=> The Herring Crawl scheduled for May 1st & 2nd, 2020 was postponed. See these resources to do the Herring Crawl at your own pace.
=> Saturday, August 6th, rain date August 7th
3 pm to 6 pm
The Weston’s Bogs at 173 Herring Pond Road
Come one, come all to the 8th annual HPWA Picnic on the Pond at the Weston’s bog on Great Herring Pond. There will be land and water activities and all children are welcome. This is a great opportunity to meet your neighbors around the Herring Ponds in a casual and enjoyable environment.
You can come by car or boat. There will be ample parking for both. We ask you to bring an appetizer, salad, main dish or dessert to share with your old and new friends. We will provide the plates, cups, napkins, soft drinks and dinnerware. We will also have hot dogs and hamburgers from the grill. Some seats will be available but you may want to bring some as well.
For further information contact Jack Kedian 508-280-7073 or email@example.com
HPWA Annual Meeting
=> Monday, August 22 at 7pm
SEMPBA meeting room, 158 Center Hill Rd., off of Rt. 3A
We will elect half of the Board of Directors, as per our Organizational bylaws. Up for election are:
Jack Kedian, Co-chair Water Quality Committee
John Foye, currently serving as Treasurer
Martha Sheldon, Chair of the Membership Committee and member of the Communications Committee
Philip Angell, currently serving as Vice-President
Ramona Krogman, currently serving as a Member-at-Large, and Herring count coordinator
Don Williams, currently serving as President.
Also please see the Preliminary Report of the 2022 Nominating Committee
There will be brief reports of the activities of the committees with time for questions and comments. Then we will have a program on “Birds in Our Watershed” with lots of photos by expert birders Brian Harrington and Martha Sheldon. Followed by refreshments and time for socializing.
We hope you will be able to attend and provide your input as to how HPWA can better help preserve our special environment. If you cannot attend in person, we plan to arrange a hybrid meeting so you can participate by zoom. Look for an email in August with more details.
Butterfly Walk with Blake Dinius
June 26, 2022, 10 am
Myles Standish State Forest
Want to reduce stress? Exercise more? Butterfly watching is a meditative experience that will get you out in nature and achieving those goals.
Bring your children and friends and join Blake Dinius, the Plymouth County Entomologist Educator, for a leisurely walk while learning about butterflies. Registration not required.
We will meet in Parking Lot 2 in Miles Standish State Forest on Upper College Pond Rd. at 10am.
Enter at the East Entrance onto Alden Rd., follow it until you hit Upper College Pond Road. This will be on your left. When you get to the intersection of Upper and Lower College Pond Road, keep left and stay on Upper College Pond Road. Stay on this until you hit Parking Lot #2 (on your right).
You can find over 100 species of butterflies in Massachusetts.
Some butterflies that are common to find this time of year include:
Spring azure; Pearl crescent; American lady; American copper; Clouded sulphur; Orange sulphur; Cabbage white. There is also a chance that we might see some more rare butterflies as well.
Herring Counts anytime
=> April 1 – May 31
Join volunteers to observe and count herring swimming upstream into Great Herring Pond to spawn. Contact Ramona Krogman (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you can donate 10 minutes once or twice a week. (See feature article.)
World Declines in Insect Population
=> April 12, 2022 at 7pm
a Zoom program with Blake Dinius, Plymouth County Entomologist.
Just this past September, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service declared 23 species in America to be extinct.
In 2018, the New York Times published on the “insect apocalypse,” a term that has come to represent both documented and anecdotal declines in insect populations around the world.
When we think of examples of endangered species, our minds often jump to animals from distant lands: pandas, tropical birds, rhinos, big cats. But Plymouth County is home to several protected species of insects:
- Buck Moth (Hemileuca maia), special concern
- Frosted Elfin Butterfly (Callophrys irus), special concern
- And, Barrens Tiger Beetle (Cicindela patruela), endangered
These species need our help just as much as any others.
Insects make up 77% (or more) of all animal life. They fulfill vital roles for keeping our planet functioning, such as pollinating our flowers, serving as food sources for birds, decomposing wastes, and cycling nutrients.
While some agree with the Times article, others say that “it’s not as bad as it seems.” This is hopeful, but is it true? The correct answer to this question is critical.
Join our program on Tuesday, April 12 at 7pm where we will review the literature surrounding this nuanced and (still developing) topic of entomology. We will also review ways that you can make your own yard a safe haven for nature. Whether rare or common, in the words of E. O. Wilson, insects are “the little things that run the world.”
Blake graduated with a degree in Biology from University of Massachusetts – Boston. Soon after, he began a 7-year career in insect research where he directed studies on bees, lacewings, springtails, earthworms, and other critters. He helped to develop guidelines and practices that are currently being used world-wide in the world of ecotoxicology.
As an extension educator, Blake serves the county by delivering science-based education in the form of actionable items – Information that you can put into practice and rely on.
Blake offers programs on anything entomology-related: From pollinator gardening to tick bite prevention to educational butterfly walks.
=> April 23, 10am-3pm
Celebrate the running of alewives and blueback herring and learn more about them at the Herring Festival at the Jenny Pond Park. HPWA with the Herring Pond Wampanoag Tribe will be hosting a Herring Fish Ladder Adventure Activity on the hillside near the Plimoth Grist Mill for children to learn about the herring return to fresh water to spawn while having fun. Many volunteers are needed to help with this activity. Contact Melissa Ferretti (email@example.com ) to learn how you can help.
Explore some of the Herring Runs in Plymouth
=> May – any nice day
You can look for herring returning to their birthplace water in one or all five of the herring runs in Plymouth. Download the Herring Crawl Map and directions on the HPWA Website: https://www.theherringpondswatershed.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/HerringCrawlMap-Facts.pdf
Town Clean Up
=> May 7 – anytime
Contact Linda White at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are willing to clean up along the roadside or park area in your neighborhood to help beautify our watershed on Saturday May 7. You will be provided with special purple bags from the Town, which DPW crews will collect from the roadside later in the day. Last year a small crew of HPWA members filled dozens of bags of discarded bottles and trash and a few others removed dozens of old tires from along the Carters River. Hopefully with more volunteers we can clean up more area around our lovely ponds, allowing Nature to shine rather than litter and trash.
Spring Bird Walks
=> May 17 and 24
Join Martha Sheldon and Brian Harrington on the 17th and/or the 24th of May for a HPWA spring bird walk at the Carter Beal Conservation Area, starting at 7 AM and ending around 10, or leave earlier if you choose. Cancelled in the event of heavy rain. The Conservation area is at the junction of Herring Pond Rd and Bourndale Rd.
Butterfly Discovery Walk
=> June 26 10am
with Blake Dinius in Miles Standish State Forest
Want to reduce stress? Exercise more? Butterfly watching is a meditative experience that will get you out in nature and achieving those goals. Bring your children and friends and join Blake Dinius, the Plymouth County Entomologist Educator, for a leisurely walk while learning about butterflies.
We will meet in Parking Lot 2 in Miles Standish State Forest on Upper College Pond Rd. at 10am. Enter at the East Entrance onto Alden Rd., follow it until you hit Upper College Pond Road. This will be on your left. When you get to the intersection of Upper and Lower College Pond Road, keep left and stay on Upper College Pond Road. Stay on this until you hit Parking Lot #2 (on your right).
You can find over 100 species of butterflies in Massachusetts. Some butterflies that are common to find this time of year include: Spring azure, Pearl crescent, American lady, American copper, Clouded sulphur, Orange sulphur, and Cabbage white. There is also a chance that we might see some more rare butterflies as well.
Tracking Herring Migration
=> March 15, 2022 at 7pm
A HPWA Zoom Program with Abigail Archer, Fisheries and Aquaculture Specialist, Cape Cod Cooperative Extension & Woods Hole Sea Grant
Learn more about our native herring and what is being done to restore their numbers.
River Herring, who use streams and ponds along the SE Massachusetts coast to spawn in April and May, were once very plentiful. But in recent decades they have become a severely diminished resource protected by the State. Plymouth has piloted programs to remove dams and restore streams to enhance the river herring migration.
Abigail will describe the river herring passage evaluation work that’s been taking place on Town Brook in Plymouth both before and after the Holmes Dam removal, and what passive integrated transponder telemetry tagging has shown about passage at the Jenney Grist Mill dam. She will also talk about the development of elementary, middle school, and high school lesson plans that are based on the research at Town Brook.
Abigail Archer works as an Extension Agent and Marine Resource Specialist for the Barnstable County Cape Cod Cooperative Extension Marine Program and Woods Hole Sea Grant. She serves as coordinator for the River Herring Network. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Natural Science and Dance from Hampshire College in 2002 and a Masters of Science in Wildlife & Fisheries Conservation from University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 2009.
A HPWA Zoom Program with Stephen McCloskey of WDC – Whale and Dolphin Conservation, North America
=> Thursday, February 17,2022 at 7:00 pm
If you’re lucky, you can spot North Atlantic Right Whales in early spring and summer months in Cape Cod Bay and the Gulf of Maine. However, these whales are becoming increasingly harder to find as there are fewer than 400 individuals left in the world. Stephen McCloskey explains why whales are important, dives into the unique anatomy of N.A. Right Whales, and assesses their current status. What threats do they face, and what’s being done to help save this highly endangered baleen whale species? Learn how you can help.
Stephen McCloskey is the Education Coordinator at WDC North America – Whale and Dolphin Conservation, a global charity dedicated to the protection of whales and dolphins. Stephen obtained a B.S. from Georgia College in Environmental Science. After graduating, he moved to Nantucket where he took a job as a Naturalist. Since then he has worked across multiple states in environmental and conservation education. Since obtaining his Master’s degree in Conservation Biology from Miami (OH) Global Field Program, Stephen has worked at WDC, based in Plymouth, MA.
Climate Change Impacts and What We Can Do
Monday, November 1, 7pm
HPWA Zoom Program with Melanie Monaco
Join Zoom Meeting: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/3013502966 Meeting ID: 301 350 2966
Melanie Monaco will be joining us to discuss Sustainable Plymouth’s outreach and advocacy campaign around climate impacts and local action. She will be discussing the accelerating climate change effects here in Plymouth and suggest what we can do.
Melanie Monaco founded Sustainable Plymouth two years ago. She is the former Chairperson and is currently on Sustainable Plymouth’s Advisory Board as the Treasurer. Melanie is a full-time student with a focus on environmental accounting, as well as owning and operating a small bookkeeping firm with her niece. Her background is in logistics, administration, management, and financial accounting. She’s learning on the go about the issues affecting our ecosystem and considers herself a layperson in the environmental arena.
Conserving Our Water Now for Our Children and the Ecosystem
Thursday, September 23rd, 7 pm
Eric Cody, Chair of the recently formed Plymouth Water Conservation Committee, will present some of the work the Committee has done and their recommendations for ways we can save water daily to preserve our aquifer and ensure there will be adequate water for our children and grandchildren. He will also address the challenge of changing the town’s mindset of only considering new wells when water demand is projected to exceed supply. All Plymouth residents share the same source for their water – the Plymouth Carver Sole Source Aquifer. Whether we are on Town water or our own wells, the water comes from the aquifer beneath our feet and is limited and threatened. We must learn to do our part to conserve it, and learn how to become part of the solution.
Comassakumkanut Preserve Ribbon Cutting
Saturday, August 28th, 11:00 am
HPWA Annual Meeting
Monday, August 16th, 7 pm
Pondville Wampanoag Meeting House
128 Herring Pond Rd
Please attend our Annual Meeting for the election of officers and updates on what HPWA is doing to preserve and protect our beautiful watershed. Geri Williams will give a short program with pictures of her gardens. She will share information on what works in our specific ecosystem and how to recognize and remove some of the pesky invasive plants we have. Afterward, we will share snacks and socialize.
Lands of the Herring Ponds Wampanoag
Thursday, July 15th, 7 pm
Little Red School House, Long Pond Rd
Melissa Ferretti, Chairlady of the Herring Pond Wampanoag Tribe, will discuss the historic lands of her tribe and their special relationship to and guardianship of the land within the Herring Ponds Watershed. The original reservation of the Herring Ponds Wampanoag Tribe encompassed much of the land along the east side of Great Herring Pond and to the north of it. We will learn about their early homes and way of life and how it was lost or taken from them, as well as how they continue the traditions of living with the land and caring for it.
=> June 7, 6:30 PM
Where: on the lawn at Camp Bournedale, 110 Valley Road
We will hold our first in-person meeting of the year with Harbor Master Chad Hunter who will go over boating safety regulations, answer questions and help us understand how to keep ourselves and our neighbors safe on the water this summer.
=> Wednesdays, May 19 and 26, 7 AM
Spring Bird Walks
Warblers and Orioles! We are happy to announce that HPWA is planning two spring bird walks, one on May 19 and the other on May 26. Both walks will be co-led by ornithologist Brian Harrington and Martha Sheldon, starting at 7 am, for 2-3 hours. Participants can choose to leave the walk at any time. Meet at the Carter Beal Conservation Area, 20 Bournedale Road in Bourne. We will have a few binoculars available for loan. Walk will be cancelled in the event of heavy rain. Phone Martha at 774-217-8362 with any questions.
=> Saturday, May 8, anytime
Plymouth Clean Up Day
Please help beautify our watershed by removing trash and litter. Geri Williams will pick up special trash bags from Town Hall, and DPW will take them away for free after the clean-up date. If you would like to participate, contact Geri or phone 508-833-4355 to arrange to pick up a bag. Let her know the area you will be sprucing up and advise her where you will leave your filled bag. A simple way you can make a difference!
=> May 4, 2021. 7 PM, HPWA Zoom Presentation
Protecting Our Aquifer from Chemical Contamination
Brian Baumgaertel and Kalliope Chute (above) are water quality professionals at Barnstable County government and are part of the Groundwater Guardians team. Brian is the director of MassTC a national leader in innovative septic system research; and Kalliope leads the Water Quality and Hazardous Materials Program at Cape Cod Cooperative Extension with the goal of protecting Cape Cod’s largely unconfined sole source aquifer from chemical contamination. They will be discussing water quality issues, such as wastewater impacts on pond health, contaminants of emerging concern, and chemical resiliency. They’ll give information on proper disposal of unwanted medications, mercury, and other items too toxic to trash. They also provide guidance on proper septic system maintenance and innovative alternative options. Bought to you by Herring Ponds Watershed Association.
The Bugs That Bug You
=> February 22, 2021
Landscaping for Bird Diversity
A Zoom Presentation by Claudia Thompson, Founder of Grow Native Massachusetts
Do you aspire to create landscapes with genuine ecological value to a wide array of birds— from songbirds, to owls, woodpeckers and more? We will explore the principles and practices for achieving this in our home landscapes, action that is essential in a world where the survival of many native bird species is threatened. We’ll first consider the importance of native plants. Then we will look at the habitat requirements of different bird groups— the value of varied canopy layers, providing water, and the critical role of healthy ecological systems overall. We will also look at our human interactions with birds. What are the pros and cons of feeding birds, and do nest boxes really help our native songbirds to breed? We will also provide resources for learning more about the native plants most appropriate to our local ecosystem.
Ms. Thompson founded Grow Native Massachusetts in 2010 and led its programs and growth through its first decade, becoming recognized nationally as a leader in the native plant movement. She served as Director of Education for the Appalachian Mountain Club, Director of Drumlin Farm for Mass Audubon, and was on the board of the New England Wild Flower Society. She is a strong advocate for the importance of land stewardship and believes that conservation begins at home. Claudia’s happiest moments are spent in her own gardens, watching a diverse array of hawks, migrating songbirds, and even rare species such as woodcocks— all taking sustenance and utilizing the habitat she and her husband have created on a relatively small parcel in urban Cambridge. Learn more about her work at www.claudiagthompson.com.
=> October 24, 2020
World Fish Migration Day – see details
Earth Day 2020 – virtual event due to COVID-19 – see details
National Arbor Day – virtual event due to COVID-19 – see details
August 19, 2019
Cedarville Fire Station
HPWA’s Public Program featured Capt. Mike Burns Jr., Director of Mass Maritime Academy’s Professional Advanced Shiphandling Training Professional Program, describing their use of manned model tankers on Great Herring Pond.
[See presentation slides]
July 13, 2019
9:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Cedarville Fire Station
HPWA Shed Faire 2019
Reuse/Recycle/Repurposing Sale | Educational Displays, Member Folk Art and Socialization | See details
June 30, 2019
Wildlands Trust Conservation Barn
A Videographer’s Tour of the Herring Ponds
May 19, 2019
Naturescaping Your Yard
HPWA’s public program
Michael Talbot, an award-winning landscape designer and Certified Ecological Restoration Practitioner, showed ways to create yards that are colorful and interesting year-round, while providing improved wildlife habitat. Handouts
April 27, 2019
The 2019 Herring Run Festival
Plimoth Grist Mill.
HPWA’s 2019 River Herring Count “ran” April 1 thru May 31 at Sandy Pond Rd bridge. Sixteen volunteers joined in the fun and became Citizen Scientists! Preliminary reports from the Cape Cod Canal electronic counter indicate numbers up as much as 48% or more over the previous year!
March 29, 2019
8:00 am -4:00 pm
Camp Kiwanee in Hanson
The Watershed Action Alliance (WAA) held a conference on “Water – New England’s Next Big Challenge”
See presentation pdfs.
March 16, 2019
Wildlands Trust Conservation Barn
HPWA provided a presentation about the history and methods associated with head-starting endangered Northern Red-bellied Cooter. Brian Bastarache and his students at the Bristol County Agricultural High School raise these endangered hatchling turtles and release them into the wild as part of the Mass Wildlife Headstart Program. This was a family friendly program to learn about these unique Plymouth turtles and the efforts being made to increase their population. Opportunity to visit and see 2 live young turtles in the Headstart Program at SEMPBA, 204 Long Pond Rd immediately followed.