Guided Walk on July 13: The History of Barrows Farm

Guided Walk:  The History of Barrows Farm
Location:  Deborah and Roger Richardson Nature Preserve, 577B Wilmarth Street, Attleboro
Time:  9:00 – 10:30 am, Saturday, July 13 (Rain date: July 20)
The Attleboro Land Trust is sponsoring a series of guided walks at its nature preserves in Attleboro.  The first, at the Deborah and Roger Richardson Nature Preserve, will be a journey back to colonial times, when the Barrows family lived off the land through farming and the manufacture of wood products.  Leading the walk will be Bill Lewis, who will point out evidence of the various activities which once took place on the land.
The Barrows House, built in 1708, still stands on the Richardson Preserve.  Note:  The guided walk will not include the interior of the house.
See 2019 ALT Guided Walks – Flyer for information on the complete series of guided walks.

Sensata Team Makes a Difference at Richardson Preserve

A team of Sensata employees returned to the Richardson Preserve on May 23 to install 270 linear feet of split-rail fencing.  This completes a boundary fencing project begun by the same team last year.

The Attleboro Land Trust appreciates the hard work of Sensata employees Tom Simbron, Tyler Hanna, and Harshad Tadas in completing our fencing project and the commitment of
the Sensata Corporation in making projects like this possible.    Image credit: C. Adler

Sensata employees completed the final phase of a boundary fencing project on May 23.    Image credit: C. Adler

The Attleboro Conservation Commission provided funds to purchase the materials for this project.  Generous support was also received from National Fence of Attleboro and Liston Portables.

Seasonal Changes Bring Colorful Displays to the Richardson Preserve

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.

 

The Glen at the Deborah and Roger Richardson Nature Preserve, April 25, 2019    Image credit: C. Adler

 

Pink Azalea bordering The Glen at the Richardson Preserve    Image credit: C. Adler

 

Skeletal tracery is all that remains from a clump of grass that ornamented Deborah’s Garden last fall.    Image credit: C. Adler

 

Ornamental grass in foreground at Deborah’s Garden, with Umbrella Pine (Sciadopitys verticillata) in the background    Image credit: C. Adler

 

Daffodils at the Richardson Preserve    Image credit: C. Adler

Barrows House Offers View Into Attleboro History

Bill Lewis got involved with the Deborah and Roger Richardson Preserve through serving as a site steward along with other members of the Attleboro Geocachers Alliance.  After helping to repair the exterior of the Barrows House, his passion for history led him to dig deep into historical records for the property and the family that lived there for more than two centuries.  Drawing on these records, as well as a general knowledge of how colonists were able to survive and prosper using the technology of the times, Bill has developed a detailed history of the Barrows House and farm.

He shared this story at a meeting of the Attleboro Historic Preservation Society on March 21.  For a short interview with Bill, check out this YouTube clip by our local cable company, DoubleACS:

Barrows House Video

Mother Nature Reminds Us Who Is In Charge!

Although we thought we had completed the boardwalks at the Richardson Nature Preserve a year ago, last winter’s storms told a different story.  You may remember that one storm took out the Wilmarth Street bridge over Chartley Brook.  Freezing, thawing, and flooding all took their toll on one of our boardwalks.  Repairs were made in the spring.  On December 1, a volunteer crew completed additional work to raise the boardwalk by six inches.  The crew consisted of (from left to right) Charlie Adler, Phil Boucher, Bruce Ingram, Bill Lewis, Dick Cheyne, and (not pictured) Russ Pray and Jim Keiper.  Since then, further structural support has been added.  We have our fingers crossed that we will get through this winter without any further difficulties.  Mother Nature, of course, will have the last word!

Fairy Houses Bring Imagination and Creativity to the Richardson Preserve on October 14

Create a fairy house on your own and bring it to the Deborah and Roger Richardson Nature Preserve Preserve for set up and display at 9:00 am on Sunday, October 14.  Or come later that day to enjoy the exhibit from 10:00 am through 12:00 noon. Either way you will have a chance to make and take a fairy garden at this event.

What are Fairy Houses? According to the Fairy House official website: “Fairy Houses are small structures for the fairies and woodland creatures. Ranging from simple to intricate ‘Fairy Mansions’, these whimsical habitats are built by children, families, gardeners and nature lovers reflecting their creativity, joy and pride.” Google “fairy houses” for images, ideas and instructions.

Fairy houses will be exhibited at the creator’s own risk and be removed at the end of the 1-day, 2-hour exhibit, or left in the woods for the fairies and removed when needed by the land trust.

To register, go to the event listing page. Click on the register link or call: 508-222-0157.

This fairy house by Sarah Mott will be one of the creations on display at the Richardson Preserve on October 14.

Attleboro Land Trust sponsored Big Read Event
9:00 am – 12:00 noon
Fairy House Exhibit
In the Glen and Deborah’s Garden
At Deborah and Roger Richardson Nature Preserve
577B Wilmarth Street, Attleboro

A Day of Celebration

June 9th at the Deborah and Roger Richardson Nature Preserve was a day for education, recreation, and celebration as more than 200 visitors participated in walks, talks, games, geocaching, and expressing appreciation to those who made it all possible.

Following acquisition of the property in June, 2016, the event was two years in the making.  New trails have been marked and boardwalks have been installed.  Signage has been put up to recognize and thank the major donors.  Interpretive panels describe the site’s history, flora, and fauna.  A new split rail fence marks the west edge of the property.  The 18th century Barrows House has a new coat of paint and is enhanced with historically-appropriate plantings.  Years of untamed growth have been removed to reveal an expansive lawn dubbed The Glen.  More overgrowth has been removed to reveal hardy perennials not tended for decades in Deborah’s Garden.

Visitors participated in various guided walks–viewing vernal pools, wetlands, fields, forests, gardens, and foundations of farm outbuildings.  Children petted a visiting herd of alpacas and went on a nature scavenger hunt.  Local residents interested in the history of the site could hear a historical narrative by Bill Lewis and then view the evidence with their own eyes.  Geocachers sought their own treasures.  And those with energy to burn could circle the trails in either low or high gear.

The weather could not have been better–showing the preserve in a perfect light.

Opening ceremony in the Glen at the Richardson Preserve.    Image credit: C Adler

A sign recognizing the many significant donations and grants that made acquisition of the preserve possible.    Image credit: C Adler

Land trust president Roy Belcher with Richardson family friend Robin Pantuosco, dedicating a tree in memory of Deborah and Roger Richardson.    Image credit: C Adler

Ted Leach thanks Charlie Wyman, Mass Audubon Land Protection Specialist, for his key role in preserving green spaces in Attleboro.    Image credit: C Adler

Opening Celebration attendees took an inaugural walk of the Charlie Wyman Trail.    Image credit: C Adler

Peonies in Deborah’s Garden.    Image credit: C Adler

Deborah’s Garden is one of the last stops on the Charlie Wyman Trail.    Image credit: C Adler

A side trail passes by this vernal pool.    Image credit: C Adler

This eighteenth century tableau prepared by local historian Bill Lewis could be viewed by any visitors curious enough to peek into one of the front windows of the Barrows House on June 9th.    Image credit: C Adler

The owners of Happy Snowman Alpaca Farm in Attleboro kindly brought their alpacas and demonstrated wool spinning techniques to the delight of all.    Image credit: C Adler

Read more about this event in an article published in The Sun Chronicle.

Another Milestone Accomplished at Richardson Preserve

Many hands combined to help the Attleboro Land Trust complete a new split rail fence on the Richardson Preserve just in time for the Opening Celebration on June 9.

With the support of Sensata Technologies of Attleboro, four Sensata employees managed to complete the installation of more than 400 feet of split rail fencing along the western boundary of the property on May 31.  This is yet another outstanding accomplishment in an ongoing partnership with Sensata.

Local businesses National Fence of Attleboro and Norton Equipment Rental were generous in their support of the project.  The Attleboro Conservation Commission provided funds to purchase the materials.

Even with a powerful auger, the team had to stop many times to dislodge some heavy boulders.    Image credit: C Adler

Richardson Boardwalks Completed

Thank you, Sensata Team, for volunteering your skills and energies over two days of hard work to build three new boardwalks at the Richardson Preserve on October 12 and 19. Your efforts will enable us to open new trails that will be enjoyed by the public for years to come.

Sensata team constructs boardwalk at Richardson Preserve    Image credit: C Adler

Boardwalk construction in progress    Image credit: C Adler