Past Events

Past Events 2014-2018
Enjoy these photographs from past events.

May 1, 2019, 6:30 socializing, 7:00 PM meeting
Annual Meeting
Location: The Groton Inn

We are happy to bring to Groton Kevin Gardner, author and stone wall architect. Kevin will be the featured speaker at the GCT Annual Meeting on May 1. Kevin’ talk is made possible with a grant from the Groton Commissioners of Trust funds.

June 27, 2019, 7:00 PM
Annual Sunflower and Sunset Party
The General Field
Join us as we gather to picnic, enjoy spirits, hear music from the Contra Banditos and enjoy oysters shucked fresh from The Great Road Kitchen.  And the sunset!

June 22, 2019 1 – 4 PM, Location TBD
Shelter Building Workshop
Owl Eyes Wilderness Survival, is a “traveling” survival school and teaches the public of all ages wilderness survival skills. The group also donates 10% of class profits to wildlife rescue. In this workshop, you will learn from Tim Swanson how to build shelters in the wilderness. Contact Holly to reserve your spot and get directions.

GrotonFest, September 29, 2018 10 AM, Legion Field
Come visit, grab a GCT decal or a map.

Mini-iNaturalist Challenges! GrotonFest, Sept. 29 11 AM and 2:30 PM
We will lead two mini challenges from our booth on September 29.  The first will be at 11:00 and the second at 2:30. Each challenge will focus on the fields around the GrotonFest area and last about 30-40 minutes.  The topics are to be determined, but include songbirds, pollinators on goldenrods and the first signs of a turning fall season.  All you need is someone with a smart phone and the iNaturalist app downloaded.   We will offer a prize for each challenge and help you along the way!  If you need help navigating the iNaturalist app, we have these helpful tutorials.

April 13, 2019: 10 AM
Vernal Pool Walk
Throne Hill
Last year we made a MA discovery!  Join us for this family friendly foray as citizen-scientists! Park in the Castle Dr. circle, which is off Pepperell Road.  Join Patricia Huckery Northeast District Supervisor, and Jennifer Jones Stewardship Biologist for Massachusetts Division of Fisheries & Wildlife as we explore nature in early spring. Please wear appropriate clothing for walking in the woods and streams.

Fall Tree Walk: October 14, 10 AM
Meet at the Bates Land off Old Ayer Road to see what the fall season does to our trees and how know what we are looking at.  Contact Michelle Ruby if you would like to attend.

Summer Tree Walk: August 25, 10 AM
Meet at the Rockwood Lane entrance to The Throne Hill.  Contact Michelle Ruby if you would like to attend.

iNaturalist Predator Challenge: August 25-Sept. 1
See our homepage for all the info!

Annual Meeting, Wednesday May 2
Media Conference Center, Lawrence Academy Campus
Walk of Skitapet property at 5:00, meeting at 7:00.  Meet at Amanda’s Way off of Route 40 to join the walk.  Contact Holly Estes if you want to attend the walk.

Tree ID Walk: May 5, 10 AM on Shepley Hills.
Meet in the Sand Hill Rail Trail parking lot.

The Sunflower and Sunset Annual Gathering
The General Field, June 7, 7 PM  

Groton Conservation Forum: February 15, 6:30 PM Media Center at Lawrence Academy

Tom and Carl Taplin receive the 2018 Conservation Award from president Ted Lapres.

The GCT hosts this year and the theme is fostering environmental education and data collection, and introducing the iNaturalist tool.      

Eyes on Owls!  September 30, 1 PM, Williams Barn, free
We are excited to bring a barn-full of beautiful owls for you to view up close.  The great folks of Eyes On Owls bring a variety of owls for you to see up close. Chances are you’ll meet New England’s tiniest owl, the Northern Saw-Whet Owl (weighing in at 4 ounces) along with the world’s largest owl, the Eurasian Eagle Owl (check out that five foot wingspan!). Other species that figure prominently in their program can include Eastern Screech Owl, Barred Owl, Barn Owl, Great-horned Owl, Snowy Owl and Spectacled Owl.  Space is limited at the Williams Barn, so please sign up for this free event. This program is made possible with a grant from the Groton Commissioners of Trust Funds.

Full Harvest Moon! October 4, 5:30 PM,  Bates Land, meet at the Old Ayer Road parking lot.  We will hike then watch the harvest moon rise.

Tree ID Walk: October 29 1 PM, Shepley Hills
Trustee Michelle Ruby will lead us along this beautiful stretch and help cure our “tree blindness” by giving us tips to quickly identify the trees we see along the way.  Meet at the rail trail parking lot on Sand Hill Road. We will lead these throughout the seasons to help get an idea of how trees change.

Tom Wessels November 24, 1-3 PM at The Throne Hill.
#Optoutside with Tom Wessels as he narrates the history of one of our favorite GCT properties.  We will meet at the end of Rockwood Lane in West Groton.  This is event is free to the public and made possible with a grant from the Groton Commissioners of Trust Funds.

Sunflowers and Sunsets: Thurs. June 8 6 PM We will “officially” debut The General Field with an evening of cocktails, music, food and hikes.  And of course the sunset, viewed from the wildflower meadow.  Bring your folding chair and join us. Rain date is June 10.

Groton Greenway Festival 2017
June 11, 11 AM to 4 PM at the Petapawag boat launch
Free shuttle from Deluxe parking to the event. The Groton Greenway is charged with protecting river and stream frontage in Groton, particularly along the Nashua and Squannacook Rivers.  Join us as we support this wonderful day. Visit our booth!

May Annual Meeting: Wed. May 17, 6:30
Join us for our annual meeting, socializing at 6:30 and then a special presentation by Stephen Kendrick, author of  “The Lively Place: Mount Auburn, America’s first Garden Cemetery”. He will speak about some of the famous residents of the cemetery and the movement to create protected spaces in urban places.

April Vernal Pool Hike: Saturday April 15, 10 AM
Back by popular demand!  We will once again visit Throne Hill with the MA Dept. of Fisheries and Wildlife to discover just what makes a vernal pool so valuable.  We will meet in the circle of Castle Drive, just off of Shirley Road.  Come prepared to tromp in the bog and water!

Groton Conservation Summit 2017, February 16, 7 PM
The Media Conferencing Center on the Lawrence Academy campus

This year’s meeting of conservation-minded organizations is sponsored by The Groton Trails Network.  It will begin with a social hour at 6 PM, followed by a presentation by Dr. David Black, GCT trustee and science teacher at Groton School. He will discuss the issues facing conservation in Groton and worldwide, and the importance of connectivity between conservation parcels and organizations.

This is a free event and open to the public. The snow date is February 23.


November 25, 2016 
We will once again join REI and other groups who are asking people to avoid Black Friday shopping and make tracks outside. We are joining with our friends from the Groton Trails Committee, and hope you opt to play outside instead of shopping! Join us for these activities and check back as new activities are being added.

Trail Bike Ride with Dave Burnham: This is a 12-15 mile ride through Gamlin Crystal Springs, Cronin-Massapoag, among others. It is an intermediate level ride. The ride will start from the end of Cow Pond Brook Rd. meet at 9:15,ride at 9:30. More info: Dave Burnham.

Lawrence Woods Stewardship Hike:  9am. Meet at the Nashua River entrance to Lawrence Woods, parking at Groton Place or along Long Hill Road / Route 225. Come spend an hour learning how GCT monitors its properties with Trustees Michelle Ruby and David Pitkin. We will go over finding boundary lines and corners with a GPS to monitor for encroachments, clean up the property review past monitoring reports and have a great time.  Dress appropriately.

Skinner Forest Hike: Led by Suzanna Black and Trustee Susan Hughes. This is an intermediate hike, 3 miles, with some steepish hills. The hike offers pond views, an esker trail and the wooded beauty that made the Lost Lake area a vacation retreat.  Long pants are recommended, and walking poles as there are many leaves along the rocky path. Dogs on leashes are OK. This 1 PM hike will meet at the Duck Pond property lot on Lost Lake Road. Contact Susan Hughes for more information.

Olin Lathrop and AMC: Come join the longest continually running hike in the AMC. This hike explores the natural areas between the Nashua River and the Snake Hills. Exact route determined on the fly. Some bushwhacking is possible. The hike is around 7 mi, 5 hours. Bring warm clothes and lunch. Meet at 10:00am in NW corner of parking lot behind Nashoba Hospital on Groton Road in Ayer, 42.57878N 71.57399W. Contact Olin Lathrop form more information.

We will be updating this list so check back!


The Groton Greenway River Festival
June 19,  11 AM to 4 PM at the Petapawag boat launch
Free shuttle from Deluxe parking to the event. The Groton Greenway is charged with protecting river and stream frontage in Groton, particularly along the Nashua and Squannacook Rivers.  Join us as we support this wonderful day. Visit our booth!


The General Field, Surrenden Farm
Sunday, June 12 at 1PM
Join members of the Groton Trails Committee and the Appalachian Mountain Club on a guided hike.  We’ll start by hiking the open-field habitat of The General Field and Surrenden Farm conservation areas, while enjoying the great views to the south and west.  Then we’ll continue into the adjacent wooded area, hiking along the banks of the scenic Nashua River, which flows through conservation land on both sides.  Our hike will take about two hours and is suitable for families with children.  Leashed dogs are welcome.  Wear comfortable hiking shoes. The hike will be held unless it is very stormy.  From Rt. 119 in Groton center, take Pleasant St. (Rt. 111) southward; continue south on Farmers Row.  Shortly after passing Joy Lane, take a right at the Groton Conservation Trust sign for The General Field (a large open area).


The General Field Sunset Cocktail Party
June 11, 6 PM The General Field, just off Farmers Row
Join us as we introduce the revamped setting of the General Field with trail hikes, music, history, games and refreshments.  And a spectacular sunset to toast.  Please, no dogs on this property.

Gamlin Crystal Spring
Sunday, June 5 at 1PM
Join members of the Groton Trails Committee on a guided hike along the Esker Trail in the Gamlin Crystal Spring Conservation Area.  We will hike together through the woods, up and over a beautiful esker overlooking Cow Pond Brook and flanking a large wetland area where beavers are very active. This hike showcases one of the many wonderful conservation areas owned by the Groton Conservation Trust.  Our hike on the Gamlin Esker Trail will take be about 1½ hours, and is suitably short for families with children.  Leashed dogs are welcome. Wear comfortable hiking shoes.  The hike will be held unless it is very stormy. We will meet to start our hike at the very end of Cow Pond Brook Rd., past the transfer station.  Park on the side of the road.

GCT Annual Meeting
May 11, 6:30 PM Lawrence Academy
Meet trustees and get an update on the good work being done with your help.  This is membership month, so you can update your membership dues as well.  Trustee Michelle Ruby will speak on Field Experiments in Invasive Plant Management for Land Trusts and Best Management Practices and Case Studies for Controlling Invasive Species on Conservation Lands, a talk she gave on behalf of the GCT at the MA Land Conservation Conference. The meeting will be in the Media Conference Center in the center of the LA campus and refreshments will be served.

Hidden Treasures of Groton Activities
May 15
1:00-3:00 pm – Rocky Hill (Mass Audubon Sanctuary) hike; view major outcroppings, extensive wetlands, and striking biodiversity; co-sponsored by Groton Trails Committee and Appalachian Mountain Club; leader Olin Lathrop; meet at Sanctuary parking lot off Robin Hill Rd., which is off Rte. 119 near Shaw’s; no dogs allowed.


3:30-5:00 – “Gifts of the Glaciers” video that presents Groton’s geological and human history with Q&A afterwards; learn about drumlin swarms, eskers, kames, kettle holes, and why Groton was protected as a hunting area by the region’s natives; co-presenters Bob Pine (GCT trustee, geologist, ecologist) and Mike Roberts (historian, archaeologist); co-sponsored by Groton Conservation Trust and Groton Historical Society; 2nd floor meeting room in Groton Town Hall, 173 Main St; no dogs allowed.  Family friendly.

5:00-6:30 – Gibbet Hill hike; spectacular view of the region from atop Groton’s iconic drumlin and a chance to inspect the stone shell of the former Bancroft “Castle”; sponsored by Groton Trails Committee; leader Paul Funch; meet at Groton Town Hall, 173 Main St.  A moderate hill climb is involved.


Sunday Hiking with Michelle Ruby
May 1, 10 AM Gamlin Crystal Spring /Red Line Path

In May, the hike will be led by trustee Mark Gerath. Join us as we explore the eskers around Cow Pond Brook and follow the Red Line Path, an old railway line.  Meet at the end of Cow Pond Road, at the transfer station entrance.

Vernal Pool Walk on Throne Hill
April 16, 10 AM

Photo courtesy of the Vernal Pool Association

Join the MA Fisheries and Wildlife team as they find and examine vernal pool activity and explain why these ecosystems are so important. Family friendly, but please no dogs.  Meet and park in the circle at Castle Drive, off Pepperell Road in West Groton.


Sunday Hiking with Michelle Ruby
March 6, 10:00 AM
Shepley Hill
Meet in the rail trail parking lot off of Common Street. This is a hilly hike.


Full Moon Snow Shoe
February 22, 7:00 PM
The General Field
Meet in the parking lot off of Farmers’ Row. Shoe shoes are available, please let us know if you need them.  Hot chocolate provided after the hike.

November 8, 2 PM: Williams Barn
GCT Birthday Bash
Our official birthday was a family affair at The Williams Barn.  We celebrated with activities for all ages:  barn music with the Contra Banditos featuring Bev Rodrigues, The Creature Teachers,  showing off some of the critters and building birdhouses with Peter Benedict.  There were trail hikes for kids and adults and cupcakes for all.  Later, we gathered to hear Ben Kilham speak about his work with black bears.

The certificate awarding our Bates-Shepley Hills Invasive Project Grant
The certificate awarding our Bates-Shepley Hills Invasive Project Grant

Tom Wessels Talks and Walks in Groton June 14, 2014

The program was based on Tom’s book, “Reading the Forested Landscape, A Natural History of New England”.  It introduces people to approaches used to interpret a forest’s history while wandering through it.  Using evidence such as the shapes of trees, scars on their trunks, the pattern of decay in stumps, the construction of stone walls, and the lay of the land, it is possible to unravel complex stories etched into our forested landscape.  This process could easily be called forest forensics, since it is quite similar to interpreting a crime scene.

After about an hour talk and slide presentation, Tom decided we could do better in the field, so we headed out to the Gamlin Crystal Springs property, located on Old Dunstable Road. Taking the Pond Loop, we were able (with Tom’s help!) to discover the story behind the many trees and the remarkable landscape. You can read Mary Metzger’s write up about the event HERE. This program was made possible through a grant from the Groton Trust Commissioners.

Tom and GCT Trustees and Marion Stoddard
Tom and GCT Trustees and Marion Stoddart.
Telling the story of Paper Birch.
Telling the story of Paper Birch.
Determining the use of the land.
Determining the use of the land.
GCT Founder Bob Gosselin
GCT Founder Bob Gosselin

May 1 Annual Meeting: Celebrating 50 Years
The GCT Annual Meeting was held at Lawrence Academy’s MacNeil Lounge and featured guest speaker Ted Elliman of the New England Wildflower Society.  The event honored past trustees, including founder Bob Gosselin (pictured) and provided a glimpse into the charge for the Trust for the future. Amid the photographs and descriptions of the 37 GCT properties, guests were able to enjoy a specially-created cake and refreshments, and live music by LA seniors Calli Scofidio and Cornelius Griffith.

In addition to the guest speaker, the Trust honored long-time trustee June Johnson, who is retiring after 34 years. June was presented with a crystal bowl etched with the GCT logo for her service.  Also honored were Bob and Sue Lotz, recent donors of the newest GCT property Lotz Land. They were presented with a certificate of appreciation from the Trust.

Ted Elliman was the main attraction and his informative talk was on invasive species in New England now and those working their way in. Read more about the presentation HERE.

June Johnson presenting an appreciation award to land donors Bob and Sue Lotz.
Retiring trustee June Johnson was presented an award for her 34 years of service.
Retiring trustee June Johnson was presented an award for her 34 years of service.
Lively music was provided by Calli Scofifio '14 and Cornelius Griffith '14 from Lawrence Academy.
Lively music was provided by Calli Scofifio ’14 and Cornelius Griffith ’14 from Lawrence Academy.
Beautiful cake from Bliss Bakery and we ate the whole thing!
Ted Elliman.
Ted Elliman.
Pictures and history of the 37 GCT properties were on display.
Pictures and history of the 37 GCT properties were on display.
GCT Trustees Mark Gerath and Michelle Ruby talk to Paul Funch.
GCT Trustee David Black and Ted Elliman.
GCT Trustee David Black and Ted Elliman.
Annual Meeting 2014. Thank you to Lawrence Academy for the beautiful room.

Filming on The General Field
On a rainy, raw spring day, the film crew for a new motion
picture, Tumbledown, used The General Field as a stand in for Maine.  The film is a romantic comedy produced by Bron Studios, a British Columbia-based producer of original motion pictures. It is the first film to work out of NE Studios located in Devens, MA. The GCT was approached by location scout Ian Larson as The General Field provided the sweeping landscape the director had in mind for one of the scenes. Filming continues through the spring in Groton at Lost Lake, in Shirley at the Bull Run, in Concord and other central MA locations.