Opportunities to get involved and make a difference with Friends of the Fells

A Message from Your Executive Director:
Opportunities to get involved and make a difference with Friends of the Fells

Greetings, and Happy New Year!

In the first four months acting as your Executive Director, I’ve been impressed by the vibrant community of dedicated volunteers who generously give their time to care for our Fells forest. Why not consider joining other like-minded people who share your love for the forest and volunteer with the Friends in 2020?

Opportunities abound for involvement. If you’re an avid hiker in the Fells, you might consider becoming a Trail Adopter to help us maintain over 100 miles of trails in the Fells. If you enjoy young children and are enthusiastic sharing nature with them, you might consider learning more about our Babes in the Woods program (which brings young families on hikes just about every Tuesday morning of the year), and joining the volunteer team leading these hikes.

If you have a passion for improving habitat and saving trees from invasive plants (think Oriental Bittersweet), consider visiting our Stewardship Committee and learning more about our plans for on-the-ground efforts this coming spring. Or, if you like digging into local politics or tracking environmental legislation at the statehouse, you might be a good fit for our new Advocacy Committee, tasked with cultivating relationships with decision makers, advancing the Friends’ policy positions, and sniffing out and combating external threats to the Fells (e.g. our recent work to protect the 90mm site).

We’re also developing a new Conservation & Science Committee. Initial focus areas will include ecology, citizen-science research, biodiversity, and the effects of climate change on the Fells.

Finally, we’re also on the lookout for volunteers to help fulfill some unique “skill” volunteer positions in many additional areas, including finance, fundraising, social media, and more.

A list of upcoming committee meetings is provided below. Please consider attending an upcoming meeting to learn more about how volunteering for the Friends can be put into your action plan for 2020.

 January Board Meeting:  Tuesday, January 14th, 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM

(**Board meetings are schedule for the second Tuesday of every month)

Stewardship Committee:  Wednesday, January 15, 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM

Advocacy Committee:  Wednesday, January 22nd, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Conservation & Science Committee:  Thursday, February 6th, 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM

(This meeting is a conference call.  Please contact us to find out how to participate.)

Development Committee:  TBD; last week of January

NOTE: All Friends of the Fells committee and board meetings are held at the Beebe Estate unless otherwise noted, located at 235 West Foster Street in Melrose.

For more information on volunteering, contact us at friends@fells.org!

Stay warm out there,

Chris Redfern

Dear Members of the Friends of the Fells Community,

With a month under my belt as the Friends’ new Executive Director, I want to thank all of you who have been so supportive and welcoming to me as I “find my feet” and begin making connections with the great community that has been established to care for and protect the gem that is the Middlesex Fells.

All of the staff, board members, volunteers, and other community members I’ve interacted with so far have been helpful, enthusiastic, and thoughtful advocates. I’m heartened by the level of energy and commitment directed towards the Fells. It gives me confidence that our work together will continue to grow in significance and impact going forward.

And, speaking of impact, I want to also thank all of you who contributed to our Summer Appeal fundraising effort this year. Your contributions totaled $12,922, and triggered a $15,000 matching gift to the R.J. Weggel Endowment Fund for the Friends of the Fells, bringing the total raised to $27,922 to support our continued work to protect the Fells and connect people to the forest we all love.

Thanks again for a great first month, and for your continued support. Please feel free to reach out to me any time with your thoughts, suggestions, and ideas. I can be reached at chris.redfern@fells.org.


Chris Redfern