Newton Conservators Nature Notes

Monday, March 13, 2006

Almost Spring Greetings!  This email newsletter provides information on upcoming nature and environmental related events, exhibits, and information in and around the Newton, Massachusetts area.  For instance, check out the great photo lecture this evening at the Library by National Geographic underwater photographer, Bill Curtsinger.  The Newton Angino Community Farm is up and running with a farmer having been hired and CSA shares are now available.  Check out Marcie Scudder's new photo exhibit on Crystal Lake, watch the Environmental Show on NewTV, and keep April 20th open for Conservators Spring Lecture on the impact of the CPA in Newton.  There is lots of info in this issue, so take time to explore it. This 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 


* National Geographic Photographer Slideshow of Underwater Photos, Mar 13
* The Newton Angino Community Farm is ready to go!    
* The Community Preservation Act in Newton - Has It Been Worth It?
    - Spring 2006 Newton Conservators Lecture, Thursday, Apr 20
* Pets and Pesticides:  How to Keep Your Pets Healthy & Grass Green, Mar 27
    - Green Decade Coalition's Environmental Speaker Series
* The Environmental Show on NewTV
    - Holistic Health Care
    - Living With Wildlife in Newton (Part 2)

* Marcie Scudder's Crystal Lake Photography

* Butterfly Effects  (from American P.I.E.)

* Notes of Interest
Environmental Science Program - Mar 16
Environmental Action 2006, Mar 18
    - Map Night at the Museum, Mar 23
    - Vegetable, Fish and Fruit Day, Mar 25
    - Natural Communities Symposium: From Classification To Conservation, April 1
    - NewtonSERVES, April 30
    - Remaking Boston: The City and Environmental Change over the Centuries, May 4-6
    - 24th Newton Historical Society House Tour, May 21    - Mass Wildlife News    - Wild Things on Your State Tax Form    - Nature Event links
* Newton Conservators Activities    - Newton Conservators Newsletter     - Newton Conservators Annual Dinner , May 31    - Board of Directors Meeting, Mar 15    - Spring Walk Series    - Land Management Group    - Walking Trail Guide in Newton's Park and Conservation Lands
* About the Newton Conservators

* About Newton Conservators Nature Notes 


Monday, March 13 - National Geographic Photographer To Give Slideshow of Underwater Photos at the Newton Free Library


National Geographic photographer Bill Curtsinger will give a slide show/talk on his thrilling underwater photographic adventures as captured in his book Extreme Nature:  Images from the World’s Edge.  Join him on Monday, March 13, at 7:00 pm at the Newton Free Library.  A book-signing with books from New England Mobile Book Fair will follow his talk. Curtsinger has traveled extensively around the globe, immersing himself in the waters of the world, swimming amongst predatory sharks and playful seals and capturing the often elusive inhabitants of the sea in unsurpassed close-up photography. Extreme Nature is brimming with unexpected images that demonstrate his rare understanding of the creatures he photographs and his mastery of nature photography. We marvel at the ethereal beauty of jellyfish and can almost feel the tickle of a grey seal’s whiskers; we cringe as the tiger shark lunges for the unsuspecting albatross chick in clear turquoise waters.  “My goal is to immerse myself in an animal’s world so that I can extract from those movements a new image, or a new insight into behavior heretofore unseen,” he states in his Introduction. Specializing in underwater subjects, Curtsinger has been a photographer for National Geographic for over three decades, with six cover stories to his name.  His work has also appeared in Smithsonian, Time, Newsweek, Audubon, Life, Outside and many other publications.  He lives in Yarmouth, Maine. 
For further information on this free event, please call the Library at 617- 796-1360.

The Newton Angino Community Farm is Ready to Go!    

Thanks to all those who supported the city's acquisition of Angino Farm.  We pass along this information from Newton Community Farm which will be operating the farm under arrangement with the city.  Shares are now available under the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) model. 

 Three years ago Newton citizens had the vision to preserve the historic Angino farm from development and to reopen it as a community farm for the benefit of Newton residents.  A new non-profit organization, Newton Community Farm, Inc. (NCF), was established to raise funds and operate the farm.  With the continued support of Newton residents, NCF is confident that we will fulfill our mission to:     *  Preserve Newton's last farm as an active agricultural site   *  Grow and provide organic produce to Newton residents   *  Model and teach sustainable agricultural and environmental practices   *  Achieve financial viability and independence from city funds 

Working with the City’s Angino Farm Commission, we have recently made significant progress in turning the vision of a community farm into a reality.  We have signed a contract with the City to operate the farm and we have hired a farmer. We are working with the City and the Green Decade Coalition to make the buildings habitable and energy efficient; we are collaborating with the Recreation Department and local schools to develop educational programs for children and adults; and we are fundraising to allow all this to happen. 

Help to launch the farm on a sound financial footing by subscribe to pre-purchase produce for 2006.  We invite you to purchase produce through our Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program.  By agreeing to pre-pay for a portion of our crops, you will be helping the Newton Angino Community Farm achieve the financial independence that the City requires.  In exchange, you will receive a weekly allotment of delicious fresh produce grown using organic practices. Much of the produce distributed through the CSA will be grown on-site, with an emphasis on vegetables that are tender and do not travel or store easily – salad makings, tomatoes, herbs, and greens.  To provide the full spectrum of produce, certain items such as corn and winter squash which require more space than our modest site allows will be brought in from one or more local partner organic farms.  We anticipate providing a weekly produce allotment for 20 weeks, from early June through mid-October.  We will have several pickup times each week.  Under typical conditions, portions are calculated to provide amply for a family of four.  However, in purchasing a CSA portion, it is important to remember that you are sharing in the bounty of the garden as well as in the risk. Production is always weather-dependent and the first year adds an additional degree of uncertainty.  Although we are confident that, with supplements from our partner farms, produce allotments will be substantial, the pre-purchase of produce is more than an opportunity to obtain outstanding produce—it is an opportunity to invest in this start-up non-profit community farm, and help to assure our success.    

If a full portion is too large, we recommend that prospective subscribers arrange to split portions with friends or neighbors.  Another alternative is to donate a half or full portion to a local shelter or meal program. NCF will make all the arrangements to have the produce delivered to people in need. In addition, extra produce not picked up, sold on site, or at the farmer’s market will be donated to these programs by NCF.

What is the cost of a CSA portion for 2006?

The cost is $500 plus an 8-hour work commitment to support the farm operations. This amount is less than most CSA’s in the Boston area, but this is our first year with all its uncertainties. The work commitment is our way of developing a sense of community and identification with the farm, and fostering opportunities for education.  Many CSA supporters at other community farms find the work opportunity particularly rewarding.  

How do I sign up for a CSA portion? To subscribe to our CSA, please fill out the enclosed application and mail it back with your check for $500 made out to Newton Community Farm - CSA. If necessary, payment may be made in two installments: $275 due with the application and a second payment of $225 due by June 1st

 Applications will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis upon receipt of your complete application and check. Newton residents will receive first priority. After March 30th, 2006, remaining shares will be offered to non-Newton residence on a lottery basis. 

Will there be other opportunities to purchase produce and enjoy the benefits of the community farm?

Newton Community Farm is committed to making produce widely available to Newton residents, whether or not they are willing or able to participate in the pre-sale program.  Produce will be sold at an on-site farm stand, as well as at the City-run California Street Farmer’s Market.  We are also exploring other venues.  In addition, the farm site will be open to the public, and educational programming will be developed for people of all ages.  There will also be opportunities to participate in special events such as our fall harvest festival. 

Can I support the farm without purchasing a CSA portion?

Yes! For a tax-deductible contribution of $25 or more you can become a member of Newton Community Farm and receive our monthly e-mail Newsletter, Newton Farmer. (CSA subscribers and recent contributors to our end of year fundraising appeal are automatically members.)


We also need volunteers for this project to blossom into a vibrant agricultural and educational center for our community. This farm belongs to Newton residents. We invite you to come and get your hands dirty! And if you have experience or skills in the areas needed (or you’re willing to learn), come and be part of this great community of growers. Please fill out an application  indicating your area of interest.  You can visit  for applications and information. We need volunteers in the following areas: 

• Digging

• Fundraising

• Public relations

• Planting

• Educational programs

• Website development

• Weeding

• Administration

• Graphic design

• Washing

• Manning farm stands

• Desktop publishing

• Picking

• Organizing volunteers

• Maintenance (painting, carpentry, plumbing)

• Bagging

• Grant writing


 Please join us in our groundbreaking year. Consider purchasing a CSA portion, volunteering, or providing critical financial assistance to Newton’s non-profit community farm. We are dedicated to providing delicious, locally-grown, organic produce. Thank you for your support! 


The Community Preservation Act in Newton - Has It Been Worth It?

Spring 2006 Newton Conservators Lecture

Thursday, April 20, 2006,  7 pm

Druker Auditorium, Newton Free Library
 The Community Preservation Act (CPA) was adopted by the City of Newton in 2001.  Since then, over 40 projects involving open space, community housing, historic preservation, and recreation have been approved.  In Newton, the CPA Fund comes from a 1% surcharge on the property tax which, to date, has received 100% matching from the state, and whose projects have leveraged additional funding sources.  As we near the 5th year since its passage in Newton, there has been increasing debate on the value of the program.  The Newton Conservators Spring Lecture this year will be devoted to a review of the projects that  have been implemented with the aid of the CPA Fund.  This presentation will provide a review the history of the CPA in Newton, the process by which projects go from proposal to implementation, and the distribution of by type, area of the city, and funds allocated.  Members of the CPA Committee, the Planning Department, members of aldermanic Committees with CPA oversight, and project planners themselves will be provide their perspective on the program.  There will be opportunities for questions on the CPA process and its future. The bulk of the program will be devoted to a pictorial overview of CPA projects that have been funded in the years since inception in Newton.  In its first four years, over 30 acres of open space have been preserved including the last remaining farm in the city and a large tract that connects existing conservation areas.  Over 80 units of community housing have been funded, including a Newton Housing Authority apartment building in Waban and the land for the first Habitat for Humanity project in the western suburbs.  Our city's three historic burying grounds are finally receiving badly needed restoration work and long needed recreational improvements for many of our parks and facilities such as Gath Pool are underway.    The free Newton Conservators Lecture Series , now in its fifth year,  is cosponsored by the Newton Conservators and the Newton Free Library.  The program will take place on Thursday, April 20, starting at 7 PM at the Druker Auditorium at the Newton Free Library.  For further information, please contact Ted Kuklinski,   lectures(AT), or visit the Newton Conservators website at 

Pets and Pesticides:  How to Keep Your Pets Healthy & Grass Green
Monday, March 27, 7-9 pm at the Newton Free Library's Druker Auditiorium
Green Decade Coalition's Environmental Speaker Series
Family pets are often doubly exposed to pesticides in our attempt to rid them of pests and keep our lawns weed free. In America, residential use of pesticides is dramatically increasing as agricultural use declines. Last year the EPA announced a major manufacturer of flea and tick treatments was pulling off the market several products associated with a range of adverse reactions, including hair loss, salivation, tremors, and numerous deaths in cats and kittens. Guest Speakers will be Regina Downey, DVM, Coastal Animal Clinic (Salisbury) and Pat Neckett and Chip Osbourne, co-founders of the Living Lawn, Marblehead's Organic Lawn and Garden Demonstration Project.The speakers will discuss the risks involved with many common pesticides and safer alternatives that will keep your pets healthy and lawns green.  There will be a Sneak Preview at 6:45 of "The Truth About Cats, Dogs, and Lawn Pesticides", video produced by Sanford Lewis and Jody Shapiro.  This program is co-sponsored by the Green Decade Coalition/Newton ( with the Newton Free Library, SPIN (Stray Pets in Need), Charles River Feline Rescue,, Save a Dog, Inc., and Buddy Dog Humane Society, Inc.

The Environmental Show on NewTVThe Environmental Show is a volunteer partnership between Newton Conservators and the Green Decade Coalition with each organization presenting on alternate months.   Learn to think globally and act locally with the Green Decade Coalition and learn more about your parks with the Conservators!  The Environmental Show is broadcast at eight times weekly for a month duration on the NewTV Blue channel (Comcast Channel 10, RCN Channel 15):  The Environmental Show is currently shown on NewTV's Blue Channel  ( on Monday (3 pm), Tuesday (1:30 am, 11:30 pm), Wednesday (11:30 am), Thursday (12 pm, 4 pm, 7:30 pm), and Saturday (10 am).  Newton Conservators shows are hosted by Cris Criscitiello and other members of the Conservators.  Shows produced by the Green Decade are hosted by Beverly Droz with guests from a variety of environmental organizations and interests.

March's Environmental Show, produced by Green Decade, is entitled Holistic Pet Care and features Dr. Regina Downey of the Coastal Animal Clinic in Salisbury as guest.  Dr. Downey describes how the increase of diseases such as diabetes and cancer in dogs and cats and clients´ questions about alternatives to traditional medicine led her to move from a traditional veterinary practice to a holistic veterinary practice. As a holistic veterinarian, Dr. Downey attempts to prevent diseases before they occur through a healthy diet and lifestyle. In a lively discussion with host Bev Droz, Dr. Downey outlines the principles behind holistic pet care and describes her treatments for some typical pet problems. 

April's Environmental Show is Part 2 of Living With Wildlife in Newton, is based on last November's lecture by Colleen Olfenbuttel, a staff Biologist with the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife.  February's show (Part 1) provided some perspective on the phenomenon of why we see more wildlife locally these days.  After hunting and the clear cutting of Massachusetts forests for farming led to a decline in animal populations, the regrowth of forests led to a return of many species.  Animals find the suburban habitat and available food sources well suited to their needs.  The show explained the habits and characteristics of many of the creatures who have adopted Newton as their home.  The proximity of wildlife sometimes leads to conflict.  April's program deals with practical steps that can be taken by residents to minimize such conflicts and to help residents coexist peacefully with their wildlife neighbors.   
Such wildlife encounters are becoming increasingly common in cities such as Newton.  In recent years, a bald eagle was spotted feasting on fresh Charles River fish on the same field,  an otter was found cavorting in a West Newton swimming pool, a turkey was harassing a postal worker in Newtonville,  a wild moose chase occurred in our fair city, and deer, coyote, fox, and even fisher sightings are more common than ever.  Relevant to April's show was a recent article on the Tab's Environmental Pages dealing with co-existing with Canada Geese.  Even today's Globe dealt with bigger animals showing up in the suburbs, e.g. bears,   


Marcie Scudder's Crystal Lake Photography on Exhibit at Lincoln Street Coffee in March In case you missed her earlier library exhibit, check out the wonderful photographs of Marcie Scudder taken at Crystal Lake which are on exhibit this month at the Lincoln Street Coffee establishment in Newton Highlands (15 Lincoln Street, Newton Highlands, MA 02461, Phone: (617) 244-1600. 


Here is her description of the process:
"These pictures tell the story of early morning life on a small pond in Newton Centre known as Crystal Lake.

I'd been walking around this lake for years, always in a big hurry to get to wherever it was I thought I might be going. One day it occurred to me that I was so focused on the destination, I was missing out on the journey. It was then that I decided to stop,  look at what was unfolding right before my eyes, and record that beauty in photographs.Trained as an architect, I have spent much of my career focused on the details of the built environment. By simply moving a wall, adding a window, shifting things slightly, I have observed people change how they experience their world and their interactions with one another.My photography borrows from that education, utilizing the same sense of spatial awareness, balance and composition. Through my camera lens, I have discovered the power of changing my point-of-view, which alters how I experience and process my daily life.My photographs act as a visual journal. They provide me a voice of self-expression and a reminder that the smallest of details and moments, when strung together, tell my story."

Butterfly Effects  (from American P.I.E.)
The butterfly effect, emerging from chaos theory in the 1960¹s, tells us that there¹s a sensitive, long-term connection to initial and often minimal conditions. The idea of chaos theory is sometimes popularly summarized by saying that a butterly flapping its wings in Japan could cause a tornado in the United States. Putting this theoretical, albeit interesting, notion aside, it behooves us to recognize that butterflies have other effects, much more practical with even greater long-term implications. The butterflies - invertebrates like the bees, ants, dragonflies and spiders to name a few - are at the heart of a healthy environment as both pollinators and integral members of the food chain. Their numbers, however, are declining as are their positive effects on Mother Earth.

The effects of civilization have reduced the amount and variety of native habitats for butterflies and moths...there are a few distinct differences between the two but their plight is similar. A few species have benefited from the intervention of humans - the Gypsy Moth, for example - but many others have declined or disappeared. There are roughly 800 butterflies and several thousand moths found in North America. Loss of habitat, poaching, collecting, wedding releases and pesticides are among the causes now threatening their survival. Consult the Xerces Society <> for a Red List of endangered butterflies.

Climate change joins the list of human-caused threats to butterflies. The Monarch butterflies that live east of the Rockies, for example, may suffer from the projected tripling by 2050 of precipitation in Mexico, their winter habitat, according to a 2003 University of Minnesota study. Monarch butterflies have never been known to survive in such wet conditions.

Britain¹s losses may outstrip those in the U.S. Last week, The Independent reported that Britain¹s moth population has plummeted by a third with 75 per cent of species in decline. The dramatic fall in numbers - tracked over 40 years and blamed on climate change and habitat loss - is worrying scientists because of the negative effect on bird and invertebrate populations that feast on the insects.

Butterflies inspired dance and song among the Hopi Indians who recognized how these insects enabled their crops, frolicking among the cornfields when the rain was done. Today, we  value butterflies for both their ecological and aesthetic effects, adding grace to any backyard habitat. As the gardening season approaches, consider adding plants that will invite these highly desirable guests to your garden: nectar-bearing flowers, a variety of colors and a succession of blooms that will appear through early frosts. You¹ll like the effect.

This feature is courtesy of  American P.I.E. Public Information on the Environment, P.O. Box 676, Northfield, MN  55057-0676, E-mail: Info(AT)

Notes of Interest

For over 35 years, "Envi Sci" has been an alternative to traditional summer camps.  The Environmental Science Program ( centers around the idea that students learn best about their surroundings when taught by other students in the specific environment. Leaders are trained to educate students while daily hiking or biking to many diverse sites in Newton and surrounding areas.  There will be special free screenings of the half-hour documentary about the program at the Newton Free Library on Thursday, March 16th in Druker Auditorium. Showings will be every hour, on the hour from 4:00 pm through 8:00 pm, each followed by a question and answer period with student leaders from the program.

Environmental Action 2006 takes place on Saturday, March 18th, Wentworth Institute of Technology.  Toxics Action and the New England Grassroots Fund sponsor this 20th annual citizens conference. Join 400 Activists from MA, CT and RI for a day of inspiration, skills training, and networking as they work towards clean air, clean water and a protected environment for our communities.  The conference features various workshops and speakers throughout the day pertaining to various environmental issues.  There are workshops on topics such as  "Strategies for Protecting Open Space" and "Battling Big Box Stores and Sprawl: How to Achieve Smart Growth in Your Town."  For park friends groups, there are several workshops on fundraising, capacity building and increasing volunteerism.  Visit for more information.
Check out the free Map Night at the Museum, Thursday, March 23, 7:30-9 pm at the Newton History Museum. Pore over maps of Newton from all periods: Does your street predate the arrival of the first railroad commuters in the 1840s?  Which properties in Newton are in districts listed in the National Register of Historic Places, and where are our local historic districts, and what's the difference between the two kinds of districts, anyway? Maps are laid out on tables so they can be consulted by several people at once -- you may meet a neighbor who shares your interests!  Recommended as preparation for individual research appointments at the Museum, and for school or scout projects. 
Come to Vegetable, Fish and Fruit Day, Saturday, March 25th, at UMass Eastern Extension Center, 240 Beaver Street, WalthamUMass is holding a day long event geared towards backyard gardeners and managers of small farms.  UMass educators will provide various sessions to explore methods of sustainable food and farm production, including a session on caring for and selecting soil for optimum growth, controlling insects and diseases using cultural techniques and biorational pesticides only when needed, and even growing grapes of high enough quality to make wine.  For fee information or to register, call 413-545-0895. 

On April 1, MassWildlife’s Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program and the Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences will be hosting a symposium entitled, “Natural Communities Symposium: From Classification To Conservation” at Stonehill College in Easton from 8 AM – 12:30 PM. Participants will learn about protecting biodiversity through the “natural communities” concept from scientists who have designed natural community classification systems throughout the northeast and from land managers who have applied these systems in the field. A highly regarded panel of conservation biologists, botanists, and others will discuss regional natural community classifications and how the classifications are being applied to conservation and land management.  For details on speakers and topics, as well as symposium updates, please visit  This symposium is free, thanks, in part, to a grant from the Massachusetts Environmental Trust.  Registration for the symposium is required, deadline is March 22nd. To register, or for additional information, contact: Beth Brazil at Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences, 508/224-6521 or bbrazil(AT)

NewtonSERVES is a day of community service -- bringing together up to 1,000 volunteers (ages 8 and up) to complete tasks that benefit over 40 local non-profit agencies and the City of Newton. It’s the City’s servathon and a great way to make our community better!  Volunteers work in teams and are assigned to pre-arranged Project Sites throughout the City. Teams are led by a Team Leader and supervised by a Project Leader at the site.  Volunteers pre-register so they can be matched to a Project Site. You can register as an individual, family, or small group - and we’ll assign you to a Team. You can form your own Team from your neighbors, friends, religious institution, school, business, club, etc.!   There are all-day and half-day projects. Most take place outdoors, and some indoors. This years event will take place on  Sunday, April 30, 2006.  
The 24th Newton Historical Society House Tour takes place on Sunday, May 21, Noon to 5 pm. Proceeds support Newton History Museum programs. For details, volunteer form, and advance ticket sales, check the Museum's website at
You can visit the Mass Wildlife website at .  Subscribe to MassWildlife News, a free electronic monthly newsletter updating you on research, events, new laws and other agency activities.  All you need to do is send an email to: 

Have You Noticed the Wild Things on Your State Tax Form?  Since 1983, Massachusetts

tax filers have had the option of donating to MassWildlife’s Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Fund while filing their state income tax form (Line 32).  When you contribute to the fund, you help to protect and restore rare and endangered animals, plants, and their habitats. Your past donations have helped conserve and restore in the Commonwealth populations of the Bald Eagle, Hessel's Hairstreak butterfly, the Redbelly Cooter, and the beautiful Eastern Silvery Aster. Donations to the Fund may also be made year round by sending a check made out: Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Fund and sent to: MassWildlife Field HQ, NHESP, 1 Rabbit Hill Rd Westborough MA 01581 Check the Natural Heritage area of MassWildlife’s website ( to learn more about the work that your donations support.

"Remaking Boston: The City and Environmental Change over the Centuries" - The Massachusetts Historical Society is organizing a conference on the environmental history of Boston.  "Remaking Boston: The City and Environmental Change over the Centuries" which will take place at the Society May 4-6, 2006.  Professor Brian Donahue of Brandeis University, the author of The Great Meadow: Farming the Land in Colonial Concord," will deliver the principal address Thursday evening, May 4.  On Friday and Saturday, May 5-6, attention will turn to five panels.  At each of these sessions, authors and assigned commentators will discuss two or three pre-circulated papers before we open the floor to general discussion.  Sessions will consider climate and weather, Boston Harbor, the countryside and the city, rivers and water, and land use.  For further information on "Remaking Boston," check the Society's web site,

Check out Nature Events in nearby communities and organizations by checking out the Links page of the Newton Conservators website at    Check out Brookline at , Weston at , Waltham at , Wellesley at  and Watertown at 

Newton Conservators Activities 

 The latest Newton Conservators Newsletter is the official publication of the Newton Conservators and may be found online at  It has been edited in recent years by Doug Dickson who will be retiring from that position in the very near position.  We are actively seeking someone who would like to take over the job as editor.  There are regular contributors of articles and the newsletter is published currently about 5 times per year.  This would be a great volunteer opportunity for someone interested in the publishing field.  If you are interested in helping out please contact Doug Dickson, newsletter editor at newsletter(AT) 

The Newton Conservators Annual Dinner will take place this year on Wednesday, May 31st at American Legion Post 440, 295 California Street in Nonantum.   Our speaker and program are still to be determined but mark the date on your calendar.  Special thanks to Alderman Anthony Salvucci for assistance in arranging the venue. The Board of Directors of the Newton Conservators meets monthly usually on the third Wednesday of the month (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.  The March meeting will take place on Wed.. March 15, 7:30 pm at the City Hall Cafeteria (basement level). 


Each Spring and Fall, the Newton Conservators organizes a series of walks to local open space areas. These walks are led by knowlegeable 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.  We are putting the Spring Walk Series together now and are soliciting for knowledgeable walk leaders.   If you are interested in leading such a walk in an area that you know, please contact the walks coordinator, Peter Kastner, by email walks(AT) The Newton Conservators have an active Land Management Group led by Landscape Designer, Beth Schroeder.  Each week, usually on Tuesdays, the group visits one of our open space areas to catalog the flowers, plants, animals, and other creatures that are found there.  If you are experience and knowledgeable in the areas of nature related identification, please let us know if you would like to assist in this long term effort to catalog the biodiversity in Newton.  

The Walking Trails in Newton's Park and Conservation Lands map guide put out by the Newton Conservators is a great resource for those who would like to explore Newton’s open space.  It is a 56-page guide containing detailed trail maps of 27 conservation areas in Newton, featuring parks, ponds, gardens, trails, canoe launches, nature guides, rock climbing, scenic views, handicapped access, geological features, and bird watching areas. The guide also contains photos, driving directions, interesting historical details, and an overall map of showing the locations of the 27 natural.  Many more folks have been observed out in our conservation areas with their 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 to The Newton Conservators, P.O. Box 590011, Newton Center, MA 02459.   It makes a great gift for your outdoors and nature loving friends.


About the Newton Conservators

This email newsletter is sponsored by the Newton Conservators, a local organization 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. 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, 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".
  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.  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.