Ashley Outings

June 2021

With the recent relaxing of Covid restrictions, we at AVC have been in a flurry of excitement to provide some outings for late spring and early summer. A recently completed parking area at the end of Nutting Road offers visitors an opportunity to drive right to the Forest. Please note that there is presently no sign marking Nutting Road. It is just south of the Brook Road/Robinson Rd intersection. See map below.

We are very pleased to provide this schedule for June and July 2021. To register for the walks, contact Michael Sacca at mfsacca@gmail.com or call 802.889.3210. Please wear appropriate footwear, tick prevention (light colored clothing, long sleeves. Some of the walks will be through hilly terrain.

June 5, 7:30-9:30 A.M.
Birds, Steve Faccio, Biologist, Vermont Center for EcoStudies Ornithologist Steve Faccio will lead this walk. Participants can expect to see resident birds on territories as we explore the birds of field and forest. There will be some emphasis placed on bird song now that the leaf cover is nearly complete.

June 5, 9:30-11 A.M.
Emerald Ash Borer, David Paganelli, Orange County Forester

County Forester David Paganelli will talk about this threat to northern woodlands for landowners. David will share his knowledge of this and other threats to our native trees and an opportunity to learn about possible treatments and ways to protect your cherished ash trees.  It is also a time to enjoy the beauty of the Ashley Community Forest.  Sponsored by the Sharon Conservation Commission and the Alliance for Vermont Communities.

David Paganelli has served as Orange County Forester for the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation since 1989. He serves on the Board of the Vermont Woodlands Association, the organization advocating for forest landowners in Vermont. David and his wife, Judith Falk, own Clover Hill Tree Farm in South Strafford and have been active in hosting and leading programs on silviculture, wildlife habitat improvement, invasive plant treatment, and many other forest management topics. Clover Hill Tree Farm was named Vermont’s Outstanding Tree Farm for 2015.

June 19, 9-11 A.M.
CELLAR HOLES AND STONE WALLS, Paul Kristensen, historian

Join Paul Kristensen in an exploration of the well-preserved stone remains of a farmstead located in the Ashley Community Forest. Using the abundant evidence of walls, foundations and other stonework, participants will gain insight as to how and why the structures were built.

Paul Kristensen is a resident of Sharon. He has a love for old farm and house sites that provide glimpses into how the owners lived and worked the land. 

June 19, 2-4 P.M.
GEOLOGY OF ASHLEY COMMUNITY FOREST, Thelma and Peter Thompson, Geologists

Join Peter and Thelma Thompson in an introduction to the rock units exposed on the property in the context of Vermont geology, and some speculation as to the bedrock’s influence on soils, flora, and human activity such as the foundations and stone walls found in the Ashley Community Forest.

Thelma Barton Thompson taught geology labs at Cornell and later served as maps librarian at UNH. Peter Thompson is a Vermont native who taught geology at Cornell College, Iowa, for 15 years and at UNH for 15 years. The two met at UVM in the early ’70s and together spent many summers mapping bedrock in the northern Green Mountains.

June 26, 9:30-11:30 A.M. POEMS IN THE FOREST, Ina Anderson, poet

If you’ve never written poems before but you’ve always wanted to, or if you’re already an accomplished poet, or if you’re anything in between, come into the woods and enjoy letting the trees do their work on you.  Ina will provide gentle prompts, and you’ll start a few poems while perched on an old wall or meandering along a forest trail.   Ina will provide small clipboards.  Bring your own pen and paper.
 
Ina Anderson’s poems have appeared in several anthologies and journals, including Perhaps It Was the Pie,  Birchsong, and This Place I Know. Her first poetry collection, Journey Into Space, was published in 2018. Her poem, Joe Baker, was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She leads poetry workshops at Seven Stars Arts Center in Sharon VT.

June 27, 9-11 A.M.
FERNS, Micki Colbeck, Naturalist

Ferns are one of the easiest species to identify in our area as there are just a couple of key identifying features to look for, and not a lot of fern diversity up north. We will learn the quick and easy methods of learning to tell them apart. Have a look at a short piece on the secret sex life of ferns from my blog to get started. https://mjcolbeck.com/category/fern-reproduction/

Micki Colbeck is a naturalist, photographer and writer. She can often be seen hiking the hills and valleys of Strafford. You can find her musings in the Valley News Sunday Perspectives section under the moniker, A Solitary Walker. 

June 30 12-2 P.M. (Wednesday)
POLLINATORS, Nathaniel Sharp, Biologist, Vermont Center for EcoStudies Description coming soon.

July 10, 9-11 A.M.
READING THE LANDSCAPE, David Paganelli, Orange County Forester

Using a sharp eye for clues, David will reveal past uses of the the Ashley Community Forest and ways to interpret any wooded landscape. The site is rich with remains to its past as a sheep farm including beautiful stone walls and foundations. This is the third time this popular walk has been offered.

Fall 2020

Due to the pandemic, Spring and Summer outings were cancelled. Below are two of the  outings  we offered in October 2020. Stay tuned for spring 2021 Outings.

The Alliance for Vermont Communities sponsored two natural history and historical outings at the Ashley Community Forest in the month of October 2020. The goal of the outings was to invite local residents to explore and appreciate the land.

Naturalist Walk

with Micki Colbeck and Tii McLane

Sunday, October 11, 2020   9:00 to 11:00am.

Join local naturalists Micki Colbeck and Tii McLane for a walk as the woods prepare for winter. We will explore ferns, mosses, flowering plants, and birds as we hike the Ashley Community Forest located on the boundary of Sharon and Strafford.

Directions will be provided upon signup.  Space is limited to 10 participants. To register, please contact Michael Sacca at mfsacca@gmail.com or 802.889.3210.

Please wear appropriate footwear, a facial mask and take tick prevention measures by wearing light colored clothing and long sleeves. The hike will be through some hilly terrain.

Elisabeth “Tii” McLane lives in Strafford, Vermont and works as a self-employed Forester/Forest Ecologist. She has 28 years of experience in the natural sciences, with extensive field experience in forestry and wildlife management, botany, and general field ecology. Tii has served on Strafford’s Conservation Commission, and is a member of Linking Lands Alliance.

Micki Colbeck is a recent graduate of Antioch University, with a masters in Conservation Biology.  She serves on the Strafford Conservation Commission and the Alliance for Vermont Communities and writes about humans in the natural environment for the Valley News Perspectives under the moniker, “A Solitary Walker.

Reading the Landscape

with David Paganelli

Sunday October 18, 2020   9:00 to 11:30am.

Using a sharp eye for clues, David will reveal past uses of the the Ashley Community Forest and ways to interpret any wooded landscape. The site is rich with remains to its past as a sheep farm including beautiful stone walls and foundations. The hike will be led by, David Paganelli, Orange County Forester.

Directions will be provided upon signup.  Space is limited to 10 participants. To register, please contact Michael Sacca at mfsacca@gmail.com or 802.889.3210.

Please wear appropriate footwear, a facial mask and take tick prevention measures by wearing light colored clothing and long sleeves. The hike will be through some hilly terrain.

David Paganelli has served as Orange County Forester for the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation since 1989. In addition to administering the Current Use program for forestland in Orange County, David also manages 30 municipal forests totaling approximately 4,500 acres. David and his wife, Judith Falk, own Clover Hill Tree Farm in South Strafford and have been active in hosting and leading programs on silviculture, wildlife habitat improvement, invasive plant treatment, and many other forest management topics. Clover Hill Tree Farm was named Vermont’s Outstanding Tree Farm for 2015.

The following five-minute slideshow highlights some of the 18 educational outings the Ashley Community Forest presented in partnership with the Vermont Center for Ecostudies in 2019.

Ashley Outings Schedule: Fall 2019

September 21 – Mosses  9:00am-11:30am    Mike Hebb and Alan Strickland          Learn More

September 28 – Bedrock Geology of the Ashley Community Forest  9:00-11:30am     Peter and Thelma Thompson        Learn More

October 5      –  Trees    9:00-11:30am      Paul Harwood       Learn More

October 12 –    – Cellar Holes & Stone Walls  9:00am-11:30am      Paul Kristensen   Learn More

October 13      – Fall Mushrooms  9:00am-11:30am         Peter Brooke & Ray Sehnal          Learn More

The Outings listed below were offered in the spring and summer of 2019.

The Alliance for Vermont Communities in partnership with the Vermont Center for Ecostudies offered a series of hikes led by local naturalists in the Ashley Community Forest, a beautiful 256-acre wooded area which straddles the Sharon and Strafford boundary.