SPRING RENEWAL IN HAROLD PARKER
The Friends of Harold Parker are gearing up for a busy spring after a relatively easy winter... at least by New England standards!
MELTING SNOW REVEALS ALL
Without a similar storm clean up to what we faced last year, our first task is to pick up the debris people have inadvertently, carelessly, or thoughtlessly left behind over the winter.
Sadly, there is trash everywhere. Rather than schedule multiple work parties, we have planned a major clean up day on Saturday, April 27th. We'll meet at the Jenkins lot at 9am and, depending on turnout, disburse to various locations throughout the Forest. It would be wonderful to get the whole Forest clean and looking its best for the many visitors coming to enjoy the warmer weather. Please save the date and help keep Harold Parker beautiful. Bring work gloves—we’ll provide trash bags.
THIRD TIME’S A CHARM!
We are hard at work planning our 3rd Annual Berry Pond Scramble to be held on Sunday, June 9th at Berry Pond, rain or shine. In response to feedback from past years‘ participants, we’ve made the race start an hour earlier, at 9am. You are invited to run or walk the 5.6K course over the scenic trails of Harold Parker, and are welcome to bring your well behaved, leashed and licensed pooch as well. While there are a good many road races to choose from early in the season, people have told us they love this course for its varied and challenging (in places) terrain. This year, with entrants limited to 300, pre-registration is strongly advised. To register or for more information visit www.berrypond.org
WHAT WILL THEY FIND?
FOHP is hosting the first ever BioBlitz in the Forest on Thursday, May 9 from 9am to 1:30pm at Field Pond. A BioBlitz is an event designed to inventory all the flora and fauna within a designated area, in order to provide a snapshot of the existing bio-diversity.
The data collected sets a baseline useful to naturalists and scientists and is particularly helpful in studying climate change over time. Andover High School senior, Alexis Mancha, is organizing the event as part of a project for her Environmental Sustainability class. Alexis has been observing the pond all year to note the impact of the recent herbicide treatment and to see what plants are returning. 19 AHS students will participate along with FOHP members and volunteers. FOHP board member and botanist Walter Kittredge will be on hand to help students identify plants. Walter has worked at the Harvard Herbaria for 40 years and is intimately acquainted with just about everything that grows in Harold Parker. All FOHP members are welcome to participate and if some of you are familiar with local flora and fauna and could help that day, please let us know. This promises to be a fun, educational and exciting event. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
NEW MARKED LOOPS
The Friends continue to make the Forest more accessible and user friendly. We now have four new marked loop trails as well as a trail connecting the two parts of the Forest—from the “Chimney” parking lot on Harold Parker Road to the Berry Pond Road. We plan to further extend this trail to HPSF headquarters on Middleton Road. We'll also be posting informational signs at all the parking lots with maps of the loops.
Please note that many sections of trails that were dry in the past are now frequently flooded due to increased beaver activity. We'll be working with NEMBA to identify these areas and re-route or construct boardwalks to make the trails passable again.
Spring is the season of renewal and new beginnings. Come be a part of our effort to renew the Forest and make it even more inviting than last year!