May 042017

Outside Insight

Nashoba Conservation Trust Newsletter                                        
Spring 2017

View of the brook from the wooden bridge in Keyes Farm parcel

Conservation Corner
Ken Hartlage

The longer days and warmer weather of Spring herald the return of migrating birds to Pepperell.  Red-winged Blackbirds, White-throated Sparrows, Chipping Sparrows and Tree Swallows, to name a few, already have graced us with their presence.  Hooded Mergansers and Wood Ducks are once again enjoying our ponds and rivers.  The air is filled with music as migrants and year-round residents, such as the Black-capped Chickadee and the Brown Creeper have discovered their voices again.

All this is just a warm up act to what is clearly the greatest show in Pepperell – the annual warbler invasion at Heald Orchard.  For a few brief weeks in May, just as the apple trees are blossoming, Heald Orchard is awash in the radiant colors of dozens of species and hundreds of birds.  Some, like the Northern Parula will just be stopping by on its way to breeding grounds to the north; others, like the Yellow Warbler and Blue-winged Warbler will take up residence through the summer.

NCT and the Pepperell Conservation Commission are co-sponsoring their annual Breakfast with the Birds on May 20 at Heald Orchard, starting at 6:30am in the east parking lot. Novices and experts alike are sure to enjoy this spectacular event.  We hope to see you there!

In This Edition

Lawrence Library Trail Improvements

Paul Peavey

NCT, in collaboration with Deb Spratt and others from the library staff, and several Town Hall officials will commence work this Spring on an accessible trail in back of the Lawrence Library. Donations of services and materials from Silveria Excavation, Hickory Ridge Landscaping, and the Pepperell Highway Dept. are also all helping to make this possible.
This effort has been in the planning stages for approximately 18 months. The Green’s Brook Nature Path has been in existence behind the library for a number years, but fell into disuse in the recent past. Our goal is to bring back the trails to their original condition. Secondarily our intent is to improve the upper portion of the trail (see section of the map marked in RED) to be compliant with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Dept. of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) standards.
The length of the ADA compliant trail will be approximately 700′ in length. The travel surface will be 60″ wide, and will accommodate two pull out rest areas with benches supplied by the local Eagle Scouts. The Pepperell Highway Department has generously donated the bituminous concrete material that will be used for the walking surface. They will also compact that material once it is moved into place. Targeted completion for the trail is scheduled for early July, which will coincide with the Americans with Disabilities Act month celebrations.

Earth Day Tips

Maegan Carrasquillo

Earth Day has recently come and gone. Hopefully you were able to spend some time outdoors appreciating the beauty of what surrounds you and even helping to clear litter or starting to garden. If you didn’t get that opportunity don’t feel bad! There are so many things we do every day that have a large impact on the bigger picture and by paying closer attention to those things and maybe trying something new we can all make a difference. So where do you start?
First thing’s first, you need to look at what you do regularly. Do you travel? Do you recycle and reuse? Do you buy locally? If you want to start small look at the things you do the most frequently and see if there are ways to adjust those things to be more eco-friendly.
If you go on a vacation every year see if you can find a place to go that doesn’t involve getting on a plane. If that isn’t an option, look at what you buy and use. Most types of packaging are made of plastic. In Pepperell we are only able to recycle plastics with the labels 1 and 2 so try to buy products you know you can recycle and if you want to do a little more, when you buy them use reusable shopping bags.
With summer just around the corner the farmer’s market will be open soon. Buying locally reduces the carbon emissions from not only your vehicle but those used to transport produce. If you want to take that a step further, you could start your own garden. There is a real sense of pride in using something you grew yourself.
These are only a few small ideas that can make a big difference.There are so many things we can do to be better to our planet. It starts with awareness and education and a little help from you!


President: Ken Hartlage
Vice President: Paula Terrasi
Secretary: Cindy Kuhn
Treasurer: Patty FranklinDirectors
Siri Stromsted
Paul Peavey
Mark Camp
Linn Clark
Russ Schott
Rob Rand



NCT and Pepperell Conservation Comission’s Pepperell Trail Guide

Our new 2016 trail guide is available. The guide describes (16) different conservation areas managed by NCT and the Pepperell Conservation Commission. Contained in each section is a description of the parcel, a detailed trail map, and other information to help you enjoy each of these beautiful areas. If you would like a trail guide just click on the link below. and indicate your interest. We’ll send you an electronic, printable copy.
Download the trail guide here




Support NCT with your donations

NCT offers the following levels of membership:
Individual          $35
Family                $50
Sponsor             $100
Patron               $250
Benefactor      $1000
Other amount  ____________
All memberships include subscription to the NCT Quarterly Newsletter.
Please click on the ‘Donate’ button or mail an enclosed check to:Nashoba Conservation Trust
PO Box 188
Pepperell, MA  01463

Upcoming Events

Breakfast with the Birds –  Saturday, May 20, 2017 – 6:30 AM Heald Street Orchard (East Gate)  This event is sponsored by the Town of Pepperell Conservation Commission and the Nashoba Conservation Trust.
Coffee, juice, bagels, muffins, and donuts are provided. Michael Veit leads a stroll through the Orchard as we enjoy the spring migration of many bird species.



2nd NCT Natural History/Wildflower Walk –  May 13, 10am, at entrance to Jeff Smith Trail on “dirt” Jewett St. Explore the wildflowers and natural history of Blood’s Brook Ravine with Pat Swain Rice, who is an ecologist on the Conservation Commission.

Nashoba Conservation Trust

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