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CCF Directors

Alan Ankers
Barney Arnold
Liz Carpenter
Wayne Davis
Marjie Findlay
David Freedman
Peg Gladstone
Heidi Harring
Steve Hinton
Jamie Klickstein
Lynn Knight
Jay Luby
Greg Peterson
Scott Simpson
Steve Spang
Sally Swift
Steve Tobin

P.O. Box 300
Carlisle, MA 01741

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December 2008

Carlisle Conservation Foundation Newsletter

Making Connections, Building Community, Investing in our Future

The Carlisle Conservation Foundation is a non-profit, volunteer organization dedicated to maintaining the rural character of Carlisle and preserving its natural beauty and wildlife habitat. Working with private landowners, public entities, and other local and regional land conservation organizations, CCF serves as a resource and catalyst for land conservation, responsible land use, and community education about conservation. Below are highlights of a few of this year’s activities.

CCF HELD ITS ANNUAL MEETING at the lovely home of Dick and Carolyn Shohet off Bedford Road. Their farm is part of CCF and CLT’s first endeavor to protect land through limited development. In 1982 the Carlisle Land Trust bought 53 acres of Bates Farm to preserve the farm’s open vistas and protect the farm from development. This was financed by selling the back land as 4 large residential lots, one of which is the Shohet’s farmstead. Over 13 acres of the front land is under the permanent protection of a Conservation Restriction. Dick gave a walking tour to explain his farm’s history and operation and introduce us to his cows. We gathered for the brief business portion of the CCF/CLT Annual Meeting. This included the election of Kevin Smith, a real estate and land use attorney specializing in litigation, as a Director. We then heard a presentation by Carlisle 4th grade teachers, Emily King and Ken Ashe, on the “Building Conservation Communities”environmental program which CCF has funded at the school for the past two years. It was wonderful to see so many long time residents of Carlisle at this gathering of our conservation community.

CR Monitoring and Trail Connections

One of CCF’s ongoing responsibilities is to monitor the 15 Conservation Restrictions it holds on properties totaling 305 acres. Last spring Steve Spang and Sally Swift visited almost all of them. This entailed contacting land owners for permission to visit the property, walking the land, observing any notable changes in conditions and addressing any violations. CCF is also very interested in establishing trail connections. This fall, together with members of the Carlisle Trails Committee, CCF Directors walked all of the 85 acres of Benfield open space land now held by CCF in anticipation of creating a series of trails. Our long term goal is to connect to the huge expanse of conservation land in Acton as well as other open space that has been protected along Carlisle’s western corridor in the past decade.

Armed with plot plans, GPS devices, and recollections of previous forays on the Benfield land, CCF Board Members Steve Hinton and Greg Peterson and Trails Committee members Henry Cox and Steve Tobin decide which direction to take to locate the next survey marker in the woods.

Building Conservation Communities

The Carlisle School fourth grade teachers would like to thank the Carlisle Conservation Foundation and the Nichols Foundation for their support for our enhanced science curriculum. These funds enabled naturalists from Mass Audubon’s Drumlin Farm to provide professional development workshops for our fourth grade team as well

as model lessons and hands on science activities with our fourth graders. As one student exclaimed, “I loved when people came from Drumlin Farm and we got to sketch. The sketching was a fun way to observe things. I loved the animals, too.” Three times over the school year lessons were conducted in field and forest settings and centered on understanding the plant cycle, soil types, decomposition, animal adaptations, and conservation. We are very grateful to CCF for supporting this collaborative effort to give our students a greater appreciation of the natural world.

—Ken Ashe, Liz Gray, Emily King, and Jason Naroff

Naturalist Marianne Neumann of Drumlin Farm and a Great Horned Owl bring animal adaptation to life for Carlisle’s 4th grade science classes.

Looking to the Future

The Valentine family has created a plan for their 156 acre Stillmeadow Farm that permanently preserves over 84% of their property as open space and provides a public trail easement which will connect Acton Street, and eventually other open space along Carlisle’s western corridor, with the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail. They have also provided a contingency trail easement from this new trail to their northern property boundary which, with cooperation from other abutters, will allow a trail connection from West Street to the Rail Trail. Upon approval by the state, this Conservation Restriction, which CCF will hold, will add another 120 acres of permanently protected land to the existing 10 acre Valentine CR. The Valentine property is identified as the number one priority in the 2005 Town’s Open Space and Recreation Plan. CCF is very grateful to the Valentine family for their farsighted, proactive, and intergenerational land planning.

The Valentine property includes wonderful vistas of open fields such as the one above along Acton Street. At right, Jack and Betty Valentine.

Additional CCF Activities


• joined with Carlisle’s Land Stewardship Committee and some of our Billerica neighbors to clean up and monitor portions of the Greenough land
• shored up several 30 year old Conservation Restrictions with a new boundary agreement and trail easement
• continued work with other Carlisle property owners to explore options for preserving portions of their lands
• hosted a research project on marsh birds and invertebrates on one of our properties
• continued our stewardship of 525 acres of conservation land.

We appreciate your support.

Carlisle Conservation Foundation and Land Trust
P.O. Box 300, Carlisle, MA 01741

Board members: Barney Arnold, Beth Clarke, Nick D’Arbeloff, Wayne Davis, Tim Eliassen, Marjie Findlay, David Freedman, Heidi Harring, Steve Hinton, Jay Luby, Art Milliken, Greg Peterson, Fontaine Richardson, Scott Simpson, Kevin Smith, Steve Spang, Sally Swift

We invite you to join CCF with your tax-deductible donation. You may now make your donation to CCF on the HOME page