Sign Up for Our Fall Webinars

Newton Conservators is pleased to present its first ever online webinar series.

In past years, we welcomed you to fall walks in Newton’s open spaces. With continuing concerns for social distancing in the time of Covid-19, we are replacing the fall walks with a new series of online talks given by some of our expert walk leaders.

Each program will begin at 7 pm and last approximately an hour. Please register in advance for each webinar since registrations will close at 3 PM on the day of the event and each event is limited to 100 slots. You may register for the programs clicking the green “Sign Up” links below. You will receive an email confirmation after you have registered. If after registering you cannot attend, please cancel your reservation (as indicated on your confirmation) so that someone else may use the slot.

Wednesday, September 16 … Meet the Monarchs

Monarch butterflies depend on milkweed as a host for their eggs and food for their caterpillars. Learn about planting milkweed, finding monarch eggs, and the care and feeding of the beautiful striped caterpillars.This workshop is for those of all ages who care about the environment and want to help increase monarch and other pollinator populations. Our presenter is Ted Kuklinski, president of Newton Conservators, who has been raising Monarchs for several seasons. 

Image: Monarch on swamp milkweed by Beth Wilkinson

Thursday, September 17 … Why care about invasive plants?

The connection of plant-insect-bird is a crucial one, holding the ecology of our parks together, since most birds feed on insects at some point in their lives.This is a central reason to care about invasive non-native plants: few insects can feed on non-natives. Ecologist Eric Olson will introduce the “Least Wanted” species of local problem plants, illustrate the food web connections that research has revealed, and describe how citizen stewards can help push back against these plant invaders.

Image: Japanese knotweed.

Thursday, September 24 … The Web of Life of a Freshwater Pond

Pond life includes a wide variety of aquatic animals and plants, including some turtles, frogs, and snakes as well as wading and diving birds. Ponds may also house muskrats and beavers. Join Barbara Bates, long-time teacher/naturalist, and find out more about what’s below the pond surface, what’s at the surface, who built it, to what they are doing there.

Image: Beaver lodge by Barbara Bates

Thursday, October 1 … Fall Plumage: Virtual Bird Walk in Cold Spring Park

Join expert birder Pete Gilmore for a virtual walk through Cold Spring Park to enjoy the birds there. Pete will point out how to best recognize each species, where it nests and where it is going. 

Image: What fall warbler is this? by Pete Gilmore

Thursday, October 8 … Ferns, More Important Than You Might Think, And How to Know the Common Ones

Many people think ferns are pretty.They lend texture to our landscapes. But that’s not all. Don Lubin will discuss the contributions they have made to our world and show what to look for to distinguish about 20 common species.

Image: Osmunda regalis fern by Don Lubin

Wednesday, October 14 … Recognizing and Removing Invasive Plants

Bruce Wenning, horticulturist at The Country Club, will discuss invasive traits of exotic woody plants infesting our local woodlands and yards. He will provide invasive trait characteristics of the more common exotic woody invasive plants and will explain why these traits are a pathological force that is slowly changing the fate of native plant succession. 

Image: Black swallow-wort

Wednesday, November 18 … Talking Turkey

The native turkeys we currently see in such abundance were extirpated from Massachusetts not so long ago.Their revival is a true success story, unless you’ve tangled with an aggressive one. Join Barbara Bates, long-time teacher/naturalist, to explore
the habits and history of this interesting bird, including “pecking order,” and how it survives so well in our cities. Presented by Newton Free Library and co-sponsored by Newton Conservators.

Image: Tom Turkey Displaying by Barbara Bates