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


Saturday, May 6th/Su
nday, 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

Save the Date: 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


 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.


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


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. 





The Harvard Conservation Trust and Community Harvest Project invite you to join us for the Annual New Year’s Day walk.  This popular event is scheduled for Friday, January 1st at noon, at the Community Harvest Project’s property at 115 Prospect Hill Road.  We’ll enjoy  scenic vistas, meander through the orchard, and welcome the New Year with our neighbors at CHP. Dress for the weather! Hot chocolate and cookies are served at the end for anyone who needs some warming up.  And a hearty thank you to the Community Harvest Project for co-sponsoring our walk!


November 17, 2015

Annual Meeting to feature presentation of – A New England Food Vision: Conversations For Healthy and Thriving Communities

The Harvard Conservation Trust Annual Meeting is free and open to the public, and will be held at the Harvard Public Library, Volunteers Hall at 4 Pond Road on Tuesday, November 17th at 7:00 PM.

This year’s guest speaker will be Brian Donahue, founder of Land’s Sake Farm, professor of American Environmental Studies at Brandeis University, and co-author of the recently released report entitled, A New England Food Vision.  The vision presented in this report is one of community health and a thriving agrarian economy across New England, where as much as 50% of our food is produced within the region by 2060.  Food and community health are common to us all, and Harvard is home to a deep and distinguished agrarian heritage – we encourage everyone to attend and join the conversation. 

 The presentation will be preceded by a brief HCT business meeting, and will be accompanied by the traditional homemade gingerbread and cider among other light refreshments.   Bring a friend!

From the Harvard Conservation Commission:  Black Pond Walk, Sunday, November 15, 2015.  Meet at 1 PM at Friendly  Crossways, 247 Littleton County Road, Harvard.  Click here for the details.

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 -


Saturday, May 2 and Sunday, May 3  --  Tree-for-All
Saturday, 8 am to noon at the Transfer Station
Sunday10 am to noon at the Town Center

seedling    The Harvard Conservation Trust will distribute bayberry seedlings at the Transfer Station on Saturday, May 2 from 8 a.m. to noon, and on the Harvard Common on Sunday, May 3 from 10 a.m. to noon.  These bayberry seedlings were grown in Massachusetts from seed collected on Cape Cod.   Small bayberry’s dark, waxy leaves produce an attractive aroma when crushed.  While it’s a deciduous plant, its leaves can persist into winter.  On female plants it grows waxy, yellow-green fruits along the stem, interspersed among the leaves.  Birds find their fruits very attractive, and their waxy coatings have been used historically to make candles. The shrubs are free to Harvard Conservation Trust members and are available to non-members for a $5.00 contribution.



 Morella carolinensis (bayberry)

Sunday, May 3 -- Bird Walk with Pat White
at Bare Hill Sanctuary, 7:00 am

Harvard Conservation Trust will host a bird walk on Sunday, May 3rd at 7:00 am at the Bare Hill Wildlife Sanctuary with local birder and HCT member, Pat White.  We'll be looking for resident birds as well as early arrivals, including Bluebird, Cowbird, Towhee, Pine Warbler, and perhaps Wood Duck.   Birders of all levels are asked to meet at the Bare Hill Wildlife Sanctuary parking lot on Bolton Road (Mary Abbot Trail head); the walk is anticipated to last until approximately 9:30 am.  All are welcome. 

Saturday, June 6 -- Walk at Oxbow with our neighbors
Fruitlands Museum and Friends of the Oxbow Wildlife Sanctuary, 10 am


Winterfest! Saturday, February 7
1-3 pm at Fruitlands Museum

Join the Harvard Conservation Trust for Winterfest!   Saturday, February 7, from  1 - 3 pm at Fruitlands Museum, the Harvard Conservation Trust is sponsoring a family friendly scavenger hunt for all ages. Prizes will be awarded, so come early and celebrate winter!  Admission to Fruitlands Museum is free for Trust members on February 7th.


From our neighbors in Groton  . .  .

Woods Forum, Groton Public Library, Sibley Hall
4 Feb 2015, 6:30-7:00pm informal meeting, 7:00pm formal start

The Groton Public Library is hosting a presentation and discussion
about the various options for private land owners to manage and make
informed decisions about their land.  This event is free and open to
the public.  It is intended for land owners in Ayer, Dunstable,
Groton, Harvard, Littleton, Pepperell, Shirley, Townsend, and

Discussion items may include Chapter 61 protection, conservation
restrictions, agricultural restrictions, wetlands issues, tax
consequences of all the above, and whatever attendees are interested
in.  Do you love your land and don't want to see it developed but
would like some income from it? How do you pass land to your heirs so
they don't have to sell it just to pay inheritance taxes?  Can you
reduce taxes by a CR but still retain privacy?  Come to find out from
experts and peers, or to relate your own experience to others.

The event will be facilitated by UMass extension professor Dave
Kittredge.  Members of conservation organizations from each of the
towns will be present.  For more information, see


 Annual New Year’s Day Walk:

The Harvard Conservation Trust invites you to join us for our Annual New Year’s Day walk.  This popular event is scheduled for Thursday, January 1st at noon, at Fruitlands Museum (102 Prospect Hill Road).  We’ll enjoy scenic vistas and walk the trails, meandering through meadow, forest and wetlands, historical areas, and interpreted sites. Dress for the weather, and if there is snow, bring snowshoes.  Hot chocolate and cookies are served at the end for anyone who needs some warming up!  And a hearty thank you to our friends at Fruitlands Museum!


On-going Events:

HCT Trail Challenge: 
The Harvard Conservation Trust has partnered with the Harvard Conservation Commission to establish a Trail Challenge on a number of your favorite conservation lands. Here’s how it works:  A numbered red control punch will be placed on a variety of conservation trails in Harvard. Each punch has a unique set of pins which, when stamped on paper, will make a design. The numbers on the punches correspond to a number on the official control card.  The Challenge is simple: Demonstrate that you have been out enjoying the trails by collecting as many punches as you can. A  prize will be given to each person who collects at least 14 punch marks (eight for children under 10).

Official Tyvek control cards are available for free at the Trust’s office (102 Prospect Hill Road in Harvard), Harvard Town Hall lobby, the General Store, and Westward Orchards.   One red control punch will be placed on the primary trail (yellow blaze) of each of the following protected lands: Blomfelt, Clapp-Scorgie-Tufts-Smith, Holy Hill, Kaufmann Land, Millie’s Path (on Maxant Land map), Ohlin, Old Mill Road, Pin Hill, Prospect Hill, Sprague Land, Shaker Spring House, Small Nature Trail, Tripp Land and Vesenka/Black Pond. Additional trails will be added in time and notices will be posted with the control cards. Maps of these trails can be found on our website or for purchase at the HCT office, the Town Building lobby, the General Store, and Westward Orchards.

The punches have been attached to trees close to the trail at an easily reachable height, so you don't need to turn over every rock or scour the forest looking for them - simply get out and walk!  (See photo below.)  Good luck and enjoy walking on the trails! When finished, contact HCT Executive Director David Outman at to collect your prize.  If there are any problems/concerns about the trails (missing punches, etc…), please contact Joyce Grant at

In addition, those out on the trails for the first or the one hundredth time, may want to take note of a book put out by The Garden Club entitled Ancient, Historic, and Notable Trees of Harvard.  This book is an invaluable resource to have while walking and is available for purchase at the General Store.


OR, try our Scavenger Hunt!  Come search high and low for hidden treasures in our conservation areas!
Click here to find a list of treasure hunts you can enjoy in Harvard.

For a current listing of outdoor events in the region click here