Add to your enjoyment of the Summer solstice by exploring the environs of the Old Manse:
Garden talks: Join the Trustees of Reservations and Gaining Ground in the garden in front of the Old Manse to learn about this re-creation of the garden first planted in 1842 by Henry David Thoreau for Nathaniel and Sophia Hawthorne. Gaining Ground grows organic produce for hunger relief at gardens on Virginia Road and at the Old Manse in Concord. 4 – 6 pm
Wild Plants I Have Known… and Eaten: Join Russ Cohen, expert forager and author, on a 90-minute ramble around the Old Manse to discover at least a dozen species of edible wild plants. Keys to the identification of each species will be provided, along with information on edible portions, seasons of availability, and preparation methods, along with general guidelines for responsible foraging. Old Manse, Concord. 4:30 pm
Robbins Open House: The Robbins House was built by the son of slavery survivor and Revolutionary War veteran Caesar Robbins in the early 1800s. It was originally located at the edge of Concord’s Great Meadows, in an area where self-emancipated Africans established their homes. In 2011 the Drinking Gourd Project moved the house to land adjacent to North Bridge; come hear about Concord’s early African history, 5:30 – 7:30 pm
Old Manse Open House: Join the Trustees of Reservations and enjoy free admission for a tour of the Old Manse (269 Monument Street), situated on the banks of the Concord River. Tours at 6 & 7 pm
Music: Voices for the Earth Chorus, Snow Crow, and others will entertain for those who wish to picnic on the beautiful grounds of the Old Manse, on the shores of the Concord River. 6:30 pm
Illuminated Flotilla: Launch your canoe, rowboat, or kayak for a trip up the Concord River to the confluence of the Assabet and Sudbury Rivers at Egg Rock. Bring along a candle lantern (instructions for making lantern) that you can attach to your boat. Boat rentals available from the South Bridge Boat House. Boats put-in at the Old Manse and take-out at Lowell Road bridge. For those who want to participate without getting wet, the best viewing spot is from the Lowell Road bridge just outside Concord Center. 8 pm
Bonfire and Drum Circle: Join the Drum and Dance Bonfire, with Earth Drum Council, at the Old Calf Pasture near the Lowell Road bridge. 8 pm
Visit www.oars3rivers.org for details.
See the Concord River from a new angle! How many times have you crossed the Concord River and wondered what’s around the bend? Here’s your chance to see a bit more of our Wild and Scenic Rivers. This free 1-hour boat tour leaves from the Bedford Boat Landing (Rte. 225). For more info., and to book a seat, call 978-667-1632 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Leave your name and phone number, which trip you would like, and how many in your party. I will call you back to confirm. These trips can fill up quickly, so call soon.
Spend the afternoon learning about the construction and function of the Middlesex Canal, one of the oldest functioning canals in the U.S., which played a key role in the development of Boston. The Middlesex Canal Museum, 71 Faulkner Road, North Billerica.
In Concord, Massachusetts, spring is coming earlier. Come see this ground-breaking exhibition at the Concord Museum (Cambridge Turnpike at Lexington Road) exploring three centuries of plant flowering data collected by one of Concord’s most famous residents, Henry Thoreau in Concord, and Boston University biology professor Richard Primack showing the relationship between climate and biology. You can also view the museum’s renowned Thoreau collection and examples of his original field notes, journal recordings, seasonal charts, and botanical specimens. This material has never before been exhibited together.
Join a Ranger for a 20 minute program at the benches by the North Bridge (269 Monument St.). Learn about the opening battle of the American Revolution, on April 19, 1775, and the powerful legacy of this event in American history.
See the Sudbury and Concord Rivers from a new angle! How many times have you crossed the Sudbury River and wondered what’s around the bend? Here’s your chance to see a bit more of our Wild and Scenic Rivers. This free 1-hour boat tour will leave from the South Bridge Boat House (486 Main Street). For more info, and to book a seat, call 978-371-1785. Advance reservations are required.
Join Bill Fadden and the AMC Boston Paddlers to paddle the Wild and Scenic portions of the Sudbury and Concord Rivers. Launch on the Sudbury River in Framingham, paddle 15 miles to camp (optional) at the Old Manse in Concord, with a shore component and lunch at Great Meadows in Sudbury. Visit the Old North Bridge and visitor center. Sanitary facilities, function tent for shelter from evening rain (it is not allowed to rain during the day) and s’mores will be provided. Bring your own water craft, life jacket, camping/cooking gear and food. Cars will be parked near the camp site if your craft cannot handle all of your gear. On Sunday continue down the Concord River to take out in Billerica. Meet us along the way/leave early if you cannot paddle the entire day/both days. To reserve a space, and for details, contact Bill at 508-397-0078 or email@example.com.
Students of local artist and teacher, Cecilia Sharma, will be exhibiting watercolor paintings from their collection “Exploring Farms.” The art display showcases a wide range of local artists’ works depicting a potpourri of images that will transport viewers to places of serenity. Located at the pastoral setting at Sudbury Valley Trustees’ Wolbach Farm (18 Wolbach Road).
Join Billerica Recreation for a Bassmasters fishing derby at Micozzi Beach at Nutting Lake (586 Middlesex Turnpike). Free worms, trophy for the largest fish caught, and free lunch to all youth participants. For more information contact Peggy Hannon-Rizza at Billerica Recreation at 978-671-0921.
Join the Lowell Parks & Conservation Trust for a 2-hour tour of the Concord River Greenway. We’ll explore the history of the corridor, native plants, and learn about the Greenway becoming an Urban Wildlife Refuge. Get updates on the next phase of construction happening this summer, public art on the Greenway, and how this project connects to the regional trail network. Wear clothing appropriate for the weather and sturdy shoes. Meet at the Lawrence Street entrance to the Lowell Cemetery. Register to firstname.lastname@example.org or 978-934-0030.
Carlisle Trails Committee will host a 2-hour walk to visit two Concord River access points: the landing at Route 225 recently acquired by the Carlisle Conservation Foundation and, after a short walk down Skelton Road, Pagey’s Preserve, nine acres of the Elliott Farm proposed to be preserved as conservation land open to the public. It includes a prominent wooded bluff overlooking the Concord River that defines the view when entering Carlisle, as well as mature woodlands, fields and a lovely stream. Meet at the Foss Farm parking lot on Bedford Road, (Route 225). For more information, contact Steve Tobin at email@example.com or 978-369-1680.
Join the Concord Land Conservation Trust for a walk to explore the varied landscapes along the Assabet River. Park along the Nashawtuc Road causeway and meet at the corner of Nashawtuc and Musketaquid Roads.
Join us for a relaxing afternoon of original poetry readings by members of the Concord Poetry Center. Bring a picnic and enjoy these wonderful artists. Find a spot under the oak tree on the lawn by the Minuteman National Historical Park’s Buttrick Mansion (174 Liberty Street), and take in the incomparable view of the river as you sit back and listen.
Come to the riverbank by foot, or paddle, bring a picnic, and enjoy music and art near the Lowell Road bridge! For boat rentals contact South Bridge Boat House (978-369-9438).
Plein Air Painting Class: Art Instructor Cecilia Sharma will conduct a free 2-hour outdoor “Plein Air” watercolor painting workshop at the confluence of the three rivers. This is intended for all levels, some experience in drawing and painting is helpful but not required. Students will learn to simplify the landscape and perceive color difference under natural lighting conditions. The outdoor class will begin with a demonstration but most of the time will be painting time with individual guidance. Students supply their own materials: Please bring a portable easel, which is light to carry and easy to fold. A material list will be provided on registration. 8 am
RiverQuest: Join OARS to explore the confluence of the Assabet, Sudbury, and Concord rivers. Put your canoe or kayak in at the Lowell Street bridge in Concord (or the South Bridge Boat House if renting a boat, 978-369-9438, 486 Main St.) between 10 am and 12 pm. Paddle the lower parts of the Assabet and Sudbury, continuing down to the Old North Bridge on the Concord searching for clues and stickers, including a treat, at the Old Calf Pasture. Picnic and enjoy other Riverfest activities. This is a family-friendly paddle that takes 1-2 hours. Call OARS at 978-369-3956 for more information or visit www.oars3rivers.org. 10-11:30 am
Be Creative, Build Art: Join Musketaquid Artists on Saturday morning for a spontaneous sculptural installation on the banks of the Concord River, opposite Egg Rock at the Old Calf Pasture. Participate in creating a construction of wood and other materials with the light reflecting off the waters at the confluence of our rivers. The sculptures will remain for the weekend for everyone to see. 10am -1 pm
Create Your Own Fish: Join OARS to learn how to turn a recycled soda bottles into colorful fish. Younger children can celebrate the rivers by creating their own watersticks. Call OARS at 978-369-3956 or visit www.oars3rivers.org for details. 11am – 1 pm
Riverside Dixieland Jazz: Come hear the Dixieland music of the Silver Leaf Jazz Band. The band will play some familiar tunes and will take requests too! Bring a picnic and enjoy the music. 11am – 1pm
Nature Walk: Have you ever wondered what that plant is? Did you wonder if it were edible or could be used for medicinal purposes? What animal chewed that branch, left behind some food, or made a footprint in the ground? Then join the Framingham Conservation Commission on a guided 1-hour nature walk. This will be led by Commission members and with Conservation staff. Meet at the Sudbury Landing Trail Head in Saxonville. Parking is available off of Hillside Street, Sudbury Landing and other low-volume streets in the area, on the odd-numbered side of these streets only. Registration is required; call Maeghan Walters or Katie Messer at 508-532-5460 or e-mail the Conservation Commission at firstname.lastname@example.org. 1 pm
Unveiling new Raptor panel: Join OARS and Friends of Saxonville for the dedication of the Danforth Street Bridge kiosk to one of the Friends of Saxonville founders, George Dixon, and the unveiling of a beautiful panel on the Return of Raptors. Celebrate with ice cream. 2:30 pm
Historic Talk and Tour: Join the Friends of Saxonville for a talk and tour of historic Saxonville. Meet on the Danforth Street Bridge. 3 pm
Join Bill Fadden and the AMC Boston Paddlers to paddle the Wild and Scenic portions of the Sudbury, Assabet, and Concord Rivers. Launch on the Sudbury River in Framingham, paddle 15 miles to camp (optional) at the Old Manse in Concord, with a shore component and lunch at Great Meadows. Visit the Old North Bridge and visitor center. Sanitary facilities and s’mores will be provided. Bring your own water craft, life jacket, camping/cooking gear and food. Cars will be parked near the camp site if your craft cannot handle all of your camping gear. On Sunday, those paddling both days will spot cars at the takeout and continue down the Concord to take out in Billerica. Meet us along the way/leave early if you cannot paddle the entire day. To reserve a space and for details, contact Bill at 508-877-8893 or email@example.com.
Whitehall Reservoir, located in beautiful Whitehall State Park, is a very clean and serene lake, shallow and easy to maneuver. We will paddle around and explore some of the many small islands found in the lake. The area teems with wildlife; there is a good chance of seeing a beaver lodge. BYOB (bring your own boat and life jacket). Since this is a night-time paddle, experienced paddlers only! To register and for more information contact SVT at 978-443-5588.
Join us for a fun-filled day of hands-on activities! Events will be held rain or shine at Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, For more information call 978-443-4661 x 34.
Calling all anglers: Beginners and experienced. Join refuge staff and MassWildlife’s Angler Expert Jim Lagacy for a day filled with fishy fun! Learn how to fly-cast, spin-cast, and even tie your own fly. All equipment will be provided. 10 am – 2 pm
Family fun for everyone. Join in games, crafts, and face painting, or go for a hike on the Weir Hill and Red Maple Trails to discover the variety of riverine habitats on the refuge. 10 am – 2 pm
Wildlife–Up Close and Personal. Join Mass Audubon’s Drumlin Farm naturalist for a family-friendly visit with native wildlife, birds and reptiles that live along the banks of the rivers and depend on a healthy habitat. 11 am – 1 pm
Who is Hiding in Vernal Pools? Join staff from the Walden Woods Project and the Vernal Pool Association and explore the hidden treasures of the SuAsCo watershed–vernal pools! You’ll find salamander larvae, frog tadpoles, beetles, bugs and much more. Great for adults and kids over the age of 7. Please wear footwear appropriate for fairly vigorous walking in the woods. Make it a full morning of reptiles and amphibians (herps), and end your walk with a visit with the “Snakeman” (see below). For more information and to make reservations visit www.walden.org or call 781-259-4707. In case of a rainy forecast, call the night before the event. 11 am
Snakes of New England and the World. Do you ever wonder what kind of snakes live in your yard, the woods, fields and waterways nearby? Here is your chance to see a variety of local snakes close up, and a few exotic ones too. Rick Roth, Director of the Cape Ann Vernal Pond Team will bring some of his favorites and talk about their lives and habits. 1 pm
Do you know when the Wayland Sewer Commission was attacked by an armed protest mob in Billerica? When were salmon last seen in the Sudbury? Why was the river “dammed at both ends and cursed in the middle”? Celebrate the Sudbury River’s history with Brian Donahue, Brandeis History Professor and river history expert. We will paddle to Sherman's Bridge (Sherman's Bridge Road) through the wide meadows that prompted the founding of Wayland and Sudbury with frequent stops to hear stories of a fascinating and sometimes lurid past. Meet at the Route 20 boat launch. Bring your canoe or kayak and life jacket (required). Cars will be available at Sherman’s Bridge to ferry you back to the launch site. If you plan to come and have space in your boat, or if you need space in someone else’s boat, or have any questions: 508-358-2980.
Join Weston Conservation Agent, Michele Grzenda on a 2-hour tri-town birding adventure along the watershed divide. A special place exists where Lincoln, Wayland, and Weston come together. Hundreds of acres of protected open space and dozens of bird species exist within reach of the Sudbury River. Bring binoculars if you have them and wear suitable clothing/bug spray to keep the bugs away. Cancelled in case of bad weather. Park on the road shoulder on right side near mailbox for 49 Stonehedge Road, Lincoln. Info: 781-697-1410.
Enjoy a beautiful summer day on the water while hand pulling water chestnut, an invasive aquatic plant, from locations along the rivers in Acton, Billerica, and Sudbury. Pizza and drinks will be provided; all volunteers age 14+ are welcome. This is a great hands-on opportunity for high school students who are interested in the environment and need community service hours! We have limited canoes, so please let us know if you will be bringing your own boats. Life vests are required, and we recommend bringing water, bug spray, sun block, work gloves and water shoes–be prepared to get messy! Contact Katrina Scheiner at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 978-443-4661 ext. 16 to sign up and get more information. Sign up as soon as possible and no later than Friday, June 21.
Join on-board wildlife specialist Ken Harte for a sunrise birding paddle along the Carlisle section of the Concord River and the Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge. Bring your canoe or kayak, life vest (required), weather-appropriate clothing for a 2-3-hour paddle, binoculars, money for breakfast, drinking water, and nature guidebooks for identifying river-edge birds, plants, insects. Meet to sign in at 5:15 am at the Bedford Boat Landing on Rt. 225 at the Carlisle/Bedford town line. Launch time is 5:30 am. A stop is scheduled half-way through the trip at a casual riverside restaurant for breakfast and to compare notes. Cancelled in the case of inclement weather or flood conditions. For more information call the Carlisle Conservation Commission: 978-369-0336.
Would your kids like to learn how to fish? Concord Outfitters will run a 2-hour free fishing class for children ages 5-13 years old on the banks of the brook in West Concord. Registration is required. Call 978-318-0330 by 6/21 to register. This event is sponsored by OARS and made possible by the generosity of Concord Outfitters. Meet at Concord Outfitters, 84 Commonwealth Avenue, Concord.
Join Bill Fadden and the AMC Boston Paddlers to paddle the Wild and Scenic portion of the Concord River. Meet those who paddled the Sudbury River on Saturday at their campsite at the Old Manse (BYOB, Bring Your Own Breakfast). Paddle down the Concord and take out in Billerica. Meet us along the way/leave early if you cannot paddle the entire day. To register, contact Bill at 508-397-0078 or email@example.com.
Two for the Show (Jake Kensinger and Ellen Schmidt) and Flair (Lee Villaire and Roger Fluet) will perform together as one band at The Old Manse. Their program will include folk, pop, blues, country, and original compositions, with great vocals, guitars, and bass!
Two for the Show have been performing together for 25 years. They sing and play material arranged for guitar, bass, and vocals. They present swing and standards, traditional and contemporary folk songs, instrumentals, classic hits, blues, country music, and original compositions. They have been selected for listing in the Massachusetts Touring Roster enabling performers to receive grants from the New England Foundation for the Arts.
Roger Fluet and Lee Villaire are Flair! They are two prolific, seasoned singer/songwriters who hail from New England, who have solo projects as well as their Flair duo collaboration. Their original style of bluesy country/pop songs, features clever, emotional lyrics and catchy melodies. They also perform a wide mix of cover songs including everything from Johnny Cash to Tom Petty, and Sheryl Crow to Stevie Nicks. Whether playing as a duo or with their full bands, Lee and Roger put their heart and soul into the songs and into making sure that everyone watching is having a fun, memorable time!
Join Peter Alden, well-known naturalist and author, for a 2-hour exploration of a rookery of great blue herons, pileated woodpeckers and other water birds and wildlife. Meet at Verrill Farm (11 Wheeler Road) then walk to this undiscovered and unadvertised spot. Be ready for some walking and bring binoculars.
Join Coach Cate, a Healthy Living Guide, on bicycle rides along Assabet River and through the Assabet River National Wildlife Refuge in celebration of River Fest 2013. The Assabet River traverses from the north of the Refuge outside the western boundary and some 90 acres of Refuge are in pockets on the river. The Refuge has 15 miles of trails for walking and some for biking.
Bike Ride: A 10-mile bicycle ride along Assabet River and through the Assabet River National Wildlife Refuge. We will travel on roads that are either hard-packed dirt or, in a few places, blacktop. Meet at the Refuge parking lot at the North gate in Stow, accessible from White Pond Road off Rt. 117. To register (required), contact Kizette: firstname.lastname@example.org or 978-562-3527 ext. 117. 10 am
Family River Ride for Younger Cyclists: A 4-mile ride along the Assabet River. This ride will be on a hard-packed road that follows along the river. Meet at the Assabet River National Wildlife Refuge parking lot at the North gate in Stow, accessible from White Pond Road off Rt. 117. To register (required), contact Kizette: email@example.com or 978-562-3527 ext. 117. 3 pm
River Art Exhibit. Students of local artist and teacher, Cecilia Sharma, will be exhibiting their watercolor paintings from their collection entitled “Exploring Farms.” The art display showcases a wide range of local artists’ works depicting a potpourri of images that will transport viewers to places of serenity. 12 – 5 pm
Riverfest FarmFest: A family friendly event for all ages celebrating local rivers and local farming, including scavenger hunts, local farm food, live animals and more. 12 – 5 pm
Wetland Wildlife: Join a Mass Audubon Drumlin Farm naturalist for a family-friendly visit with native turtles and ducks as you investigate water samples from our local rivers looking for the invertebrates that live there. 1 – 3 pm
Hop Brook Protection Association and the Sudbury Ponds and Waterways Committee will hold a Rubber Duck Race in Hop Brook at the Grist Mill by Sudbury’s Wayside Inn (72 Wayside Inn Road). The race will be preceded by a brief history of the Grist Mill and Hop Brook. Cheer for your duck as it makes its way down the canal, over the waterfall and across the finish line! Gift certificates will be awarded for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place finishes. For registration, meet by the canal at the Grist Mill. This event is free and is open to kids 12 and under. For more information, call 978-443-9638.