The Lenox Land Trust 2021 Annual Meeting was held Sunday, November 21, at 1:00 pm, outdoors at the Toole Wildlife Preserve (see above photos). This year's annual meeting featured a hiking tour of the accessible portions of the 111-acre Toole Wildlife Preserve with LLT board members, volunteers & friends. LLT board members Zach Adams & Ken Kelly lead a walking tour of the property, preceded & followed by hot cocoa & cider donuts. With 22 attendees, we saw fresh beaver cuttings, deer & black bear sign, waterfowl & more.
In 2020, the Lenox Land Trust Annual Meeting & Community Conversation was held on Wednesday, November 18, by Zoom, given COVID-19 precautions. The program, entitled Get Outside!, featured Zach Adams, LLT Board President & Teacher Naturalist at Mass Audubon Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary. He shared his photos, stories & discussed a few common, unusual, & rare species of plants that can be found in some of the amazing protected areas in Lenox. He discussed identification, threats they face, & why land conservation is vital to their success.
Our Annual Meeting in 2019 was held on Thursday, November 14 at the Lenox Community Center. Overall Topic was: Love/Hate Relationship with Mother Nature? Lively discussions were held on two topics:
FIGHTING THE GOOD FIGHT...
Ideas & Advice on Beating Back INVASIVE PLANTS, by Jess Toro - Native Habitat Restoration, and
WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE...
An Intro to Protecting VERNAL POOLS
By Tom Tyning - Berkshire Community College, Professor of Environmental Science
At our 2019 annual meeting in November, two new board members were appointed. Sarah Hatch is a 4th generation resident of the Berkshires. Having summered in the Berkshires as a child, she has returned in retirement and settled in Lenox. Her great grandparents contributed land to the Lenox Reservoir. Her grandfather took the lead in forming the Stockbridge Bowl Association and her parents and uncles were instrumental in working with the Berkshire Natural Resources Council to preserve not only Yokum Ridge but also in persuading the Tennessee Gas Company to create Olivia’s Overlook.
Our second new board member, Zachary Adams, is a lifelong naturalist and educator, working full-time for Mass Audubon Berkshire Sanctuaries, at Pleasant Valley Sanctuary. He comes to us from Pennsylvania, where he majored in environmental science. In 2020, he assumed the role of president of the LLT board.
Also at the 2019 annual meeting, appreciation was expressed for the service of board members Joe Strauch and Scott MacWilliams, who both rotated off the board in fall 2019.
Snowshoe Hikes (with only a few inches of snow, we instead used micro-spikes) were be led by Ken Kelly on Wednesday, February 19 and Saturday, February 22, 2020, both on the 111-acre Toole Wildlife Preserve. Seven folks joined him on Wednesday, and three on Saturday. See photos below. All were fascinated by the property & eagerly anticipating public access in the future.
We had a beaver slap its tail at us, studied its newly built beaver lodge, flushed a pair of mallards, and saw fox, coyote and black bear sign.
The Toole Wildlife Preserve includes part of Yokun Brook, 5 ponds and extensive wetlands behind Hampton Inn & Suites and the Yankee Inn. Privately owned, Lenox Land Trust holds a conservation restriction on the Preserve. Trails & boardwalks to create a 4-season public access hiking loop with wildlife observation benches are planned.
In February 2019, Lenox Land Trust hosted a snowshoe hike on the town-owned 231 acre Post Farm, led by Patty Spector and Bill Gop. The property is popular with birders, as its trails access wetlands adjacent to Housatonic River as well as upland fields & forests. It is also a popular hunting area for upland game; hikers should wear blaze orange during hunting seasons.
Access to the property is via Willow Creek Road, beyond the Lenox Transfer Facility. Park next to the solar installation. Motorized vehicles are prohibited beyond that point.
ABOVE - Reilly Burke accepts Lenox Land Trust Logo Contest award from Kate McNulty-Vaughan at 2018 Seniors Night. Also, Kim Blair wins book award drawing at 2019 LLT Annual Meeting & Community Conversation.
New beaver lodge constructed fall 2019 at Toole Wildlife Preserve