Monday, 16 July 2012

Trail closed due to protected species

As you're out and about on Nick's Woods, you'll see that we've closed a side trail just after the culvert crossing. This is due to the presence of smooth rockcress (Boechera laevigata), which is a Massachusetts State Species of Concern. We ask that you help us keep this native plant around by staying off the closed trail. Thanks!

Monday, 27 December 2010

snow Dec 27

This spring/summer/fall I did my usual infrequent visits to Nicks Woods, mostly on holidays, clearing small amounts of trash, mostly from near the hydrant. Conditions haven't changed much from my last reports. Today I ski-ed there, protected by slopes and trees from strong winds. The stream was not frozen enough to ski across, so I ski-ed across our former aluminum gate I found lieing across the stream at the new trail north of the water line. Farther along, that trail is obstructed by brush that I could easily remove when the snow melts. I'll be leading ski trips from Smith Lane for anyone at 9 a.m. on Jan 1, 8, 17, and 22.

Where are the legal walking entrances to Bovenzi Conservation Area, besides Maravista? Many other streets abut it. Most cities, if not Worcester, have through trails (not just loops) in their parks, even if legal parking areas are lacking.

Sunday, 21 March 2010

winter to spring 2010

This winter I offered ski trips in Nicks Woods on January 2, 9, 18, 30, and skied there on those dates and Dec 20, Feb 14, 20, 27, and hiked on March 19 (with volunteer coordinator Mary Caulway) and March 20. Trash and other abuse appeared to be very light. After snowmelt and the heavy rains of March 13 - 15, erosion on many areas of the trails seemed worse than usual, but unrelated to negligible motorized vehicle use, and streams were clear with no obvious siltation. The ATV trails west of Richard Nietsche's house were covered with leaves, preventing erosion. The concrete blocks from the previous year's maple sugaring area were thrown around. We hauled broken bottles from the party fire area near the hydrant. Mary and I recommend a trash can and labeled recycling container there. The stone causeway at the water line trail was barely passable without getting wet feet. The City does not appear to have made any effort to clear the large trees that fell in the December 2008 ice storm on their water line trail. Should we help or call them, or do we prefer to keep that trail blocked to vehicles unless the City needs access? The only other fallen tree I couldn't remove from a trail by myself the previous winter is on the diagonal trail from the water line to the breached dam.

Friday, 3 July 2009

Red Cutlass Sierra

A Board member sighted what looked to be a red cutlass sierra down along the cart road in Nick's Woods from Rte. 122A.

The call was sent out to the Volunteers and Rangers and Ranger Kim took up the charge and headed out.

Kim's Report:

Viewing from most cart roads, I find no cars in Nicks Woods or Sargents Brook parcel. I collected about 20 beers cans and 60-80 cups and some trash, mostly at the fire pit near the hydrant. Some partially burned old railroad ties were there, with no obvious creosote now, and probably not much when they were burned. The gate near the RR was gone, and the gate near the power line was still mangled on the ground, but all 4 posts seemed fine. As usual for 24-hours after a storm peak in summer, all streams were very clear. There were some (recent?) backhoe ruts on the roads near the sewer meter box, but no obvious excavation. Someone had lost a 5x8" spiral notebook climbing under a fallen tree on the water-line easement. It had general strategic planning notes, like from a class, apparently not project-specific, and it was ruined by rain, so it's in my basement trash can until pickup Monday (Tuesday?). The washouts in the road at and east of the Esta Brook culvert looked worse, but probably still passable in a zigzaging 4WD (not a cutlass sierra, even before the storms).

Thanks to the passing by board member for looking, and to Ranger Kim for the report!

Thursday, 9 April 2009

Bancroft School Help

The Bancroft Middle School were out on the Nick's Woods property this past Thursday the 8th.
They were cutting trail west of the Sargent's Brook running south from the dam and brook crossing. They got as far as the north-north-east corner of the boulder field, which ic a whole lot farther than I would have thought they could have cleared.

On the way out we caught sight of a giant "have a hart trap." It was large enough for a coyote, or possibly a deer, or a squatter. The paper sign on it said that there was an escapee from the Worcester Animal Rescue League and they were trying to get it back. Run, boy, run!

The Bancroft kids were great, did great work, and the trail they were working on is presently flagged with orange flagging tape.

Additional work to complete the trail length will hopefully come this spring.

Wednesday, 25 February 2009


GWLT staff were out at Nick's Woods today, setting up a small sugaring operation with some middle school students from the Bancroft School. Taps are set up in the big maple grove, and will be checked by staff and volunteers over the next few weeks. Periodical boils will take place as people are available.

If you're interested in being a part of it, contact

This may be the last sugaring for some time, as the USDA will be treating maples up at this end of the city with insecticide to prevent infestation by the Asian Longhorn Beetles, thus making the sap unfit for human consumption. Enjoy it whist you can!

Sunday, 1 February 2009


See for ski dates.
Woods are beautiful. Trails are reasonably clear of storm damage, except many large trees accross steep unskiable water line easement, and 1 tree across trail sloping from water line down to breached dam. Snowmobiles made crusty snow a little more skiable by Jan 31, 2009. Most of our new fences are down, and a few of our trail markers are damages.