Four new stewards were welcomed. Two to Huckins Farm Trails: Paul Sobchenko, sophomore at UMass Amherst, and Clem Larson, resident of the Huckins community. At Minnie Reid Conservation Area, Lorna Hyland. At Hartwell Town Forest, Tom Hodges. O’Connor Conservation Area off 469 Old Billerica Rd, 19.9 acres, was featured as in need of stewardship and several good possibilities came up at the meeting.
Elizabeth Bagdonas, the Conservation Commission Administrator, is hopeful that a summer work crew will be available again this summer. The job of assigning and particularly supervising the crew for her is a difficult one. They are usually high school age and can be inexperienced but often work out well with some direction. The stewards can help tremendously by contacting Elizabeth when they might be available to oversee the crew at their area. This does not mean doing the actual work but checking on them. She will then work out a schedule to accommodate your dates.
We are very pleased and thankful to have stewards Peter Desjardins and Michael Barbehenn volunteer to head up the stewards with Yan’s departure. Both are stewards at Lindau Farmland off Pine Hill Rd. Peter set up the stewards website and manages it today and Michael is on the Trails Committee and is quite versed in plants. They will officially take the helm August 1st. Having been long-time stewards and active with the Trails committee, they know well the ways of the town’s conservation areas. Good hands! Yan will actually be leaving for the Republic of Georgia as her husband will be interim Director for a year at the private high school he founded in 2001. Many years has been her supreme pleasure of serving the many land stewards, a special, caring group of people.
We learned how we can help an endangered species project in the area by biologist and herpetologist Bryan Windmiller. If we have any sightings of a Blandings Turtle or a Wood Turtle, please take a photo if possible and report the sighting to Elizabeth Bagdonas at the Conservation Commission office. Photos of both will be on our website. For more information see article in the 4/16/13 www.thebedfordcitizen.org.
The Circuit Trails (20.6 mi and 6.3 mi) were presented on a poster board map to view its routes. There are some easements that need to be finalized, decisions to be made about signage. No other town has all its conservation areas connected by a circuit trail. "These trails will be a living history of Bedford," to quote Ralph Hammond who is the instigator of this project.
There will be a dedication ceremony on May 18 at 2:00 pm at the Wilson Mill Site. Steward Philippe Kelty has been a loyal steward of Wilson Mill. After many years of planning, the renovation of the area finally has been completed and plans go forward for landscaping with native species. Sounds like we all should make a visit soon to see our reconstructed mill site, 140 Old Billerica Rd.
We were treated to pictures on Peter Desjardins' laptop. He was able to show us what the endangered Wood and a Blandings turtles look like. We viewed the face page of our own website with sightings of wildlife by stewards Yan Thomas (Kestrel Hawk) and Bob Dorer’s series of wildlife photos including a Gray Fox on the Engelhardt Conservation Area that borders his house. Do visit our website: www.bedfordlandstewards.blogspot.com and send on your photos and comments, and use its links.