Conservators Events Cancelled

Newton Conservators has cancelled our Spring Walk Program as well as postponed the Annual Dinner, in response to the threat of the COVID-19 virus and out of concern for the health of our members.

Our entire Spring Walk Series, which included a total of nine free events from March through June, has been cancelled since it would be difficult to do the events with effective social distancing.  We regret not being able to provide these events which included a hikes and bird walks, exploration of stone walls,  a vernal pool, and local ferns in a variety of our open spaces including the newly acquired Webster Woods.

Our Annual Dinner Meeting, which was to be held on Wednesday, May 3 at Post 440, has been postponed until the fall with a date of Wednesday, October 21 and still at Post 440.   We regret having to delay our annual awards ceremony and the interesting talk by Sam Jaffe of the Caterpillar Lab.

NewtonSERVES on Sunday, April 26, has been officially cancelled.  Four of our invasive pulls were scheduled for that day and will not be held as part of NewtonSERVES.   Unfortunately invasive plants will still be growing during this crisis.   We expect to modify many of our “organized” Invasive Sessions to be a little more “disorganized” with strict social distancing.  Stay tuned for further information.  Also look for more information on our website in the near future to guide our citizens in recognizing and removing invasives where they are found (even in your own yard!).  It’s a great and useful activity to help fill some downtime during the crisis.

Please check our Events page to see the status of our original spring-summer scheduled events.

We realize that these event cancellations will be disappointment to many, but the situation with COVID-19, and restrictions due to it, have multiplied with each passing day.  We will continue to review the situation in order to make a decision about future events, including our invasive pulls.

Newton, the Garden City, fortunately has a great number of open spaces which can provide relief.  Spending time outdoors in our parks and open spaces can be a pleasant, relaxing, fun, and educational break –  just the change of pace we need from the constant worry inducing news stream.  This is especially true at this time of year when we transition from winter to spring and world around us transforms from brown to green while the air is replete with the spring songs of our resident and migrating birds.  What an opportunity to stop and smell the flowers – at least the crocuses and daffodils that are starting to pop out!

We should take advantage of the fact that this is not truly a shelter in place or  total quarantine situation.  There are so many other places to explore that folks may have heard of but never visited such as Webster Woods, Hemlock Gorge, Dolan Pond, Houghton Garden, Sawmill Brook, the Aqueducts, or Kennard Park, and be delighted to discover.  Check out our Trail Guide or the list of parks and conservation areas and discover some new special places!

Please be sure to maintain the suggested “social distancing”.   Other towns have placed more severe restrictions on utilizing open space and if guidelines are not followed, it may be possible for Newton to do the same.   Please keep at least 6 feet apart.  On narrow trails or boardwalks please give others leeway or wait to the side until others pass.  If you have a dog, please keep them on a leash and avoid interactions of your dog with other parties.   Please do not use or let your children use our playgrounds with play equipment such as swings and slides.  On our fields or courts, there should be no pickup games.   The health of all citizens depends on adherence to these few simple rules when we are out and about.

A recent letter to the Boston Globe lamented that at least some folks in Newton seemed to ignore other people they passed when out and about.  There is no rule against smiling or waving at others.  We are all in this together!

For local information on the COVID-19 situation, please consult the City of Newton’s COVID-19 web page.  Please take seriously the measures which are recommended for the safety and health of everyone.   Be safe, be well, be kind and be content on doing some nature exploring on your own or with your immediate household members for now.