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Boxfor d Trai l s Asso c ia tio n B oxfor d O p en L an d Tr u s t


Summer 2017

Ipswich River Watershed Association Bonnie Lucas

Wayne Castonguay, Executive Director of the Ipswich Watershed Association was the guest speaker at our BTA/BOLT Annual Members Meeting and election, held on May 11 at Lincoln Hall. Since most of Boxford is in the Ipswich River watershed, Wayne spoke of how we can protect and conserve that water. The Ipswich River suffered greatly during the drought of 2016 with water levels so low that last summer the IRWA hosted a breakfast on the dry bed of the river. Boxford has no by-law to restrict the use of private wells during times of extreme drought as Ipswich does, which gives the misconception that we have no responsibility to limit the draw of excessive, non-essential, use of water such as watering our lawns during a drought, from our aquifers.

Effects of pumping wells


groundwater discharges to stream, providing continuous flow

Induced Infiltration:

Pumped well intercepts groundwater and induces water from stream to flow into well

Effects of Pumping Wells

Capture: Pumped well intercepts groundwater that would have discharged to stream

No flow conditions:

cone of depression enlarges to take water from groundwater storage

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Ipswich River Watershed Assoc.

Summer 2017 Cont’d

Wayne’s presentation further explained our water use and how to improve our water conservation. Non-Essential Water Use • Water use increases by 20-100% in summer • The drier the weather, the more water is used • This coincides with time when rivers are most stressed naturally • In Ipswich River Watershed, it is estimated that about 15 million gallons of water is used per day to water lawns in peak periods • More than 20% overall lost is due to leaks Solutions: Increase Conservation! • Save water • Use native plants • Reduce lawn watering • Reduce runoff • Fix leaks You can find more information on how to conserve water at

BTA/BOLT, Inc. (Boxford Trails Association/Boxford Open Land Trust) is a member of the Massachusetts Land Trust Coalition, the Land Trust Alliance, and the Bay Circuit Alliance. We are a volunteer, private, nonprofit, tax-exempt organization dedicated to preserving and protecting natural and aesthetically important land and wildlife habitat, including fields, forests, wetlands, and trails to preserve the nature of Boxford. Founded in 1978, BTA/BOLT has helped protect over 100 miles of trails and over 1,300 acres of land and is supported by your membership and contributions. Is Your Membership Current? If the number above your name on the address label reads 6/2017 or H, then your membership is good through June, 2017. If not, please bring your membership up to date by sending a check or pay by credit card at www. Our membership year goes from July 1st to June 30th.

BTA/BOLT, Inc. Officers Natasha Grigg - President Jessica Grigg-VP Jessica Grigg - Secretary David Ingalls - Treasurer

Board Members At Large Jennie Bridge Alison Chase Steve Davis Chris Delaney Bruce Eaton Judy Gore Jeffrey Hixon Bev Ingalls

Bonnie Lucas Nancy Merrill Dennis Pyburn Angela Steadman Richard Tomczyk Cathy Wallace Priscilla Welch

visit our website for updated information

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BTA/BOLT Annual Meeting

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Bonnie Lucas

On May 11, 2017, in Lincoln Hall, BTA/BOLT members enjoyed dinner, prepared by BTA/ BOLT board members and West Provisions, and social time before moving upstairs for our annual meeting and guest speaker, Wayne Castonguay, director of the Ipswich River Watershed Association. Among the highlights of the evening was the presentation of awards to two dedicated Eagle Scouts - Sam Shirley and Alex Paul - in appreciation of their hard work on the trails. Brian Gallagher, who was unable to attend, received our Volunteer of the Year Award. The work on behalf of BTA/BOLT, by outgoing officers Barbara Shade and Nancy Walker, was recognized. The new slate of officers includes: Natasha Grigg, President, 2 years; Jessica Grigg, Vice President, 2 years; Dave Ingalls, Treasurer, 3 years; Jessica Grigg - Secretary, 3 years. We also welcomed our two newest board members, Jennie Bridge and Bruce Eaton. A description of the approved by-law changes can be found at

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Natasha's Notes

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Summer 2017

Natasha Grigg

Hello All! This is going to be a combination of "Notes" and the "Soapbox"! Having acquired "Hemlock Junction" as we have named it, being the connector for so many trails, we have received permission from our Conservation Commission to make the trails, and create a coming together at Kelsey and Hemlock Roads for a kiosk, picnic table, small parking area and lovely trails. Hopefully, by the end of the summer we will have a party and you all will be invited! Lots of BTA/BOLT folks and our extended family of Scouts and other interested people are working on and improving trails about Boxford! Come walk! And Boxford Common (Haynes Fields) will be opening soon with wonderful walks around the ball fields and through the woods - there will be a party for that on September 9 - watch out for it! And now, the seasonal rant from me, directed to us and our countrymen who are contributing to the invisible destruction of a mysterious and all important web of life with our obsession with green, mono-culture lawns. I have gathered my inspiration and some of my information from a variety of sources, but primarily from Paul Bogard who wrote an opinion piece on the editorial page of last week's NY Times, entitled Beyond Blades of Grass. If I were a student or in academe, I might be penalized for plagiarism. Nonetheless, his message is so important, that I have to bring it to you. It is a plea for mercy on behalf of us, ourselves! A lot of lip service is being paid now to pollinators, the most popular being bees and butterflies. Of course, the list is much greater than that and insects as a genera are incredibly important to life on our planet, and not just as pollinators. But one could generalize and say that most of us who live in the country or the suburbs, spend our lives killing as many bugs as we can in a strange, largely pointless manner, without thinking not only of their deaths, but that we are pouring, dusting, spraying poisons all over ourselves and our children. Unless we are licensed professionals, most of us have no idea about what we are doing when we go to the hardware or feed store and buy poisons off the shelf. The merchants who sell us this stuff, largely have no idea as well and there is no limit to amounts or constraints on application, except for the instructions on the bottle which we may or may not follow. Then there is the commercial lawn seed, much of it incorporating weed killers as well. The general side effects to humans when using all this stuff is under-reported or not researched or reported at all, except for the occasional hint that Parkinson's disease and other neurological disorders are on the increase, especially when coordinat-

Summer 2017

Natasha's Notes, Cont’d

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ed with poison applications, whether insecticides or herbicides. You will have to look all of this up for yourselves. We have the anti-vaccination ranters, who never stop to consider that perhaps the millions and millions of gallons of poisons poured onto our earth and ourselves might contribute to autism rather than a measles vaccine. But I am wandering far afield. You could look up this article about the notion of having a varied grassland (that you can mow!), colorful, alive, natural, outside your door, rather than the eerie blue-green carpet that requires chemicals, wasting water and lots of time. This grassland would have tiny flowers, mosses, grasses, clovers, that are pretty, smell good and would help the glamorous pollinators but also the creatures that dig below and fly above - think dragonflies, fireflies, ladybugs, earthworms, beetles, and yes, mosquitoes that feed all the lovely swallows and a myriad of other birds. Think Silent Spring before your next killing spree!!!

Trail Buzz

Our heavy spring rains combined with increased beaver activity has caused some precarious crossings on the trails on many properties. The photo at right shows a flooded boardwalk on a well used trail in Wildcat Conservation Area. We are working with Cons Comm and several generous volunteers to replace this boardwalk.

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Annual Dog Show June 11, 2017

Summer 2017

Our four legged friends were out to show their best on a beautiful, hot Sunday at BTA/BOLT’s Annual Dog Show. Thank you to all who helped to make this a fun, family day for everyone including our judges, Robin & Mark Phelan and ringmaster, Peter Delaney. Robert & Joan Saunders owners of Aussie Pet Mobile, a mobile grooming service and Michelle Silvano, owner of Pawsome, a pet sitting and walking service were there to provide information on their services. Thank you to Dave Merrill from Wayne’s Community Store for offering Italian Ice on this hot day. And thank you to our own Boxford Judges Robin & Mark Phelan with Fireman, Ryan Merrigan for putting out a hose to provide winner of Best in Show, Sherlock and his fresh water for all of our thirsty, furry friends. owner, Peter Cross.

All of the participants and their owners.

Michelle Silvano of Pawsome

Aussie Pet Mobile, mobile grooming service goes right to your home

Italian Ice was served by Wayne’s Community Store

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Boxford “Trails Less Traveled� Running Festival When: Sunday, Oct 22, 2107 Events Start: 9 AM Where: 92 Lakeshore Rd, Boxford

Races: 1K Fun Run - 9 AM, $15 pre, $20 post, Ages 5 - 10 5K Family Fun Walk - 10 AM, $20 pre, $25 post 5K Run - 10 AM, $25 pre, $30 post 10K Run - 10 AM, $30 pre, $35 post Go to to register online now. (All prices increase by $5 on August 1, 2017) Day of Event: Registration opens at 8 AM Shirts: Long sleeve t-shirts are guaranteed to first 100 walkers/runners who register by Oct 5. Amenities: Food, Drinks, Awards Ceremony, Raffle and Music Awards: Fun Run - 1st Male and Female, ribbons to all participants 5K and 10K - 1st Male and Female overall for each distance and top 2 M/F in each 10 year category for each distance. Hosted by BTA/BOLT Limited to 150 participants - Professionally timed by North Shore Timing

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Girl Scout Gold Award Project Olivia Inman

Summer 2017

Olivia Inman, Girl Scout Troop 66091 planted a pollinator garden in Davis Hayfield on Main street as part of her Girl Scout Gold Award Project. Her project involved creation of an informational pamphlet about the importance of pollinators which included instructions on how to create a pollinator garden. In addition to the garden and pamphlet, Olivia presented her information to the Steward Station Afterschool Program at Topsfield Elementary School. The Davis Hayfield Pollinator Garden holds thirty six pollinator-friendly plants which were donated by Olivia’s community of supporters, in addition to garden enthusiasts from Maine and New Jersey whose donations from afar were made possible by Nunan’s Garden Center! The demonstration pollinator garden holds a sign with readable QR codes that lead to her instructional pamphlet and a plant guide for further educational purposes. Once the garden was complete, Olivia snapped this photo of its first visitor!

Lockwood Kiosk Alex Paul For my senior internship project, I designed and built an information kiosk in Lockwood forest. Masconomet Regional High School has a program that allows seniors to do an internship for their fourth quarter. For my internship, I wanted to make something that will be used by the community. I talked with BTA/ BOLT and they recommended the project. I researched designs and visited other kiosks in town to see how they looked. I based the design primarily off the Appalachian Mountain Club design with some minor variations. The kiosk has two separate areas on it, one is for official posting (maps and safety information) and is protected with a covering. The other is open for anyone to post things, so people won’t be stapling flyers to the posts or trees. It was a lot of fun building and installing it (except digging the rocks out of the holes). I am glad I was able to build something that will last for years and will benefit the community of Boxford.

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Around Town Walks for Seniors

Page 9 Nancy Merrill

Nancy Merrill will lead weekly Thursday morning walks on some of our easier trails in Boxford. These 30 to 45 minute walks will begin at 10 a.m. Nancy can be reached at 978-887-2194. June 22 Chapman Way trail - Park on Georgetown Road across from First Congregational Church. 29 Coolidge 100 Acre Woods-Maddock Woods/Dorman Woods/Library Trail. Park in former library parking lot across from Wayne’s Community Store. July 6 Harlan P. Kelsey Arboretum - Kelsey Road. Park in Arboretum parking lot or on Hemlock Road. 13 Lockwood/Moore Lands - Park off Middleton Rd at Bald Hill Reservation parking lot. (1.2 miles from Main Street). 20 Lord Property Trails - The Lane to Fish Brook/Christmas Tree Lot/Fish Brook Trail. Park to right of the “Lane” near the kiosk on Main St across from 85 Main Street. 29 Rail Trail Walk at Kelsey Arboretum - Parking same as for Arboretum. August 3 Witch Hollow Farm Conservation Area – Corner of Ipswich & Main St. Park at gate on Main St. WALKING TIPS: * • Follow “buddy system” when walking off-road trails. • Carry water and snacks in case walk is longer than planned. • Avoid seasonably “soft” trails to prevent trail erosion. • Walking stick recommended for balance, less fatigue afterwards. • Wear appropriate footwear • Stay on marked/designated trails. • Walk facing on-coming traffic. • Pack out what you carry in. • Please use designated parking areas. • Check yourself for ticks after walks.

Nancy Merrill and friends at Windrush Farm

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Crooked Pond-Bay Circuit Trail

Summer 2017 Nancy Merrill

Beavers are residing in Crooked Pond, within the John C. Phillips Wildlife Sanctuary, a favored site for bird watching since early last century. The entrance to the Sanctuary and the Bay Circuit Trail is across Middleton Road from Lockwood Forest. Bald Hill Road is the historic dirt road providing access from Middleton Road, Boxford to the historic Russell-Hooper Farm on Bald Hill. Consulting the Boxford Trail Guide, Bald Hill Reservation Map 7, the Bay Circuit Trail entered the Phillips Wildlife Sanctuary and followed Bald Hill Road to the Top of Bald Hill passing along Crooked Pond to the left. Many years ago, beavers came to Crooked Pond and built a small dam at the pond’s exit. Soon Crooked Pond’s water level rose and began spilling onto the Bay Circuit Trail/ Bald Hill Road. The Bay Circuit trail was relocated up the hill. Instead of passing intersections 16, 15, and 14, then crossing another beaver dam between 14 and 13, Alan French, Director of the Bay Circuit Alliance relocated The Bay Circuit to turn right at intersection 17, up the hill, and pass through intersections 25, 24, 23, 22, 21, 26, to 8A, returning to the original BC trail heading west on Thomas Road to Sharpner’s Pond parking area. Imagine the surprise to this article’s author upon viewing the higher and longer dam the beaver have been hard at work building at the Crooked Pond outflow. Their dam is almost four feet high and they have continued to build their four foot dam longer, beside Crooked Pond to just before intersection 18 where their dam makes a right angle and meets the side of the hill to the right of Bald Hill Road. The result: the Bay Circuit trail will remain in the relocated path, Crooked Pond is probably twice its former size, and wildlife are benefiting from an expanded pond/wetland. To obtain a view of the other side of Crooked Pond, take the trail from intersection 26 to 13. Hikers, walkers, and bikers have gradually moved this trail away from the creeping, enlarging wetland connected to Crooked Pond. Volunteers will need to move this trail section even further

Summer 2017

Crooked Pond, Cont’d

uphill, away from the wetland. The view from intersection 13, looking back to 14, is amazing to the person who used to walk on a dry Bald Hill Road from intersection 17 to 13. The south side of Crooked Pond is amazing too, as Crooked Pond water level has inundated the trail along the water’s edge, and users have walked/ hiked/biked the trail away from the water’s edge. Beavers do build wonderful habitats for many wildlife species. Nature is always changing.

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Fall Run Pumpkin Hunt

Oct. 22 Oct. 25

Upcoming Events

Ipswich River Watershed Assoc. 1 BTA/BOLT Annual Meeting 3 Around Town Senior Walks 4 Natasha's Notes 5 Dog Sh0w 6-7 Girl Scout gold Award Project 8 Lockwood Kiosk 8 Boxford Running Festival 9 Trail Buzz 9 Crooked Pond/BCT 10-11

In This Issue.....

printed on recycled paper

Permit 95

Boxford MA 01921


U.S. Postage

Non-Profit Org.

Summer 2017

preserving the nature of Boxford for more than 30 years

7 Elm Street P.O. Box 95 Boxford, Massachusetts Office Phone: 978-887-7031

Boxford Trails Association/ Boxford Open Land Trust, Inc.

printing done by Computer Creations 4u Diane Hayden

2017 Summer ACORN  

BTA/BOLT Summer 2017 newsletter

2017 Summer ACORN  

BTA/BOLT Summer 2017 newsletter