15th Annual River Clean-Up to be held September 25th.

Please join us in supporting the Ten Mile River cleanup on September 25th. (8am -11am)

(Information below from the Sun Chronicle Article)

Members of the general public, conservation commissioners, Attleboro Land Trust members and other local groups will work alongside elected officials including Mayor Paul Heroux and members of the council.

Volunteers can sign up on the day of the event at a tent in the Community Gardens on Riverbank Road.

The GPS address is 37 Hayward St., Attleboro.

Some supplies will be available, although anyone wanting to be a “River Rat” should bring their own waders or wetsuit.

Families and children are welcome to collect trash along the river walkways.

Free refreshments will be supplied by Dunkin’.

Sponsors are Heroux, the land trust, conservation commission, Dunkin’ and Friends of the Ten Mile River.

For more information contact Nick Wyllie at 508-223-2222, ext. 3145.

A most agreeable feathered favourite

Visitors to the Deborah and Roger Richardson Nature Preserve will notice something new:  six birdhouses designed specifically for Eastern Bluebirds.  This beautiful bird migrates south for the winter and returns in the spring.  The birdhouses were made by Scout Eric Carey in 2014 as part of an Eagle project and placed in the meadow at the Nickerson Walking Woods Preserve.  However, not many bluebirds took residence in them.

This year we decided to move the birdhouses to the Upper and Lower Hayfields at the Richardson Preserve, where bluebirds are more common.  (Thanks to the volunteers who made this happen!).


Male Eastern Bluebird – Photo by Lee R. DeHaan

John J. Audubon wrote admiringly of the bluebird as follows:  “It adds to the delight imparted by spring, and enlivens the dull days of winter. Full of innocent vivacity, warbling its ever pleasing notes, and familiar as any bird can be in its natural freedom, it is one of the most agreeable of our feathered favourites.”

Earth Week Activities for Families

Earth Day is normally celebrated on April 22nd.  The Attleboro Land Trust will be stretching its observance into an “Earth Week” with free activities for families from April 19th to 23rd.  The activities will be geared to children aged 6 to 13, but all ages are welcome. All children must be accompanied by an adult for the entire duration of the event.

Three time slots will be available on each day of Earth Week. The time slots are 11am-12:15pm, 12:30pm-1:45pm and 2pm-3:15pm. Click on one of the links below to sign up for an activity at your chosen time.

Monday, April 19: “Slow Down and Look Around #1” Discover the natural features that exist right in your backyard with this nature scavenger hunt. (Nickerson Walking Woods Preserve) SIGN_UP

Tuesday, April 20: “How Curious Are You?”  Learn to see nature through the eyes of a curious naturalist while gathering nature items. (Larson Woodland) SIGN_UP

Wednesday, April 21: “Letting Nature Inspire Your Art” Focus on the beauty around you and create your own artwork with materials obtained from nature along with provided materials. (Deborah and Roger Richardson Nature Preserve) SIGN_UP

Thursday, April 22: “Slow Down and Look Around #2” Discover the natural features that exist right in your backyard with this nature scavenger hunt. (Nickerson Walking Woods Preserve) SIGN_UP

Friday, April 23: “Can you Identify these Trees/Plants?” Practice and learn how to identify certain types of trees and plants found in these areas. (Deborah and Roger Richardson Nature Preserve) SIGN_UP

For more information or questions, contact Evan Foster at evanfosterALT@gmail.com.

Fishing for Answers at Larson Woodland

Staff and volunteers from the Woonasquatucket River Watershed Council in Rhode Island paid a visit to the Attleboro Land Trust’s Larson Woodland on September 17 to take a census of fish species in the Ten Mile River.  They came at the invitation of Keith Gonsalves of the Ten Mile River Watershed Council.  Keith has long been concerned about the health of the river and its inhabitants and has been arranging these scientific surveys annually for a number of years to monitor the river’s condition.

Volunteers helped collect the fish, using a device which temporarily stuns the fish with a slight electric shock.  The fish are counted and measured, then returned unharmed to the river.

 

In this video clip, ranger Jacob Gorke measures a baby largemouth bass.

 

This is a Yellow Bullhead Catfish.

 

Other species found in the river were Golden shiner, Tesselated darter, Pumpkin seed, Bluegill, Redfin pickerel, Crawfish, and Chain pickerel.

Be like Sisyphus

As noted in a previous post, the Attleboro Land Trust is participating in the annual Big Read program of the Attleboro Public Library.  This year, the entire community is reading the book Circe, a story about Greek gods and goddesses by Madeline Miller.

If you are visiting the Phil and Ginny Leach Wildlife Sanctuary to do the Virtual Mythology Scavenger Hunt, be sure to visit Big Rock before you leave.  This glacial boulder serves as a reminder of Sisyphus, a character from Greek mythology not mentioned in the book.  Sisyphus was a dishonest and greedy king who was punished by being forced to roll a huge boulder up a hill, over and over again for eternity.  Whenever Sisyphus got to the top of the hill, the boulder would roll down again.

We invite you to take a selfie with Big Rock and post it on our Facebook page or send it to us.

Virtual Mythology “G-Odyssey” Scavenger Hunt

The Attleboro Land Trust is again hosting an activity for families as part of the annual Big Read program of the Attleboro Public Library.  This year, the entire community is reading the book Circe by Madeline Miller.  The activity is a Scavenger Hunt to find hidden gods and goddesses from the book using the free GooseChase EDU smartphone app.  You may participate in this activity on your own schedule from dawn to dusk today through October 18 at the Phil and Ginny Leach Wildlife Sanctuary.

On your smartphone, go to your app store and search for GooseChase. Download and open the app.  You can “Play as Guest” without needing to open a new account.  Search for “Circe” and you will find the Circe Mythology G-Odyssey Scavenger Hunt.

You will be asked to name your team, but it is OK if you are just one.  Follow the directions and enjoy the game.

Here is a map if you need it:  Leach Sanctuary Trail Map

(This event was originally going to be at the Richardson Nature Preserve, but that site is not available due to a construction project.)

 

Walking Our Watershed

On August 10 Ben Cote of Friends of the Ten Mile led a walk along a portion of the Ten Mile River in Attleboro, beginning at Larson Woodland.  Ben explained the pivotal role the river played in the Industrial Revolution two centuries ago, when factories were built alongside the river and dams were created with water wheels providing a source of mechanical power.  In the 20th century, the river also became a convenient place to dump industrial waste, until environmental awareness eventually took hold.  Today it is illegal to dump waste into the river, but stormwater running off lawns carries fertilizers into the river, leading to algae blooms which rob fish of oxygen.

As the group moved up the watershed towards the Water Street bridge, it was joined by longtime watershed advocate Don Doucette, who shared some of his knowledge of the river and its history.

Watershed advocate Don Doucette points out the confluence of the Bungay and Ten Mile Rivers from the Water Street bridge.    Image credit: C. Adler

View a Pristine Marsh on Saturday, August 24

Local naturalist Gary Krofta will lead a guided walk at the Anthony Lawrence Wildlife Preserve on Saturday, August 24.  The preserve features a pristine freshwater marsh, on the Seven Mile River, that provides habitat for a variety of wildlife.  Deer and wild turkeys frequently visit the preserve and red-winged blackbirds roost in the few trees dotting the marsh. Many colorful wildflowers and a variety of pollinating insects can be observed at this time of year.  Krofta will also point out some invasive species, such as the purple loosestrife that could replace native cattails if left unchecked.  The walk will begin at 9:00 am and last about an hour and a half.

The Anthony Lawrence Wildlife Preserve is located at the end of Hope Avenue off Newport Avenue. Directions: Coming from downtown Attleboro on Route 123 west, you will pass the South Attleboro American Legion on your right. Take the next left onto Hope Avenue. Park on the right side and walk to the end of the street. Please try to avoid blocking any of the neighbors’ mailboxes.

This walk has been added to the Attleboro Land Trust’s summer event schedule in addition to the series of three guided walks previously announced.

Get to Know Your Watershed on August 10

Guided Walk:  Getting to Know Your Watershed

Location:  Larson Woodland, corner of Watson Avenue and Riverbank Road (across from Willett School), Attleboro

Time:  9:00 – 10:30 am, Saturday, August 10 (Rain date: August 11)

Chances are that a drop of rain falling in Attleboro will eventually find its way to the Ten Mile River, which runs through the center of the city, then flows into the Seekonk River, which eventually flows into Narragansett Bay. Ben Cote, of Friends of the Ten Mile, will host this introduction to the river.  He will explain the importance of the river and its watershed to past, present, and future generations, as well as to the plants and animals that thrive in its habitat.