Voices for the Earth Chorus, Snow Crow: and others will provide music for those who wish to picnic on the grounds of the Old Manse taking in an incomparable view. 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 that you can attach to your boat. Boat rentals available from the South Bridge Boat House. 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.
Spend the afternoon learning about the construction and function of the Middlesex Canal, one of the oldest functioning canals in the U.S., and one which played a role in the development of Boston. The Middlesex Canal Museum, 71 Faulkner Road, North Billerica.
The Concord Museum (200 Lexington Road) joins in the 2012 Riverfest celebration highlighting the remarkable resources of the Sudbury, Concord, and Assabet Rivers. Stop by during museum hours to enjoy a free screening of a 15-minute award-winning film, “Exploring Concord,” and a complimentary copy of the accompanying self-guided tour brochure. This outstanding and evocative film looks at five specific natural and cultural landscapes in the town, uncovering their many layers of historical significance.
Join a Ranger for a 20 minute program at the benches by the North Bridge at Minute Man National Historical Park. Learn about the opening battle of the American Revolution, which occurred here on April 19, 1775, and the powerful legacy of this event in American history.
Join the Trustees of Reservations and enjoy free admission for a tour of the first floor of the Old Manse, the home of many of the transcendentalist writers, (269 Monument Street) situated on the banks of the Concord River. Built in 1770 for patriot minister William Emerson, The Old Manse, a National Historic Landmark, became the center of Concord's political, literacy, and social revolutions over the course of the next century. The first shots of the Revolutionary War were fired nearby - and, less than a century later, Emerson, Hawthorne, and Thoreau spawned a revolution in American philosophy from here.
Students of local artist and teacher, Cecilia Sharma, will be exhibiting their watercolor paintings from their collection entitled "Walk on the Riverside" at Sudbury Valley Trustees’ Wolbach Farm (18 Wolbach Road). The paintings depict scenes of the many wonderful rivers and woodland settings to be found in the surrounding areas.
The Town of Bedford will host a trail walk to historic “Two Brothers Rocks” on the Concord River, coordinated with a trip to the same location by boat (bring your own). Participants for the boat trip meet at the Concord River Boat Landing in Bedford, located off Route 225 via a gravel road just before crossing the bridge to Carlisle. Participants for the trail walk meet at the end of Old Causeway Road, a dead-end road off Route 225 in Bedford, approximately ½ mile from the bridge. Trail maps and historic information provided. Wear or bring good walking shoes, insect repellant, water, life jackets (required for boaters) as appropriate. Information: (781) 275-6211.
Join Billerica Recreation for a Bassmasters fishing derby at Micozzi Beach at Nutting Lake on the Middlesex Turnpike in Billerica. 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.
The Carlisle Trails Committee will conduct a late afternoon walk to the wildlife observation platform in the Benfield Conservation Land along Spencer Brook. The walk will begin at the Spencer Brook Reservation, walking through the fields and woods, along South Street, then enter the Benfield land and the extensive Spencer Brook wetlands, a hidden gem of wilderness. The platform provides a 360 degree view of the late afternoon marsh with all its birds and wildlife. The walk is about 1.6 miles round trip. Park along West Street, south of Pope Road. Bring mosquito repellent! Refreshments will be served at the end. Rain cancels the trip. For more information, email CarlisleTrails@Comcast.net, or call Marc Lamere at 978-369-8210.
Join the Concord Land Conservation Trust for a walk to explore the varied riparian landscapes along the Assabet. Park along the Nashawtuc Road causeway and meet at the corner of Nashawtuc and Musketaquid Roads.
Take a guided natural history tour along the Mill Brook with Thoreauvian naturalist Walter Brain, sponsored by the Mill Brook Task Force. The walk will explore portions of the Emerson/Thoreau Amble, a trail winding through wetlands, fields and woods in the Concord Town Forest. Meet at the Town Forest Parking lot on Walden Street. Call 978-318-3285 to sign up.
Garden talks. Join the Trustees of Reservations and Gaining Ground in the garden in front of the Old Manse (269 Monument Street) 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.
Come to the riverbank by foot, or paddle over to shore, bring a picnic and enjoy music, poetry and art at the Old Calf Pasture near the Lowell Road bridge! For boat rentals contact South Bridge Boat House.
Be Creative, Build Art: Join Musketaquid Artists on Saturday morning, for a spontaneous sculptural installation 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 sculpture will remain for the weekend for everyone to see. 10 am – 1 pm.
Operation Blanding’s Nation: Come learn about the Blanding’s turtle! Meet a turtle, learn how to identify these threatened species, and become advocates for the threatened and endangered species that live in our backyards. Find out what these Thoreau School fifth graders have done to create awareness of this turtle and view some of their projects involving the Blanding’s turtles. 10 am – 1 pm.
Create Your Own Fish: Join OARS to learn how to turn a recycled soda bottle into a colorful fish. Have your face painted with your favorite river plants and animals! Younger children can celebrate the rivers by creating their own watersticks. Visit OARS or call 978-369-3956 for details. 11 am – 1pm.
Poetry Reading: Nature and river poetry read by Sophie Wadsworth. 11:45 am and 12:45 pm, for 15 minutes each.
Riverside Dixieland Jazz: Come hear the Dixieland tunes 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. 12:00 – 1:30 pm.
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 boat tour will leave from the Southbridge Boathouse (486 Main Street). For more info, and to book a seat, call 978-371-1785. Advance reservations are required.
Join members of the Three Rivers Chorus and the Concord Poetry Center for a relaxing afternoon of a cappella songs and original poetry readings. 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.
Join Bill Fadden and the AMC Boston Paddlers to paddle the Wild and Scenic sections of the Sudbury, Assabet, and Concord Rivers. Launch on the Sudbury in Framingham and paddle 15 miles to Egg Rock. Bring camping gear and food and camp out nearby if you wish. Sanitary facilities and s’mores will be provided. Bring your own watercraft, along with a PFD, sun block, water, snack and bug spray. You can do this as a one day trip, or continue to paddle on the Assabet and Concord Rivers the following day (see Sunday calendar). To reserve a space and for details, contact Bill at 508-877-8893 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bring the whole family to the Framingham Common located between Edgell Road and Vernon Street (Route 30). Enjoy entertainment and learn about various vendors in the area that protect the rivers in town.
Family Activities: face painting, jump the brook, drawing and more.
Art: local artists will have their artwork displayed for viewing.
Food: local vendors will sell pizza, hot dogs, burgers, and more.
History: learn about the historical attributes of the Sudbury River and its contribution to the various industries throughout time in Framingham.
Literature: various books will be displayed by local entities and individuals.
Historic Talk and Tour: Join the Friends of Saxonville for a talk and tour of historic Saxonville. Meet at the Saxonville Athenaeum (corner of Concord and Watson Place). 2 pm.
Ice Cream Social: Cool off with a frozen treat outside the Saxonville Athenaeum when the historic tour is finished. 3 pm.
Rain Location: Framingham High School (115A Street).
Minuteman National Historical Park’s Guild of Historic Interpreters will present a living history program about local justice in colonial Massachusetts at Hartwell Tavern (Route 2A, Minuteman National Historical Park).
Visit the headquarters of the SuAsCo Watershed Community Council – browse our resource library, learn about the Sudbury, Assabet and Concord Rivers, view “Stormwater Matters” displays, pick up literature, and enjoy some refreshments. 118 Great Road.
Join us for a fun-filled day of hands-on activities! Event will be held rain or shine at Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, 73 Weir Hill Road, Sudbury, MA 01776. For more information call 978-443-4661 x34.
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 at the Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge 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.
Two for the Show: will perform a program of folk, country swing, blues, and originals featuring guitar, bass, and vocals. For information call 978-369-8090. 12 - 2 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 river with Brian Donahue, Professor of History at Brandeis and expert on the history of our river. Meet at 9 am at the new Route 20 boat launch, built with the sponsorship of the Wild and Scenic River Stewardship Council. Bring your canoe or kayak and PFD (required). 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. 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, call 508-358-2980.
Join Weston Conservation Agent, Michele Grzenda on a 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 and wear suitable clothing 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 free pizza and friendly competition while hand pulling water chestnut, an invasive aquatic plant, from several locations along the rivers, including Acton, Sudbury, Wayland, and Billerica. All volunteers age 14+ are welcome; this is also 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. Live vests are required, and we recommend bringing water, bug spray, sun block, work gloves and water shoes - be prepared to get messy! Please contact Katrina Scheiner at email@example.com, or call 978-443-4661 ext 16 to sign up and get more information. Please sign up as soon as possible and no later than Friday, June 22.
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 preserver (PFD, required for each participant), 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, etc. 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. In the case of inclement weather or flood conditions, this trip will be cancelled. This trip is organized by the Carlisle Conservation Commission. For more information call: 978-369-0336.
Join Bill Fadden and the AMC Boston Paddlers to paddle the Wild and Scenic sections of the Assabet and Concord Rivers. Launch on the Assabet in West Concord and paddle 15 miles to Billerica. Meet along the way/leave early if you cannot paddle the entire day. You can do this as a one day trip, or start the paddle on the Sudbury River the previous day and camp out if you wish (see Saturday calendar). Bring your own watercraft, along with a PFD, sun block, water, snack and bug spray. To reserve a space and for details, contact Bill at 508-877-8893 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Would your kids like to learn how to fish? Concord Outfitters will run a fishing class for children ages 5-13 years old on the banks of the Assabet River in West Concord. Registration is required. Call 978-318-0330 by 6/21. This event is sponsored by OARS and made possible by the generosity of Concord Outfitters. Meet at Concord Outfitters, 84 Commonwealth Avenue, West Concord.
Join Peter Alden, well-known naturalist and author, for an exploration of a rookery of Great Blue Herons, Pileated Woodpeckers and other water birds and wildlife. Meet at Verrill Farm (11 Wheeler Road) at 1:00 pm then walk to this undiscovered and unadvertised spot. Be ready for some walking and bring binoculars.
Join naturalist Kizette Ortiz-Vanger at the Assabet River National Wildlife Refuge (680 Hudson Road) for a variety of fun, educational programs designed for children in kindergarten – 3rd grade. Learn about the wetlands in Wetland in a Pan, create your own species of fish in Fashion a Fish, and learn about riparian zones where the land meets the river in Project Wild.
Bring the whole family to Wolbach Farm (18 Wolbach Road) in Sudbury for the afternoon to view local art exhibit and explore the grounds.
River Art Exhibit: Students of local artist and teacher, Cecilia Sharma, will be exhibiting their watercolor paintings from their collection entitled “Walk on the Riverside.” The paintings depict scenes of the many wonderful rivers and woodland settings to be found in the surrounding areas. 12 - 5pm
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! In these important habitats for wildlife 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 afternoon of reptiles and amphibians (herps), and end your walk with a visit with the “snakeman” (see below). We will meet at Parkinson Field, 1.5 west of Wolbach Farm, on route 27 in Sudbury. The field parking entrance is just west of Peakham Rd., immediately next to the Ti Sales driveway. For more information, and to make reservations, visit Walden Woods or call 781-259-4707. In case of a rainy forecast, call the night before the event. 1 pm.
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 to Wolbach Farm and talk about their lives and habits. 2:30 pm.
Slide Presentation: “Brilliant: The Saga of the First Year in the Life of a Scarlet Tanager”: Imagine yourself having to go from an egg to a treetop winged caterpillar hunter in a few weeks here in the Sudbury Valley, and then having to fly to the Peruvian Amazon and back to get your first kiss. Presented by Peter Alden of Concord who has led ecotours to 100 countries and has authored 15 books. 4pm.
The Hop Brook Protection Association and the Sudbury Ponds and Waterways Committee are sponsoring a kids’ 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.
End Riverfest weekend with a paddle along the Sudbury River as the sun sets and the moon rises. Dave Griffin, from OARS, plans this easy paddle ending in a traditional rafting together under the twilight sky. Cameras are recommended. Starting and ending at River Road, off Rte. 27, Sudbury. Call 978-369-3956 or email OARS to register.
Join Russ Cohen, expert forager and author on a two-hour ramble through the Blue Heron Organic Farm and adjacent woodlands to learn about at least two dozen species of edible wild plants. Pending favorable weather conditions, several edible mushroom species may be encountered as well. Keys to the identification of each species will be provided, along with information on edible portion(s), season(s) of availability and preparation methods, along with general guidelines for responsible foraging. Blue Heron Organic Farm, Route 117, Lincoln.