About the Stewards

The Bedford conservation land stewards are a group of volunteers who care for the conservation areas of Bedford, Massachusetts. Established in 1995, we work closely with the Bedford Conservation Commission and Trails Committee but are an independent organization.

Stewards get to know our conservation areas over time and serve as a voice advocating for them in our town.We present field reports twice a year at our Spring and Fall meetings. Input from land stewards gives the Conservation Commission the information they need to best serve the town and preserve our natural spaces.

We need you! Become a land steward. Contact us at bedfordlandstewards@gmail.com. Come to one of our meetings. Send us an enrollment form.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Trail Maintenance Techniques

Mark Levine, from the Trails Committee, has shared some trail maintenance techniques with us. Thanks, Mark!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Fall Meeting 2013

The 2013 fall meeting of the Bedford conservation land stewards will be on Thursday, October 17th at 7:30 PM. We will meet in the multipurpose room of the town hall.

Make sure to complete a field report before the meeting. The field report form is available here on the stewards' site

To get to the multipurpose room, enter the main door to Town Hall, bear left in the hall and then immediately right between the Selectmen’s room and the wooden table with the leaflets. Go down the steps, we will have the door propped open.

Thanks again! See you on the 17th.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Post Meeting Notes Spring 2013

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.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Agenda Items (tentative) Spring 2013 Land Stewards Meeting

Thursday April 25 at 7:30 PM  Town Hall

Field Report Form                         

Introductions New Members

Run Down on Land Stewards and Areas (list available)
  • Areas in Need of Stewardship

Conservation Commission Items (Elizabeth)
  • Summer Work Crew
  • Endangered Turtle Project Bedford (photos)      

Bedford Circuit Trails

Land Steward Website

Wilson Mill Site Renovation and Wildlife Plantings Planning

Field Report Issues                      

*Head Steward Position Open (August 1)

Thursday, April 18, 2013

American Kestrel Sighting

Yan Thomas shared a report of her American Kestrel sighting a few days ago:

I watched the kestrel for several minutes about ten yards right off my house on Dudley Road on the field in somewhat of a declivity, wings out to the side, obviously "working on" some kind of prey underneath. Though a small hawk the colors were dramatic, mostly rufous, face a black and white curved pattern.

These birds have become much rarer in our area lately. Thanks, Yan.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Wildlife at the Englehardt Area

Steward Bob Dorer was kind enough to share some pictures of wildlife that he has taken at the Englehardt conservation area. This area is tucked between Otis Street and Railroad Avenue. It's very close to the town center but is no less well enjoyed by several species. Thanks, Bob!

2013 Spring Meeting - April 25th

Our 2013 Spring meeting will be on Monday, April 25th at 7:30 p.m. We'll meet in the second floor conference room of the town hall. See you there!