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Monthly Archives: January 2018

A GWLT Volunteer Experience!

It all started with a simple request.

Could GWLT enhance the trails at Patch Reservoir?

Colin, of course, said “Sure!”  And, so we did. But, not without the help of many, many enthusiastic volunteers!

First, several mornings had to be spent wandering the property looking for a potential trail system.  As it happens with GWLT, an intrepid volunteer stepped forward and flagged the new trail!  And, it was no easy task – there was some rather thick brush just where the trail needed to be.

A few months later, a group of volunteers participating in the Worcester State University Make A Difference Day were looking for a Saturday project.  And, this location was perfect for that group – right around the corner.  That group of student volunteers spent hours tidying the existing trail and clearing through some of the dense vegetation on the newly flagged trail.

Despite their efforts, however, there was still work to do.  It was a long trail!

The next thing you know, WSU volunteers are looking for another Saturday project.  And we had just the location (again!).  However, this time we had enough resources to invite others as well.  So, in addition to the WSU students, a group of Worcester Polytechnic Institute students showed, a father and his two sons working on scout merit badges showed, a group of hearty GWLT volunteers showed.  And, it was fun!  And, productive!

The group of volunteers was so large, we accomplished quite a bit in one morning.  The group at the front of the pack cut thorny vegetation and moved large branches out of the way as they progressed along the trail.  The middle group concentrated on clipping the vegetation the first group left.  The last group of four worked on tree and log removal.  The group effort was amazing!  By the time we finished a section of trail, it looked like a well-worn footpath.  Phenomenal!

There was only a small section left to clear.  But, it had to wait.  But, not for long!

As it turned out, two students from WPI were looking for Community Service hours, so they headed back the following week to work on the unfinished section.

A Thursday morning volunteer event completed the final stretch of the new trail!  We added some finishing touches to the vegetation clearing, removed some small stumps not noticed during the other trail work events, and added the red blazes!  It was a fantastic morning!

If it were not for all those volunteers and groups coming together, the trail would still be on our “Wish List”.

The power of volunteers is amazing.

As a small non-profit organization, volunteers are invaluable.

My hope, though, is they all return to enjoy the trails!

Interested in volunteering for GWLT? Find out more on our Volunteering page!




Ice Rings: Last Call!

With the warmer temperatures and the upcoming rain storm this is your last good chance to see the ice rings hung along Tory Fort Lane from the prior deep freeze.

Pin says “Check it out!”
There are over 70 out there!
But they will be gone by Saturday!
#Worcester #urbanfarming #hikeworcester

Ask Colin!

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Where exactly is the God’s Acre rock? Is it on a trail? How difficult is it to locate?

Colin: The Deed Rock at God’s Acre is not at all far off of the cart road spur from Swan Ave, and can also be reached by hiking in from a number of locations. The spot is marked on the Tetasset Hills Trail Map.

Deed Rock

Deed Rock

Immediately to the west of the two farm gates, and along the Red Rectangle Trail, you will find a slab of granite set in the ground with the deed of the land to God carved by hand into the surface (when the granite isn’t covered in ice and snow that is!)

The Deed Rock that records Solomon Parsons (1800-1893) purchase of the land and dedication unto God as part of the Second Great Awakening religious movement reads:

“Know all men by these presents that I William G. Hall of Worcester in the County of Worcester and Commonwealth of Mass in consideration of 125 dols. paid by the hand of Solomon Parsons of the same Worcester the receipt of which I hereby acknowledge, do hereby grant sell and convey unto God, through the laws of Jesus Christ, which are made known to man by the record of the New Testament recorded by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John the evangelist, this land to be governed by the above mentioned laws and together with the spirit of God.”

(We fixed the spelling errors from the rock.)

The land was designated as a conservation area in modern history when the God’s Acre original land and leftovers from the office park on Goddard Memorial Drive were bound together and designated by the City as a Conservation Restriction that provided protection for the local wildlife habitat.


So what is the optimum temperature for baking pizza?

Colin: The underlying objective in cooking pizza at home is working to avoid limp and soggy pizza. Temperature is absolutely key!

There are three ways to get less soggy pizza. First, turn up the temperature, and I tend to cook at 500 degrees or pretty much as high as the oven will go. Don’t worry, commercial pizza ovens tend to cook at 700-800 degrees, so the pizza dough can handle it.  Second, if you can, use a pizza stone that will absorb and radiate the oven’s heat while also absorbing any excess moisture. Third, roll out the pizza dough thinly to help cook all the way through. Finally, don’t overdo applying sauce, as you are making baking the crust through that much harder.  


Colin Novick, GWLT Executive Director


Have your own conservation (or culinary) question for Colin? Email them to with the subject line: “Ask Colin Question”! 

Posted in Ask Colin, News & Events|
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