Coming up at Beaver Brook Nature Center

Featured Photo: Visitors practice using binoculars in Beaver Brook Bird Museum, part of BBA Membership Open House March 20th.
Snowshoe & Cookies – Feb 17 1:30-3:30 pm: Beaver Brook visits Hollis Social Library. Free. Come to the Hollis Social Library to try on some snowshoes provided by Beaver Brook Association and trek around the playground at the library. We’ll have hot chocolate and cookies in the meeting room to warm up after snowshoeing. Ages 5 and up will fit in snowshoes.
Backyard Maple Sugaring – Feb 20 10 am –noon at the Beaver Brook Nature Center Hollis NH. $20 | $18 members. – Learn how to do your own backyard maple sugaring with instructors Kap & Jon SIddall. Identify tappable species of trees, learn how to tap and how to boil and finish syrup. Taste some too! $20/$18 members. Register at
Forest Freetime Vacation Camp – Feb 24 9 am -3 pm at the Beaver Brook Nature Center Hollis NH.Open to 1st – 8th grade. $50 members / $55 non members. Register at : Take a mid-week Forest Freetime break! Enjoy a forest filled day of exploring and playing outdoors. This one day “camp” will be run in the same format as our afterschool club, “Forest Freetime”. It’s child led, inquiry-driven and full of outdoor fun. Pack two snacks and a lunch. Bring a water bottle. Dress for the weather. If there is snow, bring a sled!!! YAY! Friendly suggestion: Bring an extra pair of socks and one extra set of gloves.
Let’s Go Ice Fishing – Feb 28 8:30 am -3 pm at the Beaver Brook Nature Center with NH Fish & Game. Free! Limited registration at : Ice fishing is a recreational activity the whole family can enjoy. This introductory course will cover tip ups and other ice fishing equipment, ice safety, knot tying, fish identification, ethics, rules and regulations, and basic winter ecology. After completing a classroom session you’ll head out on the ice and put your newly learned skills to the test. 8:30-11:30 classroom lesson at 117 Ridge Road Hollis NH. 12-3 Fishing on Silver Lake or Lake Potanipo. No license needed this day! Tackle and bait are included. For ages 8 and up. All children must be accompanied by an adult.
Labelle Winery Family Winterfest– Feb 27 11 am – 4 pm at 345 NH-101, Amherst, NH. Free. Snowshoe through the Vineyard with Beaver Brook naturalist and Labelle Winery Vineyard master. Snowshoes provided by Beaver Brook Nature Center. Try maple sugar on snow, subzero ice cream, smores and a bonfire, make nature crafts, and bring a sled to enjoy the famous Bragdon sledding hill next door. Pontine Theater presents “A girl named I” by E.E. Cummings.
Beaver Brook Open House for New or Renewing Members on Sunday, March 20 from 1-4 pm at Maple Hill Farm, 117 Ridge Road, Hollis, NH.: If you become a new or renewing member of Beaver Brook, you are invited to attend this special New Event!!
Enjoy a Maple Sugaring Demonstration in the Sugarbush with instructor Kap Siddall.
Warm up by the woodstove in the Cooper Shed (reminiscent of Thoreau’s cottage) to learn about Summer Camp from Roisin and make a craft.
Take a guided Hike or snowshoe with Celeste departing from the yurt nature museum or tour the new and improved Bird Museum and learn about birds and their adaptations and habitats.
Head over to the Spear room to learn more about membership benefits from Bridget while enjoying a hot waffle with maple syrup.
Register to become a member ($50 for individuals; $75 and up for family) and choose your time slots for these activities on our website
Organic Home Gardening Workshops at Beaver Brook Nature Center, Hollis NH during March and April 2016
Instructor Ron Christie is passionate about teaching people how to grow their own nutritious organic food for better health and well-being. He is an avid four-season grower and loves sharing his experiences as a gardener and farmer. He runs Living Earth Farm, a certified organic vegetable and fruit micro-farm in Brookline, NH.
Tuesday, March 1st — Vegetable & Fruit Garden Planning (7 to 9 PM): Improve the function of your garden while increasing yields, lowering costs and reducing your workload. We will talk about garden location & layout, seeds, plants, equipment & supplies, harvest, storage, and so much more.
Saturday, March 5th – Healthy Soil for Happy Plants (9 AM to 3 PM): Feed your soil to feed your plants. Create healthy soil to improve yields and the nutritional quality of your fruit and vegetables while reducing pests and diseases in your garden. Learn some simple steps to better manage the nutrients in your soil. Benefit from lower costs while improving the environment. Bring your soil tests and we’ll take a peek.
Tuesday, March 8th – Starting Plants from Seeds (7 to 9 PM): Starting plants from seeds is a great way to grow your favorite vegetables and save money at the same time. Join us for this fun, hands-on workshop and learn some tips and techniques to get your plants off to a healthy start.
Tuesday, March 15th – Container and Raised Bed Gardening (7 to 9 PM): Growing fruits and veggies in containers is a great way to save space and improve the efficiency of your garden. We’ll show you all the tricks to growing healthy, bountiful plants in small spaces.
Saturday, March 19th – How Do You Like Them Apples (9 AM to 3 PM): Growing organic apples in New Hampshire is a real challenge. We will talk about all aspects of starting and maintaining organic apple trees. We’ll even show you the nifty apple protection system employed at Living Earth Farm.
Tuesday, March 22nd – A Fungus Among Us (7 to 9 PM): Do you have sickly plants or tons of gnarly weeds in your garden? Let us provide you with strategies and solutions to reduce diseases and manage weed pressures in your garden.
Tuesday, March 29th – The Good, The Bad & The Ugly (7 to 9 PM): Squash bugs and potato beetles. Mice and ground hogs. Deer, bear, DRAGONS! They’re all in my garden! Learn how to attract and keep the good guys around while scaring the bad guys away.
Saturday, April 2nd – Berries, Berries and More Berries (9 AM to 3 PM): Blueberries, raspberries and strawberries are delicious, nutritious and easy to grow. We will cover all aspects of growing berries including soil & fertility, variety selection, pests & diseases, and pruning techniques.
Tuesday, April 5th – A Four Season Harvest (7 to 9 PM): Yes! You can harvest fresh veggies all year long, even in New Hampshire! Learn the strategies and techniques for year-round vegetable production. We will even show you how to build an inexpensive greenhouse.
Tuesday, April 12th – Growing Your Favorite Veggies (7 to 9 PM): Beans, beans the magical fruit… Carrots and onions, cucumber and squash, lettuce, broccoli, spinach; they are all magical! We’ll show you some nifty tricks for greater success and improved yields.
Tuesday, April 19th – Great Tasting Tomatoes (7 to 9 PM): My kingdom for a great tasting tomato! Whether you have one tomato plant or one hundred, this is the workshop for you. Learn how to grow nutritious, great tasting tomatoes.
Saturday, April 23rd – Farm Visit (1 to 3 PM): Tour Living Earth Farm, a certified organic micro-farm in Brookline, NH, to see how we put all of these principles into practice.
Register on line by visiting:
$10 for individual weeknight workshops & Saturday’s farm visit.
$20 for Saturday all-day workshops (BYO lunch). 10% off for all BBA Members.
$125 for all 12 workshops.
Beaver Brook Association, Hollis NH | 603-465-7787


WESTFORD — The Angell at Nashoba veterinary clinic officially opened for business with a ribbon-cutting Tuesday, Feb. 2, at Nashoba Valley Technical High School.With the clinic’s opening, Nashoba Tech is now prepared to educate “the future leaders of the veterinary profession,” as Ann Marie Greenleaf, Angell Animal Medical Center’s chief of staff, said.
The clinic, located at the back of the school with free parking, is a partnership between MSCPA-Angell Animal Medical Center and Nashoba Tech’s brand-new Veterinary Assisting program. The clinic will be open weekdays, from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., and will offer spay/neuter services, vaccinations and basic veterinary care for the pets of residents of Nashoba Tech’s district who qualify financially.
Only freshmen and sophomores are being accepted into the Veterinary Assisting program this year. Five sophomores signed up, and 10 freshmen have joined the program since the freshman exploratory process, in which all first-year students spend the first half of the school year sampling all 19 technical programs before choosing the program they want to pursue, ended.
The clinic — and the Veterinary Assisting program — are the brainchild of outgoing Nashoba Tech Superintendent Judith Klimkiewicz, who one day was driving by MSPCA-Angell West on Bear Hill Road in Waltham. She had been thinking about adding Veterinary Assisting at Nashoba Tech, and decided to walk into the clinic and get the ball rolling.
“I’m very lucky I stopped by Angell Medical on Bear Hill Road that day,” Klimkiewicz told the crowd of school and local officials, students in the Veterinary Assisting program, and the architects and developers of the clinic.
Greenleaf said she thought the partnership was a great idea from the outset. “When they asked if we were interested, we jumped right in and said, ‘Absolutely,’” she said, adding that they looked to a similar partnership between Tufts School of Veterinary Medicine and Worcester Technical High School called Tufts at Tech.
“This is a great opportunity, modeled after Tufts at Tech, which is the leader in creating this type of partnership,” she said, “and they’ve been very helpful in developing our program. We look forward to broadening our scope to include high-school students. There’s a real dearth of veterinary technicians, and these are the future leaders of the veterinary profession.”
The Angell at Nashoba Clinic will be staffed by Dr. Laurence Sawyer and Lisa Quinones, a certified veterinary technician.
Betsy Hensley, who has more than 20 years in the veterinary industry, is teaching Nashoba Tech’s Veterinary Assisting program, through which students will be able to watch surgical procedures and learn from professionals. Hensley said students will learn about handling and restraint, safety, anatomy and physiology, husbandry, breed differentials, disease humans can get from animals, and much more.
Dr. Sawyer called the new clinic “gorgeous and state-of-the-art.” “They did a fantastic job building it,” she said of the space, which at one time held the now-defunct Upholstery program, and has been used for storage and by the school’s Drama Club for the past decade or so. “When I was interviewing for the position, it was like a big warehouse-type of space, so it was hard to envision it. But it’s phenomenal, and it will be a great teaching tool for the students here at Nashoba Tech.”
Nashoba Tech School Committee Chairwoman Jennifer Rhodes said the clinic and Veterinary Assisting program are exciting additions to the school. “This is a great partnership,” she said. “It’s great for the community and great for the students. Everywhere I go, people are asking me about it, so there’s a lot of excitement in the community for it, too.”
To qualify for use of the clinic, clients must present a photo ID and one of the following:
• Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program card.
• Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) card. Food Stamps/Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card.
• Spay and Neuter Assistance Program certificate.
• Proof that the client resides in public/subsidized housing.
The phone number for the Angell at Nashoba clinic is 978-577-5992.
Students are being accepted for the 2016-17 school year. Call 978-970-4611, ext. 1123

New York City Trip in May

The Groton Council on Aging is sponsoring a trip to New York City on May 8 and 9 which is open to all adults, residents and non-residents. While in New York we will visit the September 11 Memorial and Museum, Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty.  The cost is $329 for double occupancy, $459 for single, and includes admission to all museums, transportation, hotel in Times Square and breakfast.   A deposit of $50 is due at registration.  Please call the COA for additional information, 978-448-1170.

Singer/Songwriter Charlie Farren Rocks the House at ASRHS 2/26 in Support of Drama Club Scholarship Fund




AYER, MA: The Nashoba Valley Region’s own legendary singer/songwriter Charlie Farren will perform a special live acoustic performance on February 26, 2016, 7:00pm-9:00pm to benefit the Ayer Shirley Regional High School Drama Club Scholarship Fund.  The fundraising performance sure to rock the house will play at the ASRHS Auditorium, 141 Washington Street. General admission is $20.  For more information, call 978/772-2545 or visit

“We are extremely fortunate to have Mr. Farren perform in our new auditorium,” says ASRHS Drama Club President Ryan Messcher. “He will perform a “rockin” show, of this I have no doubt. Now, while I am the President of the ASRHS Drama Club, I am also a Junior in high school who is currently scoping out possible colleges. I mention this because this performance’s proceeds will go into the Drama Club Scholarship fund – obviously an exciting thing for me and many other students looking for a financial boost.  We are truly grateful for Mr. Farren’s generosity and are very much looking forward to the show!”

Charlie Farren has long been known for great songs, great singing, and for outstanding live solo acoustic performances. He captures an audience with his unique delivery, insightful lyrics, soaring vocal, and intricate and distinctive, ‘Full Band’ guitar style that distinguishes him among the country’s elite musical artists. Charlie’s solo performances have the energy and fun of a rock show, while maintaining in intimacy that makes for an entertaining and memorable evening. It has been said of his solo performances that it’s easy to forget that there is not a full band onstage!

Farren emerged onto the national scene in the early ’80s as lead singer and guitarist with The Joe Perry Project. In that band, Charlie established himself as one of the hottest young singers to emerge from the Boston music scene, writing the hits ‘Listen To The Rock’ and ‘East Coast, West Coast’ and ‘I’ve Got The Rock And Rolls Again’.  In 1986 Charlie, along with Dave Hull (also Joe Perry Project) and John Muzzy, formed FARRENHEIT and released a self-titled debut album on Warner Brothers, produced by Keith Olsen. Three singles from that album, ‘Fool in Love’, ‘Bad Habit’, and ‘Lost in Loveland’, as well as video exposure on MTV, established FARRENHEIT as one of the premier new rock acts, and winning them the opening slot for the sold-out BOSTON Third Stage tour in 1987.

“It’s SO important to support today’s youth whenever we can,” said Farren.  “No one ever has it easy, but I’ve got to say, kids nowadays are certainly dealing with a lot more pressure with a lot less opportunity, it seems, especially when it comes to the costs for education.  I’m happy to spend some time in Ayer and get to meet some of our future great people.”

Now working on what will be his 17th CD, Charlie Farren has been described as contagious, displaying a candor rarely demonstrated by former arena rock stars. His live solo performances remain the perfect forum for his remarkable talents.  Charlie takes the stage alone, and leaves with a roomful of new believers.  For more information about Charlie Farren, visit him online at

ASRHS Interim Principal Al Varga noted, “”I knew of Farren’s music in his earlier career, and was very happy to hear he had a connection here at ASRHS that brought him to support our Drama program.  Mr. Farren’s music may not be too familiar to the kids right now, but after he shows them all how it’s done on 2/26, I have NO doubt he’ll leave our house with a plethora of new fans, in addition to his tried and true ones!”

The Ayer Shirley Regional High School Drama Club currently boasts approximately fifty active members, MANY of whom are rising Seniors in 2016.  100% of the proceeds raised from this event will go directly to the ASRHS Drama Scholarship.  The more monies raised, the better the scholarships to help as many of these Seniors as much as possible in their post-graduate endeavors!  If you cannot attend this event, visit ASRHS Drama online where you can easily post a donation through the Club’s goFund me account. For more information about ASRHS Drama, please call Director JulieAnn Govang at 978/772-2545.

Singer/Songwriter Charlie Farren will perform a special live acoustic performance on February 26, 2016, 7:00pm-9:00pm to benefit the Ayer Shirley Regional High School Drama Club Scholarship Fund.  The fundraising performance sure to rock the house will play at the ASRHS Auditorium, 141 Washington Street, Ayer, MA. General admission is $20.  To reserve tickets, call (978) 772-2545, or for more information or to make a personal donation to the Fund, visit ASRHS Drama online at


*** Photo by Michael Sparks Keegan ***

Lunenburg Public Library Art Exhibit & Reception – The Legacy of Martin Luther King


Opening Reception @ the Lunenburg Public Library on February 13th from 12-2.

This exhibition is a celebration of the birth and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. King has been an inspiration to many by his life’s example and efforts towards equality, justice and hope, to name a few. We, the artists, while diverse in backgrounds, ethnicity’s and approaches, hope to have captured the many tenets of his life’s work through artistic expression, fostering a spirit of service, love for our community and overall care for mankind. The work isn’t finished. We have to continue this work together for humanity’s sake. We have to Endear the Dream. The Exhibit will run until February 29th.

This exhibit is sponsored by the Community Arts Research Initiative & Friends of the Lunenburg Public Library.

Sampling a Wood Artist’s Wares and Wisdom

The Hollis Arts Society will host creative woodworker Stephen Carey at its next meeting, 7:00 p.m. Wednesday, February 10. Carey, author of the book “Laminated Wood Art Made Easy,” will be showing samples of his work and answering questions at the Lawrence Barn, 28 Depot Road, Hollis. The public is invited to attend; admission is free.

carey book wood artCarey’s book and lecture will focus on symmetrical wood art patterns with intricate designs; he also covers woodworking basics such as safety, tools, materials, wood movement, and moisture. For more information, Carey’s website is

HAS Contact: Randy Frey (603-966-4680)

More information about the Hollis Arts Society is available at

Students Making a Difference


gentileWESTFORD — Alicia Gentile, a senior from Groton, is Nashoba Valley Technical High School’s nominee for the Outstanding Vocational Technical Student Award, given by the Massachusetts Association of Vocational Administrators.
One student is nominated from each technical high school who represents the opportunity provided by a vocational-technical education. All of the nominees are honored at a dinner in April at Mechanics Hall in Worcester.
Alicia, a Health Assisting student, is the daughter of John and Kristian Gentile. Not only is she the top-ranked student at Nashoba Tech, she is also a Dean’s List student at Middlesex Community College, which she attends through Dual Enrollment. Alicia will
graduate from MCC this spring with her Associate Degree in Liberal Arts & Sciences, and then as valedictorian of Nashoba Tech’s Class of 2016.
At Nashoba Tech, Alicia is a member of the Tri-M Music Honor Society, plays flute for the band, and has served as captain of both the cheerleading and spring track teams. Last spring, she qualified for the State Tournament in three track-and-field events and was the team’s MVP.
She has been named both a Student of the Month and an Athlete of the Month, and is a Kick-Off Mentor, helping incoming freshmen acclimate themselves to Nashoba Tech. She chaired a Nashoba Cheers for Our
Troops drive, and attended a trip to assist at a West Virginia hospital through the Health Assisting program.
At MCC, Alicia, at just 17, is a supplemental instructor, tutoring students who are up to 30 years her senior. After receiving her Associate Degree, she plans to attend either Vanderbilt University or Brown University to study Human Health Biology, with a goal of becoming a pediatric oncologist.

Two “Straight Shooting” Local Photographers to Exhibit at The Bull Run in Shirley


Featured photo by Lawrence Libby

SHIRLEY, Mass. — Some photographers excel at capturing the ordinary moments of our lives, calling attention to the beauty that’s all around us. Two accomplished Massachusetts photographers, Lawrence Libby and Paul Sihvonen-Binder, are cases in point.

Lawrence Libby describes his early life as that of an “army brat” who was fortunate to be able to take in all the great museums of Europe when he was just a youngster. Entirely self-taught, Larry started taking pictures at an early age, and by 19 he had appropriated a bathroom in his parents’ home to use as a darkroom.

The artist claims his major influences to be 20th-century American Realist, Modernist, and Regionalist painters such as Grant Wood, Georgia O’Keeffe and Winslow Homer, along with great photographers such as Ansel Adams, Edward Steichen and Henri Cartier-Bresson. Even so, his more fundamental influences go a little further back — notably to the Renaissance and Gothic masters whose work he saw as a child, and which “pre-date photography by many centuries.”

Larry has worked recently with New Vue Communities (, a non-profit organization working on issues of affordable housing and community organizing in and around Fitchburg. On the organization’s website, viewers will find an especially remarkable photo of the sky over Fitchburg, with the sun sending dramatic shafts of light around the clouds, among other startling pictures.

The artist likes to characterize his black & white photos as “dreamscapes.” He is seeking to convey moods, feelings. When deciding whether to photograph in black & white or in color, he tries “to let that decision serve the picture.”

Paul Sihvonen-Binder likes to encourage everyone to “notice the usual.” His goal is “to capture the things people might miss in the beauty they’re surrounded by.” His nature photography, much of which documents the beauty of the Pioneer Valley in Western Mass, seeks out stark, unexpected patterns in fairly mundane materials. One of his recent photos, “Wet,” captures a branch in the water that so clearly marks itself out in the almost mirror-like surface that it seems as if it were drawn with pen and ink. Pictures such as “Head On” show us the lonely splendor of little creatures who might be lost to us if Mr. Sihvonen-Binder were not there to capture the moment.

“I’m a software support specialist at the Department of Computer Science at U. Mass., Amherst,” says Paul. “I take photos on my way to work and on my way home, in the morning and in the evening. I do it to retain my sanity.” The artist finds that taking pictures helps him see himself in a healthy perspective. The beauty he sees “shows you your place in the world — that you’re not really that significant.” This perspective seems to be a welcome corrective to the hurly-burly of modern life. Paul finds himself drawn more and more to the small details, in addition to the grand vistas of the many sprawling landscapes he has photographed.

“I don’t Photoshop, I don’t play with colors,” the artist says. “I have no formal art training.” Like Mr. Libby, he is completely self-taught. But concerning influences of his art, he cites his great-grandfather, Paul Anderson, who was active as a photographer in the first half of the last century and who displayed remarkable attention to detail in his pictures.

The artists will show these exciting images to the public at The Bull Run, 215 Great Road in Shirley, Mass., on Wednesday, Feb. 10, 5 – 7 p.m. Visit — as well as and — for more information about the artistry of Lawrence Libby and Paul Sihvonen-Binder.

Townsend Earth Day 2016 NEWS

Mark your calendar. Earth Day 2016 will be here before you know it.
It is being held on April 23rd from 10  3 at the Townsend, MA Town Common. Rain date is April 24th from noon-4. The 2016 theme is Country Farm Living.
If you would like to join in on the planning of the event, meetings will be in the Townsend Town Hall, room 1; Feb 1st-10 AM, Feb 16th-6:30 PM, March 1st-10 AM, March 15th-6:30 PM and April 19th-6:30 PM.

Vendors/Crafters: $30. a space. Contact

Non profits/volunteer entertainers to or find us on facebook at Townsend Earth Day.

NVTHS Selects Superintendent

WESTFORD — The Nashoba Valley Technical High School Committee has selected Principal Denise Pigeon to be the next superintendent for the district, pending contract negotiations.

Pigeon, 40, has been with the district since the 2005-06 school year, starting as its director of curriculum and grants before being named
principal in 2010.
Pigeon would replaced Dr. Judith L. Klimkiewicz, who started as superintendent with the 1996-97 school year and is retiring in her 20th year leading the district.
“I’m very excited to continue to move the school forward,” Pigeon said. “The most exciting aspect is that the district is filled with outstanding educators and outstanding students, and I look forward to working with them as a team.”
Pigeon was one of three finalists for the  position.
One of the other finalists, Leo DeSimone, director of the Career and Technical Education Department at  Somerville High School, was originally offered the position on Jan. 26 but ultimately declined the
offer. The committee then selected Pigeon over the
third finalist, Carissa Karakaedos, assistant superintendent at Shawsheen Valley Technical High School in Billerica, by a 13-1 vote.
Member Maria Karafelis of Chelmsford voted for Karakaedos.
Pigeon is currently working on the final phases of her doctorate in educational leadership from Nova Southeastern University. She received her Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies in educational leadership and occupational administration from Fitchburg State College, her Master of Education in technology in education from Lesley University
and her Bachelor of Science in health education from Worcester State College.
Before coming to Nashoba Tech, Pigeon worked at Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School in Haverhill, first as a health teacher and junior-varsity volleyball coach, then as a cluster chair and instructional technology specialist.
She is an Amesbury native, and currently resides in Haverhill with her husband, Andrew, and three children.
Nashoba Tech’s district consists of Ayer, Chelmsford, Groton, Littleton, Pepperell, Shirley, Townsend and Westford, MA.

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