Newton Conservators Nature Notes

Monday, May 30, 2005

This email newsletter provides information on upcoming nature and environmental related events, exhibits, and information in and around the Newton, Massachusetts area.  The newsletter is sponsored by the Newton Conservators, the local open space organization in Newton and it also serves as the organization’s means of sending out time sensitive information.  Please visit our website at  Welcome to the many new readers of this free email newsletter.  If you wish to be removed from this email list, simply reply with "remove" in the message or subject.  (Note: email addresses mentioned in this newsletter substitute (AT) for @ to foil spammers).



In This Issue


Some of the topics covered in this newsletter are the following:

* IMPORTANT NOTICE to Newton Conservators Members: Send in Your Proxy Form Immediately

* Walking Trails in Newton’s Parks and Recreation Lands

* Newton Conservators Spring Walk Series

* Annual Meeting of the Newton Conservators

* Watertown Nature Walks - June 4 through June 11

* Ordway Park Inauguration - Sunday, June 12, 11 am
* The June Environmental Show on NewTV- Appreciating the Charles River

* Cheesecake Brook Greenway Project - Cleanup on Saturday June 25, 10 am

* Earth Day Cleanup of the Charles River a Success

* Volunteer Water Samplers Needed by CRWA 

* Walking Trails in Newton’s Parks and Recreation Lands

* About the Newton Conservators

* About Newton Conservators Nature Notes


IMPORTANT NOTICE to Newton Conservators Members:

Send in Your Proxy Form Immediately

The Annual Meeting of the Newton Conservators will be held on Wednesday, June 1, 2005, at the American Legion Post 440 in Nonantum.  If you are a member of the Newton Conservators, you should have received an invitation to the Annual Dinner and a proxy form. 
Even if you are not attending the dinner, it is important to send in your proxy form - preferably via the stamped addressed envelope included.  It is important that there be enough members voting to bring about the change called for in the proxy form.


Send in your proxy form immediately by mail.   The Board of Directors recommends a vote FOR the change in the language of our Certificate of Incorporation.  It must be received by Wednesday.  Alternatively, drop it off before the annual meeting at Post 440 on Wednesday night or to Duane Hillis, 499 Winchester Street, Newton Highlands, MA  02461 on Wednesday.


Newton Conservators Spring Walk Series


Each Spring and Fall, the Newton Conservators organizes a series of walks to local open space areas. These walks are led by knowledgeable leaders and are open to the public. They normally last for an hour or two. Some events are for bicycle or canoe. These walks are a great way to get to know open space areas in Newton. Below is the current walk schedule.   As to weather, when in doubt, check with the group leader.  For more information on the Conservators and schedules of events, please visit our website at  The remaining walks in this Spring’s series are the following:


Sunday, June 5, 2005, 2PM, - Lake Area Canoe Trip on the Charles River

This trip is a leisurely paddle that explores the Charles River Lake District. Starting at Charles River Canoe Service, off Commonwealth Avenue in Auburndale (follow the signs to park across the river at the duck feeding area), you will pass along the MDC duck feeding area and park land and go though the narrow channel at Norumbega Park. The trip continues to the Lake District, including Fox Island, views of the Islington Peninsula, Mount Feake Cemetery, and the Waltham watch factory. This lake is well-populated with ducks, geese, blue herons, and the occasional hawk and egret. You will also see small creatures that inhabit the waters, using portable field microscopes. Bring a lunch or snack and binoculars, if you'd like. Our leader, Bill Hagar, will bring along some of his graduate students from the University of Massachusetts and conduct a field study as part of this trip.  If you would like to join the trip, need a canoe, or could loan a canoe, call Bill or Dottie Hagar .  This outing includes the water areas of Walk 1 and Walk 2 in the Conservators "Walking Trails" guide.

Sunday, June 12, 2005, 2PM  - Nature and Photo Workshop along the Charles River

Jim Schpeiser, nature photographer, will lead a tour along the Watertown section of the new Charles River Pathway and back along the Newton section. Jim will provide hands-on instruction in photographing the plants and wildlife along this 2-mile walk. Examples of Jim’s work can now be viewed at Café Nation in Brighton on Washington Street.  Park at the DCR parking lot off Pleasant Street in Watertown, adjacent to the Sasaki Landscape Office sign and meet at the stone pillars on Galen Street. For questions, contact group leader Jim Schpeiser .  This outing includes part of Walk 3 in the Conservators "Walking Trails" guide.

Saturday, June 18, 2005, 2PM -
Charles River Pathway Bike Ride

A low energy tour de force will head downstream toward the Museum of Science along the Charles River Pathway. Peter Kastner will talk about the development of the Charles River Basin. No test will be given after the tour. Bring snacks for a rest at the Hatch Shell. Helmets are required.  Park at the DCR parking lot off Pleasant Street in Watertown, adjacent to the Sasaki Landscape Office sign and meet at the stone pillars on Galen Street. Call Peter Kastner , Conservators board member.  This outing is not included in the Conservators "Walking Trails" guide.



Annual Meeting of the Newton Conservators

Roger Swain to Speak on “Community Farming”
Wednesday, June 1, 2005, 6:15 pm


The Annual Meeting of the Newton Conservators will be held this coming Wednesday, June 1, 2005, at American Legion Post 440 at 295 California Street in Nonantum.  A social hour will begin at 6:15 PM and will include a cash bar. Dinner will be served at 7:00 PM and a business meeting will begin during dinner. In addition to reports from the president and treasurer, members present will elect a new slate of officers and a board of directors for the coming year. Awards for Environmentalist of the Year (Doug Dickson), Charles Maynard Award (Cris Criscitiello) and Directors Award (Bill Shaevel) will also be given.


At about 8:30 PM, Roger Swain will take the podium as this year’s keynote speaker. As one of the nation’s foremost authorities on gardening, he will talk about the phenomenon of community farming and the role it can play in the life of urban areas, and in particular, a city like Newton. Roger is a compelling and knowledgeable speaker, and if you haven’t previously had the opportunity to hear him tell stories about his personal experiences in the garden and on the farm, this is a chance not to be missed!  Including a brief question-and-answer period, the meeting is anticipated to end at around 9:30 PM, allowing all to get home at a reasonable hour.


Members of the Newton Conservators should have received by mail a formal invitation to the Annual Dinner.  Attendance at the dinner is $25 per person and checks may be made to the Newton Conservators, Inc. (this amount is non tax-deductible).  A vegetarian entrée is available.  There may be a very limited number of tickets available at the door.


Watertown Nature Walks - June 4 through June 11

In conjunction with the Mass. Association of Conservation Commission's Biodiversity Days, Watertown Citizens for Envrionmental Safety is sponsoring a week of Nature Walks in Watertown, including a special walk for children ages 5 and up (must be accompanied by an adult). These walks are held to raise awareness and appreciation for Watertown's flora and fauna and also include walks on the plant life along the Charles River, a naturalist walk at Mt. Auburn Cemetery and others.  For more info on the walks, please visit or call Susan Falkoff. 


Ordway Park Inauguration - Sunday, June 12, 11 am


Twenty-five native shrubs are now planted along Grant Ave. at Ordway Park and the removal of Norway maple saplings and small stumps is finishing.  Gratitude is due tothe Newton Centre Garden Club and all of you who contributed to this first step in the renewal of the Park. Come to Ordway Park on Sunday, June 12 at 11 a, (rain date June 19)  to inaugurate the Grant Ave. section of Ordway Park and to witness the presentation of a Newton Conservators Directors’ Award to Joan and David Rosenberg who initiated the effort to renew the Park and generously contributed a matching fund to establish an endowed Ordway Park Fund for maintenance and improvement.  Beth Schroeder, the landscape designer of this installation, will be there to answer any questions. In the years to come, these first native shrubs will add diversity of leaf and blossom, grow, and crowd out the encroaching Norway maples and burning bush.


The June Environmental Show on NewTV
Appreciating the Charles River

Don’t miss the latest Environmental Show produced by the Newton Conservators for NewTV.  The latest production will focus on the Charles River in Newton and is debuted on NewTV’s Blue Channel this past Saturday.  It is scheduled to run through the month of June (last showing on June 30).  Current scheduled times for the Environnmental Show are as follows: Saturday (10 am), Monday (3 pm), Tuesday (1:30 am, 11:30 pm), Wednesday (11:30 am), Thursday (Noon, 4 pm, 7:30 pm).  Check for the latest schedule.


Cheesecake Brook Greenway Project - Cleanup on Saturday June 25, 10 am


A cleanup at Cheesecake Brook is being scheduled for Saturday, June 25.  DPW will provide trash bags and will haul away trash.  Flyers will be posted soon in the neighborhood and this should be a fun event to get people excited at the prospect of maintaining and improving the brook.  Watch for further info.



Earth Day Cleanup of the Charles River a Success.


The Charles River Watershed Association (CRWA) sends a big THANK YOU to the hundreds of volunteers who attended the Sixth Annual Earth Day Charles River Cleanup!  Over 1,200 volunteers attended this year's cleanup, including 95 community groups, such as businesses, universities, high schools and and Boy and Girl Scout troops, came out.  The numbers: 3,000 trash bags were filled, and 60 miles of riverbanks were cleaned, at 56 cleanup sites in 16 communities including Newton.


Volunteer Water Samplers Needed by CRWA 


Join the Water Quality Monitoring Program of the Charles River Watershed Association.  Water quality samplers are sometimes needed for CRWA's  monthly water quality monitoring program. Samples are taken in the early morning, typically the third Tuesday of each month at 37 sampling sites along the river.  CRWA will provide training and sampling equipment.  We ask that volunteers commit to at least six months of sampling when joining our volunteer staff.  Please contact Ariel Dekovic at  781-788-0007 ext. 200.



Free Fishing Days – June 4-5

(Courtesy of Mass Wildlife)

Saturday and Sunday, June 4 and 5, are Free Fishing Days in Massachusetts, the only days of the year that residents and non-residents may fish any freshwater streams, rivers, lakes and ponds in the Bay State without a license. All other fishing regulations must be observed. Take advantage of the day to dust off your fishing gear and head for the lake or pond - or if you're already a fishing fanatic, bring your friends or family and get them hooked on the fun! Free Fishing Days offer a prime opportunity to introduce children and other novices to the sport, especially if you angle for easy-to-catch panfish like sunfish, bluegills or yellow perch. For information on pond maps, boat ramps, stocked waters and other related angling information visit the “Fishing” area in the MassWildlife website at Fishing festivals and events are found in the “Calendar of Events”.



Walking Trails in Newton’s Parks and Recreation Lands

The map guide put out by the Newton Conservators is a great resource for those who would like to explore Newton’s open space.  It would make a great stocking stuffer – it fits nicely in a stocking or in a back pocket.  Many folks have been observed out in our conservation areas, trail guide in hand.  It is available by web, mail and also at Newtonville Books and New England Mobile Book Fair.  Walking Trails in Newton's Parks and Conservation Lands may be purchased for $7.95 online at or by mailing a check payable to The Newton Conservators, Inc. to The Newton Conservators, P.O. Box 590011, Newton Center, MA 02459.  Sales benefit The Newton Conservators, a nonprofit citizen advocacy organization which actively promotes the acquisition, creation, and preservation of natural open spaces for the people of Newton. Since its formation in the late 1950's, The Newton Conservators has been instrumental in safeguarding more than 200 acres of open space in Newton, creating several major public parks, and enacting ground-breaking environmental ordinances with respect to the protection and preservation of trees, wetlands and clean air, and the conservation of energy.


About the Newton Conservators

This email newsletter is sponsored by the Newton Conservators, a local organization that promotes the protection and preservation of natural areas, including parks, park lands, playgrounds, forests and streams, which are open or may be converted to open spaces for the enjoyment and benefit of the people of the City of Newton, Massachusetts for scientific study, education, and recreation.  It further aims to disseminate information about these and other environmental matters.  A primary goal is to foster the acquisition of land and other facilities to be used for the encouragement of scientific, recreational, educational, literary, and the other public pursuits that will promote good citizenship and the general welfare in the City of Newton.  Please visit our website at  or contact us at the address below. 

If you would like to join the Newton Conservators, please send your name, address, phone and email address (if you wish email alerts) to The Newton Conservators, Inc., P.O. Box 590011, Newton Centre, MA  02459.  Membership Options are the following:  Individual $25, Family Member $35, Sustaining Member $50, Donor $75, Patron $100.  Membership is tax deductible.  Your membership includes the Newton Conservators Newsletter and emails and invitations to participate in guided tours of local conservation areas, lectures, and other programs and activities.  You will also receive by mail a copy of the new Newton Conservators open space map book, "Walking Trails in Newton's Park and Conservation Lands".

The Board of Directors of the Newton Conservators meets monthly usually on the third Wednesday of the month at 7:30 pm (usually at City Hall).  Members are welcome to attend.  If you wish to attend you can contact us to confirm the date, time, location, and agenda.   


About Newton Conservators Nature Notes


If you would like to be more directly kept apprised of future nature related events, walks, lectures, and exhibits, you are invited to join the Newton Conservators sponsored "Newton Conservators Nature Notes" email list by sending an email request to dolanpond(AT)  Newton Conservators Nature Notes is automatically sent to members of the Newton Conservators who provide their email addresses as one of their membership benefits.  Newton Conservators Nature Notes may be found online at  You are welcome to submit any items for this sporadical newsletter via email to the same address.  Please feel free to forward our newsletter to others you feel might be interested in the information contained herein.