O’Donnell Preserve to open on July 24

On Saturday, July 24, the public is invited to a new nature preserve to be opened by the Attleboro Land Trust. The 14-acre Joseph and Margaret O’Donnell Nature Preserve is located on Bishop Street. A ribbon-cutting ceremony will begin at 10:00 am to thank Dr. Robert B. O’Donnell, who donated the land in memory of his parents. Attendees should park and gather in the Finberg Field parking lot on Bishop Street next to the preserve.

After the formal ceremony, Evan Foster will lead a guided walk of a new 0.7 mile trail which leads through red maple and pine forests and past wetlands to a stand of beech and birch trees. The opening of the O’Donnell Preserve and trail is one of several projects completed by Foster during a seven-month term of service with the land trust under the TerraCorps program, which is affiliated with AmeriCorps. The project included photographic and GPS documentation of the baseline condition of the property, a property management plan, and a trail map generated using a digital geographic mapping system that Foster built for the land trust.

Rain date for the event is Sunday, July 25, at 1:00 pm. Event updates will be posted on this website.

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.

In Memoriam: Bob Faulkner

Ted Leach, ALT President, and Bob Faulkner at Annual Meeting, November 2, 2011.    Image credit: C. Adler

We at the Attleboro Land Trust are saddened at news of the death of Bob Faulkner on February 1.  Bob was a major donor, supporter, and friend of the Attleboro Land Trust.  Although a resident of Barrington, RI, Bob was born in Attleboro and maintained close family and business ties to the City.  His affirming presence at our annual meetings in years past was always welcomed.

 

In Memoriam: Jean Vaughan

Dedication of Vaughan Memorial Forest, October 11, 2003, (l-r) Cecilia Walsh, Larry St. Pierre, State Rep. John Lepper, Jean Vaughan, ALT President Bob Thayer, Robert Schoch    Image credit: Bob Thayer

We at the Attleboro Land Trust would like to express our sympathy to the family and friends of Jean Vaughan, who passed away on January 31.  Jean and her late husband Victor were known to many, as they were both active in many community organizations.  In 1999 Jean donated 32 acres of land on Steere Street in memory of Victor. Her gift, combined with another acquisition, is now the 52-acre Vaughan Memorial Forest.  We are honored to be caretakers of this living legacy.

In Memoriam: Don Ouellette

Don Ouellette, a longtime advocate for the environment in Attleboro, passed away on January 26 after a long illness. Don served on the 2002 Open Space and Recreation Plan Committee, Ducks Unlimited, the board of the Attleboro Land Trust, and the Conservation Commission.

While Don and his wife Laura had been members and supporters of the land trust going back to at least 1997, Don was first elected to the Board of Directors in 2010. He became Chair of Land Acquisition later that year, serving in that position until 2017. He also served as Vice President from 2011 to 2016. Under Don’s leadership as acquisition chair, the land trust had a long string of successes in protecting additional land in the city. Nine properties totalling 197 acres were acquired and another 80 acres were put under a conservation restriction.

Don was perhaps proudest of the acquisition of the 63-acre Deborah and Roger Richardson Nature Preserve. This was by far the most complicated project in ALT history, requiring teams from the City, Mass Audubon, the ALT, and the Richardson family all working together to cross the finish line.

Charlie Wyman, Ted Leach, Don Ouellette, and Lauren Gordon on a 2014 site visit to what was to become the Deborah and Roger Richardson Nature Preserve.    Image credit: C. Adler

Don also left his mark on the partnership that has formed to promote Attleboro as an attractive place to live, work, play, and go hiking. Past ALT president Ted Leach, who launched the partnership, credits Don with coming up its slogan: “Hike Attleboro.” As Ted recalls, “Don suggested it during a meeting at City Hall with Mayor Kevin Dumas. It was an immediate hit with all present.”

We will remember Don, not only for his dedicated service to the land trust, but also for the personal warmth and enthusiasm he brought to his every endeavor.

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).

31st Annual Meeting on November 17

Save the date–the public is invited

November 17th 7:00 pm via Zoom

This year’s guests promise an expert’s look at the past 30 years of land conservation, contrasted with an exploration of what the future holds for the local environment.

Our guests are uniquely qualified to guide us on this quest.  They are:

  • Charlie Wyman, former land preservation specialist with the Massachusetts Audubon Society,
  • the Honorable Mayor of the City of Attleboro, Paul Heroux, and
  • moderating their online discussion about our environmental future will be renowned educator and talk show host, Ron Struminski.

We’ll also be recognizing some of our dedicated volunteers who have kept the Land Trust moving forward in spite of the pandemic and letting our members in on some hot news about upcoming activities and projects.

Please plan to zoom in.  The Zoom invitation is posted below:

###############################

Topic: ALT 31st Annual Meeting
Time: Nov 17, 2020 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

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Meeting ID: 890 2994 3713
Passcode: 719575
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