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Category Archives: News & Events

News and events for the Greater Worcester Land Trust

In the News: MicroPlants!

Want to help scientists from your home computer? The Field Museum of Chicago, Duke University, and international scientists are learning from the online MicroPlants project. Contribute to their study by measuring tiny leaves in photographs from your web browser, and help forward our understanding of biodiversity!

Volunteer News: Trail Work Elves

Volunteering with Greater Worcester Land Trust and Greater Worcester Land Trust Volunteers come in many forms!

There are volunteers that love organized, group events.

There are volunteers that enjoy participating in an event, but sort of on the sideline.

There are volunteers that quietly work away on a project on their own.

There are volunteers that see something that needs doing, and they just do it.

And, there are volunteers that quietly tend to a project and we never know who they are!

It never ceases to amaze me how many volunteers are out there in the wilds of Worcester helping to steward GWLT lands.

Several years ago, when we began work on refreshing the Tetasset Ridge Trail and other trails associated with God’s Acre, I first noticed an amazing thing – work we planned on continuing during a subsequent Trail Work event had already been done!  There were Trail Work Elves! We would return to where we ended the trail work and discover more had been completed or the trail was “tidied” just a little more. Temporary bridges were placed over wet areas, trails were lined with downed branches, and there were signs the trail had been used.  It was incredible!

Since that time, Trail Work Elves continue to do their work!  We never see them, but we see the work they do!

This silent Corps of Volunteers continue their work to this day.  There are times we receive a notification informing us that a downed tree is blocking the trail, or that vegetation has overgrown onto the trail.  We plan on a Trail Work event to tend to the matter, and lo and behold – it is already done!

To all those secret volunteers – THANK YOU!

Your work is much appreciated.

And for those of you that LOVE big, organized events, get ready for the GWLT Earth Day Cleanup on Saturday, April 7th from 8am to noon.  This is the morning we continue our cleanup efforts at Cascades East. And, then follow-up with a cookout at Cascading Waters!  It is a time to do some hard work, help cleanup a GWLT property, and share a meal with friends.  

(It is also very likely Tracy’s cookies will be available…)


Notes from Donker Farm: Eggcellent Eggs

At the end of last month, I stepped into the chicken coop to tidy up and came upon a most welcome sight—the first egg of 2018.

Chickens often take a break from laying in the winter months. The shorter days and cooler temperatures trigger the birds to turn their attention from reproducing (winter is a rotten time to raise chicks) and put their energy and resources into molting—the process of losing old feathers and regrowing new ones. This can take a few months—often just long enough for the days to start getting a bit longer again. I was told that the chickens would start laying again sometime in February. Sure enough, a few days after the first one, we found two eggs in the coop, then three. The last time I was there, I collected four.

And so begins the fun of trying to figure out just who is laying and who is still on “winter break”. We keep a variety of chicken breeds at Donker Farm: Black Australorps, Black-laced Wyandottes, Barred Rocks, a Welsummer and few others, each with their own distinct looks, personality and eggs. Narrowing it down to a small group of suspects is easy, but pinpointing the individual is a bit more of a challenge.

I took the picture above during our first summer on farm, and we still collect a similar rainbow of colors during the peak of laying season. It might not feel like spring yet, but the chickens insist it’s coming and so are the eggs!

Interested in helping out at Donker Farm or general volunteering? See our Volunteering section!

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