A new Season at the Center

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The Athol Bird and Nature Club have leased the old Main Street School from the town of Athol since 1999. This week Jake Lyman of Lyman Signs installed a new sign on our front lawn celebrating our decades of community appreciation of our natural wonders. The sign logo was designed by local artist/naturalist Pan Wilson and funding for the project was made possible through a MassWorks Patronicity matching Grant and local donations. The matching grant will also fund an art display “Windows on Main” which will be unveiled at a celebration June 7th 6:00 – 8:00 PM at the Center 100 Main Street. The final part of the grant will be the installation of a new lift at the Center which was supported by a $64,000 Athol Town Meeting appropriation and an additional $15,000 donation from the Patronicity Grant. The lift is scheduled for completion by June 30th. Find out more about events at the Center www.atholbirdclub.org

There are lots of great events for the spring/summer Please join in and have some fun 

Friday(s), April 12, 19, 26, 7:00 AM Early Bird Birding with Jeff  Join veteran trip leader Jeff Johnstone for a look at the migrating spring birds moving through the local area. These are great events for the novice birder to learn from one of our best field naturalists. Meet 7:00 am @ the Center parking lot to carpool. Come for as long as your schedule allows. Severe weather cancels. Info: Jeff Johnstone, 978-249-9052

Sunday, April 21, 2019, 1:00 PM ABNC Geology Division Meeting No meeting this month in observance of the Easter Holiday

Saturday, April 27th Athol Clean-up Day
A group of LOCAL residents has been meeting in order to plan an ATHOL CLEAN UP DAY.  We have been meeting every other Monday in order to brainstorm ideas and work on a plan. We have decided that the Saturday after Earth Day (April 27) would be a good day since Earth Day is on Monday, the day after Easter. We are looking for enthusiastic people to make this event happen. We meet next at the Millers River Environmental Center on March 11th at 6:30 to work on event details all welcome. Please email Heidi at mailto:greencleanathol@gmail.com. LET’S MAKE THIS HAPPEN!!!!

Friday(s), May 3, 10, 17, 2019 7:00 AM Early Bird Birding with Jeff Join veteran trip leader Jeff Johnstone for a look at the migrating spring birds moving through the local area. These are great events for the novice birder to learn from one of our best field naturalists. Meet 7:00 am @ the Center parking lot to carpool. Come for as long as your schedule allows. Severe weather cancels. Info: Jeff Johnstone, 978-249-9052

Sunday(s) May 5, 12, 19, 2019 7:00 AM Early Bird Birding with Jeff  Special Sunday Sessions  Join veteran trip leader Jeff Johnstone for a look at the migrating spring birds moving through the local area. These are great events for the novice birder to learn from one of our best field naturalists. Meet 7:00 am @ the Center parking lot to carpool. Come for as long as your schedule allows. Severe weather cancels. Info: Jeff Johnstone, 978-249-9052

Wednesday, May 8, 2019, at 7:00 Pollination networks and ecosystem restoration
For almost two decades, pollinators have been declining in abundance, species richness, and geographic distribution at an unprecedented rate worldwide. These declines pose a significant threat to global biodiversity due to the keystone role that pollinators play in terrestrial ecosystems – more pollinator species means more plant species, and more plant species means more food, shelter, and nest sites for wildlife at other trophic levels. Yet, we presently lack the information on pollinator-plant connections or ‘networks’ at the species level needed to fully assess the impact of human activities on ecosystem health. Please join Dr. Robert J. Gegear for a discussion on how the concept of pollination networks can be used to develop effective ecosystem restoration strategies at different spatial scales.

Sunday, May 19, 2019, 1:00 PM ABNC Geology Division Meeting details to follow

Saturday, May 4, 2019, Natural History @ Quabbin Reservoir (NEW)
Join Club president Dave Small and Jeff Johnstone for this Naturalists exploration of a section of Quabbin Reservoir. Meet at MREC 6:30 am for carpooling pre-registration required as the number of participants is limited. Contact Dave Small  mailto:Dave@dhsmall.net to reserve your place. This is an all-day event, bring lunch, water, binoculars and sense of adventure. This trip is near capacity…

Saturday, May 18, 8:00 PM  Montague Plains for Nightjars (NEW)
Dave Small will lead this trip to one of Massachusetts premier Sandplain habitats for a chance to hear Whip-poor-wills and other evening birds. Flashlight, headlamp, and insect repellant recommended. Meet us about 7:30 at the intersection of E. Mineral Rd and Millers Falls Road (just east of the Turners Falls airport) info call Dave@ 978-413-1772

Sunday, May 26, 2019, 10:00 am to 1:00 PM Trees and other plants of the Brooks Preserve, Petersham Join Nancy Goodman, Naturalist and Plant Conservation Volunteer with New England Wild Flower Society for this botanical exploration of the Brooks Preserve. Trees surround us and support us in so many important ways. Though they’re rooted in one place, they are complex, fascinating, and beautiful living things. Plants are also fascinating to look at and identify.  We will be looking at a mix of plants and trees to learn what we can.  We will also be paying attention to what changes we see when we go from one habitat to another, and how subtle this can be.  Plants and trees can tell you a lot about the habitats you might be in. Bring binoculars, water, lunch (as we will be eating on the trail), sturdy walking shoes and the book Bark by Michael Wojtech, if you have a copy. Meet at Quaker Drive Petersham (off 122) at the crossing of the East Branch of the Swift River. Note location update

Sunday, June 2, 2019, 9:30 am Dragonflies and Damselflies in the North Quabbin. Join Club president and others for this look at both rare and common species found in the North Quabbin. We will start by searching a historical site for the endangered Ebony Boghaunter Williamsonia fletcheri after which we will look at different local habitats for early season odonates. Bring a camera, net (if you wish), snacks, water, footwear to be able to wade in shallow water and a sense of fun and adventure. Meet at 9:30 am at MREC 100 Main Street Athol contact Dave Small mailto:Dave@dhsmall.net (978) 413-1772 for questions.

Friday, June 7, 2019, MREC Grand Opening 6:00 – 8:00 PM Celebrate the new Wheel Chair lift, and the Windows on Main Art Exhibit with food, music, and fun for the whole family. This event coincides with the First Friday downtown Athol festivities. So lots to do and see in downtown Athol.

Saturday, June 22, 9 p.m. – late night    Annual Moth Ball Join ABNC president Dave Small and naturalist Lula Field at Dave and Shelley’s house, 1542 Pleasant St., Athol, to search for Lunas, underwings, silkmoths and other night-flying insects. Participants are invited to bring their tents, snacks to share and favorite moth baits. (Don’t know what those are? You’ll find out!) Info: Dave Small, 978-413-1772 or mailto:Dave@dhsmall.net.

Sunday Open House at The Millers River Environmental Center July and August 1:00 to 4:00 PM A special program will be presented each week at 2:00 PM each week details to be announced

Sunday, July 28, 2019 Trees and other plants of the Rutland Brook Wildlife Sanctuary, Petersham Join Nancy Goodman, Naturalist and Plant Conservation Volunteer with New England Wild Flower Society for this botanical exploration of Rutland Brook. Trees surround us and support us in so many important ways. Though they’re rooted in one place, they are complex, fascinating, and beautiful living things. Plants are also fascinating to look at and identify.  We will be looking at a mix of plants and trees to learn what we can.  We will also be paying attention to what changes we see when we go from one habitat to another, and how subtle this can be.  Plants and trees can tell you a lot about the habitats you might be in.  Bring binoculars, water, lunch (as we will be eating on the trail), sturdy walking shoes and the book Bark by Michael Wojtech, if you have a copy. Meet 10:00 am at the MAS Rutland Brook Parking lot: From Route 2: Take exit 17, Rt 32 south to Petersham. At the intersection of Rts 122/32 take a left and continue south on Routes 122/32 for approximately 2.1 miles, then take a left (directly after the bridge and waterfall) at Connor Pond onto Pat Connor Road. In about 200 feet, bear left at the fork onto Allen Camp Road. Continue along the dirt road that runs parallel to the pond for .2 miles to the Mass Audubon parking area on your left. Latitude/Longitude: 42.463191, -72.161287