look forward to coaching another great team starting next fall.  

  Congratulations on a job well done!

Congratulations on a job well done!

Canvassing Increases Awareness, Participation for the GGCP

Wildlands Trust staff hit the streets of Brockton to promote the Greening the Gateway Cities Program

 Tommy Blanchard and Conor Michaud with a recently planted tree at Brockton City Hall

Tommy Blanchard and Conor Michaud with a recently planted tree at Brockton City Hall

Spring has launched the new planting season for the Greening the Gateway Cities Program (GGCP) and in Brockton, it is off to a great start. Wildlands’ Community Stewardship Program Coordinator, Conor Michaud, and AmeriCorps member, Tommy Blanchard, have met with community members throughout the city's planting zone in an effort to connect directly with eligible households and have received an overall positive response. As of April 27, 611 trees have been planted throughout Brockton, 179 on public land and 432 on private. Many who utilize the program have reported they first heard of the GGCP from a canvasser.

Conor and Tommy will be kicking off their first tabling event of the season at the Plant and Seed Swap, held at the Frederick Douglass Community Garden on Sunday, May 6, from 12:30 – 3 p.m. Those who would like to find out more information about the Greening the Gateway Cities Program can stop by their table or visit our website at wildlandstrust.org/greening-the-gateway-cities.

Hiring: AmeriCorps 2018-2019

We are looking for a TerraCorps member to join the Wildlands Trust team! As a member, you will be part of the 2018-2019 TerraCorps program and join 35 other members to serve with nonprofit partner organizations across Massachusetts. As a TerraCorps Community Engagement Coordinator serving with Wildlands Trust, your focus will be on connecting people to the natural world through educational programming and volunteerism. Members serve full-time (37 hour/week) from August 27th, 2018- July 26th, 2019. These 1,700 hour AmeriCorps positions receive a living allowance, education award, and additional AmeriCorps benefits. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. Interviews begin in early May.

High School Woodworking with Wildlands

On Friday, March 23, 15 high school seniors from Rising Tide Charter Public School in Plymouth took part in a bat box and bench building project hosted by Wildlands at our headquarters. This volunteer event was one of several attended by students as part of an annual Rising Tide field trip day involving community service.

  Seniors at Rising Tide build bat homes and benches for Wildlands Trust properties.

Seniors at Rising Tide build bat homes and benches for Wildlands Trust properties.

Students were given pre-cut pieces of wood and constructed the boxes and benches using power drills. In just over 3 hours, we were able to finish building two benches and 12 bat boxes, and they all came out beautifully! The benches and bat boxes will be installed on several Wildlands preserves at a later date. Before we install the boxes, however, we will paint their exteriors -- bats like a warm environment, so a dark paint will help retain heat.

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Thank you, Rising Tide, the project was a huge success and we absolutely loved having you!

It's Tree Planting Season!

By Tommy Blanchard, TerraCorps Land Stewardship Coordinator

The City of Brockton has been selected to receive 2,400 free trees to be planted for environmental health and energy efficiency as a part of the Greening the Gateway Cities Program (GGCP), and we here at Wildlands are gearing up for the spring planting season! Planting trees in urban areas has many beneficial effects, from lowering energy usage and costs, to decreasing noise pollution, to improving air and water quality and reducing pollution, and much more – thanks, Science! So far, around 500 trees have been planted through this program, and the GGCP aims to plant all 2,400 trees in the identified area (below) before the end of 2019. In order to meet this goal, we must plant about 1,000 more this year and another 1,000 in 2019. We need your help to make this happen! Please share this with anyone you know who lives in the area of Brockton shown below. We have lots of trees that need loving homes!

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Tree Planting Area

Greening the Gateway Cities, Brockton, MA

“We have over 40 different species of trees that the homeowner gets to choose from,” says DCR's Community and Urban Forester Matt Dyer. “The trees are free. The labor is free. This is truly a free program. We just ask that the residents water the trees after we plant them so the trees will survive.”

To request your free trees, call 617-626-1503 and leave your name, address, and phone number. For more information, visit wildlandstrust.org/greening-the-gateway-cities.

In addition, we are looking for GGCP volunteers! If you are looking to help a great cause and engage with members of a diverse and vibrant community, please email Tommy Blanchard at tblanchard@wildlandstrust.org to inquire about open volunteer positions, and learn more at wildlandstrust.org/volunteer-with-ggc.

And don’t forget to like/follow our Facebook and Instagram pages to keep up with the latest GGCP news!

Facebook: facebook.com/GGCBrockton/

Instagram: instagram.com/ggcbrockton/

 Trees are planted on public and private lands at absolutely no cost. Volunteers help plant this tree in a Brockton park!

Trees are planted on public and private lands at absolutely no cost. Volunteers help plant this tree in a Brockton park!

The Greening the Gateway Cities Program is a state funded initiative to plant trees in urban neighborhoods throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Greening the Gateway Cities in Brockton is executed in collaboration with the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation.