After 24 hours of rain, sleet, and snow, the Richardson Nature Preserve glistened on the morning of December 18, 2019. An American holly tree is in the foreground. The red berries, found only on female trees, provide food for many birds.
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.
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.
The photos in this post were all taken on July 8, 2019. Some photos were taken along the trails, others, such as the photo of the deer, were taken in the marsh. The marsh is a vast expanse of marsh grass and cattails. The Seven Mile River and Tannery Brook enter the marsh separately, then join together. It is possible to walk in the marsh when the water level is low, as it was on this day. However, one must be sure-footed as the terrain is very lumpy and your foot may suddenly sink in a wet spot, especially as you near the river.
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.
Each week brings changes to the Richardson Preserve, some from native plants that are flowering, others from plants cultivated by Deborah Richardson when she lived and practiced her horticultural skills here.