In addition to annual maintenance and management of the town's conservation trails and meadows, the Lexington Conservation Division and Conservation Stewards are engaged in a number of projects to improve the town's conservation infrastructure, wildlife habitat, ecosystem health, and scenic value. See Archived Projects
Find out About Our Current & Recent Projects
The Conservation Commission opened the public hearing for the Parker Meadow amended Order of Conditions (DEP# 201-1193) on June 12, 2023 and closed the hearing on July 10, 2023. The Conservation Commission will vote on a decision during the public meeting on July 24, 2023. The request for amended Order of Conditions was filed by the Town of Lexington Conservation Division for the installation of twenty story walk posts within the previously approved limit of work line at Parker Meadow.
Plans and documents are available for viewing online here: https://lexingtonma.portal.opengov.com/records/76935
The Conservation Commission held a public meeting on 1-30-2023, 3-6-2023 and 5/15/2023 to discuss the story walk installation at Parker Meadow Conservation Area. During the 3-6-2023 meeting, the Commission voted to establish a working group made up of Conservation staff, Library staff, and Conservation Commission members to discuss options and identify next steps.
|(3) Betula nigra (River Birch)||Substituted with (3) red maple|
|(9) Aronia arbutifolia, red chokeberry||Substituted with (9) Aronia melanocarpa, black chokeberry straight species|
|(10) Aesclepias incarnata, swamp milkweed||Substituted with Lobelia cardinalis, Eupatorium perfoliatum and Veronicastrum virginicum (based on availability)|
Heading out to explore Parker Meadow? Print out the Nature Scavenger Hunt and Fall 2022 Checklist (PDF)
The Lexington Conservation Division has engaged an environmental consultant Land Stewardship, Inc. to develop a land management plan for Willard's Woods. They have been busy since November 2019 cataloging the property's natural resources, assessing the property's trails and cultural features, and developing some preliminary recommendations for how we should manage the property long-term. The Conservation Commission will create an engineered design plan for Universally Accessible parking area(s), an interpretive trail system, and a pond observation deck from Spring 2022 to Fall 2022; this project is being funded by CPA and was approved at annual town meeting Article (14B/19).
- View the Willard's Woods Presentation from January 30, 2020 (PDF).
- Watch the Willard's Woods Presentation from June 17, 2021 or View the Willard's Woods Presentation PowerPoint (PDF).
- Comments and Questions from the June 17, 2021 Public Forum (PDF).
- Review the final Willard's Woods Ecological Land Management and Design Plan (November 2, 2021) (PDF).
- Watch the November 15, 2021 public meeting or View the Willard's Woods Presentation PowerPoint November 15, 2021 (PDF).
- Comments and Questions from the November 15, 2021 Public Forum (PDF)
- On June 14, 2022, a public charrette was held to discuss and provide input on the design and engineering details. Watch the Recording and View the Meeting Notes from Kyle Zick Landscape Architecture.
- View the Willard's Woods update from July 25, 2022.
- View the Willard's Woods update presented during the November 7, 2022 public meeting.
- View the Willard's Woods update to be presented during the December 14, 2022 public meeting and watch the Recording of the meeting.
Please submit any questions and feedback to the Conservation Coordinator to email Amber Carr.
The University of Rhode Island (URI) is conducting a research project at West Farm, focusing on the biological control of black swallow-wort. To learn more, please visit the URI webpage: https://web.uri.edu/biocontrol/projects/swallow-worts/
Field edge restoration work on the fields at West Farm will take place from Fall 2022 to Fall 2023. The nature of this preservation work will involve removing encroaching vegetation—trees, brush, and invasive species—which have overtaken the field edges and have degraded the quality of the field both for wildlife and human enjoyment. The result of this work will be habitat improvements for wildlife in both the open fields and wooded areas.
Open fields like West Farm are extremely important for a wide variety of bird species, pollinators and other invertebrates, and small mammals. Our open fields and meadows also provide unique recreational opportunities like hiking, x-country skiing, and bird watching while contributing greatly to the historic character and scenic beauty of Lexington; this is particularly true of West Farm. It should be noted that open fields like those at West Farm are in decline throughout New England as old agricultural land reverts back to forest or is converted to other uses; the Town of Lexington is joining many local and regional conservation organizations who are prioritizing this type of work.
April 2021: During the first Stewardship Saturday of the season, volunteers prepared the site for the future hoop house to grow small native herbaceous plants and shrubs for the purpose of restoring Lexington conservation areas.
June / July 2021: Proceeds from the Pollinator Planting Kit sale helped to purchase necessary materials and on July 17th volunteers enclosed the hoop house with poultry wire and shade netting, installed a custom-made door, and enclosed a "backyard" for establishing in-ground plantings to use for seed stock. January 2022: Seed planting will begin for seeds that require overwintering before it will sprout. The hoop house will remain open to the elements so the plants are grown in natural conditions. An on-site water source will provide for the plants only during the summer months.
The New Lexington Plant Nursery (PDF), by Holly Samuels, Lexington Conservation Steward
Anyone interested in volunteering to work in the nursery learning how to sow seed or transplant seedlings into larger pots can email Holly Samuels.
In 2017, Conservation Steward Director Holly Samuels began a long-term ecological restoration project at Cataldo Reservation in East Lexington. The purpose of the project is to diversify the native habitat at Cataldo Reservation for supporting wildlife, and to prevent the seed bank of invasive plant species from sprouting. The long-term aim is to provide a model for restoring adjacent natural areas in East Lexington, as well as other conservation areas in Lexington. This will be a multi-year project and maintenance will need to continue indefinitely.
In 2018, the project engaged over 100 volunteers from Lexington High School, Lexington Scout Troops, Grace Chapel, and other groups. For more information on the project and to get involved, email East Lexington Habitat Enrichment Project.
November 2021: The Mass Audubon Ecological Extension Service prepared a Land Management and Design Plan for Wright Farm (PDF) approved by the Conservation Commission on March 7, 2022.
The Conservation Division's long-term Conservation Meadow Preservation Program commenced at Wright Farm in early January 2020. The project - which is aimed at improving the site for both wildlife habitat and enhanced recreation - is being funded through the Community Preservation Act; funding was appropriated for the project at Town Meeting 2017.
The work involves selective removal of both native and non-native trees and shrubs along the field edges at Wright Farm, thus achieving multiple goals:
- the preservation of scenic views into the property from Grove Street
- the removal of problematic invasive plant pressure encroaching on the meadow's edges
- the restoration of meadow habitat, particularly along the edges.
Additionally, the property's stone walls are now much more visible and provide a visual link to Wright Farm's agricultural history and a welcome scenic vista for visitors and passersby alike on Grove Street.
Since 2015, the Conservation Division's Conservation Meadow Preservation Program has preserved nearly 15 acres of meadow habitat at Hennessey Field (Paint Mine Conservation Area), Joyce Miller's Meadow, and now Wright Farm.
The Orchard Steward Program is a project of the Lexington Conservation Stewards. As an Orchard Steward, you'll work with a dedicated group of likeminded volunteers to maintain the orchard, prune, graft, and fertilize on an annual basis, and help organize an annual apple festival at the orchard. This will be a great opportunity to help protect this beautiful property, learn new skills, and meet other orchard enthusiasts in Lexington.
The Lexington Conservation Division has engaged an environmental consultant, Land Stewardship, Inc., to develop a field management plan for Chiesa Farm Conservation Area. Since May 2022, they have been busy inventorying the property's natural resources and familiarizing themselves with the property.
On September 18, 2023, the Conservation Commission voted to approve the Field Management Plan for Chiesa Farm.
Since Spring 2021, Lexington Living Landscapes has collaborated with the Lexington Conservation Division to sell Pollinator Planting kits. The plants are grown at a certified organic native perennial farm in New Hampshire and come in quart-size biodegradable pots. In 2023, both Sun Kits and Shade Kits were available, as well as A La Carte plants such as: Common Wood Sedge (Carex blanda) and St. John’s Wort plants (Hypericum prolifecum).
The 2023 plant sale has closed. Thank you to all who purchased and volunteered! We anticipate sales for 2024 will be available in the Spring.
2018 was a record-breaking year for garlic mustard pulling in Lexington with more than 150 contractor bags filled with garlic mustard from 11 different sites, including Idylwilde, Daisy Wilson Meadow, Dunback Meadow, Cotton Farm, Cataldo Reservation, the Minuteman Bikeway, Lincoln Park, and Lower Vine Brook.
We engaged over 70 volunteers in this effort for over 160 volunteer hours- amazing!
Many thanks to the following groups for their participation in this work:
- The Citizens for Lexington Conservation
- Lexington Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, and Cub Scouts
- Lexington High School Freshman Earth Science Students
- Grace Chapel
- Daughters of the American Revolution
- Temple Isaiah
The Daisy Wilson Meadow Improvement Project involves invasive species removal, brush clearing, the construction of a new 180' boardwalk along the trail leading into the meadow from Moreland Avenue, and the beautification of the stone wall frontage. The Conservation Stewards received a wetlands permit for the work from the Lexington Conservation Commission in June 2015.
The boardwalk was completed in the fall of 2017. In April 2018, Girl Scouts from Lexington Troop 63054 undertook a native plant restoration project at the property as part of their Silver Award service project. The plantings are all native edible plants that will provide screening and privacy both for trail users and for neighbors along the field at Daisy Wilson Meadow. Arlington resident and experienced forager Russ Cohen served as a mentor on the project.
Invasive plant management and improvement of the scenic view into the meadow from Moreland Avenue will be ongoing.
The Conservation Division received funding through the Community Preservation Act at Town Meeting 2017 to make some much-needed parking and trail infrastructure improvements at Cotton Farm. In the Fall of 2018, landscape architecture firm KZLA was engaged to design a new handicap-accessible parking lot, trail system and pond-observation platform at the scenic property.
The construction contract was awarded to, SumCo Eco Contracting; the work will be done late-August through spring 2020. Trails on the property may be temporarily closed during the project. Plans for the project are available to view at the Conservation Division, ground floor of the Town Office Building.
For more information, email Amber Carr, Conservation Coordinator, or call her at 781-698-4505.