Heart Healthy Trail Walks in Townsend and Pepperell

Wednesday, August 10, 2016 beginning at 6:00 p.m. 

All are invited to join the Nashua River Watershed Association (NRWA) for our free Heart Healthy Trails walk on Tuesday evening, August 10th, beginning at 6:00 p.m., when we’ll explore trails in Townsend and Pepperell.  We’ll begin our tour at Howard Park in Townsend, then move to the dirt road portion of Ball Road in Townsend, and end at Day Woods in Pepperell.  The Day Woods portion of the walk is being co-sponsored by Nashoba Conservation Trust, owners of that property.  At each property, we’ll take a short, approximately 20-minute, guided walk, on trails that are appropriate for easy or moderate activity levels.  The meeting location to start at Howard Park will be in the Squannacook Elementary parking lot, off Brookline Street.  View Google map and directions to meeting place at Howard Park.  Directions to Ball Road and Day Woods will be provided that evening. This trail tour is free, open to all ages and all communities.  Join us for exercise and to experience the beauty of our local trails.

As part of its Heart Healthy Trails project, the NRWA is seeking to introduce people to trails in their own “greater backyard” that are accessible to everyone, even those with some physical limitations, including young children or elders.  The goal of the project is to identify easy to moderately strenuous trails in six communities, to help people feel comfortable that they know the location of the trailhead and parking areas, and to motivate people to make walking on these trails part of a healthy exercise routine.  The NRWA encourages everyone to get outdoors and connect with the natural world for their own well-being and that of the environment.  The NRWA’s Heart Healthy Trails project is funded by a grant from the Bruce J. Anderson Foundation.

This walk will take place rain or shine, but will be postponed in the event of severe storms; postponement will be posted on this website by 4:00 p.m. on the day of the walk.  For the comfort of all, no dogs are allowed.  Pre-registration is not required, but appreciated for planning purposes. To pre-register, please contact Al Futterman, NRWA Land Programs and Outreach Director, at (978) 448-0299, or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

NRWA Needs Volunteers to Scout and Pull Invasive Water Chestnut on the Nashua River

Tuesday, July 26, 2016 from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m.

In its ongoing efforts to prevent the spread of invasive water chestnuts on the Nashua River, the Nashua River Watershed Association (NRWA) is organizing a series of small group paddles to scout for and pull the plant in various sections of the river. Our last scheduled paddle will take place on Tuesday, July 26, from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. The river stretch we’ll be paddling is in the Groton/Pepperell area.  Participants will need to use their own canoe or kayak (or one may be rented in advance from Nashoba Paddler in West Groton).  They will also be required to wear PFDs (life vests) and sign a liability waiver prior to participating.  Recommended: work clothes, shoes and gloves that can get wet (plants have sharp seeds), sunscreen, bug spray, and water. Advanced sign-up for this scouting paddle is required. Additionally, we are looking for individuals or groups who paddle to “Adopt a River Reach” - to commit to scouting for and removing water chestnuts from particular reaches of the river.  To sign-up for the group paddle, or for more information, please contact Martha Morgan, NRWA Water Programs Director, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (978) 448-0299. This project is funded in part by a grant from the Greater Lowell Community Foundation.

The Natural Communities of Massachusetts

Wednesday, August 17, 2016 from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m.
NRWA River Resource Center, 592 Main Street (Rt. 119) in Groton, MA

What is a “natural community”? It is a group of plants and animals that occur in a particular location and point in time. Scientists have been able to identify recurring patterns of these occurrences, and have created a system for classifying them. And it turns out that there are more than 100 defined natural communities in the state of Massachusetts, some common, some rare, not just in our state but on a global scale.  The public is invited to join us for this free presentation on “The Natural Communities of Massachusetts.”  Learn more about the concept of natural communities, how they are identified and classified, why they are important to identify, and how that information is used to determine priority conservation projects.  This talk will focus on natural communities in the Nashua River watershed area of Massachusetts.

Our presenter will be Patricia Swain, PhD, recently retired natural community ecologist for the MassWildlife Natural Heritage Endangered Species Program (NHESP).  She worked with NHESP for nearly 30 years, and has done extensive teaching and publishing on this topic. NHESP is in the final steps of updating and revising its Classification of Natural Communities of Massachusetts. Pat Swain is the author of the revised Classification, and has created a key that can be used as a tool for classifying these natural communities.  She will also be providing information on and the opportunity to sign-up for a follow-up technical field workshop for individuals with some botanical knowledge who would like to assist with testing her draft key. Pat holds a PhD and MS in Ecology from the University of Minnesota, and a BS in Biology from Tufts University.

This program is free and open to the public.  Pre-registration is not required, but is appreciated for planning purposes.  To pre-register, please contact the NRWA at (978) 448-0299, or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..