Volunteers Rake While the Sun Shines at Larson Woodland

It is impossible for the edge of Larson Woodland on Riverbank Road to absorb the huge amount of leaves that fall each year.  It takes a crew of volunteers to rake and remove the leaves in order to keep the edge of the woodland walkable.  Fortunately, a great group of volunteers answered the call on Friday, December 11, and the job was done.  The leaves were used to help control erosion on a slope facing the Ten Mile River.

Thanks to everyone who helped in this annual effort.

Announcing an opportunity to serve with Americorps in Attleboro

TerraCorps, an AmeriCorps-affiliated environmental nonprofit, has selected the Attleboro Land Trust as a partner for the 2020-21 TerraCorps program year. This partnership will allow the Attleboro Land Trust to host one “Land Stewardship/Community Engagement Coordinator” in a full-time 8-month service position from December 2020 to July 2021.

TerraCorps members serve communities by developing local partnerships, leading activities, and engaging with volunteers. Members have the opportunity to gain valuable hands-on experience and receive professional development training and mentorship. As part of AmeriCorps, members also receive a living allowance, and are eligible for healthcare coverage, childcare coverage, loan forbearance, and an education award.

The Attleboro Land Trust’s member will focus on (1) activities to enhance and protect the 492 acres of conservation land under its care and (2) engagement with the public to increase awareness of and involvement with the land trust’s mission across all sectors of the community.

To apply for this position, visit terracorps.org.  For questions about serving with TerraCorps, contact Lianna Lee (admin@terracorps.org). For more about the TerraCorps position in Attleboro, contact Charlie Adler (attleborolandtrust@gmail.com).

Cleaning up after a storm

Severe winds have taken their toll on land trust properties in recent years, and we are surveying our lands now for any damage that might have been caused by Tropical Storm Isaias. Thanks to site steward Alan Henry, we already have one report of a downed tree blocking the Charlie Wyman Loop Trail on the Richardson Nature Preserve.  Volunteers will be clearing the trail in the next few days.

If you would like to help keep our conservation lands well managed, there are plenty of opportunities for volunteersContact us to find out more.

Thanks to our volunteers

On Tuesday, May 26, a work party of nine volunteers helped with the maintenance of Nickerson Walking Woods Preserve.  The work was peformed with coronavirus precautions and the size of the group was limited to a maximum of ten people.


Most of the work focused on the meadow, which had become overgrown with invasive buckthorn saplings.

 


The invasive plants were removed by the roots to prevent them from growing back.

 


One of our volunteers helped to extend the life of a boardwalk by removing leaves and dirt that had collected between the slats.

If you would like to help with future work parties, contact us.

Walking the boundaries at the Nickerson Walking Woods Preserve

On Saturday, March 7, 2020, a group of volunteers walked the boundaries of the Nickerson Walking Woods Preserve.  The purpose of the walk was to inspect the condition of the preserve, check for any encroachment of the boundaries, and find existing boundary markers.  From the parking area on Richardson Avenue, we headed for the far corners of the property.

   
A snowfall the previous night had added a sparkle to the landscape.

 

After crossing the power line easement, we found a steel pipe marking the SE corner of Nickerson Walking Woods Preserve.  This point is on the town line between Attleboro and Norton.

 

We placed a witness post near the pipe to make it easier to find next time.

 

The pipe is at the end of this stone wall.

 

We added a sign with our visitor regulations.

 

We walked the entire length of the power line easement from south to north.

 

We put up another regulation sign at the edge of the power line along our northern boundary.

 

Thanks to all who attended the walk!

Boundary Walks on March 14 and 21 are cancelled

A series of boundary walks was planned for the first three Saturdays in March, weather permitting.  The purpose of boundary walks is to maintain signs and markers along the boundaries and to check for encroachment.

The first boundary walk was held at the Nickerson Walking Woods Preserve, 221 Richardson Avenue, on Saturday, March 7.

Many help launch an invasive plant removal project at Larson Woodland

Invasive species are organisms that are not native to an area, that tend to spread and displace native species, and that have harmful consequences for the environment.  Invasive species include animals, plants, and even fungi.  In the twentieth century, diseases caused by non-native fungi–accidentally introduced in North America–devastated elm and chestnut trees.  Invasive gypsy moths have damaged many other local tree species.

Invasive trees and shrubs are common in our area and threaten to crowd out native plants–wreaking havoc with native ecosystems.  The Attleboro Land Trust has launched an invasive removal project focusing on Larson Woodland.  At four acres, this is one of our smaller nature preserves.  This will serve as a demonstration project, and we hope to apply lessons learned to our other preserves.

A survey of the preserve was conducted by Gary Krofta and Phil Boucher, resulting in a map identifying the invasive species to be targeted and their locations.  Longtime watershed protection advocate Don Doucette has been a key advisor.  The project was kicked off on Saturday, November 23.  Among the volunteers who pitched in was a contingent of Scouts from Attleboro Troop 15.

A good turnout of volunteers helped to remove invasive plant species at Larson Woodland on November 23, 2019.    Image credit: C. Adler

Oriental bittersweet was removed from the banks of the Ten Mile River near the spillway.  The bright red berries (once prized for their decorative value during the winter holidays) were bagged and will be burned to prevent propagation of new plants.

Oriental bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus) is an invasive vine that originated in China.    Image credit: C. Adler

Some large non-native honeysuckle bushes along Riverbank Road were also removed.

Scouts from Troop 15 removing an invasive honeysuckle bush at Larson Woodland.    Image credit: C. Adler

Project work parties will continue in the spring.  Some of the other species to be targeted are buckthorn, purple loosestrife, and Norway maple.  We welcome more volunteers to help with the work.

Would you like to help steward one of our sites?

A site steward is a volunteer who “adopts” one of the Attleboro Land Trust nature preserves, individually or with a group, such as a group of neighbors, church group, youth group, or fraternal organization.

Duties of a site steward:

  • Walk the property on a regular basis
  • Pick up litter
  • Report vandalism and violations of ALT regulations
  • Help with routine trail maintenance
  • Assist with special projects

If you would like to find out more please contact us at attleborolandtrust@gmail.com or by using our Contact page.

Work Party on August 17 at Anthony Lawrence Wildlife Preserve

Volunteers are needed on Saturday, August 17, from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon to help clear brush along trails at the Anthony Lawrence Wildlife Preserve, located at the end of Hope Avenue off Newport Avenue. This gem of a preserve includes a pristine marsh along the Seven Mile River. Bring loppers and other brush cutting tools if you have them. Work gloves are recommended, along with long sleeve shirts, long pants, and socks for protection from poison ivy and insects. If you can bring a lawn mower or weed wacker, please let us know. Feel free to attend for just an hour or two as your schedule allows.

Proceeding on Route 123 west you will pass the South Attleboro American Legion on your right. Hope Avenue is the next left. Park on the right side of the street as you approach the end of Hope Avenue. Please try to avoid blocking any of the neighbors’ mailboxes. Rain date: Saturday, August 24.

Volunteers Needed for Ten Mile River Clean-Up

The city’s 13th annual Ten Mile River Clean-Up will be held from 8 to 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 4, rain or shine.

Volunteers are needed to help clean up along the river banks and walking trails.

Sign-up will be at the Community Garden on Riverbank Road, just off Hayward Street. Trash bags will be available.

Free refreshments will be supplied by Dunkin Donuts.

Sponsors include Mayor Paul Heroux, the Attleboro Land Trust, the Conservation Commission, Friends of the Ten Mile River, and Dunkin Donuts.

Volunteers and groups can sign up on the day of the clean-up.