News & Events

Wednesday, May 31, 2017 @ 7:00 PM

Presentation/Public Forum on Harvard's Environment, 5/31

Do you love Harvard’s waterways, conservation lands, orchards, trails, parks, and open spaces? Do you support sustainability in town/school policies and practice? Come to the Bromfield School library Wednesday, May 31, at 7 p.m. to hear from local committees, groups, residents, and students working to protect and sustain Harvard, and join in discussion on what we can achieve together!

200 Redbud seedlings wrapped and ready to go 
.  .  . 
scenes from HCT's annual Tree For All

Saturday at the Transfer Station

Sunday on the Common


Save the Date:  Saturday, May 6th/Sunday, May 7th

 Tree-For-All 2017—Cercis canadensis—Eastern Redbud

The Harvard Conservation Trust’s 37th Annual Tree-For-All:
The Harvard Conservation Trust will distribute Eastern Redbud seedlings at the Transfer Station on Saturday, May 6th from 8 AM to noon, and on the Harvard Common on Sunday, May 7th from 9:30 AM to noon.

In early spring, their pink-purple flowers line the bark of their twigs, branches, and trunks, announcing the end of winter.  Redbud has uniquely heart-shaped leaves.  Many birds eat the seeds, and honeybees visit the blossoms. The shrubs are free to Harvard Conservation Trust members and are available to non-members for a $5.00 contribution.

 Saturday, May 6: Tree-For-All at the Transfer Station, 8:00 AM-12:00 PM
 Sunday, May 7:  Tree-For-All in the Town Center, 9:30 AM-12:00 PM


February 17,  at 7:30 PM

HCT Co-sponsored Warner Free Lecture:                                

These, too, are the sounds of nature . . .

Did you know that the “sounds of nature” are not necessarily pleasant, nor is the music that imitates them? Join local musician Stephen Peisch and David Pihl as they present a program of piano music that was inspired by nature, including compositions by Robert Schumann, Franz Liszt, Bela Bartok, Amy Beach, Edward MacDowell, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Allen Hovhaness, Claude Debussy, Stephen Peisch, and William Thomas McKinley.


David Pihl, pianist, of Worcester, Massachusetts, studied at Boston University School of Music and received his Master of Music in Piano Performance at the University of Lowell School of Music.  His principal teachers have been Michael Kramer and Anthony di Bonaventura.  He also studied vocal accompaniment in Europe under Ellly Ameling and Rudolf Jansen.  He has performed widely in the Northeast, and, together with Michael Finegold, co-founded the Essex Chamber Music Players.

David Pihl has taught music at Worcester State College, Northern Essex Community College and Becker Junior College.  He is the staff accompanist for the Theatre Dept at Holy Cross College and has been the accompanist for the University of Massachusetts – Lowell Chorus and Westford Chorus.

Volunteers Hall, Harvard Public Library.  Free!  No reservations or tickets required.


Annual New Year’s Day Walk

Per tradition, HCT likes to ring in the New Year with a stroll among Harvard’s forests and fields.  Nothing sets the tone for the year ahead like a leisurely walk with friends and neighbors in the crisp rejuvenating air of January.  This year, in the spirit of cooperation and good company, we will join the walk being held at the Oxbow National Wildlife Refuge by the Friends of the Oxbow in collaboration with the Lancaster Community Center.  Meet at the parking lot of the main entrance to the refuge at the end of Still River Depot Road in Harvard; the walk starts at noon. Dress weather appropriate; in the event of hazardous weather, the walk will be cancelled.

For more information about the walk contact Rona Balco at:  978-779-2259; for location and directions visit:

Happy New Year!

Harvard Conservation Trust Annual Meeting

Thursday, November 10, Volunteers Hall, Harvard Public Library, 7:00PM




Special Town Meeting
Cronin Auditorium at the Bromfield School, 14 Massachusetts Avenue, October 24, 7:30 PM

 Thanks again to those who came out for the Horse Meadows Knoll walk yesterday.  Please note the correct time and location below for tonight’s Special Town Meeting, which will include a vote to acquire Horse Meadows Knoll as conservation land.

Super Town Meeting starts at 7:00, which will then go right into Special Town Meeting.  BOTH take place in Cronin Auditorium at the Bromfield School, 14 Massachusetts Ave.  The Super Town Meeting could conclude early, and with Horse Meadows Knoll being Article 1 on the Special Town Meeting Warrant, this vote might happen before 7:30.  Please consider arriving by 7:00.   

Hope to see you tonight.

David Outman, Executive Director


Save the Date:   Mushroom Walk

October 1 at 11:00 AM. 56 Stow Road. 

HCT will host a mushroom walk Saturday, October 1, beginning at 11 AM at 56 Stow Road. Join mushroom enthusiast Al Ferry for a walk in the woods to learn about Harvard's fabulous fungi. The walk will take place rain or shine, except for a major downpour. Parking is available. For more information call Abbe at 978-456-6892.


September 11, 2016 at 10 AM.  Run for the Hills 5k race.  

Start and finish on the McCurdy Track with the primary sections of the course on scenic wooded trails and field paths. The trail footing is a combination of crushed pack, dirt, coarse grass with leaves, roots and rocks. There will be a water stop along the route. Thanks to the Town of Harvard and private landowners for use of the lands and open space on race day.

For a course map, go to

Register online at:

The hills of Harvard, whether it is the views from Prospect Hill, Bare Hill and Dean’s Hill or the landscapes of Holy Hill, Oak Hill and Pin Hill, are deeply appreciated by all who experience their scenery and terrain . . . even on the uphill!
It is true what they say in these parts, “good luck finding the flats to run on . . . ” Well, we might have done just that for this race. There’s no “Heartbreak” on this course. We are proud of both the running legacies in town and the protected land here.

2016 Open Space & Recreation Plan Survey

The Harvard Conservation Commission has begun the process of updating the Town of Harvard’s 2008 Open Space & Recreation Plan, and is requesting public participation in the process with a short survey. The updated plan will set the Town’s open space and recreation goals for the coming five years, and the public survey is critical for ensuring these goals accurately reflect community interests. This survey will be open from May 6 through May 26.

Please take a moment to complete the survey, which you can directly link to at:

 Or, you can visit the Town website at:

If you prefer a paper copy of the survey please contact the Land Use Administrator, Liz Allard, at 978-456-4100 ext. 321 or  Thank you!


The Harvard Conservation Trust’s 36th Annual Tree-For-All:

urday, April 30
Tree-For-All at the
Transfer Station, 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Sunday, May 1
Tree-For-All in the
Town Center, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM 

The Harvard Conservation Trust will distribute nannyberry viburnum seedlings at the Transfer Station on Saturday, April 30th  from 8 a.m. to noon, and on the Harvard Common on Sunday, May 1st from 10 a.m. to noon.  These nannyberry seedlings were grown from seed at the New Hampshire State Nursery.  Their flat-topped clusters of white flowers bloom in the spring and develop into fruits that turn bluish-black in the fall.  Its fruits can persist into winter and provide a sweet and edible food source for many species of birds, wildlife and people.   The shrubs are free to Harvard Conservation Trust members and are available to non-members for a $5.00 contribution.

Photo credits: top - USDA, NRCS. 2016. The PLANTS Database (; bottom - Keith Kanoti, Maine Forest Service,

Join naturalist Wendy Sisson on a guided walk of one of Harvard's largest clusters of conservation lands.  You will also learn about a timely opportunity to add a key parcel to this wildlife rich cluster of natural lands.


HCT Co-sponsored Warner Free Lecture:                                

warner free lecture

125th Anniversary of Frederick Law Olmsted's Emerald Necklace Park System
Friday, March 11, 2016– 7:30 p.m.

In the late 1800s, landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted (1822-1903) designed the park system that we now know as Boston's Emerald Necklace. Alan Banks, a park ranger from the Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site will discuss this historic park system. Stretching from Back Bay to Dorchester, this inviting green space connects people and nature, just as Olmstead intended more than 100 years ago.

Volunteers Hall at Harvard Public Library, 4 Pond Road  Free!


NEW DATE:  Saturday February 13th!!!

Due to the lack of snow we are moving the tracking program to Saturday February 13th.  Mark your Calendars and see information below for details.

Saturday, February 13, 2016. 9:00 AM - 11:30 AM.

Location: Prospect Hill Conservation Complex, Harvard, MA. Park at DPW parking lot, next to soccer field parking lot, on Depot Road.
Suitability: Adults of all levels of experience.
What we'll do: A large, brushy wetland, a meandering stream, and mixed forests of a variety of age classes make this a wonderful place for winter tracking. Depending on conditions, we might find evidence of fisher, fox, coyote, bobcat, otter, mink, deer, and a variety of smaller mammals. We may see grouse snow roosts on this property. Dress in layers , wear warm, waterproof boots, bring snowshoes if necessary, and be prepared for bushwhacking.
Limit: Maximum of 10. Leader: Janet Pesaturo.
Level of difficulty: Usually moderate, but deep snow can make off-trail travel very difficult.

To register
, please contact David Outman at or call the HCT office at 978-456-9292

And from our neighbors . . .

Registration for the Tom Denney Nature Camp Summer 2016 program opens February 1 at tdnc.boltonconservationtrust.orgSee website for details.

Thank you to all who joined us for our Annual New Year’s Day walk!  And a special thanks to the Community Harvest Project for co-sponsoring this year’s walk, and providing indoor space for cookies and hot cocoa.  (Click here for photos . . .


November 17, 2015

The Harvard Conservation Trust Annual Meeting took place at the Harvard Public Library, Volunteers Hall, and featured the presentation – A New England Food Vision: Conversations For Healthy and Thriving Communities (Click here to see photos...)


Mushroom Walk -- October 3, 2015  10:30 AM 

The Harvard Conservation Trust will host a mushroom walk and talk October 3, at 10:30, beginning at 56 Stow Road.  Join mushroom enthusiast Al Ferry for a walk in the woods to learn about Harvard’s fabulous fungi. The walk will take place rain or shine, except for a major downpour. Parking is available. For more information, call Abbe Alpert at 978-456-6892.

Saturday, September 26th
 from 9 AM to noon.

Help Pick Apples for Community Harvest Project!
Community Harvest Project is an organization that supplies food banks throughout Worcester County.

Due to logistics, we are limited to 35 volunteers, and volunteers must be at least a high school freshman.  No prior apple picking experience is required.  If you are interested in helping, please reply to and let us know how many people will be volunteering.

We hope you will join us in supporting this very worthwhile cause.

Sunday, Sept 13, Start time: 10:00 AM

6th Annual Run-For-The-Hills 5K Trail Run
34 Lancaster County Road
Harvard Park and McCurdy Track
This is a fun and beautiful way to get out and enjoy our woods.

Registration information: 


"Greenway Heroes: Profiles in Land Conservation” will have a free showing Wednesday night, August 19th7 – 8 PM at Fruitlands Museum in the Wayside Room
as part of Fruitlands “Food for Thought Film Series.”

This 10 minute film produced by Pepperell resident Susan Edwards and co-directed by Westford resident Joy Reo tells the inspiring stories of three landowners who donated, sold or set up conservation easements to protect their family land for the common good.  The film features interviews with Harley Holden of Shirley, Tom Jarvela of Townsend and Leigh Hudson of Princeton.  For additional information about the film please view the web page -


Ongoing Events: 

Take our Trail Challenge and win a prize!
The weather is finally warm, the trails have been surveyed, and there are control punches and/or instruction cards in the appropriate places.  All is ready for people to take on the Challenge!

Recent Events:

Winterfest! Saturday, February 7
at Fruitlands Museum Read more here

The Trust’s Annual New Year’s Day Walk was held on the trails at Fruitlands Museum.   Click here for more

Annual Meeting - November 19.  Mary Holland returned as featured speaker.  See photos

Run for the Hills 
was held September 7 - our 5th year! Photos here 



Introducing David Outman, HCT's New Executive Director
Click here to learn more 

Elizabeth May Hawthorn tree dedication - June 1, 2014

Our Mission

The Harvard Conservation Trust, HCT, is a private, charitable, non-profit land trust. Our mission is “to preserve the unique character and natural resources of Harvard.”

We actively seek to preserve:

  • Harvard’s rural and agricultural character;
  • Open lands for outdoor education, recreation, and enjoyment;
  • Areas of historical significance or natural beauty;
  • The Town’s water resources, marshland, swamps, wetland, and wildlife.
  • Sites of educational and environmental significance. 

Click here to learn more about our work.

Between 1985 and 2000 Harvard lost over 1300 acres of open space. Please help us in our efforts to preserve Harvard’s valued landscape.

"I want to do something splendid... something heroic
or wonderful that won't be forgotten..."

- Louisa May Alcott,
Little Women