Eagle Project Breaks New Ground

The Handy Street Conservation Area is an 80-acre parcel of land purchased by the City of Attleboro in 2014 with the involvement of the Attleboro Land Trust and Mass Audubon, and a substantial grant from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.  There are trails crisscrossing the area, making it easy to get lost on the property.  The Attleboro Land Trust has designated a main trail route that utilizes some of the existing paths to form a loop, beginning and ending at the main entrance on Handy Street.

Scout Jason Zenofsky (right) with crew installing signposts at the Handy Street Conservation Area.    Image credit: C. Adler

Scout Jason Zenofsky of Troop 61 in Norton has completed an Eagle project that involved the installation of directional signposts at 33 trail junctions along the route.  Digging holes to a depth of two feet for each of these posts was challenging, to say the least.  Sometimes the problem was large rocks.  At other times the Scouts hit hardpan, which is soil that has hardened like concrete and has to be chipped away with a heavy iron bar in the shape of a chisel.  Thankfully, Jason and his crew persevered, and the signposts were all installed.

Scout Jason Zenofsky (next to signpost) with his crew after installation of 33 signposts at the Handy Street Conservation Area.    Image credit: C. Adler

In the spring, the ALT will put the finishing touches on the trail, which will be named in memory of Larry St. Pierre, who served as ALT president from 1991 to 1994 and 1997 to 2001.  A temporary map of the trail is available here.

Seniors Visit Richardson

The Attleboro Council on Aging Hiking Group visited the Deborah and Roger Richardson Nature Preserve on June 22.  The popular weekly event is coordinated by Juliet Teixeira, vice president of the Attleboro Land Trust (in the green Hike Attleboro T-shirt).

Hikers on the Wyman Loop Trail as it crosses the Lower Hayfield at the Richardson Preserve.

For more information, contact the Larson Senior Center at 774-203-1906.

Eagle Candidate Closes the Loop at the Colman Reservation

For almost three decades, the trail at the Colman Reservation was an “out and back” trail.  Visitors entering the property from the parking lot on Steere Street could walk to the Giant Hemlock, or further, but to get back to parking lot they had to turn around and go back they way they came.  All that has changed with the completion of a new section of trail that makes it possible to hike a loop that begins and ends at Steere Street.

The design and clearing of the trail was spearheaded by Dave Rolince, who volunteers as a site steward for the Colman Reservation.  Because the new trail crosses wetlands, several boardwalks were necessary.  Starting in the fall of 2021, Scout Zachary Dorrance of Troop 25 carried out an Eagle project that involved constructing the boardwalks.

Zachary assembled a crew of volunteers that did the bulk of the construction work last November.  He returned with his crew in April to finish the boardwalks and make other trail improvements.  Zachary also organized a fundraiser to cover the costs of materials for the project.

The Attleboro Land Trust is grateful to Zachary and his volunteers for the hard work they put into this much-appreciated improvement to the Colman Reservation.

Eagle project enhances three ALT preserves

Eagle candidate Felicity Norlin of Troop 1846 recently completed an Eagle project that involved construction of bulletin boards at the trail entrances for three Attleboro Land Trust nature preserves.  Felicity is shown in the center of the above photograph surrounded by her volunteer crew of Scouts, adult leaders, family, and friends, at the entrance to the Joseph and Margaret O’Donnell Nature Preserve.

A second bulletin board, shown above, was installed at Vaughan Memorial Forest.  The third bulletin board was installed at the Colman Reservation.

Bulletin boards have been on the land trust wishlist for a while and we thank Felicity and her crew for fulfilling this need.

A spot of mid-winter color

Even in the middle of winter, an observant hiker can be rewarded with a spot of color while walking on one of the Attleboro Land Trust’s nature preserves.  This is British Soldier lichen, Cladonia cristatella, photographed in February, 2007, at the Nickerson Walking Woods Preserve.  The species gets its name because of the red caps that are a reminder of the red coats worn by British soldiers at the time of the American Revolution.

Like many lichen, this lichen is actually a combination of fungus and algae living in a symbiotic relationship.  The fungus provides structure for the algae, while the algae turns sunlight into food which is shared with the fungus.  The red caps contain reproductive spores.

Timing Is Everything: A Talk by Climate Scientist Tara K. Miller

Climate science tells us that spring is arriving earlier than it used to. Wild plants and animals follow nature’s clock as they move through annual cycles of migration and reproduction. Climate change is changing the timing of some of these cycles, and disrupting the interdependent web of nature.

Tara K. Miller

Our guest speaker at this year’s annual meeting, climate scientist Tara K. Miller, will share some of the latest research on this topic, describing how some of the plants and animals that populate our bioregion are no longer in sync with each other, and what that means for our future.

The 2021 Annual Meeting of the Attleboro Land Trust will be on Tuesday, November 16th, at 7:00 pm via Zoom and is open to the public. The Zoom link is:

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85322417648?pwd=c1JwSHFSa0tHY2hsZUd4clJOYlpYdz09

Meeting ID: 853 2241 7648 Passcode: 572462
Audio Only +16465588656,,85322417648#,,,,*572462#

Sensata Comes Through Again!

On October 28, a team of three employees from Sensata completed two important fence construction projects for the Attleboro Land Trust–within a single day.  One fence was constructed along a property boundary at the Colman Reservation.  More fencing was installed around the parking lot at the Richardson Preserve.  Thanks for a fine job to Tom Simbron, Tyler Hanna, and Harshad Tadas, who returned as a team after having completed similar fence projects for us in 2018 and 2019.

The Sensata partnership with the land trust goes back to 2013 and has included boardwalk and fence construction at three nature preserves, as well as construction of raised beds for the Attleboro Community Garden.  We appreciate the enthusiastic support we have received from Sensata and its employees for our conservation mission.

Big Read Event: Poetry Scavenger Hunt to be held Oct. 9th

Big Read Event: Poetry Scavenger Hunt

10:00 AM – 1:00 PM

The Attleboro Land Trust is excited to host a poem scavenger hunt! This event presents an opportunity to explore a local beautiful wooded nature preserve while contemplating the nature-centered words of US Poet Laureate Joy Harjo.  Arrive any time from 10 to 12:30.  The self-guided scavenger hunt is estimated to take 45 minutes. The event is free and open to the public and will be held rain or shine. Children under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult. The featured poem for the event is “Beyond” from Harjo’s book An American Sunrise: Poems.

This event will take place at the Deborah and Roger Richardson Nature Preserve. (577B Wilmarth Street, Attleboro MA.)

Participants must register using the following link: EventKeeper – Popup Event

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.