[Note: The Outdoor Concert and Garden Tour initially scheduled for April 30th are being postponed to a date in June TBA.]**
Southborough’s Open Space Preservation Commission is using April to celebrate Earth Day. Its Planet Palooza was planned for the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day in 2020. Postponed by two years, it is now also “dedicated to the memory of Southborough naturalist Linda Hubley.”
The committee has partnered with several other Town committees and organizations for a multi-week celebration:
Throughout the following 3 weeks there will be a numerous activities sponsored by a multitude of town organizations all under the Planet Palooza umbrella. In addition to the annual Rotary Club town-wide clean up there will be guided walks, nature-based presentations, and a poster contest, cumulating in an Earth Day outdoor concert and Garden Tour.
The OSPC invites:
Come to one event or participate in all, there is sure to be something for everyone.
Highlights and event links are being posted to a Planet Palooza page on the Town’s website. Below are details I have as of today (including several events not yet posted on the Town website.)
The Conservation Commissions of Southborough and Northborough are hosting their third annual poster contest for kids and teens (ages 0 to 12th grade). Posters will be judged based on creativity and relation to this years theme (Invest In Our Planet) and Earth Day (sustainability, recycling, trees, water, etc.!)
Posters should be hand drawn posters on standard (8½ x 11″) paper. One prize will be picked from each school in the Northborough and Southborough school districts. Home-schooled children are also encouraged to apply and will be grouped in appropriate age group. For details, click here. (You can also look at submissions from last year here.)
Check out the Southborough Library’s nature-based books
During the Library’s regular hours
Books chosen specifically by the Library Staff to support Earth Day will be featured on the endcaps in the non-fiction section. Sponsored by the Southborough Library.
(While you’re there, you can also check out the Library’s Seed Exchange. It’s not part of the Planet Palooza initiative, but it’s certainly consistent with the theme!) [Note: An April 30th event will also feature a seed give away with a focus on native plants. Scroll down for those details]*
Support the Southborough Scholarship dedicated to Linda Hubley’s Legacy
As I’ve previously posted, the Trustees of SOLF are issuing a challenge. They will match donations to the newly established Linda Hubley Scholarship Fund up to a total of $1000. Click here for the SOLF matching fund details. Scholarship Sponsored by the Southborough Scholarship Committee. Match offer sponsored by SOLF.
So far, eight special events are promoted with the first this Saturday morning:
You’ve Heard of the Easter Bunny, but are there Fairies at Breakneck Hill?
Saturday, April 16, 9:00 am – Noon
Take a self-guided walk anytime Saturday. Stewardship Committee members will be there to chat from 9am to Noon on Saturday. Sponsored by the Stewardship Committee and the Trails Committee. (Click here to learn more about Breakneck Hills Conservation Land. For the map, click here.)
Join OSPC for a dynamic presentation on its successful projects and how to use a research-based plant list to improve biodiversity in your own yard. The talk will take place in St Mark’s School’s Taft Hall. (That’s #13 on the campus map here.) Sponsored by the OSPC and the Southborough Rotary Club. (Click here for more details.)
Meet at the Pollinator Preservation Garden in the Main Street Field at Beals Preserve for a brief overview of that project before heading out for the history & nature walk lead by Southborough Open Land Foundation President Whit Beals. Sponsored by SOLF.
Park on Main St parallel to the stone wall at the Main Street Field or at the Triangle at Main St and Northborough Rd. (For a map and to learn more about Beals Preserve, click here.)
30th Annual Earth Day Cleanup
Saturday, April 23, 8:00 am – 12:00 pm
Start out at the DPW building (by the Transfer Station) to sign up, choose a location and pick up trash bags. (To reserve in advance a favorite section of Town to clean, call 508-485-1210 or stop by their office.) Then go out to your assigned area to pick up trash. Sponsored by the Southborough Rotary Club and DPW.
Free treats and coffee will be available starting at 8:00 am. Free Tee Shirts provided to volunteers (on a first come, first served basis). Cleanup begins at 8:30 am. A pizza lunch will follow at the Library at noon. (Rain Date of April 24th.)
(If you’re willing to help donate to the annual event, click here for details.)
Please join the Southborough Stewardship and Trails Committee for a family-friendly guided nature walk. Get to know the trails, learn about native wildlife, observe and identify plants, trees, and signs of animals. The walk will be led by Dan Harvey, a naturalist and environmental and outdoor educator. We will also reveal the new trail names that many of you voted on earlier this year. Click here for more details and to register. Sponsored by the Stewardship and Trails Committees.
In a presentation at the Southborough Library, Dr. Robert J. Gegear will discuss how ecological data collected through his Beecology Citizen Science Project is being used to gain insight into the causes of species loss in native pollination systems. This talk also includes the launch of a new version of the Beecology webapp with automated butterfly and plant ID functions powered by iNaturalist. Sponsored by the OSPC and Southborough Library. (You can read more on the background of OSPC’s work with Dr. Gegear here.)
Bring chairs or blankets to the Southborough Library grounds for this outdoor concert. Claire is an award-winning folk singer/songwriter and instrumentalist with a voice reminiscent of the legendary female folk singers of the 60’s and 70’s. Claire writes and performs moving, original songs in a genuine, openhearted style, with a focus on the inner life and our connection to the natural world. (Rain Date 1:00 pm Sunday May 1.) Sponsored by the OSPC and Southborough Library.
Immediately following the 1-hour concert, the Open Space Preservation Commission will showcase the Pollination Preservation Garden planted last year at the Southborough Library. We will describe the plants chosen for both ecological benefit and beauty and go over next steps for the gardens as well as citizen science and volunteer opportunities. Attendees can pick out free seeds allowing you to grow these flowers at home. (Rain Date 1:00 pm Sunday May 1.) Sponsored by the OSPC and Southborough Library.
*Updated (4/12/22 5:07 pm): I had noted that you can check out seeds from the Library. But I just noticed that part of the event outside of the Library on the 30th is giving away native plant seeds. (I assume the OSPC’s focus on its Native Plant • Native Pollinator initiative is the reason the Library’s Seed Exchange wasn’t mentioned in the highlights they shared.)
Updated (4/12/22 5:10 pm): The Trails Committee shared its registration link for their April 24th walk.
Updated (4/14/22 12:00 pm): A flyer with more detail was made available on the April 20th talk.
Updated (4/15/22 2:47 pm): A flyer with more detail was made available on the April 22nd talk.
Updated (4/22/22 10:12 am): Rotary posted more details on the April 23rd Earth Day Cleanup.
**Updated (4/23/22 7:49 am): The events of April 30 have been indefinitely postponed:
The Open Space Preservation Commission regrets to announce that we are postponing both the Earth Day Concert and the Garden Talk and Tour, our Planet Palooza activities scheduled at the Library for this Saturday April 30th.
We anticipate that both events will be rescheduled for a date in June and will notify the public as soon as a new date is finalized.