Volunteers Needed– Hike with Babes in the Woods This Spring

The Babes in the Woods weekly family hiking program is in need of immediate volunteer help to act as guides and assistants for events throughout the spring and summer. 

The program is seeking individuals that are available Tuesday mornings, comfortable with children, and are physically able to hike at an adult pace for approx. 90 minutes.

If you are interested, or have any questions, contact babesinthewoods@fells.org.

Join us and help introduce the wonders of the Fells to the next generation of nature lovers! 

Hike Assistant Responsibilities

Assists hike leaders and participants on their Tuesday morning outings

Hike Assistant Duties

Babes in the Woods

  • Signs in participants using the Wild Apricot app
  • Makes sure everyone stays with group
  • Lends a hand to participants who may need one
  • Waits with anyone who needs a break (e.g. diaper changes, breastfeeding, etc.)
  • Escorts anyone who needs to leave the hike back to the trailhead

Hike ‘n’ Seek

  • Signs in participants using the Wild Apricot app
  • Clears path for participants of tripping hazards
  • Makes sure everyone stays with group
  • Repeats educational information/demonstrations from hike leader for families as hike progresses

Hike Assistant Qualifications

People skills, minor hiking and navigational skills

Some knowledge of the Middlesex Fells trail system preferred

With our Winter Appeal tabulations now complete, we’re excited to share that your generosity allowed us to far exceed our goal of raising $20,000 by the end of 2019.

Three hundred and ninety-one supporters stepped up to give Friends of the Middlesex Fells Reservation a cumulative total of $31,759 in gifts, which will be matched 2:1 for an impressive giving total of $95,277*, easily the most generous outpouring of end-of-year support ever experienced by the Friends of the Middlesex Fells.

Thank you for entrusting us to work on your behalf as a strong, effective voice for the protection and care for the Middlesex Fells, our “People’s Forest”.

*Gifts are matched 2:1 with a donation to the R.J. Weggel Fund for the Friends of the Fells.

On Saturday, November 9, at a joint meeting of the Massachusetts Forest & Park Friends Network and the DCR Stewardship Council in West Boylston, Massachusetts, Stacy Atchison Kilb, Seasonal Visitor Services Supervisor for the DCR Middlesex Fells and Breakheart Reservations, was honored as 2019 DCR Friend of the Year.

The Friends of the Middlesex Fells Reservation proudly nominated Stacy Atchison Kilb, Seasonal Visitor Services Supervisor for the DCR Middlesex Fells and Breakheart Reservations.

Stacy’s longstanding vision is to “inspire conservation though engaging education.”  At Friends of the Fells, we run a summer Fells Forest Camp, and in that capacity we partner with Stacy to engage with our young campers.  For example, Stacy maintains a special vermiculture set-up to demonstrate using worms to decompose organic food waste. Stacy gets the children excited about the vermiculture process, as it turns food waste into a nutrient-rich material capable of supplying necessary nutrients to help sustain plant growth.

Ranger Stacy Wows the Crowd with Worms at the Botume House

Stacy is an experienced Outreach Coordinator and Park Interpreter accomplished in developing environmental and agricultural programs for a wide variety of audiences. With excellent presentation skills and proficiency in the development of program publicity, she can adeptly reach any audience in any age bracket.  More important, she understands the importance of accurate data collection and reporting to determine the efficacy of outreach/programs, a skill which she also shares with us.  The Friends of the Fells is deeply grateful to Stacy for her programming ideas, and we collaborate on program promotion for both our audiences.

We appreciate all that Stacy brings to our programming and we look forward to working with her in the months and years ahead.

Award Winning Moment:

Stacy Atchison Kilb (center) Receives 2019 DCR Friend of the Year Award

As fall transforms the Fells and wind scatters leaves to the forest floor in a riot of motion and color, I’m reminded of how lucky we are to have nature and wildness so close by.

If you’re like me, and want to make sure our forest is protected for decades to come, please consider making a gift to the Friends of the Middlesex Fells Reservation today.

Thanks for being a protector of the forest. 

No matter how you like to spend your time out in nature at the Fells, the work of the Friends of the Fells ensures you’ll be able to enjoy the “people’s forest” year after year.

Thanks to the support of community members like you, over the past year we have:

  • Protected the Fells from the development of a hockey rink at the “90mm site,” now being revitalized as a pollinator garden supporting 76 species of butterflies, including Monarchs and rare elfin butterflies.
  • Nurtured stewardship of the forest by providing 2,913 nature experiences through our Babes In the Woods, Hike ‘n’ Seek, themed nature walks, and Forest Kindergarten, Forest Explorers, and Forest Adventurers summer camp programs.
  • Maintained more than 100 miles of trails throughout the Fells thanks to volunteer Trail Adopters and many partner organizations, including Tufts University students.
  • Led community members in 1,084 hours of volunteer service to battle invasive plant species and keep trails safe and accessible for nearly 100,000 Fells visitors.

THIS JUST IN!  Each $1 you donate will be matched with a donation to the R.J. Weggel Fund for the Friends of the Fells.  Help us maximize this matching gift by donating today!

Donate

Help us expand our work for the Fells and the community-at-large.

We have ambitious plans for the coming year. With your support, we are:

  • Poised to serve more local middle- and high-school students in learning about the ecology of the Fells and engaging them in our advocacy and stewardship activities.
  • Expanding our conservation work in partnership with Earthwise Aware, supporting citizen science efforts to collect data in the Fells to better understand natural systems and the effects of climate change on the forest.
  • Ramping up our advocacy efforts to support legislation to combat invasive species and championing the passage of the Public Lands Protection Act, which will strengthen protections for the Fells and nature spaces across the Commonwealth.

We can’t advance our work without your support – so please make a gift today at friendsofthefells.org/donate.

 

With gratitude,

 

 

Chris Redfern

Executive Director

Friends of the Middlesex Fells Reservation

 

P.S. Donating your IRA Required Minimum Distribution or appreciated stock to Friends of the Middlesex Fells may have tax benefits. Consult with your financial advisor for details on your particular tax situation.

 

Photos courtesy of Mike Ryan, Friends of the Fells

On Saturday September 21st, volunteers from across the area braved the balmy end-of-summer weather to participate in the 2019 COASTSWEEP shoreline cleanup event in the Fells, joining like-minded individuals across the globe for the annual International Coastal Cleanup day of service.

Participants of all ages spent the morning gathering trash along the shores of Quarter Mile Pond and Spot Pond in Medford and Stoneham.  Trash was gathered and sorted by the bagful, and the data carefully recorded on what exactly was collected from the Fells.  This data will be collated and analyzed by the Ocean Conservancy in Washington D.C. along with other cleanup reports from across the globe, and will help in creating effective environmental education and policy initiatives in the future.

In just one morning, volunteers were able to collect 22 bags of trash, weighing in at nearly 150 lbs! Hundreds of bottles, food wrappers, cigarette butts, and plastic pieces were the bulk of the collected garbage, but many yards of fishing line, styrofoam bait containers, filled dog waste bags, and discarded clothing were also common finds.  One piece of unique local litter to be found were lost hockey pucks (although not surprising considering the location of the cleanup!).

Volunteer service projects such as COASTSWEEP are crucial to the health of our wild spaces, and this is especially true of the water ecosystems that exist in close proximity to dense urban areas and roadways, where garbage collects extremely quickly.  But beyond the immediate impacts, public events such as this also demonstrate the communal benefits that can grow ‘organically’ out of conservation work:  a number of COASTSWEEP participants this year were just walkers and hikers that happened to be passing by, had not heard about the cleanup project, but were motivated to pitch in just by seeing the work that the other volunteers were doing!

Below is a gallery of the great work accomplished at COASTSWEEP ’19!

Thank you to all the volunteers that participated in this year’s COASTSWEEP!  Your efforts helped make this another successful cleanup event!

 

The Friends of the Fells welcomes volunteers of all ages and experience levels!  Interested in volunteering, or have a service project to propose?  Fill out our volunteer questionnaire:

 

Volunteer with the Friends of the Fells

Or contact Jesse at Jesse.Macdonald@fells.org.

 


COASTSWEEP is sponsored by the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM), and is part of Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup, where volunteers worldwide collect marine debris and record data to help identify its sources and develop education and policy initiatives to reduce it…

COASTSWEEP is more than a beach cleanup. As part of COASTSWEEP, volunteers help address future problems by filling out data cards to show what they’ve collected. These cards are sent to Ocean Conservancy in Washington, DC, where the information is entered into a massive database. The data are then used to analyze the local and international trends in marine debris and identify its sources to help reduce the problem in the future.

For more information:
https://www.mass.gov/service-details/about-coastsweep
https://www.mass.gov/service-details/coastsweep-more-on-marine-debris
https://www.mass.gov/orgs/massachusetts-office-of-coastal-zone-management

https://oceanconservancy.org/trash-free-seas/international-coastal-cleanup/

At its September 23, 2019 School Committee Meeting at Medford City Hall, Mayor Stephanie Muccini Burke presented an award to outgoing Friends of the Fells Executive Director Ron Morin in recognition of his outstanding service in support of 90mm meadow site in the Fells.

 

 

In recognition of his outstanding contributions to the City of Medford, Mayor Burke said: “The City of Medford is grateful to Mr. Ron Morin for his unfailing commitment to the preservation of the Middlesex Fells Reservation and for his immense contribution to the effort to protect against the development of the 90mm meadow, a 13-acre section of Lawrence Woods, for future generations.

The Medford School Committee recognizes Mr. Morin’s outstanding leadership as the Executive Director of the Friends of the Fells. By his own example Ron demonstrates how to enjoy and protect our natural resources and in turn our quality of life. Through his generosity of time and spirit, given to the citizens of Medford and the visitors of the Middlesex Fells Reservation, Ron teaches us to value and protect those resources which sustain and inspire us.”

Ron Morin:

I don’t think I could have done it without the Mayor, actually.  We organized the community, but the City of Medford really got behind us. In the signatures we raised on the petition we had signed, over 1,000 people signed it from Medford – that was significant.  When Mayor Burke got behind us that really was a tipping point. Her authority was what moved the Commissioner in our direction.  Thank you for the award, but I didn’t do it alone – I had a lot of good people helping me. Thank you.