Archive for July, 2011


On August 6th, 2011, the Fitchburg community will put on a Music Festival from 11am-9pm, at Riverfront Park to raise funds to help the 60 people affected by the Johnsonia Building fire which occurred in June.  The Johnsonia Building, at 520 Main Street suffered a devastating 6-alarm fire that left the residents of the 42 units without a place to live and destroyed the majority of their belongings.  This festival will help get their lives back together.

The planning committee for this event has received a tremendous outpouring of the support from the businesses, musicians and citizens of the Greater Fitchburg area.  “What started out as a couple of people working to plan a small festival has grown to a committee of well over 50 from Fitchburg and the surrounding communities banding together to organize an all day event that will surely make a huge difference in these families lives,” said Andrea Neale, a member of the Johnsonia Relief Fund Planning Committee.  “It has been absolutely amazing to see the support and hard work from all of those involved.  It is often difficult to see the positive side of a tragedy such as this but as the committee grows each week it becomes easier to find it.”

Tickets are $25 in advance, $40 per couple, with a free commemorative glass. Kids under 12 are free. Kid-friendly events will run from 11am-3pm. This is a RAIN OR SHINE event. Tickets at the door are $28 and commemorative glasses $2. Discount for couples at the door does not apply.

100% of the money raised will go directly to the families affected. All donations, contributions & correspondences should be sent to Fitchburg Police Association, PO Box 7476, Fitchburg, MA 01420. FPA is a recognized 501-C3 Organization making all donations tax deductible.

All musicians scheduled to perform have volunteered their time and talent to support these families and give something back to the Greater Fitchburg Area.  A preliminary schedule of the performers is listed below:

11:00 am                Stage # 1                                  Jazz Depot

11:30 am                Stage # 2                                  Cosmic Moxa

12:00 pm                Stage # 1                                  Gale Country

12:30 pm                Stage # 2                                  Keith McLinden

1:00 pm                  Stage # 1                                  Hudlin

1:30 pm                    Stage # 2                                  John Dupont

2:00 pm                    Stage # 1                                  Horseshoes & Hand Grenades

2:30 pm                    Stage # 2                                  Scott Babineau

3:00 pm                    Stage # 1                                  Will D’Archangelo and the Tribe

3:30 pm                    Stage # 2                                  Ryan Witkos

4:00 pm                  Stage # 1                                  Just Sayin

4:30 pm                    Stage #  2                                 Every Other Country

5:00 pm                    Stage # 1                                  Midnight Sun

5:30 pm                    Stage # 2                                  Aaron’s Pants

6:00 pm                    Stage # 1                                  Rainy Day Activities

6:30 pm                    Stage  # 2                                 John Nickerson

7:00 pm                  Stage # 1                                  Cougar’s Bait

7:30 pm                    Stage # 2                                  Andy Cummings

8:00 pm                    Stage # 2                                  JCDC

8:30 pm                    Stage #1                                   Five Hole

For more details on the event activities and sponsors or to purchase tickets in advance, please visit their website at http://www.johnsoniarelief.com.

Explore Local Treasures and Enjoy Outdoor Events and Adventures with Family and Friends

Merriam-Webster introduced the word “staycation” into its dictionary just as the recession officially ended in 2009 and more vacationers were opting to stay at or closer to home. With gas prices still high and the aftereffects of the recession still being felt by many, staycation is a buzzword that is here to stay.

According to The Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism, more than 35% of residents travel within the state each summer. ABC News just reported that a recent Marist Poll found that 55% of adults said they will not be booking a summer vacation this year, with the remaining saying they will take several shorter weekend trips (18%), take one or more long getaways (16%), or will do both or “other” (11%).

For those who are staying close to home or just looking for some new mid-summer ideas and adventures, The Trustees of Reservations (The Trustees) — the nation’s oldest statewide land conservation organization with 105 beautiful reservations located around the state — offer countless fun ideas to add to your summer “to do” list, many of which are free. Most of these ideas can be done less than a tank-full of gas — or better yet, on your energy-independent bicycle – and are free or heavily discounted for Trustees members:

Hike a mountain trail and explore a hidden waterfall

·                      Camp in a pristine setting by a beautiful lake

·                      Take a guided kayak tour or self-guided sunset paddle

·                      Head outdoors on a “quest” or scavenger hunt with your kids

·                      Visit a historic house museum and take a “behind-the-scenes” tour

·                      Volunteer as a family at a local Trustees property or nearby farm to clear harmful invasives species; maintain hiking trails; or plant, weed and harvest fresh produce for local farmers markets and food pantries

·                      Escape to a charming B&B with a view in the Berkshires or on Boston’s North Shore

·                      Visit a beautiful beach and explore through the dunes of a national wildlife refuge

·                      Stroll through a the glorious gardens of a historic homestead or National Historic Landmark

·                      Picnic under the stars and enjoy an open air concert with family and friends

·                      Tour a renovated “green” building and learn about energy saving ideas you can implement in your own home

·                      Explore the islands on an a natural history, sunset lighthouse, or fishing tour

For more information visit, http://www.thetrustees.org or explore the suggested ideas below, broken down by individual region.

 

CENTRAL MASSACHUSETTS

Tully Lake Campground, Royalston

http://www.thetrustees.org/places-to-visit/places-to-stay/tully-lake-campground/

Tully Lake is one of the few places where you can still enjoy a true camping experience—tents only, no car traffic—and a beautiful setting with miles of hiking and mountain-bike trails. Add in Tully Lake itself, with 200 acres of renowned paddling, canoeing and kayaking, and you just might have the perfect vacation destination. Located in the North Quabbin region of central Massachusetts, this hidden gem draws people from near and far. Tully Lake Campground showcases the best of New England outdoor recreation. Paddle up the picturesque Tully River, or explore the islands and inlets on the lake. Hike to tranquil overlooks and roaring waterfalls, or mountain bike the 7-mile loop around Long Pond. Fish off the campground banks or lounge in the refreshing shade of towering pine trees.

Feeling adventurous? You can even plan a two-day trip on the 22-mile Tully Trail loop, or practice your geocaching skills. A horseshoe pit, volleyball net, and a nearby disc-golf course round out the family fun at Tully. But don’t wait to reserve, because this campground fills up quickly. Weekdays are a good option for this late in the summer. Restrooms located on site. Ice and firewood available for purchase. Canoe, kayak, pre-programmed GPS, and disc golf rentals available.  Visit the website for pricing and reservation information.

 

Royalston Falls, Royalston

http://www.thetrustees.org/places-to-visit/central-ma/royalston-falls.html

More time in the area? Visit nearby Royalston Falls. Concealed within a dense forest, the rushing waters of Falls Brook have created a wonderland, carving a deep gorge through solid bedrock and providing an extravagant display as they plunge 45 feet. This reservation is an important link on the 22-mile Tully Trail, which itself makes for an excellent weekend adventure with spectacular vistas, several notable waterfalls and extensive wilderness trekking. Overnight hikers can take shelter at a trailside cabin that can sleep about 10 people and features a loft and a porch.

Rock House Reservation, West Brookfield

http://www.thetrustees.org/places-to-visit/central-ma/rock-house-reservation.html

On Rock House Reservation’s 135 acres, children and adults alike can clamber around the nooks and crannies of numerous rock outcroppings and explore wondrous natural features, all within a short hike from the parking area. Overall, more than 3 miles of trails access features such as Carter Pond, the Rock House and Balance Rock, a butterfly garden, and beautiful views of surrounding hills and farmland. Glaciers created the rock shelter that gives the reservation its name. Its large size, height and its southern exposure made the Rock House an excellent winter camp for Native Americans.

 

Doyle Community Park and Center in Leominster

http://www.thetrustees.org/places-to-visit/central-ma/doyle-reservation.html

If you’re exploring Central Massachusetts, then stop by Doyle Community Park and Center, a 170-acre oasis of open space amidst the busy urban centers of Leominster and Fitchburg. Doyle Center, located in the heart of the park, is an inspiring “green” conference center and gathering place that is a model of sustainability. Built in 2004, the Doyle Center is a 14,000-square foot, gold-rated LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) building that was constructed using renewable and sustainable building practices and features composting toilets, a geothermal heating and cooling system, and 2,000 square feet of photovoltaics. Tours are available by appointment, Monday though Friday. Members: FREE. Non-members: Adult $3.00, Child (6–12), $1.00. Group tours are available. Call 978.840.4446 x1900.

Outside, you can enjoy 3.5 miles of easy trails through this former family estate’s woodlands, open fields, meadows, formal gardens, and parklands. The park also includes Pierce Meadow, part of the former Pierce estate, a 10-acre gem with huge specimen trees and open space for strolling, picnicking, and play. The meadow is a link in the Monoosnoc Trail.

Doyle Community Park and Center is hosting volunteer opportunities on Wednesday mornings great for all ages throughout the summer to help keep the property well maintained and looking beautiful! Tasks include weeding, mulching, and pruning on the grounds; trail maintenance; and more.

GREATER BOSTON

 

Bird Park, Walpole

http://www.thetrustees.org/places-to-visit/greater-boston/bird-park.html

Ideal for families, Bird Park features three miles of flat pathways past grassy meadows and tranquil duck ponds, and over stone arch bridges spanning quiet streams. Great for walking and biking, the park also includes a recreational area with a new playground structure (opening soon) and an outdoor Music Court featuring concerts and performances throughout the summer. Visit the park on August 6 and 7 beginning at 5:00PM for The Gazebo Players of Medfield’s 10th annual Shakespeare in the Park production featuring The Comedy of Errors. Event is FREE.

For a new twist on a nature walk, try Bird Park’s “Over the Bridge and Through the Years Quest,” a nature scavenger hunt where families follow rhyming clues to find a hidden treasure box, where you can sign in, collect a copy of our Quest stamp, and then replace the box for the next visitor. The Quest is available at the Bird Park Bulletin Board or via download at the link above.

World’s End, Hingham

http://www.thetrustees.org/places-to-visit/greater-boston/worlds-end.html

Follow carriage roads designed by Frederick Law Olmsted along this exquisite South Shore peninsula as it juts into outer Boston Harbor. Enjoy panoramic views of the city skyline, harbor islands, and Massachusetts coast while picnicking, dog walking, hiking, biking or kayaking. Take a learn-to-kayak class with a friend or your family with REI’s Outdoor School. Before or afterwards, consider visiting nearby Weir River Farm in Hingham for other great outings including our open barnyard, where you get to meet the animals, and outdoor story hours.  Both events are FREE for members; $3 for non members.  Take a tour of our small scale, sustainable agriculture project at the farm. Meet the farmers and see how we grow our organic vegetables and raise our meat.  Tours are FREE. Check the website for kayak class schedules and more information.

 

The Old Manse, Concord

http://www.thetrustees.org/places-to-visit/greater-boston/old-manse.html

Make tracks for the Old Manse in Concord. If you’re coming from the city and don’t want to drive, the Fitchburg commuter rail stops at Concord station, from where you can enjoy a one-mile amble along historic streets to the National Historic Landmark on Monument Street (or bring your bike on the train and then pedal your way to the Manse). Generations of Emersons lived here, as did newlywed Nathaniel Hawthorne, for whom Henry David Thoreau planted a vegetable garden on the property, which is still cultivated today. The Manse — located next to the old North Bridge — is a must-see stop on your visit to historic Concord and offers garden talks as well as house, landscape and attic tours throughout the summer. Teachers and scout leaders can make a special appointment to discover the Manse’s rich educational programs. On Sundays throughout the summer from 2:00-4:00PM, spread out a blanket, pack a picnic and enjoy live music at the Manse with family and friends!  Event is FREE.

Powisset Farm, Dover

http://www.thetrustees.org/places-to-visit/greater-boston/powisset-farm.html#t1

Come visit the restored farming operation, today a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program, on this iconic Dover farm whose history of pastures and planted fields dates back three centuries. Take a leisurely walk through the beautiful farmstead – complete with chickens and pigs – then follow an easy, one-mile loop trail past woodlands, pastures and pollinator fields through the far reaches of the 108.5-acre property. Complete your visit by attending a workshop or with a family volunteer project! Join farm managers each Saturday throughout the summer from 1:30-4:30PM for Friends in the Fields volunteer projects. Bring the whole family or a group of friends and get your hands dirty in the Powisset Farm fields, helping to plant, weed, and harvest, or with a variety of other farm projects. If you’d like to pick up some fresh produce to take home before your visit, stop by The Trustees’ nearby Rocky Woods property in Medfield which operates Powisset Farm’s farmstand on Saturdays from 9:00AM – 1:00PM.

NORTH SHORE

 

Castle Hill on the Crane Estate, Ipswich

http://www.thetrustees.org/places-to-visit/northeast-ma/castle-hill-on-the-crane.html

Castle Hill is a National Historic Landmark and sits on the 2,100 acre Crane Estate, which includes the world-famous Crane Beach and Crane Wildlife Refuge. Crane Beach was just ranked as the #1 beach in the state on Boston.com in the top ten beaches in the country from National Geographic, one of the top ten breathtaking beaches for your summer bucket list in the U.S. and Caribbean from Trip Advisor.

At Castle Hill, you can tour the 59-room, Stuart-style Great House, getting a unique peek into life on the North Shore 100 years ago. There’s just as much to see outside as in, including the rolling, half-mile-long lawn known as the Grand Allée (the only one of its scale in North America), which is currently being restored to its magnificent original design. The Allée makes a wonderful spot for some wholesome family time while taking a landscape tour, flying a kite, playing Frisbee or simply enjoying a picnic together. On Thursday nights during the summer, enjoy music and dancing under the stars with The Trustees’ weekly picnic concert series!  Castle Hill Concerts are $20/care for members and $30/car for non-members.  Great House and landscape tours are FREE for members and $10/adult for non-members and FREE for children 12 and under.

Ready to make a weekend or overnight out of the North Shore? Reserve a room at the beautiful Inn at Castle Hill, which offers simple, yet luxurious pleasures, giving you the chance to reconnect with what’s really important in life. All ten rooms at the Inn are uniquely appointed, and many feature stunning views over the salt marshes and Atlantic Ocean. Children over age 12 welcome.

Appleton Farms, Ipswich & Hamilton

http://www.thetrustees.org/places-to-visit/northeast-ma/appleton-farms.html

Experience the sights, smells, and rural traditions of the nation’s oldest continually working farm, an icon on Boston’s North Shore, dating to 1638. Or take a leisurely walk along the Grass Rides, where woodlands envelop you and birdsong serenades you. Just recently The Trustees finished a green renovation of the property’s original farmhouse, which will soon serve as a visitor and engagement center. The house will offer formal tours in the fall where you can learn about sustainable, green renovations that can translate to your own home. An iconic farm and community treasure with an 800-member CSA program, the farm features family programs for all ages, including summer camps and one-day programs such as “meet the chickens and cows” ($4/members; $5/non-members). For teens, Appleton offers Farmhands and the Flower Project service learning programs perfect for filling some community-service hours.  The Farm also offers adult history Farmstead Tours ($4/members, $5/non-members) and canning and preserving workshops ($10/members, $15/non-members).  Visit the website for additional program fees and registration information.

THE ISLANDS

Cape Pogue Wildlife Refuge, Chappaquiddick Island off of Martha’s Vineyard

http://www.thetrustees.org/places-to-visit/cape-cod-islands/cape-pogue.html

A peaceful getaway on Chappaquiddick Island, Cape Poge features more than 1,000 acres of preserved barrier beach with a sandy shoreline, expansive salt marsh, beautiful salt pond, and unique colony of hardy red cedars. The property offers a great, remote beach destination, 14 miles of hiking and walking trails, and beautiful wildlife habitat and is a favorite destination among angling enthusiasts. The Trustees offer snorkeling, kayaking, fishing, lighthouse, and natural history tours for all ages throughout the summer. The snorkeling program is offered in a shallow, sheltered salt pond, great for children (and parents) of all swimming abilities as well as those who are still wading. For children ages 4-8, Trustees education staff will assist your child’s discovery of shrimp, crabs, fish, jellies, and more. Before or after your visit, consider stopping down the road at The Trustees’ Mytoi garden, an intimate, peaceful Japanese-style garden featuring a small pond and island, lovely flowers and plants, footpaths leading past a birch walk and stone garden, and a trail winding toward Poucha Pond and the salt marsh. Visit the website for tour fees and registration information.

Long Point Wildlife Refuge and Beach, Martha’s Vineyard

http://www.thetrustees.org/places-to-visit/cape-cod-islands/long-point.html

A true hidden gem off the beaten track, Long Point is the perfect setting for an almost “private” day at the beach, offering great body surfing in the ocean and splashing with younger children in sheltered salt- and freshwater ponds. For those who love to walk, the 632-acre property offers two miles of wooded trail systems bordered by Middle Point, Long Cove and Tisbury Great Ponds. The property features public restrooms, picnic tables and a bike rack for those who want to bike to the beach. The Trustees offer special 2-hour kayak tours on the property on Tisbury Great Pond throughout the summer.  Tours are $20/adult members, $25/adult non-members, and $12 for all children 15 and under.  Visit the website for beach access and fees information.

Coskata Coatue Wildlife Refuge (next to Great Point), Nantucket

http://www.thetrustees.org/places-to-visit/cape-cod-islands/coskata-coatue.html

Coskata Coatue (“co-skate-uh coat-oo”) Wildlife Refuge is a popular summer destination for those seeking a wild and semi-remote beach experience. Most easily accessible by boat or oversand vehicle, the refuge also draws walkers and naturalists eager to observe shorebirds, raptors, and Great Point Light. Also a popular destination for saltwater anglers in search of striped bass and bluefish, this beautiful double-fingered peninsula is a must see for those seeking a “hidden gem” on Nantucket. The refuge offers surfcasting adventures, plus natural history, birding and sunset tours, all great for families. The refuge abuts Nantucket National Wildlife Refuge also referred to as Great Point which is home to an abundant grey seal population – perfect for wildlife viewing. The Trustees and island partners advise keeping a distance of at least 150 feet from grey seals and reading safety signage on the property. Visit the website for beach access, tour schedules and fee information.

BERKSHIRES

 

Naumkeag, Stockbridge

http://www.thetrustees.org/places-to-visit/berkshires/naumkeag.html

http://www.thetrustees.org/places-to-visit/berkshires/mission-house.html

Naumkeag is a treasured National Historic Landmark from the Gilded Age located just half a mile from downtown Stockbridge. Designed by the famous firm of McKim, Mead & White and built in 1885 as a summer “cottage,” the home features original 19th- and 20th-century furnishings, art, personal family and household items. Behind-the-scenes historic house tours, perfect for all ages, are offered throughout the summer. The house’s living space spills outdoors into eight acres of breathtaking and whimsical “garden rooms,” which evolved over several decades of collaboration between Fletcher Steele, considered by many to be America’s first modern landscape architect, and his patron, former owner of the home, Mabel Choate. Children will be enchanted by the water features, the Chinese Garden, and the garden rooms. Kids can explore more deeply with an easy-to-follow outdoor scavenger hunt, while the adults take a self-guided audio tour (FREE with admission), which brings the world-famous gardens to life through the words of Steele and Choate themselves, complemented by comments from garden historians and background music.  House and garden tours: FREE/Trustees members, $15/adult non-members, FREE/children 12 and under.

Before or after your visit, consider stopping at Mission House, another National Historic Landmark owned and operated by The Trustees, which offers garden and museum tours where you learn more about the Native American history of the area and the place where Stockbridge was first founded. Tours: FREE/Trustees members, $6/adult non-members, FREE/children 12 and under.

Monument Mountain, Great Barrington

http://www.thetrustees.org/places-to-visit/berkshires/monument-mountain.html

For more than 20,000 visitors a year, a hike to the top is an annual rite. For lovers of art and literature, it is a pilgrimage. For almost two centuries, Monument Mountain has been a source of inspiration to poets, novelists, and painters. On August 5, 1850, Nathaniel Hawthorne and Herman Melville enjoyed a well-chronicled picnic hike up Monument Mountain. A thunderstorm forced them to seek shelter where a lengthy and vigorous discussion ensued, inspiring powerful ideas for Melville’s new book, Moby Dick. But this is your vacation. So don’t be daunted if you’re not feeling similarly creative. Instead, you can challenge yourself on three miles of trails, some steep, that lead through a white pine and oak forest with mountain laurel, hemlock, maple, and birch. The reward of panoramic views of Southern Berkshire County from the summit is certain to reassure your ego that coming here was a brilliant idea in its own right.

On August 7th from 9:30AM to 12NOON, join The Trustees and The Berkshire Historical Society for a guided hike to retrace the footsteps of Herman Melville and Nathaniel Hawthorne. As the two authors did, share a glass of champagne (sparking cider) and a reading of William Cullen Bryant’s famous poem named for the mountain. Led for the 26th year by Gordan Hyatt of the Berkshire Historical Society. Event is FREE.

Field Farm, The Folly & The Guest House at Field Farm, Williamstown

http://www.thetrustees.org/places-to-visit/berkshires/field-farm.html

Streams disappear into caves. A house sprouts a silo. Massachusetts’ highest mountain looms in the distance. Field Farm is full of contrasts and unexpected sights that will catch your attention and make you question your assumptions about the New England landscape. On four miles of foot trails, the forests, farmland, and meadows of Field Farm unfold for visitors like a picture book of some idyllic past. That only makes a visit to The Folly, a Modern-style cottage built on the property in 1966, and an overnight stay at the Guest House, with its Scandinavian furniture, modern art, and international-style architecture of straight lines and glass, all the more striking. But for those who gaze out the windows while enjoying breakfast, it becomes clear that more recent art and architecture at Field Farm are reverent additions that make an unforgettable place whole. If you’re visiting the Berkshires, the Guest House is a soothing place to stay and a close drive to Mass MoCA, the Clark Art Institute and other attractions. Rooms are discounted for Trustees members.

Bartholomew’s Cobble, Sheffield

http://www.thetrustees.org/places-to-visit/berkshires/bartholomews-cobble.html

It takes a very special place to become a National Natural Landmark. Bartholomew’s Cobble received the designation in 1971 as home to one of North America’s greatest diversities of fern species as well as the widest variety of forest types in Berkshire County. Named for its two rocky knolls that rise above the Housatonic River, Bartholomew’s Cobble is as breathtaking as it is fascinating. Whether you participate in one of the property’s many events and programs, or simply watch the world go by from the grassy summit of Hurlburt’s Hill, know you’ll be experiencing the best nature has to offer. The Cobble offers guided Sunday canoe trips throughout the summer and fall, where you can paddle the winding Housatonic to view the beauty of this meandering river as it passes through agricultural fields and floodplain forests. Watch for bald eagles flying over Bartholomew’s Cobble and learn about the river’s history and what is happening to restore some of its most precious habitats and species from its upper reaches in Pittsfield through Massachusetts and into Connecticut. Sunday canoe trips: $24/Trustees members, $10/children ages 10-16; $30/non-members, $15/children ages 10-16. Paddles, life preservers, and boats are provided. Please pre-register.

 

Ashley House/A site on the African American Heritage Trail, Sheffield

http://www.thetrustees.org/places-to-visit/berkshires/ashley-house.html

History buffs take note! In the late 1700s, the Ashley House sat on the edge of the Massachusetts Colony, and at the cutting edge of history. In this, the oldest house in Berkshire County, seeds of the American Revolution were planted in the famous Sheffield Resolves. Drafted in an upstairs study of the house, the Resolves were sent to Boston in 1773 to support the Patriots’ struggle against British tyranny. The link between the home and independence did not end there. Less than ten years later, Elizabeth Freeman (nicknamed and formerly referred to as “Mumbet”) who was enslaved by the Ashleys, successfully sued for her freedom under the new state constitution, helping end slavery in Massachusetts. The Ashley House is a key anchor site on the Upper Housatonic Valley African American Heritage Trail (AAHT), providing a great day trip/learning opportunity for kids, schools and families. To help kick off the AAHT’s 5th anniversary as well as the 230th anniversary of Elizabeth’s court case decision, The Trustees and AAHT partners are hosting their annual Elizabeth Freeman day on August 21st and unveiling a new visitor center designed by local graduate students from UMass Amherst beginning at 12NOON. All ages are welcome. Event is FREE and open to the public.

PIONEER VALLEY

Dinosaur Footprints, Holyoke

http://www.thetrustees.org/places-to-visit/pioneer-valley/dinosour-footprints.html

Walk in the footsteps of giants. The 134 dinosaur footprints, preserved in stone at this reservation near the west bank of the Connecticut River, can bring out the kid in anyone. Bring a picnic and explore the tilted sandstone beds where dinosaurs, some as large as fifteen feet tall and twenty feet long, left their mark roughly 190 million years ago alongside now fossilized plants and the delicate ripple marks from prehistoric pools.  Dinosaur Footprints is a perfect excursion on a trip exploring the Pioneer Valley and also offers many scenic areas for strolling and bird watching as well. Bring your imagination!

Chesterfield Gorge in Chesterfield

http://www.thetrustees.org/places-to-visit/pioneer-valley/chesterfield-gorge.html

Come experience this imposing gorge — considered one of the “seven wonders of the west (of Massachusetts)” carved by a National Wild and Scenic River. This remarkable natural canyon featuring 70-foot walls allows visitors to experience both the region’s geologic past and its recreational potential. The ancient rock emerged from the seabed a half-billion years ago, then was carved for thousands of years by glacial action and roaring meltwater. Today, this stretch of the Westfield River attracts walkers and cyclists, photographers and anglers. For those who love to hike, the reservation offers a half-mile trail along the cliff tops where you’ll take in breathtaking views of the gorge, the river, and the surrounding forest. The Trustees are hosting a Discovery Day on August 27th where all ages are invited to explore the Westfield River and discover what swims, clings, crawls, and flies in and around it. Wear water shoes and come prepared to get wet. Even better, bring a picnic lunch and a blanket and make it a day on the river! Event is FREE/Trustees members, $5/adult non-members, and $3/children.

 

Chapel Brook, Ashfield

http://www.thetrustees.org/places-to-visit/pioneer-valley/chapel-brook.html

After a great hike up Pony Mountain to take in the panoramic views of the Highlands and foothills of the Berkshires, people can enjoy the natural pools at Chapel Brook Falls below – a great way to get kids exploring the outdoors this summer while cooling off and having fun at the same time. During hot summer days, visitors can enjoy taking a dip in three cool pools of water fed by a clear, cascading stream. For a safe family outing, adults should be good swimmers. Although Pony Mountain is only 1,420 feet high, the hike to the top is exhilarating. The Summit Trail rises to meet the abrupt, vertical, 100-foot rock face of Chapel Ledge (which attracts experienced rock climbers). You’ll want to be in good shape to tackle this trail. A less-daunting, half-mile trail leads around the western side of Pony Mountain and is great for families with children. Be sure to explore Ashfield’s charming village center to gather a picnic lunch or refresh yourself after a day in the countryside.

William Cullen Bryant Homestead, Cummington

http://www.thetrustees.org/places-to-visit/pioneer-valley/bryant-homestead.html

The Bryant Homestead is more than just the boyhood home of one of America’s foremost 19th-century poets and a National Historic Landmark, it is a place to get inspired. You can follow Bryant’s footsteps on this 195-acre pastoral estate, pondering how the landscape portrayed in his poetry 150 years ago remains largely unchanged. Walk along the same maple tree allée planted by the Bryant family. Gaze out over the rolling hills from his Victorian cottage. Explore the old-growth forest on the Rivulet Trail, and the sugar bush used by Bryant and his brothers that contains trees almost 200 years old. Tours of the house and grounds are offered at 1:00PM and 3:00PM on Saturdays in July and August. Tours are FREE for members, $6 for adult non-members, and $3 for children.

In addition, the Homestead is hosting two Nature Printing & Haiku Discovery Days on August 13th and 27.th. All ages are welcome to participate in a unique workshop led by volunteer educator Colin Harrington. Participants will search the lawns and woods for leaves, grasses, and other natural objects and make ink prints on rice paper. Even reluctant writers may find themselves writing haikus with ease, using Colin’s magic formula for allowing poems to write themselves. FREE for members, $6 for adult non-members, and $3 for children, with an optional materials donation.

 

CENTRAL MASSACHUSETTS

Tully Lake Campground, Royalston

http://www.thetrustees.org/places-to-visit/places-to-stay/tully-lake-campground/

Tully Lake is one of the few places where you can still enjoy a true camping experience—tents only, no car traffic—and a beautiful setting with miles of hiking and mountain-bike trails. Add in Tully Lake itself, with 200 acres of renowned paddling, canoeing and kayaking, and you just might have the perfect vacation destination. Located in the North Quabbin region of central Massachusetts, this hidden gem draws people from near and far. Tully Lake Campground showcases the best of New England outdoor recreation. Paddle up the picturesque Tully River, or explore the islands and inlets on the lake. Hike to tranquil overlooks and roaring waterfalls, or mountain bike the 7-mile loop around Long Pond. Fish off the campground banks or lounge in the refreshing shade of towering pine trees.

Feeling adventurous? You can even plan a two-day trip on the 22-mile Tully Trail loop, or practice your geocaching skills. A horseshoe pit, volleyball net, and a nearby disc-golf course round out the family fun at Tully. But don’t wait to reserve, because this campground fills up quickly. Weekdays are a good option for this late in the summer. Restrooms located on site. Ice and firewood available for purchase. Canoe, kayak, pre-programmed GPS, and disc golf rentals available.  Visit the website for pricing and reservation information.

 

Royalston Falls, Royalston

http://www.thetrustees.org/places-to-visit/central-ma/royalston-falls.html

More time in the area? Visit nearby Royalston Falls. Concealed within a dense forest, the rushing waters of Falls Brook have created a wonderland, carving a deep gorge through solid bedrock and providing an extravagant display as they plunge 45 feet. This reservation is an important link on the 22-mile Tully Trail, which itself makes for an excellent weekend adventure with spectacular vistas, several notable waterfalls and extensive wilderness trekking. Overnight hikers can take shelter at a trailside cabin that can sleep about 10 people and features a loft and a porch.

Rock House Reservation, West Brookfield

http://www.thetrustees.org/places-to-visit/central-ma/rock-house-reservation.html

On Rock House Reservation’s 135 acres, children and adults alike can clamber around the nooks and crannies of numerous rock outcroppings and explore wondrous natural features, all within a short hike from the parking area. Overall, more than 3 miles of trails access features such as Carter Pond, the Rock House and Balance Rock, a butterfly garden, and beautiful views of surrounding hills and farmland. Glaciers created the rock shelter that gives the reservation its name. Its large size, height and its southern exposure made the Rock House an excellent winter camp for Native Americans.

 

Doyle Community Park and Center in Leominster

http://www.thetrustees.org/places-to-visit/central-ma/doyle-reservation.html

If you’re exploring Central Massachusetts, then stop by Doyle Community Park and Center, a 170-acre oasis of open space amidst the busy urban centers of Leominster and Fitchburg. Doyle Center, located in the heart of the park, is an inspiring “green” conference center and gathering place that is a model of sustainability. Built in 2004, the Doyle Center is a 14,000-square foot, gold-rated LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) building that was constructed using renewable and sustainable building practices and features composting toilets, a geothermal heating and cooling system, and 2,000 square feet of photovoltaics. Tours are available by appointment, Monday though Friday. Members: FREE. Non-members: Adult $3.00, Child (6–12), $1.00. Group tours are available. Call 978.840.4446 x1900.

Outside, you can enjoy 3.5 miles of easy trails through this former family estate’s woodlands, open fields, meadows, formal gardens, and parklands. The park also includes Pierce Meadow, part of the former Pierce estate, a 10-acre gem with huge specimen trees and open space for strolling, picnicking, and play. The meadow is a link in the Monoosnoc Trail.

Doyle Community Park and Center is hosting volunteer opportunities on Wednesday mornings great for all ages throughout the summer to help keep the property well maintained and looking beautiful! Tasks include weeding, mulching, and pruning on the grounds; trail maintenance; and more.

More about the Trustees of Reservations

The Trustees are 100,000 people like you who love the outdoors and the distinctive charms of New England, and believe in celebrating and protecting them for current and future generations. Founded by open space visionary Charles Eliot in 1891, The Trustees “hold in trust,” and care for, 105 spectacular “reservations” located on more than 26,000 acres in 75 communities throughout Massachusetts.

Fifty percent of the population of Massachusetts lives within 5 miles of one of The Trustees’ reservations, all of which are open for the public to enjoy. Properties range from working farms and historic homesteads — several of which are National Historic Landmarks — to formal gardens, barrier beaches, open meadows, woodland trails, and mountain vistas and 3 green, LEED-certified buildings, including the Doyle Center in Leominster, which serves as a meeting space and gathering place for the conservation community.

The Trustees are committed to being a force of action in creating a sustainable future and are working to promote healthy, active, green communities around the state, by providing hundreds of year-round programs and events that inspire people of all ages to enjoy the outdoors and appreciate the history, nature, and culture of the Commonwealth. Most programs and events are free-of-charge or heavily discounted for members.

Accredited by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, The Trustees are an established leader in the conservation and preservation movement, The Trustees also hold perpetual conservation restrictions on more than 19,000 additional acres (a total larger than any other conservation organization in Massachusetts), and have worked with community partners to assist in the protection of an additional 16,000 acres around the Commonwealth.

One of the largest non-profits in the state of Massachusetts, The Trustees employ 152 full-time, 49 regular part-time, and 400 seasonal staff with expertise in ecology, education, historic resources, land protection, conservation, land management, and planning. To find out how to apply for employment, request a speaker for an event, become an organizational partner, interview Trustees’ experts on important topics and issues, or become a member, donor or volunteer, please contact http://www.thetrustees.org.

 

-Courtesy of The Trustees of Reservations

Brain cancer survivor Dave McGrath will be joined by former NHL referee Paul Stewart and hockey enthusiasts working to eradicate cancer at the Skating for Hope skate-a-thon on July 30th at Buffone Arena, 284 Lake Avenue.

The goal of this one-of-a-kind event is to raise funds for, and awareness of, the American Cancer Society’s Hope Lodge in Worcester, a resource for cancer patients to access free, temporary housing during treatment in local hospitals.

McGrath, a Westborough native, Worcester resident, and American Cancer Society employee, will ice skate for 24 hours on July 30-31. His hope is to eventually raise $1million to support Hope Lodge services.

“When life gave me brain cancer at age 18, and simultaneously took the lives of young friends and other relatives as well as former Hope Lodge guests, I could only come up with one choice: fight back,” McGrath said. “This event is one weapon in that fight, and I hope the money we raise here will provide much needed support to cancer patients and their families.”

At this time, Skating for Hope is welcoming hockey players, skaters and supporters to sign up to skate, or pledge to support a skater. Former NHL referee and cancer survivor Paul Stewart will officiate one of the many hockey games scheduled for the 24-hour event. http://www.skatingforhope.myevent.com <http://www.skatingforhope.myevent.com>

Twenty four hours is a lot of time to spend in one ice arena, so McGrath and volunteers have several special events planned that will surely be highlights of the fundraiser.

At 1:00 pm, Boston College alumni will play in a hockey game officiated by Paul Stewart.  At  3:00 pm, the rink will be invaded by members of the Alderaan Base Star Wars character group. 6:00 pm will bring a raffle draw. At 8:00 pm on Saturday night, Westborough High School alumni will face St. John’s High School alumni in a game that will be played in memory of two young men taken by cancer, Daniel Manning (St. John’s class of 1992) and Gregory Montalbano (St. John’s class of 1995). Both Manning and Montalbano were friends of Dave McGrath. On Sunday morning, after a night of skating and pick up hockey games, the closing ceremony will be held as skaters take their final laps on the ice at 10 a.m.

Since 2005, the Worcester Hope Lodge has provided an estimated 13,500 free nights of lodging to cancer patients and their caregivers, saving the guests an estimated $1.2 million.  While the facility offers many of the comforts of home, the true magic of the Hope Lodge is the built-in support system and friendships that are formed. Other guests, facing similar circumstances, rally around each other, offering strength and camaraderie. The volunteers and staff, many of whom are cancer survivors themselves, strive to create an environment in which guests can relax and concentrate on getting well.

For more information on Skating for Hope, visit <http://www.skatingforhope.myevent.com/> .

For cancer information 24 hours a day, seven days a week, contact the American Cancer Society at 1.800.ACS.2345 or<http://www.cancer.org/>

Meet the Editor today at Cafe Manzi from 10am to 1pm!

Worcester Mag wants to hear your voice. How are we doing? What could we be doing better? What have we done lately that you’ve really enjoyed? What are we missing?

Come tell us during the next Meet the Editor at Café Manzi’s on Shrewsbury Street on July 14 from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Our special guest this month will be Publisher Gareth Charter. Come on down and give us your feedback!

 

Questions? Email editor@worcestermag.com.

 

 

Due to forecasts for continued rain and potential thunderstorms throughout the day, today’s Out to Lunch Concert and Farmers Market has been cancelled.    Grupo Fantasia’s performance will be rescheduled for Friday, September 9th.    The Out to Lunch Concert Series & Farmers Market will return to Worcester Common next Friday, July 15th featuring a concert by The Diamond Collection. Additional details about the concert series and farmers market can be found online at www.OutToLunchWorcester.com

The kitten season is just that. Temperature determines when kittens are conceived. The majority of kittens are born in spring and summer.

This year WARL has been inundated with orphans that have been separated from their mothers either through accident or death. A truck came up from Long Island with a load of scrap metal. When it was unloaded in Worcester, there were kittens inside. Their mom is back in Long Island. Another mother cat was electrocuted on a transformer in Ashland. Her kittens were found next to her trying to nurse on her body. Another mother cat was killed by a truck at a Medway farm. Fortunately he farm owner knew where she’d left her kittens.

So far this season, WARL has placed 160 kittens (with or without their mothers) into foster care.

If you are able to help the shelter with donations of kitten formula, please drop off directly to the shelter between 8a.m. and 5p.m., 7 days a week. The shelter’s phone number is 508-853-0300; the general email is: petshelp@aol.com.

Worcester Art Museum Free July 8th!


FREE FUN FRIDAY

Friday, July 8
WAM hours: 11am-5pm
The Museum Café: 11:30am-2pm

Thanks to the folks at the Highland Street Foundation, Admission is FREE at WAM on Friday, July 8. They have a host of fun kids activities lined up, so be sure to stop by. Remember, General admission is ALWAYS free for Members and Youth 17 & under.

Texture Drawing in the Stoddard Garden Court (weather permitting)
Noon-4pm
Stoddard Garden Court
While you have lunch at the outdoor café, have the kids try their hand at texture drawing using our community mosaic. You will be amazed at what they will create with just crayons and paper!

Paint the Museum Weather permitting
Noon-4pm
Lancaster Street Entrance
Yes, you read that right. All it takes is a bucket of water and some brushes to ignite your child’s imagination-and maybe yours, too!

Family Explorations
11:30am / 1pm / 2pm
Meet in Lancaster Lobby
Join one of the talented docents for a family friendly trek through the Museum galleries. The whole gang can join in on the fun. Each exploration lasts about 30 minutes. Or grab an activity guide and wander independently-kids get a prize when they are done!

Color Fun: Foam Block Prints
12:30-4pm
Studio 100 in the Higgins Education Wing
Clear a spot on the fridge for your child’s mini-masterpiece. Kids with have a great time creating colorful and imaginative prints using a variety materials that you can use at home. Don’t forget to dress for mess and look at the printmaking exhibition in the Museum!

Be sure to check out other cultural institutions across the state that are participating in Free Fun Fridays. You could plan out a whole summer of fun for your family and not pay admission! Thank you Highland Street Foundation!