Citizens for Lexington Conservation is a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and promotion of the natural environment in the town of Lexington, Massachusetts.
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LAST WALK OF THE FALL -- JOIN US AS WE WALK OFF THE EXTRA TURKEY AND PUMPKIN PIE!
CITIZENS FOR LEXINGTON CONSERVATION
2013 FALL WALKS
Saturday, November 30, 1 to 3 PM
Post Thanksgiving Holiday Walk
Work off some of those Thanksgiving calories with CLC's First Annual Post Thanksgiving Walk. We will explore Whipple Hill and the new trail improvement structures built this past summer. Wear sturdy hiking boots and bring a walking stick if you have one, as trails are steep. Meet at the Winchester Drive entrance. Heavy rain or snow cancels the walk. Walk Leader: Keith Ohmart (firstname.lastname@example.org; 781-862-6216)
Maps of conservation lands can be found at http://www.lexingtonma.gov/conservation/conland.cfm
Let us know if there is an upcoming event that should be listed here.
New Trail Guide to Lexington’s Conservation Land Now Available
The Lexington Conservation Stewards have created a new Trail Guide to Lexington’s Conservation Land, which includes color trail maps along with descriptions and historical information for Lexington’s 25 walk-able conservation areas. Covering nearly 30 miles of trails, it is an essential book for both veteran trail users and new explorers who’d like to discover the forests, fields, and wetlands in Lexington.
The Trail Guide to Lexington’s Conservation Land is available for a minimum donation of $10 from the Town of Lexington Community Development Office located in the Town Offices Building at 1625 Massachusetts Avenue. Proceeds benefit the Lexington Nature Trust Fund, which helps to care for our 1300 acres of public conservation land.
More information about the Conservation Department
CLC is looking for a volunteer with a technical aptitude who enjoys organizing and paying attention to details. This person would manage the CLC database, using our Access 2007 data.
Duties would involve keeping track of names, addresses, dues status and email addresses of members, Town Meeting Members, Town Committee members, and candidates.
In addition, he or she would send emails about significant issues and events when requested by one of the co-chairmen of CLC, send out both the email and snail mail versions of our newsletter, and send out the questions we ask town candidates before elections.
The present holder of the position would be happy to provide any support needed.
If interested, please contact Eileen Entin (email@example.com)
For further details about what the job entails, contact Kate Fricker (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Save the Eastern Hemlocks!!
By Jane Warren
Eastern hemlocks (Tsuga canadensis), sometimes called the redwoods of the east, are majestic trees that may grow to a height of 150 feet or more with a trunk up to 6 feet in diameter. They grow slowly, but may live as long as 900 years. They start producing cones at about 15 years of age and some may produce them when they are as old as 450 years. The leaves are flat evergreen needles and the cones hanging from the tips of branches look like tiny footballs. In the northern hardwood forests, hemlocks are found on rolling hills and glacial ridges, often with white pine, northern red oak, sugar maple, American beech, yellow birch and white ash. Around Lexington you can see these glorious trees, often in clusters or long rows, in conservation lands, along roads and in many yards. Eastern hemlocks are important to the environment as well as beautiful. They provide habitats for birds, fish, invertebrates, amphibians, reptiles, and mammals. About 90 bird species and more than 40 mammals use hemlocks for cover or food (seeds or needles) in the northeastern US. Hemlocks provide deep shade along creeks that supports trout and other cold-water wildlife.
Hemlocks are one of the most shade tolerant trees, but they do not do well in soil that is wet or has poor nutrition, nor do they tolerate prolonged heat, windy exposed sites, or air pollution. Drought is harmful to hemlocks, especially younger trees, but now their worst enemy is the hemlock woolly adelgid (Adelges tsugae) (HWA), a tiny insect from East Asia that is almost invisible (about 1/32 inch long). In the US this insect was first found in the Pacific Northwest in the 1920s and in the Washington DC and Richmond VA areas in the 1950s. By 2005, it was established in 16 states from Georgia to Maine. The HWAs, which lack natural enemies in North America, have spread by wind, birds, mammals and infected hemlocks from nurseries.
HWAs are parthenogenetic—all are female and reproduce asexually. Their life cycle has two generations each year. The overwintering generation starts to lay eggs in spring; each adult lays 100 to 300 eggs. The minute eggs are covered with fluffy white material secreted by the adult insects to protect them. When the eggs mature, the nymphs begin to feed and increase in size and become mature adults by mid-summer. Adults in the spring generation lay up to 75 eggs per insect. The resulting nymphs survive over the winter and mature to adults in spring. Thus the population can grow quickly.
The HWAs suck fluid from the base of the hemlock needles and may inject toxins while feeding, weakening the tree. Other insects, fungi and drought can all exacerbate the impact of the HWAs. Some trees die within 4 years, but others may linger several years in a weakened state.
If you have hemlocks in your yard, keep an eye on their health. The first sign of infestation by HWAs is the appearance of fluffy white globs on the twigs. Signs that a tree is deteriorating are previously shiny green needles turning grayish or dropping off and branches falling. If you notice signs of infestation, contact a tree expert right away to assess the health of the tree and provide appropriate treatment. If a HWA infestation is noticed early, the tree is more likely to be saved. Sprays such as horticultural oils or insecticidal soaps are effective if the tree is saturated with them. Systemic treatments have had some results that may be effective up to 5 years. Looking ahead, several beetle species introduced from Asia that appear to feed only on HWAs may prove to be a longer-term solution. Researchers are also attempting to identify strains of eastern hemlocks that seem to be tolerant to the feeding of the HWAs.
Because the eastern hemlocks provide such a uniquely beneficial habitat for wildlife, some experts believe that the HWA infestation could be a worse ecological disaster than that caused by the chestnut blight that was first seen in the US in the early 1900s. If we are not able to successfully thwart the HWAs in time, the widespread losses of eastern hemlocks will be devastating. Hopefully, the various treatments will save many of these glorious trees from the alien invaders. Be vigilant in checking for the white globs on your hemlocks!
Are you looking for a new route to walk, run or bike?
ACROSS Lexington is ready for use - try it!
Here's a map for Route A - a new map, including Route B, will be available in the near future.
ACROSS Lexington stands for Accessing Conservation land, Recreation areas, Open space, Schools and Streets in Lexington.
Lexington now has its very own field guide! Lexington Alive is available at the town Community Development Office (in the Town Offices Building, 1625 Mass Ave) for $6.00 cash or check. All proceeds go to the Lexington Nature Trust, which helps to care for Lexington's 1400 acres of conservation land.
A special Lexington Tercentennial tree medallion is now being sold by the Lexington Tree Committee to help celebrate our special year, according to Chairman John Frey, and to support our drive to plant 300 trees for the 300 years.
The medallion can be purchased and hung outdoors on a tree planted especially for 2013, or on a recently planted tree. It also can be hung on a fancy ribbon and used to decorate a Christmas tree.
No more room for trees on your property? Your purchase will nevertheless help plant street and park trees in other parts of the Town. It will be a unique souvenir of Lexington’s 300th birthday, even for out-of-towners, and will still contribute to Lexington’s tree canopy.
Environmentalists will appreciate the fact that this drive encourages the planting of trees, with all the known benefits to the climate, such as carbon sequestration, temperature reduction, rain runoff reduction, etc.
A limited run of only 300 medallions, sequentially numbered, have been produced. The first medallion, #001, hangs on the Tricentennial Oak planted on the Green this spring, located roughly opposite the Buckman Tavern entrance.
You can purchase medallions at the DPW front desk, 201 Bedford Street, or at the Visitors’ Center, 1875 Massachusetts Avenue. The price is $15.00, which is tax-deductible to the extent provided by law.
Any profits from this sale will be used to underwrite street tree planting in Lexington.
The Tree Committee has been working since its inception in 2001 to promote and protect the public and private trees of the Town.
For further information contact:
Phone #: 781 862 4094
In the spirit of improving the user experience on the Minuteman Bikeway, a Recreational Trails Program
grant is underwriting a review of the Minuteman Bikeway on behalf of the towns of Arlington, Bedford, and Lexington. The Town of Lexington is administering the grant on behalf of the three
towns. Toole Design Group (TDG) was hired this summer and is now beginning its review of current conditions on and near the 10-plus miles of the Bikeway. They have also developed a
two-page user questionnaire to gather opinions about trail signage (on and near the Bikeway), intersection crossings, and trailside amenities. And there's room at the end of the survey for
more general comments.
The questionnaire is at this site: http://tiny.cc/minuteman. Please take a few minutes to fill it out, your experience, opinions and suggestions are very important to this effort.