Community 

Boxborough Memorial Day Parade To Be Held May 27

(24-MAY-24) Boxborough will, once again, have an annual Memorial Day Parade to honor fallen soldiers. The parade will begin at 8:30 a.m. on Monday, May 27 at the corner of Hill Road and Wetherbee Lane. As participants march, they will pause for reflections at North Cemetery, Town Hall, and South Cemetery. 

  

All town veterans are invited to join the parade as Grand Marshals by either marching or riding in a car available for veterans. The Boxborough Minutemen will conduct a musket salute at both cemeteries as the names of fallen soldiers are read. 

  

Parking for the parade is available across from Town Hall on Middle Road and near South Cemetery on Burroughs and Stow Roads. 

  

The parade steps off at Wetherbee Lane and Hill Road, proceed on Hill Road to North Cemetery, turn left down Middle Road to Town Hall, proceed from Town Hall across Rte 111, and continue down Stow Road to South Cemetery.

  

Ceremonies take place at North Cemetery, Town Hall, and South Cemetery. There is no parking at North Cemetery, so those not in the parade who want to watch North Cemetery ceremonies should park at Town Hall, the church, or on Burroughs Road, east of South Cemetery.

  

People are welcome to follow the parade or stay in one place to watch. Those who are not official marchers may walk only at the end of the parade; walking along the side of band members and official marching groups obstructs the view for parade attendees and creates safety concerns.

Boxborough Twins Collect Donations for Buddy Dog Humane Society

(24-MAY-24) As a B'nai Mitzvah service project, Maddy and Eila Nelson held a lemonade stand and collection drive on Wednesday, May 22 to support Buddy Dog Humane Society in Sudbury. The stand had homemade lemonade, cookies, and dog toys for sale. The girls raised $650 and also collected leashes, collars, canned dog and cat food, paper towels, and laundry detergent to donate to the shelter.

Memorial Day in Boxborough. On Memorial Day, May 27, please remember all those who gave their lives for our country. “Time will not dim the glory of their deeds." - General of the Armies John J. Pershing

FreeBee Market Has Soggy but Successful Opening Day 

(24-MAY-24) FreeBee Market had a wet but highly successful opening day on Saturday, May 18. Neighbors waited patiently under umbrellas for rescued food and free craft supplies. Familiar faces and new ones smiled at each other as they perused the produce and prepared foods. 

The plant tables were especially busy as potential gardeners gathered free vegetable plants to bring home. FreeBee’s “food rescue” markets will continue every Saturday from 10:30 a.m. until noon on the side lawn of the UCC Boxborough church at 30 Middle Road. 

“Food rescue” markets are focused only on sharing extra food collected from local supermarkets and farms. The next (hopefully sunny!) FreeBee “community market” will take place on July 27. 

The “community markets” have rescued food plus craft and art supplies, books, community booths, and kids’ activities. On July 27, the community market will also include a blood drive.  

Saket Suresh Builds Shed at Flerra Field for Eagle Scout Project

(24-MAY-24) For his Eagle Scout project, Boxborough resident and Acton-Boxborough Regional High School senior Saket Suresh completed the building of a new shed at Flerra Field for the use of Acton-Boxborough Youth Baseball and Flerra Summer Playground. 

“I chose the project of building a shed at Flerra Field … because I found it struck a balance of helping the community in a meaningful way, while also challenging my skills,” says Suresh.

Suresh began the planning process in November 2022 and started the project in September 2023. “The amount of paperwork I had to fill out, be it the proposal or the report after I had finished it, along with gaining sufficient funds, was intimidating. 

The shed itself was quite easy to build after all the paperwork and fundraising was finished, as I had to just follow instructions that came with the kit for building it.” 

Suresh began scouting in second grade at the age of seven. For him, the best part of scouting is “meeting and befriending people that I never once thought I would be friends with, with our sole connection being that we're in Scouts together.” 

Aside from scouting, Suresh enjoys listening to music, lifting, and going to work. Next year, he will attend the University of Pittsburgh. He also enjoys camping; his favorite camping trip was to the Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico.

Birders Will Explore Boardwalk Campus in West Acton on June 1 

A Red-Winged Blackbird may be seen on the Boxborough Birders’ Boardwalk Campus walk led by Peter Norton, beginning at 75 Spruce Street, West Acton at 9 a.m. Saturday, June 1. (Photo taken by Peter Norton on the Boardwalk.)

(24-MAY-24) Boxborough Birders invite new and experienced birders to enjoy a late start and short, two-hour walk beginning at 9 a.m., Saturday June 1 at the West Acton Boardwalk.

Steering Committee member Peter Norton will lead the walk through the brook and marsh habitat next to the rebuilt Douglas and Gates schools. Boxborough Birder members and non-members are welcome to meet in the school parking lot, 75 Spruce Street, Acton. For a map of the location, go to bit.ly/3wzUldi.

Norton says, “we will have a good chance to see and hear some of the birds nesting in the area, including red-winged blackbirds, common grackles, song sparrows, eastern bluebirds, red-tailed hawks, yellow warblers, and common yellowthroats. 

The bird walk will include the West Acton Boardwalk and cover a half-mile to a mile Norton describes as “very easy walking on hard-packed paths, with gentle inclines and no steep hills.” He adds that wearing sneakers or comfortable shoes will be fine, and that birders should bring binoculars if they can. 

Heavy rain or a thunderstorm would cancel the walk; light rain would not stop the walk because the boardwalk has a covered area for observation, “where we can hang out under shelter,” according to Norton.

He adds, “It’s a short, easy walk, with a later-than-usual start time, and we’ll be able to spend a good bit of time watching from the boardwalk.”

For information about Boxborough Birders, or to register for a free membership, go to boxboroughbirders.org.

Pam’s Gardening Tips: The War Against Weeds

(24-MAY-24) Well, this is the time of year when we had better try to control the weeds or it will be time to, “throw in the trowel.” I can’t tell you the name of every weed, but there are some that are very prevalent in Boxborough, such as garlic mustard.


Here’s what to do: Pull garlic mustard before it goes to seed. It will produce many seeds that remain viable for two years. Try your best to weed as much as you can now, before the heat comes on and they really get going. I suspect this will be a weedy year as it has been so rainy. 


It is easiest to weed when the soil is wet. Some people like to weed standing up with a stirrup hoe, but I prefer using a hand cultivator or the soil knife, also known as a Hori Hori knife. Do whatever works for you. And don’t leave roots behind!

Keep your weeds separate from the rest of your garden trimmings. I used to throw them all in one container to go to the compost pile. Guess what? I had weeds in my compost…


Mulch once you get the weeds out. Mulch will keep the weeds at bay and keep the soil from drying out. It’s a win-win!


If you are a gardener, or would like to learn more about gardening, the Boxborough Garden Club welcomes you to join. For more information, call Flo Hanover at 978-263-3250, or you can email her at fhanover@gmail.com

Boxborough Fifer's Day Volleyball Tournament on June 15 

(24-MAY-24) The Annual Boxborough Fifer's Day Volleyball Tournament will take place on Saturday June 15 at Flerra Meadows in Boxborough. This year there will, again, be three coed brackets: "Open," "Players," and "Backyard." All brackets will start at 1 p.m.

The Open bracket is intended for teams of "serious" volleyball players who play or compete on a regular basis. The entry fee is $75 per team; a $200 cash prize and trophies will be given to the first place team.  

The Players bracket is for teams with some volleyball experience, who may be or have been competing in volleyball league play. The entry fee is $65, and trophies will be given to the first place team. Backyard bracket is intended for teams of neighbors and friends who do not regularly play or compete in volleyball. The entry fee is $60 per team.

Total entrants are limited to 20 teams. Entry is first come first served. Interested teams should go to www.fifersday.org for information and an entry form. You may email volleyball@boxboroughminutemen.org for questions. 

Come see Boxborough’s Treasures 

(17-MAY-24) The Boxborough Museum at 575 Middle Road will be open from  2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday May 19. 

Come see Boxborough’s historic treasures including the 1850’s scale which is sensitive enough to weigh a penny and strong enough to calibrate a 50 pound weight, the “new” hearse built in 1881, and the “old” hearse (come and see how old is old). 

Admission is free and all are welcome. For more information or if anyone wishes to arrange a private tour for a small group at a different time please call John Fallon at 978-264-0069.

Learn about Lucie Hager, Poet and Chronicler of Boxborough’s Early History 

(17-MAY-24) On Thursday May 23, Alan Rohwer of the Boxborough Historical Commission will discuss the life and labors of Lucie Hager, 19th century author of “Boxborough: A New England Town and its People.” 

The event will take place in the meeting room of the Sargent Memorial Library at 427 Massachusetts Avenue (Route 111) and will begin at 7 p.m. 

Though Hager was largely self-taught, she was a successful school teacher, bookkeeper and a prolific writer of poetry. Late in the nineteenth century, Lucie wrote the Boxborough section in a comprehensive history of Middlesex County containing histories of every city and town in the county. 

At that time, Boxborough with its 325 inhabitants was one of the smallest towns in the county. Encouraged by this work and by her friends, she wrote a separate history of Boxborough alone. 

That book was published in 1891 as “Boxborough: A New England Town and its People.” The book is a treasure trove of lore of the Town and of its notable families.

The event is free and registration is not required.



Being Well in Boxborough: May 2024 

(17-MAY-24) Message for the community: The Well-Being Committee is hosting a Free Morning Movement Series in June. The sessions will be held Saturday mornings on the lawn of the library (inside in case of rain).


Each program will start at 10am. Join your neighbors for Tai Chi on June 1, a Bollywood Dance Class on June 8, and Zumba on June 22. Everyone is welcome to these free programs. Registration is required. Sign up at https://tinyurl.com/BXMovement.


Updates from the Community Services Coordinator: 

A Montachusett Regional Transit Authority (MART) “Boxborough Connects” bus for all ages is expected to launch on Thursday, May 16. Stops are expected to include Acton-Boxborough United Way, Blanchard Elementary, Middlesex Bank Plaza, Sargent Memorial Library, and the South Acton Commuter Rail Station. 


Featured Resources and Volunteer opportunities: 

Volunteering at FreeBee Market is a chance to give back and get to know your neighbors. Working at FreeBee offers families a chance to do something purposeful together or teens a chance to work with friends. Volunteers of any age can work one Saturday market morning, or sign up to do more. To become a volunteer, email freebeecommunity@gmail.com. The first FreeBee market of the season begins May 18.


Staying healthy from Nashoba Associated Boards of Health: May is Mental Health Awareness month (MHAM), observed since 1949 to increase awareness about the vital role mental health plays in our overall health and well-being and provide resources and information. 


This year, we want to share the great work that the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is doing to build better lives for people living with mental health conditions. Visit NAMI’s MHAM landing page at https://bit.ly/3wuHedu , or visit your local NAMI Chapter’s website at https://www.namicentralmiddlesex.org/ to learn more. 

Blanchard BrassWind Ensemble Students Earn Gold Medal 

(17-MAY-24) On Saturday May 4, the Blanchard Elementary School's BrassWind Ensemble, under the direction of Christopher Baird, attended the Massachusetts Instrumental and Choral Conductors Association's Solo and Ensemble Festival at Salem High School. 

They earned a Gold Medal for their superior performance of Tielman Susato's “Ronde”, Giles Farnaby's “His Rest”, and Thomas Morley's “Now is the Month of Maying.” Their judge commented that they have a nice ensemble sound and strong technique.  

The students who participated are (front row from left to right) Sadie Harris, Eowyn Dowdy, Catherine Wang, Jinyu Mao, Nathaniel Bartley, and (back row from left to right) Clara Gao, Satsuki Morita, Owen Lang and Sebnem Ozkan. 

Boxborough Garden Club Holds Successful Plant Sale 

(17-MAY-24) On Saturday, May 11, the Boxborough Garden Club held their annual plant sale. The event is not just about buying plants, but a yearly event which connects the community and brings neighbors and friends together with a shared love for gardening. 

This year, the sale included jade saplings, annual flowering plants, and succulents like christmas cacti. There were also some perennials available. The event was well-attended, and the plants were gone well before noon. 

The proceeds from the plant sale fund a scholarship for a graduating AB student, help beautify the town, and help the club maintain the Colonial Herb Garden, located at the top of Middle Road.

Obituary of David Garrett Laighton 

(17-MAY-24) David Garrett Laighton, 83, of Boxborough, Massachusetts, passed away on May 11, 2024, at his home surrounded by family.

David was born on June 10, 1940, to Pauline and Garrett Laighton in Brentwood, NH. After David graduated from high school in Connecticut, he went on to serve in the Marines for 4 years and then went on to study at Hartford State Tech. He then matriculated to study engineering at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN.

After graduating with a degree in Electrical Engineering, he started his first job at Westinghouse working 9 years as an engineer. In 1976 he relocated to Massachusetts taking a job at Raytheon enjoying a 30+ year career where he finished as a Chief Engineer.

In 1964, David met Margaret in Nashville, TN. David and Margaret were married 58 years and were the proud parents of 2 children, John and Chris. David is survived by John and his children Michael and Jessica and Chris and sons Cody, Zachary, Sammy and their mother Jill Laighton. He is also survived by his brother Jeffrey and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his brother Perley and daughter in law Heidi.

In 2004, David retired from Raytheon and enjoyed spending time with his grandkids, his animals, woodworking and watching sports. 

Visitation will be held at Acton Funeral Home Thursday May 16th from 5pm to 8 pm. Services will be held at Faith Evangelical Free Church on Friday May 17th at 11am. Donations in memory of David can be made to Toys for Tots, an organization he felt strongly about.

A FRIEND IN NEED – NEEDS YOUR HELP!

(17-MAY-24) A Friend in Need (AFIN) is an arm of the South Acton Church(SAC). It is a small, all-volunteer organization dedicated to offering financial aid to people in the Acton/Boxborough/Maynard area. Every penny that is donated goes to support someone in need of immediate help. During this past year we have received more requests for help, and we have received fewer donations. This is the perfect time for you to make a contribution. 


All donations, no matter how small, can make a real difference to someone in need. If you would like to make a donation, please send your check to A Friend in Need, c/o South Acton Church, 35 School St., Acton MA 01720.


We have helped people from Acton, Boxborough and Maynard pay for car repairs to make it possible for them to go to work. We have helped with rent payments in order to prevent eviction. We have helped pay past due car loan payments so the individual can get a job. We can provide immediate help to those in need.


Usually we have a one-time limit for help given to any family, but due to the economy we are trying to be a bit more flexible about that. Our mission is to provide immediate help until the family can receive more substantial aid from other agencies. Much of our money comes through pleas published in our local newspapers and from generous community residents.  


Acton-Boxborough United Way and the Maynard Community Chest support us through grant money. Besides SAC, several other churches support us through their Mission Funds.  Depending on the resources we have on hand, we can usually provide between $300 and $800 to a needy family.  Our mailbox is located at the South Acton  Church. Our volunteers pay for postage and all other costs, so we are able to give away 100% of the money we receive.


AFIN will consider helping anyone who is recommended by clergy or social professionals associated with a local agency.  Anyone in urgent need can be considered for financial assistance by going to a member of the clergy or social service representative and asking them to contact A Friend in Need on their behalf.  We do not discriminate and will try to help anyone with a genuine need. We can also be contacted at afriendinneedacton@gmail.com.

Boxborough FreeBee Market Season Opens May 18

(10-MAY-24) The long awaited FreeBee Market, Boxborough’s volunteer-driven free food network and market, will kick off on Saturday, May 18. Free food collected from local sources will be shared each Saturday from 10:30 a.m. until noon on the side lawn of the UCC Boxborough church at 30 Middle Road. 

  

There will be five FreeBee “community markets” on May 18, July 27, August 17, September 7, and October 19. The “community markets” will have rescued food plus craft and art supplies, books, community booths, and kids’ activities. 

  

On all other Saturdays from May 25 through October 26, FreeBee will host “food rescue” days that will be smaller events, focused only on sharing extra food collected from local supermarkets and farms. 

  

The first FreeBee “community market” on May 18 has a “plants, seeds, and seedlings” theme. Says founder and Boxborough resident Heather Fleming, “Please join us to take home food that needs to be eaten; share home-baked goods, fresh eggs, flowers, or seedlings from your garden; accept free plants to grow at home; give or take craft supplies or books; and spend a few moments of your Saturday to chat with neighbors and hear about local groups and initiatives.” 

  

All are welcome and all is free. For more information, check out the FAQ page on the FreeBee website, https://sites.google.com/abuw.org/freebeemarket/faq

Donate Shoes to Help a Local Refugee Family


(10-MAY-24) Do you have gently used shoes? The Interfaith Partnership for Refugee Resettlement is a local partnership of churches who work with the International Institute of New England to assist in the resettlement of a refugee family in our area. This year, the partnership was assigned a Rohingyan family and has committed to paying for their rent for one year, setting up their apartment, and facilitating any activities that lead to independence, such as English classes and driving lessons. 

  

To cover these expenses, the Partnership is running a shoe drive. Shoes in good condition of any size or style (children’s shoes, high heels, cleats, etc.) can be dropped off at St. Elizabeth of Hungary Church and offices at 89 Arlington St in Acton; St. Isidore Church at 429 Great Road, Stow; or the home of Sheila Bauer at 480 Hill Rd in Boxborough (boxes at the end of driveway). Please do not donate shoes with rips or tears. Donations will be accepted until May 14.

   

The shoes will be turned over to an organization that will give the Partnership money to support the refugee family. What happens to the shoes? The organization gives them to micro entrepreneurs in developing countries to help them start small shoe-sale businesses. 

  

Sheila Bauer, an organizer from St. Elizabeth of Hungary said,  “We love this project because it not only raises the funds for a family in need, it creatively supports others around the world and, at the same time, keeps thousands of textiles out of landfills.” 

  

For more information on IINE and the interfaith Partnership visit: ttps://give.iine.org/campaign/resettle-together-iprr/c528375

Friends of the Boxborough Library Thanks 2024 Business Members

(10-MAY-24) The Friends of the Boxborough Library recently concluded its 2024 Business Membership Fundraising Campaign. The generous support from local businesses will help keep the library a vibrant resource for all to enjoy. Funds that were donated will be used to pay for museum passes as well as adult and children’s programs.

  

The Friends of the Boxborough Library would like to thank the following 2024 business members: Acton Coffee House, Acton Pharmacy, Alpha Cars, Architectural Elements, Assured Partners of Massachusetts LLC, Astro Crane Service, Bird House Ecological Landscaping, Boxboro Regency, Boxborough District Minutemen Company, Bravo Pizza, Daring Dog Yoga, Demoulas Market Basket Supermarket, Dunkin, Family Friends Veterinary Hospital, Great Spaces, Kristin Hilberg, Keller Williams Realty, Idylwilde Farm, Innovations Hair Salon, Joseph G. Perry Plumbing & Heating Inc., Linnard Financial Management and Planning, Inc., Lou’s Custom Exhaust, Middlesex Savings Bank, Nashoba Valley Olympia, Roche Bros. Supermarket, Steinberg-Lalli Foundation, Swymfit, Syncor, Inc., The Taylor School, Two Friends Chocolates,  and Veterinary Dental Services. 

Boxborough Fifer’s Day Will Be Held June 15

(10-MAY-24) The 2024 Fifer’s Day will take place on Saturday June 15 at Flerra Meadows on Stow Road in Boxborough. Fifer's Day is jointly sponsored by the Boxborough District Minuteman Company and the Town of Boxborough's Public Celebrations and Ceremonies Committee.

  

The Day commences at 9:30 a.m. with the Fifer’s Four Mile Road Race. This is followed by a parade from the Blanchard School to Flerra Meadows starting at 11 a.m. and then presentation of the Golden Fife Award. The Fair will then commence and include food and barbecue, including a vegetarian option, children’s games and activities, volleyball tournament, booths representing Town organizations, and a craft fair. There will be live music throughout the afternoon. 

  

For more information or to sign up for a non-profit booth, craft booth, road race, or volleyball please go to www.fifersday.org or https://boxboroughminutemen.org/fifers-day. If you would like to get involved by helping with planning of Fifer’s Day, or helping on the day, please contact the Boxborough Minutemen Company web site at boxboroughminutemen.org/contact-us

The Boxborough Minutemen Company Wants You!

(10-MAY-24) The Boxborough Company of Minutemen will hold a Company meeting on Sunday May 19 at the Boxborough Community Center at 30 Middle Road starting at 8 p.m. For information please contact Captain Bob Lucas at captain@boxboroughminutemen.org, or 978-263-1540.

  

The Boxborough Minutemen Company is open to anyone of least 18 years of age, regardless of gender or town of residence, who is interested in service to the Town and/or perpetuating the memory of the Minutemen of 1775. You do not need to be a marcher or revolutionary war reenactor to join the Company.

  

Our members may participate in any number of the Company's activities including marching in parades, organizing the annual Fifer's Day town festival, performing seasonal clean-ups on Route 111, sponsoring the Boy and Cub Scouts, providing volunteers to town organizations, and participating in our various social functions. The Company also provides financial support to a variety of service organizations and sponsors a number of annual scholarships to Boxborough students who are continuing their education after high school.

  

All are welcome to come and make new connections with others. For more information visit www.boxboroughminutemen.org.

Sargent Memorial Library Presents “Ask Me” Fair on May 31

(10-MAY-24) On Friday, May 31, Sargent Memorial Library will host a third “Ask Me” Fair, in collaboration with Open Door Theater, Think Outside The Vox, and Acton Boxborough United Way. This event is designed to be a safe space for intentional and respectful conversations. 

  

Like books, every individual has an interesting and important story, and there is value in sharing and listening. The event organizers have invited a group of people from a wide range of diverse backgrounds. 

  

In small groups, participants will meet with each of the presenters to listen to their stories and ask questions about their experiences. This is a chance for sincere dialogs and to make connections with people you may not otherwise get to know. 

  

This year, the event will have two sessions. Families with children are invited to the afternoon session 4-5:30 p.m., and adults are invited to the evening session, 6-7:30 p.m. 

  

Both sessions take place at the Sargent Memorial Library, 427 Massachusetts Ave, Boxborough. Light refreshments will be served. The event is free to the public. 

  

The Library wishes to thank the event co-sponsors, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the Discovery Museum, The Acton-Boxborough Cultural Council, Temple Beth Elohim, and Acton Recreation Department for their support.

  

To register and for more information, visit https://boxlib.org/news-events/events

Golden Fife Recipient Glen Schricker Died April 27

(10-MAY-24) Glen Arthur Schricker passed away on April 27 at the age of 90. In 1999, the Town of Boxborough's Golden Fife award was given to Glen “in recognition of his long, faithful, and varied contribution to the life and spirit of the town."

Glen is remembered by his peers for his contributions to the Town of Boxborough. In 31 consecutive years, he missed only one town meeting. Between 1968 and 2005, he was Chairman of the Board of Selectmen and on the Board of Appeals, Board of Health, and Town Government Study Committee.

  

He was a special police officer and Acting Chief, and he was a member of the Finance Committee, Information Technology Committee, and Technology Survey Team. 

  

Glen was instrumental in Boxborough's tax reform, expansions of the Board of Appeals, improving public availability and security of town records, and assuring more suitable application of zoning by-laws.

  

He worked to allow Blanchard Memorial School to leave the Union school district, despite heavy opposition from the state. The move resulted in the creation of the Superintendent/Principal position at Blanchard. 

  

As a selectman, he appointed Boxborough's first Chief of Police, establishing a full-time police force. He also helped separate the Board of Health and the duties of the Building Inspector from the Board of Selectmen; he then helped appoint the town’s first Building Inspector. 

  

In 1973, Glen was on a three-person select board with Jeanne Kangas and John Lyons, both of whom passed away last year.

  

Family members have observed that Glen lived his life devoted to an uncompromising code of ethics, etiquette, and honor. He is also described as "intense, principled, hard-hitting, passionate, remarkable, a wonderful friend, and not always tactful." 

  

Others have said he was not afraid to challenge the system for what he believed in. No matter how small or how big the task, the job was going to get done the right way. "Good enough" was not in his vocabulary.  

  

Glen is survived by his wife of 60 years, Nancy Schricker; his daughter Pamela Gremley, his son-in-law Robert Gremley, and granddaughter Sophia Gremley; his son Glen Alger Schricker, his daughter-in-law Elizabeth Schricker, and his grandson Haydn Schricker. 

  

Glen was predeceased by his father Alger Schricker, his mother Eleanor Schricker, his sister Janet MacMillan, and his brother William Schricker.

  

As per Glen's wishes, there will not be a service. To honor Glen's legacy with the Town of Boxborough, donations can be made to the Boxborough Historical Society at www.boxboroughhistoricalsociety.org.

  

A complete obituary is available at https://legcy.co/3y5oC41

Acton-Boxborough Family Network Cleans Up Flerra

(10-MAY-24) On Sunday, April 28, in celebration of Earth Week, Acton-Boxborough Family Network (ABFN) volunteers organized a trash clean up of Flerra Meadows. 

  

Since the ABFN volunteers were quite young, from only 18 months through kindergarten, the group focused their efforts on the playground and the area surrounding the baseball field. They proudly collected two trash bags full of waste. 

  

“It was great to give back to the community that we live in and appreciate the DPW’s support of our activity,” said Michelle Norris, ABFN Community Service Co-Chair. 

  

Acton-Boxborough Family Network is a non-profit group of local parents working together to increase and improve local resources for families with young children.

Black-capped chickadee

Birders Walk Fruitlands May 18, Newtown Hill, May 19

(10-MAY-24) Boxborough Birders have planned two walks for experienced and new birders at 7 a.m. Saturday, May 18, at Fruitlands Museum in Harvard, and at 7 a.m., Sunday, May 19, at Newtown Hill Conservation Area and Williams Land, in Littleton. 

  

Birders are encouraged to visit boxboroughbirders.org, to join at no cost, and to receive more information. Anyone may simply show up for these walks, both of which should end at about 10 a.m.

  

The Birders founder, Rita Grossman, and Steering Committee member Sandy Oxley will lead the Fruitands walk. Birders should park on the right, just inside the museum entrance at 102 Prospect Road, Harvard. For directions, go to www.fruitlands.org/visit.

  

On Sunday, May 19, Birders member Greg Clark will lead the walk in Littleton at 559 Newtown Road. Birders should look for the Conservation Land sign at the bottom of the access road and park on the left, in front of the locked gate entrance to the water tower. For a map and description of the land, search for “Newtown Hill'' at littletonconservationtrust.org.

  

Fruitlands birders will look for migrants and resident species, including Indigo Bunting, Savannah Sparrow, Hermit Thrush Scarlet Tanager, Veery, Blue-headed Vireo, Wild Turkey, American Kestrel, and a variety of warblers.

  

Newtown birders will also look for Rose Breasted Grosbeak, Baltimore Oriole, Wood Duck, Chickadee, and Scarlet Tanager.

  

The Fruitlands walk, offered jointly by Boxborough Birders and the Brookline Bird Club, will cover about two miles on trails through meadows and woods, with some steep and muddy sections. Oxley says, “Prepare for ticks.”

  

The Newtown walk will pass through open fields, wetlands, and hardwood and softwood forests. According to Clark, the 2.5-mile loop trail has a few moderately steep sections.

Pam’s Gardening Tips: It’s Time to Plant Perennials

(10-MAY-24) Now that the ground is ready, you can start planting perennials. The wonderful thing about perennials is that you only need to plant them once and they come back every year, unlike annuals which you have to plant each year. You can move existing plants, or buy new ones at garden club plant sales or garden centers. Here’s how to get started:

  

Before you move or divide plants, decide where they are going to be planted, so you can prepare the site. Then, when you have your plants dug up you will be all ready to plant them right away. Make sure you know what kind of sunlight your plants require so you can site them where they will be happy.

  

Moving existing perennials is fairly easy with a good shovel. I usually find an old plastic garden tray and line it with some newspaper or old cloth so soil won’t leak out. Then, after digging up the plants, I pop my dug-up plants into the tray so that I can carry them to their new home. Other ways include using a wheelbarrow or a box. Make sure not to let the freshly dug up plants dry out!

  

If you are dividing existing plants, you need the right tools. There are many methods - including using two garden forks to pull them apart - but my favorite is to divide the plant using a serrated knife called a hori hori knife. The knife makes cutting through plants and roots really easy. The knife can be found in most garden catalogs, or you can just google “hori hori knife.” If you buy one, do also buy the leather sheath for it since it has a very sharp edge and needs to be kept away from small children.

  

Speaking of dividing, it is time to divide hosta right now. If you wait too long, it will be so much harder.

  

When planting, dig a good-sized hole for your new or divided plants. Add some compost to the soil. You don’t want the plant to be root bound, so be sure to tease the roots from the plant’s root ball. Take the plant out of the pot then set it in the prepared hole. Make sure to place the plant in the hole so that it is set just slightly above surrounding soil, not below. Water well! 

  

Some gardeners add a soil enhancer to the hole like Neptune Fish fertilizer or Espoma Biotone. I have had good results with using fish fertilizer. I make a batch prior to planting by adding a small amount of fertilizer to a bucket of water so that I can pour some in the plant holes. It does smell a little, but not enough to bother me.  

  

Whether you are planting nursery grown plants or divisions, make sure to not to leave any air pockets by tamping the soil around them down well. Water your plants daily for about a week so that they can get established and not dry out. It will take a while, but soon you will admire the results of your labor.

  

If you need plants, a good place to buy them and get free advice are local garden club plant sales. The Boxborough Garden Club Plant Sale is Saturday, May 11 from 9 a.m. to noon. 

Childcare Available for First Night of Boxborough Town Meeting

(3-MAY-24) On May 13, the first night of Boxborough Town Meeting, parents are invited to bring “school-aged children” (defined as ages four and up) with them to Town Meeting at Blanchard Elementary school for a kid-friendly movie night. The movie night will run from 6:30 to 9:30pm in the Blanchard cafeteria.  

The event is sponsored by the Acton-Boxborough Regional School District, and the Acton Boxborough Education Association. Sponsors state that children will be chaperoned by adult volunteers who are school district employees. 

Other activities will also be available in the cafeteria for the children. Food will not be served, but children are welcome to bring a water bottle with them.  RSVP to Betty Ann Vitale by Friday, May 10 at bavitale@hotmail.com.  

Movie Night- Boxborough
Boxborough Garden club flyer (1).pdf

Boxborough Garden Club Plant Sale on May 11

(3-MAY-24) The Boxborough Garden Club Plant Sale will take place on Saturday, May 11 from 9 a.m. until noon in front of the UCC Church, 723 Massachusetts. Avenue, rain or shine. 

This is a great opportunity to get annual and perennial plants, dahlia starts, seedings, and houseplants. It’s also perfect timing for Mother’s Day gifts. In addition to sales, Garden Club members will be happy to offer free gardening advice. Cash or check only. 

The proceeds from the plant sale pay for a scholarship for a graduating AB student, town beautification, and maintaining the Colonial Herb Garden, located at the top of Middle Road. For more information, phone Flo Hanover at 978-263-3250, or email her at fhanover10@gmail.com.

Pickleball in Boxborough 

(3-MAY-24) Boxborough’s new dedicated pickleball courts at the Liberty Fields are open for the season, and organized community pickleball play sessions have been scheduled. 

To participate in an organized session, download the TeamReach application and enter group code 01719PB to sign up for upcoming sessions. 

Boxborough’s Recreation Commission has also partnered with the Marcus Lewis Tennis Center and is offering Spring clinics for both beginners and advanced players. To sign up, go to https://tinyurl.com/BoxboroughPickleBall

Boxborough Memorial Day Parade To Be Held May 27

Boxborough Memorail Day 2024.pdf

(3-MAY-24) Boxborough will, once again, have an annual Memorial Day Parade to honor fallen soldiers. The parade will begin at 8:30 a.m. on Monday, May 27 at the corner of Hill Road and Wetherbee Lane. As participants march, they will pause for reflections at North Cemetery, Town Hall, and South Cemetery. 

All town veterans are invited to join the parade as Grand Marshals by either marching or riding in a car available for veterans. The Boxborough Minutemen will conduct a musket salute at both cemeteries as the names of fallen soldiers are read. 

Parking for the parade is available across from Town Hall on Middle Road and near South Cemetery on Burroughs and Stow Roads. 

The parade steps off at Wetherbee Lane and Hill Road, proceeds on Hill Road to North Cemetery, turns left down Middle Road to Town Hall, proceeds from Town Hall across Rte 111, and continues down Stow Road to South Cemetery.

Ceremonies take place at North Cemetery, Town Hall, and South Cemetery. There is no parking at North Cemetery, so those not in the parade who want to watch North Cemetery ceremonies should park at Town Hall, the church, or on Burroughs Road, east of South Cemetery.

People are welcome to follow the parade or stay in one place to watch. Those who are not official marchers may walk only at the end of the parade; walking along the side of band members and official marching groups obstructs the view for parade attendees and creates safety concerns.

2nd Annual BXB Night .pdf

Boxborough Night at Fenway Park, May 31

(3-MAY-24) The Recreation Commission invites Boxborough families and friends to enjoy reserved bleacher seats together at Fenway Park for the first pitch at 7:10 p.m. Friday, May 31, in a game between the Red Sox and the Detroit Tigers.

May 15 is the deadline for signing up for the $45 seats by going to boxboroughrec.com, creating an account, and then clicking on “Programs” to register for “Boxborough Night at Fenway Park.” 

According to RecCom Chair Matt Spurling, one can also print the ticket order form, fill it out, and bring it to Town Hall with cash or a check. Spurling says that fans should plan to arrive at Fenway Park by around 6 p.m., early enough to have supper in the park before the game. Outside food and drinks are not allowed into the park.

RecCom is looking into the possibility of providing transportation to the game, and for now, fans should plan to carpool or get to the park by public transportation.

The number of tickets is limited, so Spurling suggests getting orders in as soon as possible. For further information, email the RecCom Chair at mspurling@boxborough-ma.gov.

Boxborough News is One Year Old


(26-APR-24) On April 21, 2023, after months of planning and preparation, we published our very first edition of Boxborough News in the Action Unlimited – Boxborough Edition.

Since then, we’ve consistently published news, features, and community announcements almost every Friday, more than 600 stories in total. We’ve also built (and rebuilt) our website, BoxboroughNews.org, and launched (and upgraded) a weekly email newsletter that now reaches almost 450 subscribers. 

And we’ve done it all with volunteers. Boxborough News is a team of about a dozen Boxborough residents dedicated to maintaining an independent, neutral news source for our town.

Our team of volunteers attend town meetings and events, generate story ideas, run down leads, do interviews, write on tight deadlines, copyedit and proofread, take photos, update the website and newsletter, and distribute papers around town – all on a weekly basis.

Over the past year, we’ve learned that publishing weekly is not for the faint of heart; it demands that team members (who also have jobs, kids, and other professional and volunteer commitments) are working, communicating, and pulling together every day of the week … those Fridays just keep coming!

But it’s truly a labor of love. We are driven by the belief that an independent local newspaper is essential to a healthy community and we strive to make Boxborough News a resource that will strengthen and connect us.   

As we begin our second year, we’re beginning to work with other community news organizations in neighboring towns with the goal of sharing resources and collaborating on regional news stories.

We are now on the list of independent hyperlocal news organizations in Massachusetts maintained by Boston Globe journalist Ellen Clegg and Northeastern School of Journalism Professor Dan Kennedy. 

We are thrilled to be part of a growing movement of community news projects across the country, and we can’t wait to see what year two will bring.

And finally, we want to thank Carol Toomey and the Action Unlimited team for giving Boxborough News a hard-copy home and allowing us to reach every residence in Boxborough. Want to join us? Send us a note at boxboroughnews@gmail.com


Abby Reip and Cassie LaRussa

Editors, Boxborough News 

Birders Invited to Walk at Horse Meadows Knoll, May 4

A Pileated Woodpecker might be seen on the May 4 Boxborough Birders walk at Horse Meadows Knoll in Harvard. Sandy Oxley and Rita Grossman will lead the walk. (Photo by Simon Bunyard)

(26-APR-24) Boxborough Birders invite beginner and experienced birders to enjoy a walk in Harvard’s Horse Meadows Knoll beginning at 7 a.m. on Saturday, May 4. Birders’ steering committee members Sandy Oxley and Rita Grossman will lead the walk.


According to the leaders of the walk, at this time of the year birders at Horse Meadows may see Eastern bluebirds, pine warblers, golden-crowned kinglets, pileated woodpeckers, wood ducks, osprey, brown creepers, and various hawks.


Birders should meet at 7 a.m. at the parking area, 45 Sherry Road, in Harvard, to walk for about one mile on a loop trail that takes in the views across Horse Meadows Reservoir and then crosses the knoll, a hill summit, before dropping back to the parking lot. The walk should end at about 8:30 a.m.


The trail is considered moderate, with tree roots to step over, and the knoll at the end of the trail is a bit steep. Oxley suggests that walkers should wear hiking shoes, spray for ticks, and “bring your binoculars, and a scope if you have one.” She adds, “If it’s raining hard that day, we will cancel the walk.”


Grossman says, “If you are not a member of Boxborough Birders, sign up at boxboroughbirders.org. Membership is free. In the future you will receive emails about weather-related changes and emails about upcoming walks.” 


For a description of Horse Meadows Knoll, search for it on the Sudbury Valley Trustees’ website: svtweb.org

Nashobah Praying Indians:  A Living People, A Living Landscape

(26-APR-24) Boxborough (and Littleton) was originally the Praying Indian Village of Nashobah, a place of spirit and vision. On Sunday May 5, the Boxborough Historical Society will present Sagamore Strong Bear Medicine of the Nashobah Praying Indians and local historian Daniel V. Boudillion at the Boxborough Town Hall, 29 Middle Road, starting at 2 p.m. They will discuss the Nashobah people, their spirit, their journey of survival, the village, and the sacred landscape that is all around us. 

Strong Bear Medicine is Sagamore of the Nashobah Praying Indians and the founder of the Friends of the Nashobah Praying Indians. Daniel V. Boudillion is an avid historian and author with a wide knowledge of early Nashobah history and has recently published "History of the Nashobah Praying Indians: Doings, Sufferings, Survival and Triumph".


The event is free and registration is not required.

Acton-Boxborough Cultural Council Presents:  15th Annual ABCC Our World Film Series

 

(22-APR-24) The ABCC Our World Film Series returns for four successive Friday nights in late April/early May. Held live and in-person at Boxborough’s Sargent Memorial Library Meeting Room, all programs will start at 7 p.m. The screenings are free and open to the public. Light refreshments provided. 


Friday, April 26
A Short Night - The 12th annual Our World Short Film Program, presenting a selection of recent short films produced by film students from Massachusetts colleges and universities. The filmmakers are invited to attend and discuss their work with the audience.


Friday, May 3
Italian for Beginners (Denmark, Sweden 2000) - Several lonely hearts in a suburb of Denmark use a beginner's course in Italian as the platform for romance. Oscar Nominee, Best Foreign Language Film; Silver Bear Award, Berlin International Film Festival. "[Director Lone] Scherfig and her wonderful cast slyly transmute the quotidian into the magical. It's like watching flowers bloom in a concrete garden." - David Ansen, Newsweek


Friday May 10
Run Lola Run (Germany 1998) - After a botched money delivery, Lola has 20 minutes to come up with 100,000 Deutschmarks. Winner, Golden Lion, Venice Film Festival; Winner, Top Foreign Film, National Board of Review. "It's a furiously kinetic display of pyrotechnics from the director Tom Tykwer, who fuses lightning-fast visual tricks, tirelessly shifting styles and the arbitrary possibilities of interactive storytelling into the best-case scenario for a cinematic video game." - Janet Maslin, New York Times


Friday May 17
Children of Heaven (Iran 1998) - After a boy loses his sister's shoes, they go on a series of adventures to find them.  Oscar Nominee, Best Foreign Language Film; Winner, Best Foreign Film, Newport International Film Festival. "Haunting in its charm, Children of Heaven opens a window on both contemporary Tehran and the hopeful heart of childhood. This lovely, amusing film deserves a big audience - especially families. It touches on the innocence of children with tremendous affection." - Peter Stack, San Francisco Chronicle


More information on the series, sponsorship opportunities, and prior years’ film selections is available at our website www.abccourworld.org or our Facebook page www.facebook.com/ABCCOurWorld.

Storytelling and Origami at Sargent Memorial Library on April 27 

(26-APR-24) Sargent Memorial Library is excited to invite families with children ages 5 and up to a special event on Saturday, April 27 at 1:30 p.m.

Parents’ Choice Award winning storyteller Motoko will regale the audience with delightful folktales from her native Japan, combined with hands-on origami activities. 

Motoko’s step-by-step instructions make the ancient Japanese art fun and accessible. Children will learn focus, imagination, and precision while creating pieces of art.

This program is funded by the Friends of the Library and by a grant from the Acton-Boxborough Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency. More information at https://boxlib.org/news-events/news/storytelling-with-motoko

Being Well in Boxborough: April 2024 

[This column is written by the Boxborough Well-Being Committee]

(26-APR-24) Message for the Community: Earth Day may be April 22, but residents of Boxborough are working in a wide variety of ways to take care of our environment every day. Want to join in or find out more? 


AB Family network has a cleanup Flerra event for young families on April 28; visit https://bit.ly/4aYrP3E for more info. Want to get your hands in the dirt? Contact the Boxborough Garden club to find out more about their work planting and maintaining gardens around town. 


Want to help maintain our trails? Volunteer with Boxborough Land Stewards by contacting Dave Barnett at davebarnett27@gmail.com or through their Facebook page, facebook.com/BoxLandStewards 

  

Updates from the Community Services Coordinator: Summer is coming quickly, and many families are registering children for camps. Doli Atamian provides up to $300 for each child that qualifies for a scholarship; visit doliatamiancampership.com/ for more information. 


In addition, the Boxborough Emergency Assistance Program (BEAP) provides a one-time grant of $1,000 to qualifying individuals to help pay for summer camps. Visit https://bit.ly/3JoMe63 or contact Wendy Trinks at wtrinks@boxborough-ma.gov or 978-264-1735. 


Featured Resources and Volunteer Opportunities: There are several groups looking for volunteers to help “glean” food for those who can use it. Boston Area Gleaners is located in Acton and can be contacted at https://bit.ly/445UKR0


FreeBee Market begins on May 18 but is always looking for volunteers to help with organization, driving, and planning; contact freebeecommunity@gmail.com. UCC Boxborough sponsors a weekly gleaning crew that brings food from local supermarkets directly to sources in need. To find out more, contact the church at 978-263-7387.


Staying Healthy: Our friends at Nashoba Associated Board of Health remind us that ticks and mosquitoes are out in MA. Learn what Massachusetts is doing to keep you safe - and ways you can protect yourself and your family - from mosquito and tick bites and the illnesses they can cause: www.mass.gov/mosquitoes-and-ticks .

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Boxborough But Were Afraid to Ask

(26-APR-24) Whether you are a Boxborough native, a new resident, or somewhere in between, the Boxborough Annual Report, now online at https://tinyurl.com/2023BoxboroughTownReport, is a great introduction and/or update to how the town operates. 

Every spring, the Town of Boxborough publishes an Annual Report much like companies do. The report summarizes the previous year’s business and statistics, including the town’s population, number of voters, tax rates, and police and emergency communications calls. 

In addition to listing elected representatives at the federal, state, and local level, the report lists all of the appointed town board and committee members. 

All town boards and committees submit summaries of their activities and accomplishments during the past year. Depending on the group, the reports can be quite detailed. 

For example, in 2022, 26 residents owned livestock, and there were 4 calls to the Animal Control Officer regarding turtles. Some of the reports include photos. 

Town office department heads also submit reports. The Town Clerk’s report includes vital statistics and dog licenses. A major part of the 2023 Report is the Annual Town Meeting and Fall Town Meeting warrants and proceedings, including the full meeting minutes, all of the speaker comments, and vote outcomes.

Annual Town Reports are mandated by the State, and a copy of each town’s report is stored in the state library of Massachusetts at the State House. Other copies may be stored at the Boston Public Library and at the offices of the State Representatives and Senators.

Approximately 125 copies are printed each year and will be available at Annual Town Meeting. Sargent Memorial Library and the Town Clerk’s office will also have a few copies available for viewing.

All Town Reports from 2002 to the present can be found online at https://tinyurl.com/TownReports

Meet Boxborough’s Assistant Accountant Carly Manion 

(26-APR-24) Carly Manion has joined the staff of Town Hall as the new Assistant Accountant for Boxborough. With a background in bookkeeping and previous experience in Stoneham’s assessor’s office, Ms. Manion brings a wealth of expertise to her role. 

She says, “I was looking for a position closer to home and with a little more flexibility. This position allows me to work in another facet of government finance, in addition to my experience in assessing.”  

Ms. Manion looks forward to working in a small town, especially the ability to collaborate between departments and the chance to get to know town residents. Already, she’s found her colleagues in Town Hall to be welcoming and helpful and looks forward to getting to know the Boxborough community.  

And Town Hall has another pet lover in its midst! Ms. Manion says that her family has an “overabundance” of animals at home including a dog, cat, three bearded dragons, a leopard gecko, and five goats. Ms. Manion is also a world traveler with dual citizenship with Australia, where two of her three children were born.

Pam’s Gardening Tips: Strategies for Gardening with Injuries

(26-APR-24) Not everyone is garden fit; young or old. Over the years, I have dealt with tennis elbow, trigger thumb, shoulder issues, and a chronic ankle problem. This has made me more careful and strategic in my gardening practices. Perhaps you have a bad knee or back. Here are a few strategies.

Think small; divide your yard up and do a little each day. Make a list and prioritize what needs to be done. Stretch before and after gardening. 

If you have a hand or shoulder issue, be careful how you carry watering cans. Keep them close to your body, not extended out. When watering, turn to face the hose, don’t drag it behind you.

Try to find the best tools to do the job. For example, instead of cutting down ornamental grasses with clippers, which aggravate my shoulder, I use a serrated bread knife. It is far easier!

If you have an ankle problem like I do which makes kneeling an issue, you can try kneeling on your good knee, keeping weight off the bad ankle. Another strategy I have had luck with is sitting on a pad on top of a 5-gallon bucket. 

If you cannot get down on the ground, try a raised garden or pots. If you have shoulder or hand issues, be careful how you carry bags or plastic “tubs” of plant material. Keep them close to your body. For weeding, you can use a scuffle hoe which allows you to weed standing up. 

Are you lucky enough to have a spouse or friend to help you? My husband is the king of compost making and spreads it in the gardens for me. He also digs holes. You might want to reach out on Nextdoor to find a garden helper. I was fortunate to find a high school student who helped us for five years.

Accept your limitations and give up on perfection. I have been trying for years! Consider joining the Boxborough Garden Club; we welcome new members.  We will meet over the summer at the Herb Garden to picnic and share gardening ideas. For more information about our activities, please call Flo Hanover at 978-263-3250, or email her at fhanover10@gmail.com.

FreeBee Market Volunteers Celebrate Season Kick-Off 

(26-APR-24) On April 2, FreeBee founder Heather Fleming held a volunteer appreciation gathering at Dirigible Brewing Company in Littleton. 

Over thirty volunteers, from original founders to brand new participants, came together for a relaxed potluck that included a photo slideshow, a regaling origin story, and celebration of the more than 15,000 pounds of food that have been rescued and shared by FreeBee, Boxborough’s volunteer-driven free food network and market, since the project began in 2021.

  

There was a drawing for some FreeBee “swag” with the “Boxborough with a Bee” honeycomb logo, and recognition of two central FreeBee organizers who were awarded Dirigible Brewery “mug club” certificates.


Volunteers caught up with each other and met new neighbors. Those gathered ranged from “regulars” who spend hours at FreeBee every Saturday throughout the market season, to occasional volunteers, to new neighbors looking to join the team. 


The “why” behind volunteering varies broadly, as well. Some volunteers started on the receiving end and welcome the chance to help give back; others come to help and build connections with their neighbors. A chance to combat food insecurity motivates many, while others love the sustainability behind the mission. 


And membership in the Free Bee family keeps growing! Ashley Miller introduced the group to her puppy, Manchi. “Manchi had a great time meeting everyone and aspires to one day be a core FreeBee volunteer.” 


Volunteers who missed the event added to the celebration with their own favorites about FreeBee on Facebook, at https://www.facebook.com/FreeBeeCommunity


Anne McNeece, regularly found behind the FreeBee produce table, wrote “If I had to pick a favorite, it would be the expression of the faces of people who come for the first time and hear that really everything is free.” 


Adds a volunteer who has watched the market grow over the years, “From the little tent that we had a few years ago…to what it’s become now is inspiring. It is a representation of what it means when one says ‘it takes a village.’ Let’s see what the future holds.”


“We look forward to seeing the rest of our extended network of volunteers (new and returning) and market-goers at our season opener on May 18,” reminds Heather. “And, of course, make sure to find out more by contacting freebeecommunity@gmail.com.”

Blanchard Fifth Grader Wins Singing Competition 

(19-APR-24) Ten year old Blanchard 5th Grade Student, Annabelle Xu, has won 1st Place in the 2024 NATS (National Association of Teachers of Singing) New England Regional Student Auditions, Children’s Musical Theatre Division. 

As one of the top five students for their age category in the Region, she has been invited to progress to the national rounds of the NATS NSA (National Student Auditions). National student auditions, a long and complicated process, will take place between April and July. 

The NATS celebrates the art of singing through a series of competitions and auditions designed to showcase the talented singers, performers and composers who are the rising stars in the profession. Winners are determined by a panel of judges.


The NATS mission is to advance excellence in singing through teaching, performance, scholarship, and research.


The NATS New England Region includes: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, New Hampshire, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Rhode Island, and Vermont. There are 15 regions represented in the national round.


Annabelle’s mother, Hannah Wu, said, “Annabelle has received warm encouragement and best support from Blanchard School and the AB School District! This is very encouraging! We appreciate it greatly!”

New Trails Are Now Open on Sargent Road Conservation Land

(19-APR-24) Trails on the new, 21-acre Sargent Road town conservation land are marked and ready for use. The town’s Land Stewards and the Boxborough Conservation Trust (BCT) laid out and cut the trails in the fall of 2023. A large sign marks the main entrance and parking area on Sargent Road between Littlefield Road and the Sargent Road railroad tracks. 

Two other trail entrances can be found: one on Sargent Road, just before the railroad crossing, and one on Littlefield Road, across from the Fort Pond Brook parking area. 

Yellow markers identify the main trail connecting the three entrances, and blue markers identify a loop further into the property. The new trails measure just under a mile; under consideration is another trail connecting the Sargent Road land to Rolling Meadows.

Plans are underway for a ribbon cutting ceremony, and details will be shared with the public soon. The parcel’s name and trail maps are still being drafted, but already many people and animals are using the trails. A recent visitor spotted an otter jumping over the railroad tracks nearby.  

The town’s Land Stewards will be responsible for some of the maintenance of the property. A long-term maintenance plan needs to be developed to include forestry management and invasive species control, particularly to deal with bittersweet on the land.

Bringing the Sargent Road trails to fruition was a group effort. The Sudbury Valley Trustees own the conservation restriction on the land, while the land is owned by the town and managed jointly by the Conservation Commission and the Agricultural Commission. 

The BCT raised funds, helped get out the vote for Annual Town Meeting, and made a significant financial contribution for the purchase of the land.


In 2022, Town Meeting approved the land purchase for conservation, sustainable forestry, and open space and recreation. Town Clerk Rebecca Harris was the project manager for the Massachusetts $400,000 Local Acquisitions for Natural Diversity (LAND) grant which funded part of the land purchase. Thus began a complicated process to make the purchase which was finalized in December 2022.

Boxborough FreeBee Market Season Opens May 18 

(19-APR-24) The long awaited FreeBee Market, Boxborough’s volunteer-driven free food network and market, will kick off on Saturday, May 18, and continue through the end of October. 

Free food collected from local sources will be shared each Saturday from 10:30 a.m. until noon on the side lawn of the UCC Boxborough church at 30 Middle Road. 

During the season, there will be at least five full FreeBee “Community Markets,” with rescued food as well as other tables of free items (crafts, books), community information tables, and a bouncy house.  


“Food Rescue” market days will be smaller, focusing on sharing extra food collected from local supermarkets and farms. The volunteer team is still planning the calendar, so stay tuned for more details. 


To connect with neighbors as a volunteer or to share an idea, email freebeecommunity@gmail.com. New ideas and people are always welcome. 

Pam’s Gardening Tips: The Joy of Spring Bulbs 

(19-APR-24) Spring bulbs have been giving us a great show to keep us going as we wait for the serious gardening season. 


Crocus, snowdrops, and winter aconite were the early show; now we are reveling in daffodils, and we’re still waiting on grape hyacinths and tulips. Even though tulips are popular, they don’t return reliably. Some people just pull up the tulips after they bloom and buy new ones next year. They treat them like an annual.


Do you want more bulbs? Take a look around your yard. Perhaps you see a place you think would benefit from a clump! Bulbs are a small investment for a beautiful yard.


If you want more bulbs, now is the time to buy them as they are seriously discounted by all the bulb companies. Watch your mailbox for catalogs such as Brecks. 


I place my order now while bulbs are still on my radar. The bulbs arrive in the fall, just when it is time for them to be planted.  If you set out some small flags where you would like to plant the bulbs, you will remember where you want to plant them when fall comes. 


I have gotten some small flags and color-coded them so that I know which bulbs I want to plant where. It is so hard to remember by October! Don’t forget to fertilize the bulbs. They are building up for next year’s bloom. Use bulb food from your local garden center. 


The Boxborough Garden Club will be digging up plants from our gardens soon, as we prepare for our annual Plant Sale which is scheduled for May 11. Please mark your calendars. For more information, call Flo Hanover at 978-263-3250.

Boxborough Minutemen Participate in Patriots’ Day

(19-APR-24) On Monday April 15, the Boxborough Minutemen Company - joined by a small group of spectators - started their day at 5:15 a.m. outside the Boxborough Museum on Middle Road to commemorate the events of the original Patriots’ Day of 1775. 

  

Company members made a short march to Boxborough’s North Cemetery, where the names of the men from Boxborough who joined in the battle on April 19,1775 were read aloud. The list of current Minutemen Company officers was confirmed by a drumhead election, which is an old tradition whereby Minutemen Company members indicate their approval by tapping on the company snare drum. Finally, the company cannon was fired, announcing the company’s readiness to meet the enemy. 

  

The Company then joined the Acton Minutemen, who held their own ceremonies at Acton town center. Both Minutemen groups, some Acton Boy Scouts, and about 25 other marchers then embarked on a six-mile march along the Isaac Davis Trail to the Old North Bridge in Concord.

  

At a short break along the way, Boxborough Minuteman Captain Bob Lucas said “we are delighted to participate in the 249th anniversary of the march to Concord and join the Acton Minutemen on this beautiful morning.”

  

Flooding at the Old North Bridge caused some reenactments to be canceled, but the group was still able to march across the bridge and participate in ceremonies run by the National Park Service and the town of Concord. After the ceremonies, the Boxborough Minutemen joined in a parade that continued into the center of Concord.

Acton Boxborough United Way and Community Volunteers Create a Model English Language Program for Shelters

  

(19-APR-24) Since February 2024, local community volunteers have been teaching English at the Acton Emergency Family Shelter at the Minuteman Inn on Route 2.  These volunteer-driven English classes are now held up as a model for other shelters:  Community Action for Refugee Emergency (CARE) is planning to apply the same method for shelters in multiple hotels in Woburn!

  

The Acton shelter opened at the end of November 2023, all rooms are now occupied. There are 26 families - 88 people from which about 50 are children ages newborn to high school.  46% are Haitian Creole speaking, 27% are Spanish speaking, 27% are local English speaking families. Families will move out when they  find a job (after they get their work permit) and housing, and then new families will move in.

  

Piña Madera, Acton resident and Spanish teacher at the Francis W. Parker Charter School, volunteered to train the volunteer teachers and oversee the English language program.  Acton-Boxborough United way does the coordination for this program, as well as coordinating children’s activities at the Acton shelter and all community donations.  More information on donations needed can be found here, and on volunteering opportunities on myabuw.org - click on “volunteer now” and search by “shelter” .

  

The program aims to meet the needs of a changing and varied population of mostly adult students, and is intentionally flexible in topics and scheduling.  Classes welcome all learners, including children and babies. 

  

Classes are onsite and meet 5 days per week, run by 2 volunteers each time.  Classes are energetic, interactive, and prioritizes useful phrases and repetition of key words over teaching grammar.  Students engage in games, songs, role-playing activities and plenty of movement. If a student misses a day, they will not be left behind, and can comfortably return as soon as they can.  

  

The students are so eager to participate, typically  8-10 adult students and some kids, led by 2 instructors each day.  Volunteers sign up for shifts each week, and stay connected by entering information about each class on an online log used for planning purposes.

  

Topics are adapted to the needs, interest and level of the students, and based on input from the shelter manager and the case workers.   Students help each other (in the beginning also often with translating instructions). There’s so much laughter, connection, dancing  and smiles!  Even the kids happily join whenever they are not in school, bringing even more enthusiasm and joy!  It is so rewarding when we hear from the shelter staff “The students now proudly greet us in English, and try to answer our questions in English whenever they can, even though we do speak their native language!!  It’s amazing to see.”  

  

A second round of training for new volunteer teachers is scheduled for April 28 from 3:30 - 5:30 in West Acton.  Interested in joining the fun? Find more information here.  No previous experience necessary!

Boxborough Recreation Commission Held Second Annual RunBXB Road Race 

(19-APR-24) On April 7, Boxborough Recreation Commission held the second annual RunBXB road race, starting and ending at Steele Farm. More than 80 town residents registered for the race.

The overall winner and fastest male was Chris O’Neil, with a time of 19:35. The fastest female was Anastasia Morrison with a time of 23:31.

The fastest youth (and second place finisher overall) was Davis Lawson, with a time of 21:20. Many participants also walked the race, which made for a family-friendly event. Some folks ran with dogs, with strollers, and with young children in tow. 


Rec Commission Chair Matt Spurling MC’ed the event and said that they were pleased with the turnout despite the cold and cloudy weather. “We hope to do another fundraiser in the future,” said Spurling, in reference to last year’s first annual RunBXB 5K, which raised nearly $8,000 for the Blanchard playground. 


The Rec Commission was joined by members of the Boxborough Police Department, the Girl Scouts, and Boxborough Minutemen Company, all of whom served as event organizers and volunteers handing out water, cheering on runners, and registering people before the race began. 


Local businesses and organizations were invited to join the Recreation Commission’s post-race festivities. Fat Rooster Food truck, a farm-table effort led by Kosta Tranxidis and Katie Awiszus in collaboration with 369 Farm in Littleton, served food to runners and their supporters after the race. 


Boxborough’s Two Friends Chocolate, owned and operated by Lavanya Selvaraj, and Dirigible Brewing Company, another locally owned and operated small business that specializes in experimental microbrews, sold sweet treats and beer. 


Boxborough Historical Society and the Boxborough Minutemen were also present, advertising forthcoming events and inviting residents to volunteer. 


To learn more about these organizations, go to these websites: https://www.farm-359.com, https://www.twofriendschocolates.com, https://dirigiblebrewing.com, https://www.boxboroughhistoricalsociety.org, and https://boxboroughminutemen.org.

Boxborough Birders Plan Bolton Flats Walk on April 27

Birders may see Sandhill Cranes at Bolton Flats on April 27. Liz Markiewicz, leader of the Boxborough Birders walk that morning, says, “Sandhill Cranes are very unusual in the northeast, but these have been hanging out all winter at Bolton Flats and the surrounding area.” (Photo by Scott Dresser) 

(19-APR-24) Boxborough Birder Steering Committee member Liz Markiewicz will lead a morning walk for birders of all levels of experience at Bolton Flats Wildlife Management Area on Saturday, April 27.

Markiewicz says “the Flats have been flooded recently, so I would like anyone interested in the walk to pre-register by emailing me at lizmarkiewicz78@gmail.com.”  

She asks those who pre-register to meet at Sargent Library on April 27 at 7 a.m. to carpool. If Bolton Flats is flooded, the birders will enjoy walking the Hager Land behind the library. The walk should end by 9:30 a.m.

At Bolton Flats, Markiewicz says, “We are hoping to see migrating shorebirds like Yellowlegs and sandpipers, as well as early warblers and other songbirds.”

She describes the Bolton Flats walk as “a level half-mile trail that is uneven in parts. It is usually muddy, so waterproof hiking boots are essential. Much of the time, we’ll be standing and watching over the flats or scanning the hedgerows.”

Bolton Flats WMA is located in Lancaster, Harvard, and Bolton; the 455-acre area surrounds the Nashua River and Still River. For further information about Boxborough Birders, go to boxboroughbirders.org


The Boxborough Minutemen performed their spring highway cleanup of Route 111 on Saturday, April 13.

K-9 Koda Swears In as Boxborough’s Latest Police Recruit


K-9 Koda promises to serve the town of Boxborough. Town Clerk, Becky Harris (right) reads the oath Koda will later sign with a paw print. Chief Szewczyk (left) and Officer Bressi encourage Koda to pay attention.


(12-APR-24) On April 3, two days before her 14-week birthday, Koda pledged to “faithfully perform her duty as a K-9 of the Boxborough Police Department.” She then signed the oath with a paw print and shook the hands of Chief John Szewczyk and her handler and best friend, Officer Max Bressi.

Over 50 people cheered at the ceremony in Town Hall, held on a Wednesday afternoon so many school children could attend. Chief Szewczyk welcomed everyone, calling the festivities a “thanks for the town’s support” in adding Koda to the police department.

Town Clerk Becky Harris presided at the ceremony, telling Koda, “You are hereby notified that you have been appointed to serve…for a life-time term effective immediately.”

After the oath-taking, Koda accepted help from Szewczyk and Bressi to press her paw on an ink pad to sign the official document for Clerk Harris. In return, Harris gave Koda a new Boxborough dog tag – Number 520.

Koda will be trained to track people who are lost in the town’s woods. She will also visit children in school and at Sargent Memorial Library.

Two experienced Black Lab “Comfort Dogs” came to congratulate Koda on her appointment. Bear, from the Middlesex DA’s office came with handler Meghan Kelly, and Franny, from the Harvard Police Department, came with Officer Tim Schaeffer. 

Szewczyk said Officer Bressi had worked diligently for over a year to bring a K-9 to Boxborough. Adding to Szewczyk’s thanks to the town and its administrators, Bressi said, “Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.”

When introducing Koda to the witnesses of her signing in, Bressi said that Koda’s formal training had begun the previous day. He added that Foxbend Labs, Koda’s breeder in Hillsborough, NH, said Koda came from a long line of superb Black Labrador service dogs. 

Bressi explained that after the town voted to pay for the training and support of a K-9, the breeder chose one pup from the latest litter, Koda, as the breeder’s single, annual gift to a small town – Boxborough.

Boxborough Author-Illustrator Jarrett Lerner to Co-Host Festival at Silver Unicorn Bookstore

(12-APR-24) On April 20, Boxborough resident and author-illustrator Jarrett Lerner will co-host the Silver Unicorn Bookstore’s second annual Kids Graphic Novel Festival. The event will take place in and around the West Acton bookstore and will feature presentations and book-signings by graphic novel authors and illustrators. 

Lerner has published nearly 20 books for children, including the “EngiNerds” series of middle grade novels, the “Geeger the Robot” series of early chapter books, the activity books “Give This Book a Title” and “Give This Book a Cover,” “The Hunger Heroes” series of graphic novel chapter books, and the “Nat the Cat” series of early readers.

“For creators, children's literature is the most exciting and rewarding place to be,” says Lerner. “The work of turning kids into lifelong readers and book-lovers is some of the most important there is.”


Jarrett is also the creator of the illustrated novel in verse “A Work in Progress,” which received multiple starred reviews, was a Kids’ Indie Next List pick, and was selected for the 2023 Global Read Aloud. The book also appeared on the New York Public Library’s Best Books of 2023 list, the Chicago Public Library’s Best of the Best 2023 list, and was named an Audible Best Book of 2023.


“I always seek to make my books broadly accessible and enjoyable,” explains Lerner, “while simultaneously focusing on making both content, format, and design choices (along with my team) that will hopefully attract and excite those kids who have yet to fall in love with books and reading. A lot of people call those kids ‘reluctant readers,’ though I think those kids just haven't found the books for them yet. Reaching and engaging them is a passion and mission of mine.”


Lerner, his wife, and their three daughters moved to Boxborough from Boston in the summer of 2022, seeking more space, a yard, and “a smaller community to get more actively involved with.”


Lerner had already been working with the Silver Unicorn Bookstore before he moved to the area and was excited to get involved with the first annual Kids Graphic Novel Festival last year. “I let them know I was ready to do anything I could to help,” he says. “I ended up designing and drawing the fest's logo, and last year I was one of the couple of dozen featured creators who spent the day signing books and doing readings and workshops.”


This year, Lerner will be co-hosting the event along with other local creators Maddie Frost and Mark Hoffman. “I'll spend most of the day camped out on one of the stages, moderating panels and interviewing authors and illustrators. I'll also spend a bit of time at a table signing copies of my books.”


When asked whether any local places have appeared in any of his books yet, Lerner replied, “Not yet, and I tend to rename real-life people or places that inspire things in my work. But I'm sure it's only a matter of time before a ‘Golden Yeti Bookstore’ or an ‘Eastside Creamery’ pops up in something or other I'm working on!”


Learn more about Jarrett Lerner at jarrettlerner.com and learn more about the Kids Graphic Novel Festival at https://bit.ly/3VLHGyg

Acton-Boxborough Bands Receive Medals at Music Festival

(12-APR-24) On Saturday April 6, the Blanchard Memorial School Band, led by Chris Baird and Cesar Garde, and the R. J. Grey Junior High 8th Grade Band, under the direction of Kristen Dye, performed at the Massachusetts Instrumental and Choral Conductors (MICCA) Concert Festival. Each group performed three songs and was evaluated against established guidelines, not against other groups. Awards were given out, with the Gold Medal being the highest award available. The Blanchard Band received a Gold Medal signifying a superior performance. This is the 14th consecutive appearance where they have received gold, with 15 golds from a total of 17 appearances. The Junior High Band received a Silver Medal, signifying an excellent performance. This was the Junior High's first appearance at MICCA. 

  

Because they received a Gold Medal, the Blanchard Band will be performing at MICCA's Gold Medal Showcase Concert this Sunday, April 14, at 1:30 p.m. at the Concert Hall at Groton Hill Music Center, 122 Old Ayer Road, Groton, MA. Eighteen of the Gold Medal bands, orchestras and choirs from the festival will be performing, starting at 10 a.m. and running through 7 p.m. All concerts are free.

  

This year's Blanchard Band is made up of 36 students, 5th and 6th graders, with one 3rd grader. The festival was held at multiple sites in Massachusetts. The Blanchard band performed at King Philip Regional High School in Wrentham, MA. The Junior High Band performed at Hopkinton High School. There were three adjudicators for each group, many of them college band directors. The groups were judged on eight categories, such as dynamics, balance and blend, tone quality, and tempo. They were also judged on the overall choice of music performed. The groups participated in a clinic with one of the judges after their performance, where they received valuable feedback. They also received recorded comments along with their scores. One of the judges commented that the Blanchard Band had a “very mature” sound.

Birders’ Walk at Delaney Wildlife Management Area April 20 

Cedar Waxwings may be seen at Delaney WMA. (Photo by Wayne Klochner) 

(12-APR-24) Rita Grossman, the founder of Boxborough Birders, will lead a morning walk at Delaney Wildlife Management Area in Stow on Saturday, April 20.

Birders of all levels of experience are welcomed to meet at 7:30 a.m. at the Delaney WMA parking area, 316 Harvard Road, Stow. For about two hours, birders will look for early returning migrant warblers that breed or pass through the area; birders may also see waterbirds, Canada Geese, resident species, and wading birds, including Great Blue Herons.


Grossman says birders should wear hiking footwear to walk for over two miles on mostly flat trails, with some short, hilly sections, through both woodlands and grassy areas. 


She adds, “In addition to binoculars, if you have a scope, bring it along for excellent views at the pond created by flood control work.”


For the Massachusetts Audubon description of the birding and wildlife at Delaney WMA, go to bit.ly/4apxCzl. For further information about Boxborough Birders, go to boxboroughbirders.org.

Pam’s Gardening Tips: Spring Clean Up Time 

(12-APR-24) Yes, Mother Nature played a trick on us last week with that storm. Don’t despair! Spring is just around the corner, and although our gardens don’t look good yet, it will soon warm up around here and be glorious. In the meantime, let’s clean up the garden beds!

Rake out the garden beds. Be careful of emerging perennials amid the spring bulbs. I am seeing bleeding heart foliage. A sight for sore eyes!

Establish a compost pile for leaves, plants etc. Keep weeds out of your compost;  easy to do by having two plastic tubs - I use an orange tub for weeds and a green one for plants and leaves. Once beds are cleaned out, it is time to add some compost to enrich your soil. 

Deer browsing? Try Milorganite Slow Release Nitrogen Fertilizer. I throw it like chicken feed on my gardens. Has really helped! Repeat after rain. 

Please try to protect yourself from ticks by wearing long pants, shirts, gloves etc. After working in the garden, I throw my clothes in the dryer for 20 minutes and then take a shower and do a tick check. No one wants a tick borne disease!


If you are new to gardening, or are just getting back into it, consider joining the Boxborough Garden Club. We love to talk about plants and gardens. For more information, call Flo Hanover at 978-263-3250. 

Come see Boxborough’s Treasures Sunday April 14

(12-APR-24) The Boxborough Museum at 575 Middle Road will be open from  2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday April 14. Come see Boxborough’s historic treasures including the 1850’s scale which is sensitive enough to weigh a penny and strong enough to calibrate a 50 pound weight, the “new” hearse built in 1881, and the “old” hearse (come and see how old is old). Admission is free and all are welcome. For more information or if anyone wishes to arrange a private tour for a small group at a different time please call John Fallon at 978-264-0069.

Meet Chris Baird – Band Instructor at Blanchard Elementary School

(5-APR-24) Chris Baird has been the Band Instructor at Blanchard Elementary School since 2006. His job entails conducting and running rehearsals for the Beginning Band, the Advanced Band, the Gold Stage Band, and the Brasswind Ensemble. 


To run the program, he must be at the school four days a week before and after school and one day during school hours. As if this wasn't enough, he occasionally directs brass ensembles at the High School and Jr. High School.


Chris earned his Bachelor of Music degree in trombone performance at the New England Conservatory of Music. He also holds a Master of Music degree in trombone performance from the Yale School of Music. He started playing trombone in fourth grade. 


Asked why he chose trombone, Chris said, “I wanted to play trumpet, but when I turned in the form, they asked if I had a trumpet. I said ‘No,’ but my father’s trombone was in the house. So they put me on trombone.”


Chris has been a member of the trombone section of the Plymouth Philharmonic Orchestra since 2001 when he also founded a brass quintet called Brass Connection which performs in the area. He is also a freelance musician performing with community theater groups and other orchestras. 

He has been a private lesson instructor for many Blanchard students since 1992, teaching trumpet, French horn, trombone, baritone, and tuba.  When he isn't teaching, performing, or playing with his 7-year-old son Dyson, Chris likes hiking, biking, visiting Cape Cod, and attending Boston Symphony Orchestra concerts in Boston and at Tanglewood.


On April 6, the Blanchard Band will be performing at the Massachusetts Instrumental and Choral Conductors Association (MICCA) Concert Festival. In this performance, the group is evaluated against established guidelines and not against other groups. 


Chris chooses to bring the group here every year, and the Blanchard Band has received the highest rating, a Gold Medal, for 14 out of the last 16 years.  Detailed work and extra rehearsal time goes into preparing for this festival, year after year. 


When asked why the competition is so important, he said “There is a clinic after the performance where we get excellent feedback on how to improve the band …. It is a great educational opportunity for the students and for me …. The kids focus more, and they practice more on their own. 


“Additionally, if you earn a Gold Medal you are invited to perform at MICCA's Gold Medal Showcase Concert, which through the years has given us the opportunity to play at Symphony Hall in Boston, Mechanics Hall in Worcester, and The Concert Hall at Groton Hill Music Center. Our goal is always to make great music, and to do that on a world class stage is something very special.”


When asked for a final thought about his work as Band Instructor, Chris said, “I'm very lucky to teach at Blanchard. I love having the opportunity to help our very talented, hard-working students to be the best musicians they can be.”

Vasili Kariolis: A Boxborough Marathoner

(5-APR-24) You may have seen him running along the roads in Boxborough and neighboring towns, running easily along at the speed of light. His name is Vasili Kariolis; he’s 35 years old, and he moved to Stow Road in Boxborough in November of 2019 where he lives with his wife and 4 children. Vasili will run the Boston Marathon for the 8th time on April 15.

  

Vasili grew up in West Hurley, New York, located in the Catskills. He started running when he was in middle school. He found indoor track and then spring track in 7th grade and loved participating in athletics for three seasons. He found running was always enjoyable. 


He thinks that he took to it early because his brother was a runner as were many of his friends. Vasili said, “It was never something I dreaded. I thrived on the competition and always wanted to be able to do better than everyone else. Eventually that transitioned to a personal competition, and now I always want to do better than the last time I raced.” 


Vasili plans on getting out for a run most days, about five days a week on average. He tries to get in a mid-week workout, focused more on shorter intervals and speed, or sometimes hills. 


Some of his favorite routes include running around the Delaney Preserve and looping around Hill and Depot Roads. He wishes that he had fellow Boxborians to run with, but right now, his family life is very full and that is his priority. 

He has run 12 marathons; his best time was 2:28, and his time in last year’s Boston Marathon was 2:32. His favorite was Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth, Minnesota. “It is very rural, up on the top of Lake Superior, typically in the middle of June. That time of year it is still quite cool, making for a great race. The course is flat. 


The event is world class on a smaller scale. A lot of very competitive runners show up and know that it is an event where they can run well.”


As for a tip that he would give other runners, he recommends finding other people to run with. “Having any kind of accountability will keep you honest. Find a good routine and be consistent. Being successful with running is all about the long game. It takes time to build up consistency and understand what kind of training your body responds well to.”


When asked if he followed a special diet to prepare for a race, he answered, “Luckily my wife is as much of a foodie as I am, so we love to cook and typically eat quite well. Our approach is everything in moderation. We probably lean more towards very healthy, but I certainly love some potato chips, beef jerky, and cheesecake every now and again. 


“For a pre-marathon meal, I try not to do anything too abnormal. Just like I train by running, I prepare for runs by fueling consistently with the same foods. Fridays or Saturdays the night before a long run, I try and eat something that I know my stomach and body will handle well the next day. It also ends up being great training for the actual race day. I try not to over think it and keep it simple. The typical pasta and some chicken is always a great choice. A good celebratory meal would have to be a burger and fries, with at least a few beers.” Then he will relax with his family and enjoy at least two solid weeks off from running.


This year, Vasilli is participating in a fundraiser in partnership with Team PHenomenal Hope and Aerovate Therapeutics to raise awareness of a rare and debilitating medical condition known as Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension or PAH. To donate to Vasili’s fundraiser, visit https://bit.ly/4axdrQh

Solar Eclipse Will Be Visible in Boxborough on Monday, April 8

photo credit: NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio

(5-APR-24) Weather permitting, Boxborough residents can expect to see a partial solar eclipse on Monday, April 8. A  solar eclipse happens when the Moon passes between the Sun and Earth, thereby blocking the sun. Many U.S cities are in the path of totality, which means that 100% of the sun is blocked. Massachusetts is not in the path of totality, so viewers will experience a partial solar eclipse.

In our area, the Moon’s shadow will start to cover the sun at 2:15 p.m. The shadow will move across the sun blocking almost 94% at 3:29 p.m. And, at 4:38 p.m., the shadow will have passed, and the sun will be in complete view again. 

NASA’s website outlines important eye safety guidelines to follow during a solar eclipse. During a partial solar eclipse, it is never safe to look directly at the sun without proper eye protection. 

Eclipse glasses or a handheld solar viewer can be used to safely view a partial eclipse. Solar filters attached to the front lens (not the eyepiece) of cameras, telescopes, or binoculars are another safe way to view the partial eclipse.


Eclipse glasses are available at the Boxborough Library but must be reserved. To reserve your pair, visit https://tinyurl.com/reserve-eclipse-glasses


To view NASA’s interactive solar eclipse map, visit https://eclipse-explorer.smce.nasa.gov/. 

Flerra Summer Playground Registration Open on New Rec Website

(5-APR-24) On April 1, the Boxborough Recreation Commission opened camper registration for Flerra Summer Playground (FSP). Campers can be registered through the newly launched Boxborough Recreation MyRec page at https://bit.ly/3Iw7CWQ


FSP is a half-day summer program at Flerra Meadows in Boxborough. FSP will run for four consecutive weeks with four different themes: July 1-3 (Celebrations), July 8-12 (Decades), July 15-19 (Flerra-con 2024), and July 22-26 (Olympics). 


Each week includes “Tie Dye Tuesday,” when campers can create their own tie dye shirt, and “Water Wednesday,” with a water slide for campers.  FSP is open to children that are entering kindergarten through seventh grade. Campers are split into homecamps based on their grade. 

  

The FSP program is run by three directors: Brian Picca (ABRHS special education assistant in his 10th year as FSP director), Laura Spurling (Blanchard Elementary School special education assistant in her 7th year as FSP director), and Anastasia Koulopoulos (RJ Grey Junior High School science teacher in her 4th year as FSP director). 


Questions about Flerra Summer Playground or the camper registration process? Contact FSP directors at flerrasp@gmail.com

Pam’s Gardening Tips: Early Spring Gardening 

(5-APR-24) Although it is barely Spring, there are a few things gardeners can do while we are waiting. Inside, fertilize house plants. Starting in April, I fertilize houseplants monthly with an organic fertilizer. 


Amaryllis bulbs can be saved; don’t throw them out! Cut the flower stalk down to 3-5” above the bulb. Don’t cut the leaves - they produce food which is stored in the bulb. Place them in a sunny window and treat them as a houseplant. Fertilize monthly. When the danger of frost is past, they can go outside, either in the pot or in the ground. Keep watered!


In the fall, it will be time to cut the foliage off just above the bulb and stash them in a paper box in a dark part of the cellar for 8-10 weeks to get them to rebloom. 


I always put the date to bring them back upstairs on my calendar so that I don’t forget it! It's fun and easy - you will be glad you did when you have amaryllis blooming for long periods. You can time them to bloom for the holidays or in the new year by what date you place them in the cellar.


Outside, prune dead leaves off evergreen perennials like gingers and hellebores. Improves their looks! Fertilize trees and shrubs. For a timetable and advice, I consult Epsoma.com. They have a great search engine and are organic. I try to fertilize every spring if time and budget allows. 


Sprinkle some milorgranite fertilizer around emerging bulbs to try to deter deer. They don’t like the smell, but it is barely noticeable to humans.


Some shrubs will benefit from pruning in the spring, but it is very important to know which ones. Go to your local garden center for advice on which shrubs can be pruned and when. Or hire a local arborist, someone who knows about trees and shrubs. 


We are lucky to have our very own garden club where we share tips on gardening and places to buy garden supplies and plants. We know all the hot spots in the area for gardeners! Please call Flo Hanover to get on our email list. She can be reached at 978-263-3250.

Birders Invited to Walks at Fruitlands Museum and on Littleton Conservation Land 

(5-APR-24) Boxborough Birders invite experienced and inexperienced birders of all ages to join groups visiting Fruitland Museum in Harvard on Saturday, April 6, and George and Lucy Yapp Conservation Land in Littleton on Sunday, April 14.


Sandy Oxley will lead the Fruitlands walk which begins at 7 a.m. and ends at 10 am. Birders should meet at the top parking lot at Fruitlands Museum, 102 Prospect Hill Road, Harvard.


Birders going on the Littleton walk should meet at 7 a.m. in the Yapp Conservation Land parking area on Newtown Road, just south of the Shaker Lane intersection. 


The walk’s leader, Greg Clark, says, “We will walk a two-mile loop trail, with a visit to Cobbs Pond. We will be looking for spring migrants as well as year-round, resident birds.” The walk will end at 10 a.m. For further information, including directions and maps, go to the calendar at boxboroughbirders.org.

BC Trust Holds Annual Meeting 

(5-APR-24) At the annual meeting of Boxborough Conservation Trust on March 27, BCTrust board member Becky Harris (left) and BCTrust President Rita Grossman (center) welcomed the evening’s speaker, Skip Lisle, who described his efforts to protect beavers. 

With devices which keep beavers from damming culverts, Lisle hopes to reduce the killing of beavers, save towns the expense of clearing culverts, and encourage beavers to build dams in locations which preserve wetlands and improve the environment. 

Boxborough Minutemen Patriots’ Day Activities 

(5-APR-24) On Monday April 15, the Boxborough Minutemen Company will convene at 5:30 a.m. outside the Boxborough Museum, 575 Middle Road, to commemorate the events of the original Patriots’ Day. 

The Museum is located at the edge of Boxborough’s Old Town Center Historic District where some of the original Minutemen from Boxborough mustered on April 19, 1775.


The list of company officers is confirmed by a drumhead election. This is an old tradition whereby minutemen company members indicate their approval by tapping on the company snare drum. The company cannon is fired to announce that the company is ready to meet the enemy. 


There is a short march to Boxborough North Cemetery for a commemorative musket volley after which the names of men from Boxborough who joined in the battle on April 19, 1775 are read out. 


At 6:20 a.m. the Boxborough Company joins its comrades the Acton Minutemen at Acton town center for a three volley musket salute, after which both Companies embark on the 7 mile march on the Isaac Davis Trail to the North Bridge in Concord (arriving about 8:45 a.m.) for a skirmish against the British redcoats. The Boxborough Minutemen finish the day’s events with a parade through the center of Concord. 


The Boxborough Minutemen Company is open to anyone at least 18 years of age, regardless of gender or town of residence, who is interested in service to the Town and/or perpetuating the memory of the Minutemen of 1775. You do not need to be a marcher or revolutionary war reenactor to join the Company. For information please contact Captain Bob Lucas at captain@boxboroughminutemen.org, or 978-263-1540.

Movie Night at UCC Boxborough

(5-APR-24) On Sunday, April 21, 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m., the UCCB will kick off Earth Week with a viewing of the climate movie, “2040”. This film describes solutions and technologies that are available today, which, if implemented more broadly, would reduce some of the most intractable-seeming problems associated with climate change. 

The focus is on the near future (2040) and how we can make the lives of today’s children safer, cleaner, and more equitable by the time they reach adulthood. The mood is hopeful and positive.  A short follow-up discussion will be led by Boxborough resident Marjorie Kamp, who is passionate about teaching people how they can take steps at home to help mitigate climate change. 


Marjorie offers a four-session book club based on the 2040 book; several members of UCCB, as well as residents of Boxborough and neighboring towns, have attended the book club sessions in the past and found them inspiring and action-oriented. 


And it’s a movie, so of course popcorn and beverages will be served! Questions? Contact glynis.hamel@gmail.com.

Pam’s Gardening Tips: Getting Ready to Garden 

[Written by guest columnist and gardener Pam Collins]


(29-MAR-24) Every spring can feel like a marathon. We are all eager to get out in the garden, but, remember, gardening is hard work. So, how can garden injuries be minimized? Try to pace yourself. 


If you can: squat, sit or work on your hands and knees – it will help your back. Use a kneeling pad or kneeler bench. Vary the chores - weeding, digging, raking, planting, hauling. Mix it up and move around between tasks. Take time to stretch!


Wear gloves, long sleeves and pants to protect your skin and lessen your chance to attract ticks (more on that in another column). If all else fails, I set a timer so that I don’t find myself out there at 7:00 p.m. with no dinner in sight or mind – easy to do with longer days and when you are in your garden having fun.


For more gardening tips, consider joining the Boxborough Garden Club. We always welcome new members. For more information, call Flo Hanover at 978-263-3250. 

Boxborough Library Spring Used Book Sale: April 5, 6, and 7 

(29-MAR-24) Due to popular demand, the Friends of the Boxborough Library used book sale will continue as a three-day event.  The weekend will start with a Preview Sale for members on Friday, April 5 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Memberships will be available at the door. 

The main public sale will take place on Saturday, April 6 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The “Everything Must Go” sale will be held on Sunday April 7 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.  Standard size bags will be provided; pay $3 to fill each bag however you like.

The sale will take place in the meeting room of the Sargent Memorial Library, 427 Massachusetts Avenue. Proceeds from the sale of books will go toward additional library programs and museum passes.

Support this sale by donating gently used hard covers, paperbacks, and audiovisual items, and by attending this sale. Books will be accepted from Monday April 1 through Thursday April 4 at the library during regular library hours. No VCR tapes, magazines, or any material in really poor condition will be accepted. 

Being Well in Boxborough: March 2024 

[This column is written by the Boxborough Well-Being Committee]

(29-MAR-24) Message for the Community: 

As Women’s History month comes to a close, let’s not forget that Boxborough has had its own share of women making history. 


In 1972 you only had to look down pot-holed Route 111 to see the late Jeanne Kangas, always a woman to make history happen, as she led 40 other women in a “dig-in” behind a caution sign reading “Women at Work”. They patched up the road themselves after the state refused to repair it and made local, state and national news in the process. 

  

Updates from the Community Services Coordinator

Since January 2024, Community Services has granted 11 Boxborough Emergency Assistance (BEAP) grants for a total of $10,700, most of which targeted rent, utilities and medical bills. 


In addition, the Boxborough Rental Assistance Program (BRAP) helped four families move off the program, allowing four new families access to those slots. The BRAP program is essential to assisting residents to afford ever-rising rent costs. The Community Services Coordinator also works very closely with the police on a weekly basis, getting referrals and helping residents in need. 


Featured Resources and Volunteer Opportunities

Looking for a simple way to help your neighbors in need? The new Community Services Gift Account has just been set up to accept monetary contributions from residents and businesses. 


The CSC Coordinator will use the account to provide gift cards to needy residents for anything from gas to grocery stores.  If you would like to donate, please contact Wendy Trinks at 978-264-1735 or wtrinks@boxborough-ma.gov.


Staying Healthy: Spring is here! 

Did you know that Boxborough has 30 miles of conservation land trails. A booklet of trail maps is available at bit.ly/4aou6oE. Hike them all and earn a patch or button from the Boxborough Conservation Trust. More info on BCTrust https://bctrust.org/

Community Solar Forum at CBE on April 7, 2024 

(29-MAR-24) Please join the Congregation Beth Elohim community to celebrate The Department of Energy Sunny Award for Equitable Community Solar and learn more about how Community Solar helps us meet the State’s ambitious climate goals. 

Speakers include State Senator Jamie Eldridge, Barry Nyer from the Congregation Beth Elohim Solar Team, and Sean Howe, Sunwealth Investors. After the breakfast forum, Bob Clarke, from 621 Energy will lead a tour. 


This forum is co-sponsored by Congregation Beth Elohim, an independent egalitarian community synagogue in Acton, MA and partially funded and co-sponsored by the CBE Brotherhood. 


For more information and to register, please visit the CBE website at: https://www.bethelohim.org/event/breakfast-solar-forum. 


Forum begins at 9:30 a.m. (breakfast starts at 9) at Congregation Beth Elohim, 133 Prospect Street, Acton, MA 01720. The fee for the breakfast is $10. There is no fee if you are a member of the CBE Brotherhood.

Obituary: Frederick A. Dushin

(29-MAR-24)  Frederick Arthur Dushin, age 60, of Boxborough, MA, passed away peacefully on March 20, 2024, surrounded by his loving family.

  

Fred was born in Cold Spring, NY, on February 12, 1964. He was the fourth of five children born to Leona Hauff Dushin and Frank Edward Dushin, who raised their free-range brood on a horse farm in nearby Garrison, instilling in each of them a love of nature, adventure, and a willingness to engage in hard work.

  

Fred attended high school at James I. O’Neill in Highland Falls, NY, and Northfield Mount Hermon in Northfield, MA. He later received a B.A. in Philosophy from Reed College in Portland, OR, and an M.S. in Philosophy and an M.S. in Computer Science from Syracuse University, where he met his future wife.

Throughout his professional career, Fred worked as a software developer/architect for several companies in the greater Boston area and around the world, focused primarily on security and distributed applications. He served as a Board Member for the Boxborough Conservation Trust for ten years; and numerous years as a soccer coach and President for Acton Boxborough Youth Soccer.

  

In his youth, when he wasn’t enjoying the company of good friends, Fred worked alongside his respected architect father, helping to draft and design contemporary homes and buildings throughout the Hudson Valley. While he did not pursue architecture as a profession, he employed his talents designing an expansive renovation of his family’s home in Boxborough, which he found deeply rewarding. Fred enjoyed any time on the soccer pitch - playing, coaching, and watching his son play. He was an avid outdoorsman, enjoying hiking, camping, fly-fishing, canoeing, kayaking, sailing, snow shoeing, and cross-country skiing. Fred was also a consummate tinkerer in both vintage and modern day inventions. He found solace both wrenching on his vintage Land Rover in his garage and devising - from scratch - the microcircuitry hardware and the software necessary to construct and control miniature electronic devices in his upstairs workshop.

  

Fred is survived by his loving wife of 24 years, Marguerite (Margot) and their son Alexander, both of Boxborough, MA; his siblings Christine (Kukel) of Hillsborough, NJ, Karl of Garrison, NY, Russell of Old Lyme, CT, and Margaret (Megan) of St. Paul, MN; his paternal Aunt Dorothy of Pleasantville, NY; in-laws, nieces, nephews, cousins, and many friends and colleagues. He made all of their lives richer and brought them much joy with his kind spirit, gentle demeanor, generosity, intelligence, and his keen wit and refined sense of humor.

  

There will be a Celebration of Life with family in the spring. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to Acton Boxborough Youth Soccer or Boxborough Conservation Trust.

Koda, Boxborough’s new K-9, is still a pup, but she is quickly making friends with her handler, Officer Max Bressi.


Public Invited to Boxborough K-9’s Swearing-In Ceremony 

(22-MAR-24) The Boxborough Police Department is inviting everyone to the swearing-in ceremony for the Police Department’s newest member, a K-9 named Koda, a three-month-old female black lab. The celebration will begin at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 3, in the Grange at Town Hall. Refreshments will be served for both Koda and people attending.

  

Chief John Szewczyk says, “We picked that day because Blanchard students are free in the afternoon; we hope many of them will come to meet Koda. We want it to be a ‘feel good’ day, a ‘thank you’ to the community for helping our department.”

  

Koda’s handler, Officer Max Bressi, explains that with training Koda will become a scent detection K-9, capable of tracking children or adults who may become lost in Boxborough’s woods. Bressi says Koda will soon become a friend of children in Blanchard School and at Sargent Memorial Library. The Chief adds that Koda will be happy to meet people on April 3.

Watercolor Exhibit by Peter F. Shaw Opens April 1 at Sargent Library

(22-MAR-24) Beginning Monday, April 1, the watercolors of Peter F. Shaw can be seen in the meeting room at Sargent Memorial Library, 427 Mass. Ave., Boxborough, during library hours, Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

  

A member of the New England Watercolor Society and The American Watercolor society, Shaw describes his art by writing, “I admire artists who paint in a free and decisive manner, either painting ‘alla prima,’ at one go, or creating the appearance of doing so.”

  

He explains that he likes “the energy that this style expresses, although I have learned that the appearance of spontaneity is achieved only with a clear plan, good design, and a lot of forethought. Not to mention good drawing!”

  

The artist says that in high school he “loved oil painting,” and he “enjoyed painting trains,” trying to capture “the sound, the speed, the motion.” After graduation, his attention turned to college, travel, work in Africa, and over 40 years “in the demanding and fascinating world of medicine.”

  

In 2011, Shaw’s goal was “to get back to painting …. I took several years of drawing cases before venturing into pastels. And from there to watercolors.”

  

In a recent interview, Shaw said, “I do have great fondness for the woods and countryside of rural New England, and much of my work reflects that. I’d like to move toward painting nature in the open air at one sitting. This is a tricky and challenging task, but I know that my painting will become more immediate and lively.”

  

Overlapping the dates of his exhibit in Boxborough, Shaw is also showing his watercolors at All Saints Parish Church in Brookline, from March 10 through April 27.

Registration Open for Second Annual RunBXB 5K Race, April 7

(22-MAR-24) The Boxborough Recreation Commission has opened registration for the second annual RunBXB road race, a 3.2-mile course for all ages, starting and ending at Steele Farm, 484 Middle Road in Boxborough, on Sunday, April 7. Check-in starts at 10:15 a.m., and the race will begin at 11 a.m. 

  

The registration fee is $25. Participants must register and pay prior to the event. The registration form is available at https://bit.ly/3IEaBwq

  

Vendors Dirigible Brewing Co., Fat Rooster Food Truck, and Two Friends Chocolates will sell food and drink to runners and their fans. 

Is it Time to Garden Yet?

[Written by guest columnist and gardener Pam Collins]


(22-MAR-24) We have all reached the point in the year when gardening sounds really appealing. However, it is still early and even April can send us some surprising weather. Don’t forget we can get a frost up until Memorial Day.

  

So, what can we do now? It’s time to find your tools and make sure they are clean. Locate your hoses. Do cut down ornamental grasses and old sedum stems.  And start pulling weeds before they set seed.

  

Delay cleanup of your garden beds until it is consistently about 50 degrees, to give insects in your garden a chance to wake up and emerge; then you can put compost on your gardens.

  

It is too early to plant annuals with the exception of pansies. Even with pansies, be prepared to cover them with a sheet if a cold night comes along. They will survive a frost, but their leaves may get blackened and not look as pretty as usual for the rest of the season.

  

While waiting for reliable weather, start thinking of what you want to grow. Will you plant in the ground, in a pot, or in a raised bed?

  

Once April is in full swing, our “To Do” lists will be overwhelming. Right now, we are in a Zone 6A “False Spring.”

Boxborough Library Accepting Donations For Spring Used Book Sale

(22-MAR-24) Due to popular demand, the Friends of the Boxborough Library used book sale will continue as a three day event.

  

Please support this sale by donating your gently used hard covers, paperbacks, and audiovisual items and by attending the sale. Books will be accepted from Monday, April 1 through Thursday, April 4 at the library during regular library hours.We cannot accept VCR tapes, magazines, or any material in poor condition.

 

The weekend will start with a Preview Sale for members on Friday, April 5 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Memberships will be available at the door. The main public sale will take place on Saturday, April 6 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The “Everything Must Go” sale will be held on Sunday, April 7 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Standard size bags will be provided; pay $3 to fill each bag however you like.

  

The sale will take place in the meeting room of the Sargent Memorial Library, 427 Massachusetts Avenue. Proceeds from the sale of books will go toward additional library programs and museum passes.

Boxborough Birders Welcome Spring on March 25

(22-MAR-24) As they celebrate their twentieth year as “an enthusiastic group of bird watchers,” Boxborough Birders welcome spring with a “Woodcock Walk” at Boxborough’s Rolling Meadows on Monday, March 25 from 6:45-8 p.m. The rain date is March 26, at the same time and place.

  

Woodcocks are ground-dwelling birds whose spring courtship ritual includes dazzling flight displays at dusk.

  

The walk’s leader, Al Sgroi, welcomes everyone to join by meeting at the parking lot on Littlefield Road, opposite the entrance to Rolling Meadows. He tells participants to dress warmly and to bring binoculars, a flashlight, and a folding chair.

  

Early April bird walks are scheduled for Fruitlands Museum in Harvard on April 6 and George and Lucy Yapp Conservation Land in Littleton on April 14. Both are three-hour walks beginning at 7 a.m. For details, go to boxboroughbirders.org

  

The birders’ website also includes their complete calendar for this spring and early summer, and information about local birding spots, “Birding Ethics,” and the history of the organization which includes members from Acton, Harvard, Littleton, and Stow as well as other towns in the region. Beginning birders of all ages are welcomed, with no charge for dues.

  

Rita Grossman organized Boxborough Birders in 2004, with an emphasis on “spring and fall migration” and “identifying local species.”  

  

She says that at a meeting of the town’s Conservation Commission, Boxborough resident Norm Hanover encouraged her to begin the group, to “share her passion for birds.”

Boxborough Dancer to End Commonwealth Ballet Company Tenure as “Wolf”

(15-MAR-24) On March 23 and 24, Boxborough resident and ABRHS senior Snejanna Ostrerov will take the stage with Commonwealth Ballet Company (CBC) for the last time in “Peter and the Wolf,” after seven years of performing with CBC and twelve years of study at the Acton School of Ballet in West Acton.

 “Snejanna embodies everything it takes to be a dancer -- grace, poise, confidence, and artistry,” says Lindsay Moncrieff, owner and Artistic Director of the Acton School of Ballet and also a Boxborough resident. “She is a leader among her peers and the entire community, and I am so proud of everything she has done.”

Ostrerov started dancing at a studio in Gardner, MA when she was five years old. In 2012, she transferred to the Acton School of Ballet in West Acton. In 2017, she started performing with the Commonwealth Ballet Company (CBC). 

CBC has produced more than 65 dance programs in Boston and the MetroWest region since it was founded in 1992. It recognizes Acton School of Ballet as its “official school.” Ostrerov has performed in every annual CBC Nutcracker since 2017, as well as Beauty and the Beast, The Secret Garden, The Enchanted Toyshop, and most recently Elevate.


“This is going to sound very cliche, but CBC is like family to me,” says Ostrerov. “I grew up surrounded by the other members, having known most of them since before I could spell my own name. Our community is very supportive and each dancer feels like they belong within the first few months of joining.”


CBC’s Artistic Director, Melenie Diarbekirian, was also Ostrerov’s first teacher at Acton School of Ballet. “She's such a wonderful teacher and mentor, and I wholeheartedly believe that she is the reason I dance the way I do.” Ballet is “full-body acting that goes beyond simple gestures,” says Ostrerov. 


“I enjoy being able to play a character. Ballet is expressive in a way that traditional plays can't be. We can't use our words to describe our characters or what they are feeling so we have to put that emotion into every step and facial expression.” Her ballet classes take up more than nine hours each week, plus performance rehearsals that can range from two to seven hours.


Ostrerov describes her last role with CBC as a “challenge.” “While many ballets have nonhuman characters, ‘Peter and the Wolf’ is much more animalistic than is typical. It was definitely a challenge to understand and embody the character, but with time it started to become easier.”


I'm very proud of what I've achieved in my time with [CBC],” says Ostrerov. “My experience here has helped me grow both as a person and a dancer, and I hope that future members will feel just as at home here as I did.”  


Commonwealth Ballet Company will perform a one-act telling of “Peter and the Wolf'' at Maynard High School on March 23 and 24. The show proceeds with “Continuum,” described as “a series of works, new and revisited, classical and contemporary, presenting an exciting progression of movement ideas.” Tickets available at www.commonwealthballet.org

New at Town Hall: Meet Ami Scheen 

(15-MAR-24) Ami Scheen has joined the staff of Boxborough Town Hall as the Human Services Department Assistant. She supports the Council on Aging, the Community Services Department, and the Recreation Commission. 


Says Scheen, “I was looking for a change and was offered the opportunity to join the team of the Town of Boxborough. I love the diversity of all the opportunities as well as being able to help to the best of my abilities.” 


Scheen was born in the United States but grew up in Europe. She came back in her twenties to settle in Massachusetts and is bilingual in French and English. She has a daughter now in college. Scheen is a huge dog lover and was happy to greet another new member of the Boxborough team, Boxborough Police dog Koda.

ABRSD School Committee Holding Office Hours at Sargent Memorial Library 

(15-MAR-24) The ABRSD School Committee invites the public to join them for office hours at the Sargent Memorial Library on Thursdays 2:30-3:30 p.m. (except March 21) through April 25. 

School Committee members will be available to discuss the FY2025 budget, hear feedback, and answer questions. 

  

The School Committee is also holding office hours at Acton Town Hall Room 126 on Fridays from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m through April 26. 


Visit the FY25 Budget webpage for more information about the school budget. 

The Boxborough Minutemen Company Wants You!

(15-MAR-24) The Boxborough Company of Minutemen will hold a Company meeting on Sunday March 17 at the Boxborough Community Center at 30 Middle Road starting at 8 p.m. For information please contact Captain Bob Lucas at captain@boxboroughminutemen.org, or 978-263-1540.


The Boxborough Minutemen Company is open to anyone of least 18 years of age, regardless of gender or town of residence, who is interested in service to the Town and/or perpetuating the memory of the Minutemen of 1775.  You do not need to be a marcher or revolutionary war reenactor to join the Company.


Our members may participate in any number of the Company's activities including marching in parades, organizing the annual Fifer's Day town festival, performing seasonal clean-ups on Route 111, sponsoring the Boy and Cub Scouts, providing volunteers to town organizations, and participating in our various social functions. 


The Company also provides financial support to a variety of service organizations and sponsors a number of annual scholarships to Boxborough students who are continuing their education after high school.


All are welcome to come and make new connections with others. For more information visit www.boxboroughminutemen.org. 

Boxborough Minutemen Make Annual Donation to Acton Food Pantry 

(15-MAR-24) Bob Lucas, Captain of the Boxborough Company of Minutemen, presents the company’s annual donation to Donna Bottari and Kim McOsker of the Acton Food Pantry in recognition of the outstanding work the Pantry does in helping to feed community members in need. 

Town Hiring for Flerra Summer Playground 

(15-MAR-24) The Boxborough Recreation Commission is now accepting applications for Flerra Summer Playground positions. There are several different positions available: volunteer, counselor-in-training, counselor, and lead counselor.


Volunteers: Anyone who has finished 7th grade or higher may volunteer. This is an unpaid position. Time commitment requirements vary depending on grade level.


Counselors-in-training: Anyone who has finished 9th grade and is entering 10th grade may apply. This is a paid position, and applicants must commit to all four weeks at Flerra.


Counselors: Anyone who has finished 10th grade or higher may apply. This is a paid position, and applicants must commit to all four weeks at Flerra. Flerra experience as a volunteer or counselor-in-training is preferred.


Lead Counselors: Anyone who has been a counselor previously and has finished 11th grade or higher may apply. This is a paid position, and applicants must commit to all four weeks at Flerra.


Applications are available on the Boxborough Recreation MyRec page, https://bit.ly/3Iw7CWQ. For questions, contact the directors at flerrasp@gmail.com


Camper registration is expected to open in April.

Repair & Renew Sewing Workshops 

(15-MAR-24) The Sargent Memorial Library and Acton Memorial Library are announcing a collaboration between the two libraries. Repair & Renew Sewing Workshops led by Deepika Prakash will cover a variety of sewing topics and will be held monthly at alternating libraries. 

Deepika founded PatternReview.com, a thriving online sewing community of over half a million members, 20 years ago. Come learn from an expert, socialize with community members, and bring new life to old clothes. Some knowledge of sewing machines may be required but is not always necessary. Registration will be required and workshops will be limited to 10 people in order for everyone to learn effectively.


The first workshop will be Tuesday, April 9, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Sargent Memorial Library, 427 Massachusetts Avenue in Boxborough, and participants will learn how to hem pants or jeans. This is a useful skill for altering pants which are too long or fixing hems when the hem has come undone. Registration will open on Wednesday, March 13 at 10 a.m. on the Boxborough library's event calendar, https://boxlib.org/news-events/events.


The second session will be held at Acton Memorial Library on Thursday, May 23, and registration will open April 22 at 10 a.m. More details will be available soon. Be sure to keep an eye out for more announcements through both library websites, boxlib.org and actonmemoriallibrary.org, and by following our social media channels on Facebook and Instagram.

Annual Meeting 2024 flyer.pdf

Boxborough Conservation Trust Meeting Focuses on Beavers and Flooding

(15-MAR-24) Boxborough Conservation Trust (BCTrust) invites the public to their Annual Meeting, at 7p.m. Wednesday, March 27, at Sargent Memorial Library, 427 Mass Ave. The keynote speaker, Skip Lisle, President and Founder of Beaver Deceivers, LLC, will discuss “Beaver Management in the 21st Century: A New Ecological and Economic Paradigm.”

   

Are you concerned about flooding in Boxborough? Have you heard that beavers are partially to blame? Come learn about long-lasting, non-lethal, cost-effective solutions to living with beavers, especially as climate change brings more intense storms. Skip Lisle is a life-long beaver researcher who has invented numerous devices designed to allow water to flow through culverts, maintaining the important ecosystem services of wetlands, all while reducing beaver-human conflict and flooding.

  

The event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.

Learn About “The Pollinator Garden” March 26 

(15-MAR-24) The public is invited to learn about garden pollinators at a virtual event at 7 p.m., Tuesday, March 26, sponsored by Boxborough’s Sargent Memorial Library. Kate Donoval, Owner-Consultant of Blackstone Valley Veggie Gardens, will explain how bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, and other pollinators are “the lifeblood for good production.”

Those planning to attend should register on Zoom by going to https://bit.ly/42XUN0C. The mission of the Blackstone Valley Veggie Gardens is to inspire others to grow their own fresh produce. They deliver residential and community based training, consulting, and assistance in vegetable garden development. 

They are dedicated to the belief that most people should have the knowledge and opportunity to grow wholesome fruits and veggies in containers, raised beds, or in-ground gardens. This program is sponsored by Whitcomb House Trust.


Commonwealth Ballet Company Presents “Peter and the Wolf” March 23 & 24

(8-MAR-24) Join Commonwealth Ballet Company at Maynard High School on March 23 and 24 for a diverse program that features a one-act telling of the beloved story “Peter and the Wolf”.  It is a symphonic tale about a brave boy and his friends the Duck, the Bird and the Cat, who take on a fierce wolf, with original choreography by Artistic Director Melenie Diarbekirian and Boston-based artist Julianna Utz. The show continues with “Continuum,” a series of works, new and revisited, classical and contemporary, presenting an exciting progression of movement ideas. Get your tickets now for this innovative program at www.commonwealthballet.org or call 978-263-7794. 


UCCB Presents Fundraising Concert with Fred Small


(8-MAR-24) Join United Church of Christ Boxborough for a Fundraising Concert with Fred Small on Saturday, April 27 at 7 p.m. Enjoy inspiring music while supporting the Indigenous Environmental Network and Friends of the Boxborough Library.  Doors open at 6:30. Tickets are $25 at the door. For online tickets and more information please see https://bit.ly/3IlHSw1



Boxborough Library Knitting and Crafting Group 

(1-MAR-24) If you were to stop in at the Sargent Memorial Library in Boxborough any Wednesday afternoon between 2 and 4 p.m., you would find, and possibly hear, a group of happy and industrious crafts people in the Local History Room busy knitting, crocheting, mending, and embroidering for themselves as well as for a variety of local and area charities. 

  

A lot of their work has been donated to the United Church of Christ Boxborough’s Merrie Christmas Fair, and many, many blankets and hats have been donated to Mass General Hospital’s Maternity and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Prayer shawls are turned out by the dozen!

  

The group exchanges stories and town news as they work their way through two hours of crafting and enjoying each other’s company. This group was started about ten years ago by Maureen Strapko (library director at the time) and Boxborough resident Anne McNeece. All are welcome to join; they love welcoming new members and promise you’ll have a wonderful time! For more information, contact Anne McNeece at Annemcn@comcast.net

Open Door Theater Presents “The Wizard of Oz” March 15-24

  

(1-MAR-24) Follow the yellow brick road over the rainbow with Open Door Theater presenting “The Wizard of Oz” at The Dragonfly Theater, R.J. Grey Jr. HS in Acton, March 15-24, 2024 at www.opendoortheater.org

  

The timeless tale, in which young Dorothy Gale travels from Kansas over the rainbow to the magical Land of Oz, makes friends, has adventures, feels heartbreak, and realizes that she has the power to create her own future. The story continues to thrill audiences worldwide. And Open Door Theatre will present “The Wizard of Oz”  in the inclusive and authentic way that makes Open Door Theater a home for so many. There’s no place like Open Door Theater!

  

All performances are relaxed/sensory friendly and feature ASL interpretation and open captioning. There will be audio-described performances on the second weekend. Tickets are $15. Discounted tickets for EBT, WIC and ConnectorCare Cardholders. Over its 44-year history, Open Door has provided accessible, enjoyable live theater opportunities for all, including underserved audiences and participants.

 

Performances: 


With special thanks to Open Door’s funders: Sponsored in part by the AB United Way, Astra Foundation, Massachusetts Arc, Mass Cultural Council, and the Local Cultural Councils of Acton-Boxborough, Carlisle, Concord, Harvard, Littleton, Sudbury, and Westford.


Tickets are on sale now. Please visit the Accessibility page  for more information on accessibility and special performances.

Boxborough Author Will Give Readings in Acton, Harvard

(1-MAR-24) Boxborough resident Francie Nolde will read and share photographs from her book “She Looked to the Sky” at 2 p.m. Saturday, March 9, at Acton Memorial Library, 486 Main Street, and at 4 p.m. Sunday, April 21, in Harvard at Fivesparks Community Arts Collaborative, 7 Fairbank Street.

  

In her book, Nolde tells the true story of her mother, a glamorous Broadway actress who became a pioneer pilot during WWII, a Civil Air Patrol commander, winner of the trans-continental Powder Puff Derby air race, and the architect of America’s plan for civil aviation should the Cold War become hot.

  

Nolde describes growing up in the ’40s and ’50s with a mother who challenged male dominance in aviation while struggling to fit the traditional women’s role as a homemaker.

 

Nolde has shared her book with the Aero Club of New England at Hanscom Field, and with visitors at the Aviation Museum in Manchester, NH. She has also read for neighbors at Boxborough’s Library and at libraries and bookstores in Stow, Westborough, and Worcester.

Come see Boxborough’s Treasures on Sunday, March 10

(1-MAR-24) The Boxborough Museum at 575 Middle Road will be open from 2 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, March 10. Come see Boxborough’s historic treasures including the 1850’s scale which is sensitive enough to weigh a penny and strong enough to calibrate a 50 pound weight, the “new” hearse built in 1881, and the “old” hearse (come and see how old is old). Admission is free and all are welcome. For more information, or to arrange a private tour for a small group at a different time, please call John Fallon at 978-264-0069.

Danny’s Place to Host Parent Workshop on Resilience February 29th 




(23-FEB-24) Join Danny’s Place for “Resiliency Tips to Stress Less and Be More,” a parent-focused workshop presented by Dr. April Hirschberg, on Thursday, February 29th, at 7 pm. 

In this free one-hour event, participants will learn about the science behind stress, discover how the relaxation response can promote well-being and resilience, and learn how to incorporate effective lifestyle behaviors and adaptive coping strategies.


Dr. Hirschberg is a board-certified Psychiatrist with MGH and an Instructor with Harvard Medical School, and she has completed Stress Management and Resiliency Training (SMART) Certification with the MGH Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine. Since 2018, she has been leading stress management and resiliency programs for individuals with cancer at MGH.  


Dr. Hirschberg is also board-certified in Lifestyle Medicine through the American College of Lifestyle Medicine and is a certified Health and Well-being Coach by the Wellcoaches School of Coaching. 


This event is brought to the community by Danny’s Place as part of its Parent Info Night series and in partnership with MindBodySpace LLC.  There is no cost to attend, but space is limited. For more information and to RSVP, please visit dannys-place.org/parents.

Meet the Flerra Summer Playground Directors

(23-FEB-24) The Flerra Summer Playground Directors are hard at work planning for the next season of Flerra Summer Playground, which will run for four one-week sessions through the month of July. Boxborough News reached out to the Directors to learn a little more about them and their favorite things about Flerra. 


Lead Director Brian Picca was born and raised in Boxborough with his mother, father and two brothers, and has plans to raise his own family here one day. Brian has spent the last 20+ years at Flerra Summer Playground where he has worked his way up the ranks from camper to Lead Director. Brian works at ABRHS in the Special Education department where he also coaches the Boys JV Lacrosse team and Esports team, and advises multiple clubs. 


Brian credits his growth at Flerra Summer Playground to his career choice in education. Brian also volunteers on multiple town boards and committees as a member of both the Historical Commission and Clerk of the Design Review Board. When Brian is not working, he enjoys golfing, making music and hanging with his cat, Dale.


Over his many years he has witnessed some of Flerra’s most legendary moments: the mudslides; the Flerra wedding; the hot dog eating contest; the week at Blanchard; the COVID summer with three counselors and five campers. The thing Brian loves most about Flerra is the sense of community it brings and the lifelong memories it provides for the kids and the families of Boxborough. Everyone has a Flerra Summer Playground story.


Director Anastasia Koulopoulos was raised in Pepperell, MA and currently lives in Leominster, MA with her fiancé. When not working at Flerra, Anastasia teaches science at RJ Grey Junior High School. This is her 4th summer at Flerra. Her favorite part of working at Flerra is seeing all of the activities that the directors plan throughout the year in action on the field, under the tent, and on the playground. Anastasia can’t wait for another summer filled with fun and friendship.


Director Laura Spurling was raised in Acton and currently lives in Boxborough with her husband, three kids, and two dogs. When not working at Flerra Summer Playground, Laura works at Blanchard Elementary School in Boxborough as a special education assistant supporting grades 1-3. This is her 7th year working at Flerra. Her favorite things about Flerra are tie-dye Tuesdays and all the memories that are made every summer. Laura is also always up for a fun theme day and can’t wait for what this summer will bring.


Flerra Summer Playground CIT, Counselor, Lead Counselor and Volunteer applications will be open March 1 to March 31. Registration for campers will open on April 1. 



New Sessions for Carbon Reduction Course 

(23-FEB-24) How many hours could you leave an LED light bulb switched on to produce the same greenhouse gas as a single load in a clothes dryer? According to The NewYork Times: 300 hours, or 13 days. 


To learn more about carbon reduction, sign up for a free, four-session course called “Where Climate Meets Community.” Choose from three meeting options via Zoom:


To sign up, email Boxborough resident Marjorie Kamp at marjoriek@comcast.net, placing “2040” in the subject line and indicating choice of sessions. Kamp says the course will help people reduce their carbon footprint by as much as 30 percent. 


The Boxborough Sustainability Committee is sponsoring the course, a discussion of Damon Gameau’s book “2040: a Handbook for the Regeneration Based on the Documentary 2040.”

UCC Boxborough Music Sunday Concert on March 10

(23-FEB-24) On Sunday, March 10, the Music Sunday Concert will take place at 4 p.m. at the United Church of Christ in Boxborough, Congregational on the corner of Middle Rd. & Rte. 111 (723 Mass. Ave). 

A variety of local musical talent will be featured along with the church’s Senior Choir and Sound of Peace Group. Come and bring your family and friends for an enjoyable musical afternoon. 

Light refreshments being offered following this free program. For more information contact Gloria Roe (978) 502-9625 or boxborochurch@verizon.net

Scenes from Boxborough’s History: Boxborough Volunteer Firefighters, 1955

(16-FEB-24) Boxborough Volunteer Firefighters, 1955. Boxborough’s volunteer firefighters in front of the “new” Town Hall with Truck #2, the Town’s first new truck which they had built themselves.


This photo and its description have been provided to Boxborough News by the Boxborough Historical Society and are reprinted with their permission. 


The Boxborough Historical Society was founded in 1961 by a group of residents interested in preserving Boxborough's history. It is a volunteer-run, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. Learn more at www.boxboroughhistoricalsociety.org.

The Boxborough Minutemen Company Wants You!

(23-FEB-24) The Boxborough Company of Minutemen will hold a Company meeting on Sunday February 25 at the Boxborough Community Center at 30 Middle Road starting at 8 p.m. For information, please contact Captain Bob Lucas at captain@boxboroughminutemen.org, or 978-263-1540.


The Boxborough Minutemen Company is open to anyone of least 18 years of age, regardless of gender or town of residence, who is interested in service to the Town and/or perpetuating the memory of the Minutemen of 1775. You do not need to be a marcher or revolutionary war reenactor to join the Company.


Our members may participate in any number of the Company's activities including marching in parades, organizing the annual Fifer's Day town festival, performing seasonal clean-ups on Route 111, sponsoring the Boy and Cub Scouts, providing volunteers to the Blanchard School and other service organizations, and participating in our various social functions. 


The Company also provides financial support to a variety of service organizations and sponsors a number of annual scholarships to Boxborough students who are continuing their education after high school.


All are welcome to come and make new connections with others. For more information visit www.boxboroughminutemen.org.

ABRHS Presents “A Doll’s House” on February 29 and March 7 

(23-FEB-24)  Proscenium Circus, ABRHS’s student theatre program, will perform “A Doll’s House” at the Acton Boxborough Regional High School on Thursday, Feb. 29 at 7 p.m. and Thursday, March 7 at 7 p.m. 


Written by Henrik Ibsen and first performed in 1879, the play focuses on Nora Helmer, a seemingly happy wife and mother who lives a conventional life in 19th-century Norway. In a turn of events, Nora begins questioning her reality and embarks on a journey of self-discovery. 


A Doll’s House is renowned for exploring gender roles, marriage dynamics, and societal norms. Although controversial when it was first released, its themes are equally relevant today.


Proscenium Circus presents “A Doll's House” as their entry for the 2024 Massachusetts Educational Theater Guild Festival. Tickets must be purchased in advance through http://tinyurl.com/yz3vxfht They are $15 for General Admission, $10 for students and seniors, and free for AB staff members.



Boxborough Democrats to Hold Caucus, Elect Convention Delegates 

(23-FEB-24) On Saturday, March 2, 2024, at 10 a.m., Boxborough Democrats will convene in person in the Sargent Memorial Library meeting room, 427 Massachusetts Ave, to elect four delegates and four alternate delegates to represent Boxborough at the 2024 State Democratic Convention. Registration opens at 9:30 a.m.

  

Registered and pre-registered Boxborough Democrats who are 16 years old by February 15, 2024 may vote and be elected as delegates or alternates during the caucus. Youth (age 16 to 35), people with disabilities, people of color, and members of the LGBTQ+ community not elected as delegates or alternates are encouraged to apply to be add-on delegates at the caucus by visiting massdems.org/massdems-convention.

  

The 2024 State Democratic Convention will be in-person at the DCU Center in Worcester on June 1. Delegates and alternates from across the state will gather at the convention to voice their support for the nominee for United States Senate and to set forth a winning agenda for the Commonwealth and the nation.


Those interested in getting involved with the Boxborough Democratic Town Committee should contact Chairperson Abby Reip at boxborough.dtc@gmail.com or 978-490-5343. For additional information, visit boxboroughdems.org or facebook.com/BoxboroughDTC.



Domestic Violence Services Network to Offer Volunteer Advocate Training 

(23-FEB-24) Domestic Violence Services Network, Inc. (DVSN) is looking for interested community members to participate in their March 2024 Volunteer Advocate Training program at the Concord Police Department.


The 40-hour training is designed to familiarize the volunteers with the many aspects of domestic violence and give them the skills necessary to provide confidential and appropriate services to DVSN’s clients. Once trained, DVSN’s volunteer Advocates provide direct service over the phone, at the Concord District Court, and at Emerson Hospital to people affected by

domestic violence.


The March 2024 training will be held over three weeks from March 4th to March 22nd on Mondays and Wednesdays from 9:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and Fridays 9:15 to 3:30. For those who wish to activate as Advocates, an additional 10 to 12 hours of individual field training will take place after successful completion of the classroom segment.


The training is provided at no cost to attendees. All necessary materials will be provided. To learn more about DVSN and its programs, services, and events, visit DVSN.org.


Those interested in more information about the training or want to request an application should call (978) 318-3421 or send an e-mail to training@dvsn.org. Applications are due no later than Monday, February 26, 2024.

Scenes from Boxborough’s History

(9-FEB-24) Boxboro Station, 1918. At the Boxboro flag stop on the Fitchburg Branch of the Boston and Maine Railroad, awaiting returning servicemen from World War I. 


This photo and its description have been provided to Boxborough News by the Boxborough Historical Society and are reprinted with their permission. 


The Boxborough Historical Society was founded in 1961 by a group of residents interested in preserving Boxborough's history. It is a volunteer-run, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. Learn more at www.boxboroughhistoricalsociety.org.



School Committee Holding Office Hours at Sargent Memorial Library and Acton Town Hall


(16-FEB-24) The Acton-Boxborough Regional School Committee invites the public to join them for office hours in February: “We want to engage with community members about budget challenges and your priorities. Come ask questions and share your thoughts about the 2025 budget and other topics!” 

  

Office hours will take place at Sargent Memorial Library on Tuesdays 4:30-5:30 p.m. and Thursdays 2:30-3:30 p.m. (except 1:30-2:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 22). 


The School Committee will also hold office hours at Acton Town Hall on Wednesdays (except Feb. 14) from 2-4 p.m. in Room 9 and on Fridays from 10 a.m. to noon in Room 126. 

School Committee members will also hold office hours in March at the Acton Senior Center. Details are forthcoming. Visit the FY25 Budget webpage for more information about the budget.

Curl Up with a Book about Boxborough This Winter 

(9-FEB-24) During the 241 years of Boxborough’s existence, there have been two books written about the Town’s history.


Late in the nineteenth century, a comprehensive history of Middlesex County was published by Samual Adams Drake, titled “History of Middlesex County, Massachusetts containing carefully prepared histories of every city and town in the county.” 


Encouraged by this work and by her friends, Lucie Caroline Hager felt “that a history of Boxborough printed in a small volume separately…would be favorably received” and set to work to write one. 


Lucie was born in Littleton and moved to Boxborough when she married in 1882. She was a school teacher, bookkeeper, and a writer of prose and poetry. “Boxborough: A New England Town and its People,” the product of her efforts, was published in 1891.


As indicated by its title, the book is divided into two sections. The first half tells the history of the town for its roughly first 100 years. The second half presents biographical sketches of the prominent families who lived in town during that period. A biography of Lucie and a selection of her poems are included in the section on the Hager family.


Boxborough celebrated its Bicentennial in 1983. As part of that commemoration, four residents, Janet Calhoun, Susan DeStefano, Katherine Talmadge, and Elizabeth West, spent 18 months working with others to create “Boxborough: A Portrait of a Town: 1783-1983”. 


As its introduction states, “Portrait” is a combination of thousands of pages of written records with hundreds of hours of oral interviews documenting the memories of people living in town.  This sprightly written, copiously illustrated volume is organized by topic rather than chronology, e.g., “Government,” “Schools,” “Library.”  It brings to life Boxborough’s history as a small farming town up until the 1960’s, and documents the changes in Boxborough as it grew rapidly through the 1970’s and early 1980s.

   

There are multiple copies of each book at Boxborough’s Sargent Memorial Library. Copies can also be purchased at the Boxborough Museum or by emailing the Boxborough Historical Society at BoxboroughHistoricalSociety@gmail.com.

Love Your Library Month at Sargent Memorial Library 

(9-FEB-24) February is Love Your Library month at the Sargent Memorial Library. Yes, we all love our library all year long, but in February there will be two additional ways to show that love. 

A “Giving Tree” will have suggestions of special ways to support the library. Decorations, made by children, will be available to take home as a remembrance of your generosity. Also, The Friends of the Library will hold a drawing for a magnificent gift basket. 

Anyone who joins the Friends or renews their membership before the end of February will be eligible. As a special incentive, February has an extra day this year - but don’t put off your trip to the library too long.

Boxborough News Launches Community Calendar


(2-FEB-24) Are you curious about local events happening in the coming weeks? Are you involved in a local organization looking to promote an upcoming event?

  

Boxborough News has created a brand-new Community Calendar on our website. We are populating the calendar with events hosted by local organizations both in Boxborough and in surrounding towns, including school events.

  

To submit an event to the calendar, use the button near the calendar labeled "Submit Your Event".

  

Boxborough News also maintains a separate calendar of town board & committee meetings. 

Neighbors Gather at Annual Boxborough Winterfest 

Photo credit:  Kirby Dolak, Littleton Community Television

(2-FEB-24) Against the backdrop of Steele Farm's picturesque hills and walking trails, Boxborough’s Winterfest, held on Saturday, Jan. 27, is an annual tradition that unites residents for an afternoon of festivities and community.  With over 200 people in attendance, activities included “human foosball” provided by the Harvard Lions Club, crafts from the Umbrella Arts Center, a scavenger hunt from the Boxborough Conservation Trust, and plenty of chatting with neighbors as kids ran up and down the Steele Farm hill. 

Groups of students and families enjoyed hot chocolate and popcorn while singing along with a guitarist, while others enjoyed conversation around a bonfire. One mom with two young children commented that “the scavenger hunt was a creative idea to entertain the kids and have them create memories in nature.” The crowd enjoyed food and drink from Two Friends Chocolates, the Fat Rooster food truck from Farm 359 in Littleton, and Pony Shack Cider. 

Megan Connor, the Chair of the Boxborough Recreation Committee and coordinator of the event for the past thirteen years, defines Winterfest as a “chance for people, especially new residents, to get to know people who have been living in the town and make connections.” Steele Farm is an integral part of Boxborough’s history, as it is one of “the last authentic farmlands in Massachusetts,” according to the Boxborough Historical Society. 

The Boxborough Conservation Trust, another group involved in Winterfest, advocates for the promotion and protection of Steele Farm’s wildlife and forest, as the farmland contributes to the town’s rich past. The Boxborough Minutemen also attended Winterfest. They not only engage in parades and musket firing but also actively “contribute to community welfare by raising funds and distributing resources to those in need.”  For over twenty years, Winterfest has served as a celebration of the town’s history, diversity, and community. An elementary student summed it up well, exclaiming that Winterfest was “the best day ever!”

Come see Boxborough’s Treasures Sunday February 11

(9-FEB-24) The Boxborough Museum at 575 Middle Road will be open from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday February 11. 

Come see Boxborough’s historic treasures including the 1850’s scale which is sensitive enough to weigh a penny and strong enough to calibrate a 50 pound weight, the “new” hearse built in 1881, and the “old” hearse (come and see how old is old).  

Admission is free and all are welcome. For more information, or if anyone wishes to arrange a private tour for a small group at a different time, please call John Fallon at 978-264-0069.

Recreation Commission Gearing Up for Flerra Summer Playground

(2-FEB-24) Can you believe the Flerra Summer Playground Directors have already met to plan for next summer? They are so excited about what they have scheduled! The themes for this coming summer will be: 


They will also be doing “Tie-dye Tuesdays” and “Water Wednesdays” again this year. 


CIT, Counselor, Lead Counselor and Volunteer applications will be open March 1 - March 31. Registration for campers will be open from April 1 - May 31. Questions can always be sent to FlerraSP@gmail.com.

Visit ActonExchange.Org for Acton News


(2-FEB-24) The Acton Exchange is Acton’s new not-for-profit, volunteer-led news source. They publish some content in the Acton/Maynard edition of the Action Unlimited and launched their own website, actonexchange.org, in November. 

  

The project began last year after an Acton-Area League of Women Voters event on local journalism brought a group of Acton residents together with the goal of creating a resource for local news in Acton. 

  

Check out actonexchange.org for more information and to read news about our neighboring town. 




Winterfest Returns on January 27

(26-JAN-2024) This year’s Winterfest will be held Saturday January 27 from 1 p.m. to 4 pm at Steele Farm, located at 484 Middle Road in Boxborough. The free event is sponsored by the Boxborough Recreation Commission and will feature food, drinks, vendors, music, and activities for kids. Rain date will be Sunday, January 28.


“The Recreation Commission is so excited to bring Winterfest back to town!”, said Megan Connor, Chair of the Recreation Commission. “Snow or no snow, we will guarantee an awesome afternoon at beautiful Steele Farm with family, friends and neighbors.”


Food and drinks will be available for purchase from the Fat Rooster BBQ food truck and True West Brewery. Two Friends Chocolates will be there, and Girl Scout Troop 82426 will be selling cookies and hot cocoa from Dunkin’ Donuts.


The Umbrella Arts Center will be offering a special arts and crafts table for kids of all ages, and the Harvard Lions Club will bring their famous “human foosball” game for all to play. Folks will enjoy live music by singer and guitar player, Sara Rice (saramariericemusic.com).  Wish for snow, and bring your sleds!

Boxborough Minutemen to Welcome New Members January 27 

(26-JAN-24) The Boxborough Company of Minutemen is always looking for new members. The Company is holding its annual Wine and Cheese party for current members and prospective new members on Saturday January 27 at 7:30 p.m. For information please contact Captain Bob Lucas at captain@boxboroughminutemen.org, or 978-263-1540. 


The Boxborough Minutemen Company is open to anyone of least 18 years of age, regardless of gender or town of residence, who is interested in service to the Town and/or perpetuating the memory of the Minutemen of 1775. You do not need to be a marcher or revolutionary war reenactor to join the Company. Dues are only $30 a year and the Company can provide uniforms for those who want to march.


Our members may participate in any number of the Company's activities including marching in parades, organizing the annual Fifer's Day town festival, performing seasonal clean-ups on Route 111, sponsoring the Boy and Cub Scouts, providing volunteers to the Blanchard School and other service organizations, and participating in our various social functions. The Company also provides financial support to a variety of service organizations and sponsors a number of annual scholarships to Boxborough students who are continuing their education after high school.All are welcome to come and make new connections with others. For more information visit www.boxboroughminutemen.org. 

Boxborough Garden Club to Present Sustainable Gardening Practices Program

(26-JAN-2024) The Boxborough Garden Club’s Winter Program will be held Wednesday, January 31 at 7 p.m. at Sargent Memorial Library, Boxborough. Dave Barnett will present a program entitled, “Sustainable Gardening Practices and Native Plants.”


Dave Barnett is a 30-year resident of Boxborough and recently retired as President and CEO of Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge. He will show examples of ecologically friendly landscape design and maintenance practices that he implemented both at Mount Auburn and in his own garden in Boxborough. 


The use of pollinator-friendly, habitat-enhancing native plants will be shown. Dave will also focus on creative ways to reduce lawn mowing by replacing turf with low maintenance ground covers, perennials, and dwarf grasses.


The program is free and open to the public. For more information call 978-263-3944.

New Date for BoxboroughDTC post-holiday flyer_rescheduled (1).pdf

Scholar in Residence in Acton with Rabbi Leonard Gordon: How Jews are Responding to the Events of October 7

(02-FEB-24) Rabbi Leonard Gordon will hold public in-person and Zoom meetings on Friday, Feb. 9 and Saturday, Feb.10 at Congregation Beth Elohim, 133 Prospect Street, Acton.  For more information and to register, go to:  https://www.bethelohim.org/scholar-2024.


On Feb. 9, Rabbi Gordon will discuss “Interfaith Dialogue Through the Lens of October 7th: Reflections on a Recent Visit to the Gaza Border.”  At Sabbath Torah Study, on Saturday morning, Feb. 10, Rabbi Gordon will speak about “Legislating Emotions: Setting Boundaries for Anger.” On Saturday evening, Rabbi Gordon will speak about shared stories and different traditions: “Decoding Islam for Jews.”


Dr. Rabbi Leonard Gordon is the chair of the National Council of Synagogues (NCS) and since 2017 a frequent teacher in MEAH, an intensive adult learning experience offered by Hebrew College. He served as rabbi at Congregation B’nai Tikvah in Canton, MA, through June, 2023. 


He currently leads trips to Spain and Morocco for interfaith and Jewish heritage groups, including a planned MEAH trip to Spain in May, 2024. Gordon received rabbinic ordination and an MA from the Jewish Theological Seminary. He also holds a BA and MPhil from Columbia University, and an MA in religious studies from Brown University. 


In 2018, Gordon  earned a Doctor of Ministry degree in Interfaith Studies at the Andover Newton Theological School. He has master’s degrees in comparative religion from Brown and Columbia Universities and a Masters of Jewish Studies from the Jewish Theological Seminary.

Calling All Gardeners! Library to Host Seed Swap on January 20


(12-JAN-24) On Saturday, January 20, Sargent Memorial Library will open its doors to local gardeners for its first community seed swap. Gardeners will be able to peruse and trade seeds, share ideas, and socialize with fellow gardeners at the library from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The event is a trading opportunity, so participants should bring their own seeds to trade with others. 

  

The event will be run by Kate Donovan, owner and consultant at Blackstone Valley Veggie Gardens, who will be available for gardening questions and advice. "Let’s trade seeds like our grandparents did,” says Donovan. “We will harvest beautiful flowers, nutritious food, and friendships that last a lifetime.” The mission of Blackstone Valley Veggie Gardens is to inspire others to grow their own fresh produce.

  

Seeds to be traded should be labeled with the type of seed and the year it was harvested. There will be baggies available to split up seed packs and markers for labeling. If separating and labeling seed packets prior to the event, please use small paper or plastic envelopes.

  

“Boxborough is home to plenty of seasoned gardeners and a seed swap is a perfect opportunity to have a community gathering during the cold winter months and before everyone plans out their spring and summer gardens,” said Peishan Bartley, Library Director. No need to sign up in advance; just come and bring neighbors.  

 

The seed swap is one of three programs the Library is hosting in collaboration with Blackstone Valley Veggie Gardens. Donovan hosted an online presentation in September 2023 on home canning, freezing, and dehydrating (viewable at boxlib.org/eresources/recordings) and will present another one on pollinator gardens on Wednesday, March 20 at 7 p.m. (register for the Zoom through the library's event calendar at boxlib.org/news-events/events). 

  

The seed swap is sponsored by the Whitcomb House Trust, a fund entrusted to the Library to use on programs that seniors would enjoy, including programs such as music performances, educational talks, and gardening workshops. 

Boxborough Garden Club to Present Sustainable Gardening Practices Program

(12-JAN-24) The Boxborough Garden Club’s Winter Program will be held Wednesday, January 31 at 7 p.m. at Sargent Memorial Library, Boxborough. Dave Barnett will present a program entitled, “Sustainable Gardening Practices and Native Plants”. Dave Barnett is a 30-year resident of Boxborough and recently retired as President and CEO of Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge. He will show examples of ecologically friendly landscape design and maintenance practices that he implemented both at Mount Auburn and in his own garden in Boxborough. The use of pollinator-friendly, habitat-enhancing native plants will be shown. Dave will also focus on creative ways to reduce lawn mowing by replacing turf with low maintenance ground covers, perennials, and dwarf grasses.

  

The program is free and open to the public. For more information call 978-263-3944.

Acton Boxborough Elementary School Students Win Second Place Champion’s Award at FLL State Championship

(5-JAN-24) On Saturday, December 16, the UniQorn Dreamers FLL Robotics team competed at the Massachusetts First Lego League (FLL) State Championship and earned second place.

The “UniQorn Dreamers,” consisting of Acton Boxborough elementary school students Riana Banerjee from Blanchard, Adrita Mukherjee from Conant and Meghna Dutta from Gates, along with team member Aurelia Chakraborty from Sherwood Middle School, Shrewsbury, all Grade 5 and 6 students, qualified to represent Massachusetts at the FLL U.S. Open Event in early summer 2024 and at the Western Edge FLL Open Event in Long Beach, CA. 

  

The competition started with regional level tournaments, with a total of 362 teams in Massachusetts this season. There were 120 top teams that qualified for the state level championship, which was held at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

  

The competition consisted of four segments, with the first being a robotics game. In this segment, participants were tasked with building and programming a robot to autonomously complete a range of missions. In the second segment, Robot Design, teams were required to excel in building a robot that exhibited consistent performance throughout the championship. The Innovation Project segment, themed 'Masterpiece' for the year, challenged students to envision and create new STEM-based approaches for creating and communicating arts globally. The UniQorn Dreamers developed an innovative device designed to assist diversely abled artists perform onstage. In the Core Values segment, teams were assessed during each Robot Game, incorporating Gracious Professionalism scores focusing on teamwork, originality, respect for others, and inclusion.

  

The team also secured second place in Robot Performance by earning the second-highest score at the Championship.

Winterfest Returns on January 27

(5-JAN-24) This year’s Winterfest will be held Saturday January 27 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m at Steele Farm, located at 484 Middle Road in Boxborough. The free event is sponsored by the Boxborough Recreation Commission and will feature food, drinks, vendors, music, and activities for kids. Rain date will be Sunday, January 28.

  

“The Recreation Commission is so excited to bring Winterfest back to town!,” said Megan Connor, Chair of the Recreation Commission. “Snow or no snow, we will guarantee an awesome afternoon at beautiful Steele Farm with family, friends and neighbors.”

  

Food and drinks will be available for purchase from the Fat Rooster BBQ food truck and True West Brewery. Two Friends Chocolates will be there, and Girl Scout Troop 82426 will be selling cookies and hot cocoa from Dunkin’ Donuts.

  

The Umbrella Arts Center will be offering a special arts and crafts table for kids of all ages, and the Harvard Lions Club will bring their famous “human foosball” game for all to play. Folks will enjoy live music by singer and guitar player, Sara Rice (saramariericemusic.com). 

  

Wish for snow, and bring your sleds! 

Boxborough Library’s Special Events for January 2024


(5-JAN-24)  

Virtual Events: Register for Zoom at boxlib.org on the “News and Events” calendar.


In-Person Event at Sargent Memorial Library (427 Mass. Ave., Boxborough):

Sat., Jan. 20, 11 a.m.: “Blackstone Valley Veggie Gardens Seed Swap,” sponsored by Whitcomb House Trust, and hosted by Blackstone Valley Veggie Gardens owner and consultant Kate Donovan. Participants are encouraged to bring seeds and ideas to trade. The mission of Blackstone Valley Veggie Gardens is to inspire others to grow their own fresh produce. BVVG delivers residential and community-based training, consulting, and assistance in vegetable garden development. They are dedicated to the belief that most people should have the knowledge and opportunity to grow wholesome fruits and veggies in containers, raised beds, or in-ground gardens. No registration is required.


Regular Events:  Visit the library website – boxlib.org – for the schedule of Preschool Storytime, Lapsit Storytime, crafts for both adults and children, Teen/Tween Night, and Lego Club. 

Photo courtesy of Kirby Dolak - LCTV

Boxborough Holds Holiday Luncheon for Town Employees and Volunteers


(5-JAN-24) Each year, the Select Board donates their stipends to fund an event to celebrate all Town employees and volunteers. On Wednesday, December 20, Boxborough hosted a holiday luncheon for employees and members of town boards and committees. The guests in attendance, numbering more than fifty, were treated to a buffet lunch of sandwiches, salads, and sweets. 

  

Town Administrator Michael Johns welcomed everyone and told the group how much he enjoys working with the Town Hall team, other employees, and volunteers. After lunch, Assistant Town Administrator Rajon Hudson raffled off the table decorations and some large poinsettia plants that decorated the Grange Hall. 

Henry David Thoreau’s Three Visits to Boxborough

(5-JAN-24) Nineteenth-century naturalist Henry David Thoreau made three documented visits to Boxborough. 

  

The first walk was a "pass through" on July 19 or 20, 1842 on his return from his trip to Mt. Wachusett. As documented in "A Walk to Wachusett" in Thoreau's Excursions, one can infer that he returned from spending the night in Still River (Harvard) traveling through Boxborough on the Union Turnpike (Massachusetts Avenue) on his way back to Concord. 

On November 9 and 16, 1860, Thoreau’s interest in the succession of forests and a recommendation made him return to Boxborough and its Inches Woods. “Anthony Wright... tells me of a noted large and so-called primitive wood... in Boxboro.” “I have lived so long in this neighborhood and but just heard of this noble forest... only eight miles west of me.”, he remarks.  

  

Thoreau noted in his journal: "Though a great many of those white oaks of the Inches Wood branch quite as low and are as spreading as pasture oaks, yet generally they rise up in stately columns thirty to fifty feet, diminishing very little... When, in the midst of this great oak wood, you look around, you are struck by the great mass of…sturdy trees from one to three and even four feet in diameter, whose interlacing branches form a canopy... A peculiarity of this, as compared with much younger woods, is that there is little or no underwood and you walk freely in every direction, though in the midst of a dense wood. Seeing this, I can realize how this country appeared when it was discovered. Such were the oak woods which the Indian treaded hereabouts." 

  

Thoreau continues: "The handsomest thing I saw in Boxboro was this noble stand of oak wood. I doubt if there is a finer one in Massachusetts. Let her keep it a century longer, and men will make pilgrimages to it from all parts of the country..."

  

Sadly, Inches Woods was bought by a lumber dealer only a few years later, in 1863, and the mighty oaks were cut in support of the Civil War effort. 

  

There is a map tracing Henry’s steps available on the Boxborough Historical Society’s website www.boxboroughhistoricalsociety.org and at a kiosk in the parking lot of the Sargent Memorial Library.

  

The Henderson Inches sawmill site, on Guggins Brook where it crosses under Liberty Square, is marked by a plaque and stone marker. It commemorates Inches Woods, the mill site, and Thoreau's visit to Boxborough.

Come see Boxborough’s Treasures Sunday January 14

  

(5-JAN-24) The Boxborough Museum at 575 Middle Road will be open from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday January 14. 

Come see Boxborough’s historic treasures including the 1850’s scale which is sensitive enough to weigh a penny and strong enough to calibrate a 50 pound weight, the “new” hearse built in 1881, and the “old” hearse (come and see how old is old). Admission is free and all are welcome. For more information or if anyone wishes to arrange a private tour for a small group at a different time please call John Fallon at 978-264-0069.

Boxborough (and Littleton) was originally the Praying Indian Village of Nashobah, a place of spirit and vision. On Sunday May 5, the Boxborough Historical Society will present