Post image for Get untangled with Zentangle – free workshop Memorial Day

Above: Expressions Art Bar is hosting a free Zentangle drawing workshop by a Southborough artist. (image left from Expressions Art Bar website, right from their Facebook page)

This coming Monday, Expressions Art Bar will be hosting a free Zentangle drawing workshop for adults.

The town’s paint ‘n sip is promoting the free class as an introduction to Zentangle for ages 16+.

Learn more about this relaxing and beautiful drawing technique. It is great for de-stressing, meditating or just being creative.

The event is Memorial Day, May 30th, from 2:00 – 5:00 pm. Seats are limited, so sign up soon. To register, click here.

Doors open at 1:30 pm so attendees can check in, save a seat, and order refreshments. Drinks and Snacks are available for purchase (including Mimosas, Wine, and Beer for ages 21+.)

The workshop will be led by instructor Laurie Blanchard, a Zentangle artist from Southborough.

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Post image for Helping sustain pollinators: Talks, important facts, pending legislation and links

Above: Residents learned how to protect our town’s population of bees, like this almost-extripated from Massachusetts bombus fervidus. (Photo posted to flickr by jbaker5)

The Open Space Preservation Commission and the Stewardship Committee have been working to sustain pollinators in Southborough. The groups co-sponsored two recent talks at the library related to the issue. (Scroll down for the videos.)

At each presentation,attendees learned that gardeners trying to help pollinators could accidentally be helping to kill them.

Speakers at both talks reminded residents, “One bite of every food we take is generated by a pollinator.” Experts addressed concern about bee decline and colony collapse and the effects on the environment. They spoke about pollinator gardens, butterflies, bees and other important pollinators. And they pitched what residents can do to help.

In late April, the designer of Breakneck Hill’s in-progress Pollinator Garden spoke. Ellen Sousa explained the importance of native plants for native species. While her focus was butterflies, she gave an overview of other key pollinators. Most importantly, she explained that gardeners can unknowingly buy plants (even native ones) that are toxic to bees.

Sousa said that some plant sellers’ protect nurseries with neonicotinoid pesticides that cause plants to become toxic to bees. She encouraged buyers to ask questions about neonics and pesticides before purchasing plants.

Under current laws, sellers don’t have to post use of the “neonics”. In the subsequent talk in May, Representative Carolyn Dykema spoke about how she is seeking to change that in Massachusetts. (Scroll down for more on that.) She explained that overexposure to neonics weakens bees, making them much more susceptible to death by other causes.  [click to keep reading…]

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Since the fall Friends of the Southborough Library gifted the library with five more museum/park passes (and acquired another for free). This brings the Library’s number of discount/free passes up to twenty!

With Memorial Day weekend coming up, and summer vacation not far behind, it’s a good time to revisit all the passes the library has to offer.

Museum passes cover art, history, science, nature, and children’s play. There are also passes for enjoying MA State Parks, gardens and wildlife. And you can tour Boston by foot or its islands by boat.

You can find details and reserve passes through the museum pass page on the library’s website. Or you can make reservations by calling 508-485-5031. (Please note that some passes need to be returned by 10am the following morning.)

For fun, I’ve posted a gallery of photos to show the diversity of pass offerings (in alpha order). Scroll down for the full list.

Boston by Foot tours

Boston by Foot tours
Picture 1 of 21

(photo posted to flickr by Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism)


[click to keep reading…]

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Post image for St. Mark’s Church camp – early bird to June 1st

When I posted about camp options this morning, I forgot that I had yet to hear from St. Mark’s Episcopal Church.

As usual, the church is holding a mid-August VBS (Vacation Bible School) camp for pre-K to entering 5th grade. This year’s theme is “Cave Quest”.

The annual camp is run by CORI-checked adults and younger helpers. Which means, the church is also seeking volunteers middle school and older.

Here are the details:

EXCITING CAVE QUEST VBS COMES TO ST MARK’S CHURCH (August 15-19)

All kids in preK up to those entering grade 5 are invited to join in a fun week of games, science discoveries, Bible stories, skits, snacks, music and more at St. Mark’s church Cave Quest VBS. Our program runs for one week only (August 15-19) from 9am -12:30.

Don’t miss out on this action-packed day camp. We will also offer an optional craft club each day for those who want an artistic opportunity.

Tween party on Thursday after camp for kids age 8-12.

Kids do not have to be affiliated with St. Mark’s church or Southborough residents to attend this VBS program. All are welcome. [click to keep reading…]

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The Town expected to hear last Thursday if the Main Street Reconstruction project could keep its slot on the “TIP” list of transportation projects. Apparently, a vote on pushing the project from FY17 to FY18 is now expected to happen on June 2nd.

According to Town Administrator Mark Purple, state staffers to the MPO are recommending the schedule push. But the decision, scheduled for June 2nd, will be made by the MPO (Metropolitan Planning Organization).*

Public Works Superintendent Karen Galligan seemed optimistic last Tuesday about Southborough holding its place. She told selectmen that MassDOT seemed in favor of keeping the project. She explained that other small projects weren’t ready to fill the project’s slot. And she believed that support from legislators who helped get Main Street on the TIP, could help the Town hold its place.

If the project stays on the TIP, easements will need to be re-addressed at Special Town Meeting. If that happens, the Town plans to educate the public better on the project and what the alternative(s) would be.

There were several opinions on why Town Meeting voters failed to pass easements in April. Some believed that residents rejected the project with full understanding. Others believed that residents held misperceptions. And some believed that opponents turned up to block the vote while supporters stayed home, not realizing the project was on the line.

There was agreement from both sides that voters didn’t have another plan for comparison. Chair John Rooney said he believed voters should understand the choices when making their decision.  [click to keep reading…]

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Post image for 30 days to summer break! A look at camp choices

Above: This summer, kids have a lot of choices in camp activities, including taking a shot at archery and sharpening volleyball skills. (Photos from Flickr, left to right by ProAdventure and katierose95)

I had a mild panic attack yesterday morning when I looked at the calendar. Summer break starts 30 days from today! (The last day of school is June 22nd.)

For those of you who have been putting off registering your kids for camps, it’s probably time to take a serious look. Some camps/weeks do fill up.

(One great offering Southborough Rec has for older camps – the CIT program already sold out some weeks and others are filling up quickly.)

Here’s a quick look at some great choices this summer. (Note: Grades below refer to grade child will enter in the fall.)

Through Southborough Recreation:

  • Summer Camp for grades pre-K – 5th: half day camps at Finn and Woodward; see dedicated post
  • Counselor in Training (CIT)  for grades 7th – 9th: a youth training, camp leadership program – 2 weeks required. (Based on evaluation after 2 weeks, CITs may be invited to volunteer their time at camp.)
  • Horse riding and “junior farmer” camps at Willow Brook Farm (aka Lil Folk Farm) for ages 4-16
  • Golf Camp, half day at Juniper Hill, for ages 7+
  • Specialized one week half-day camps:
    • Archery for grades 3rd – 6th
    • Basketball skills for grades 3rd – 8th
    • Theater camp for ages 5-14
    • Lego Engineering (superheroes) for ages 5-12 (grades K-5th)
    • Lego robotics (Wedo for younger, Mindstorm for older) for ages 5-11 (grades K-6th)
    • Programming games (iphone/android games or Minecraft) for ages 8-11 (grades 3rd-6th)
    • Field Hockey Skills Camp for grades 6th-12th
    • Boys Lacrosse camp for ages 7-16

Through district sports programs:  [click to keep reading…]

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Events this week: Presidential documents, SOLF Wildlife Survey, and Memorial weekend

May 24, 2016 07:24:11 AM
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Here are some highlights of events in and around Southborough this week.

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The week in government

May 23, 2016 04:30:00 PM
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A list of board and committee meetings for the week with my selected highlights from the agendas.

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This week in sports: Outdoor Track flying high; Boys Lacrosse slipping

May 23, 2016 02:19:26 PM
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Here’s what’s on tap this week in high school sports.

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Flagg and Deerfoot Road study highlights dangers to pedestrians, pushes for sidewalks

May 23, 2016 11:28:04 AM
Thumbnail image for Flagg and Deerfoot Road study highlights dangers to pedestrians, pushes for sidewalks

The Town has posted results of a study on Deerfoot and Flagg Road safety issues. Engineers confirmed safety issues for pedestrians, especially school aged children, along the streets.

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Why flags will are at half staff: Monday, May 23, 2016

May 23, 2016 10:43:25 AM
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Flags in Southborough and across the state are flying at half staff in honor of an Auburn police officer who was killed in the line of duty yesterday.

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“24 Heroes in 24 Hours” fundraiser for veterans over Memorial Day weekend

May 23, 2016 09:01:54 AM
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A fitness facility in town is organizing a special fundraiser for veterans over this Memorial Day weekend.

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Cub Scout information night – June 8th

May 20, 2016 04:20:00 PM
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Southborough Cub Scouts are hosting an information and registration session at Finn.

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Apply for grants to help end hunger by June 15

May 20, 2016 02:30:00 PM
Thumbnail image for Apply for grants to help end hunger by June 15

The Greater Worcester Community Foundation has announced yet another grant opportunity. The focus this time is on ending hunger.

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