Land Preservation Committee
The BBC Land Preservation Committee seeks to expand the Fitzgerald Lake Conservation Area in order to protect open space and habitat in the Broad Brook watershed. We keep in touch with area landowners and provide information about options for preserving land. We work with the Northampton Conservation Commission to set priorities for preservation, and we participate in discussions with interested landowners, the City, and other conservation groups. We attend select meetings of City Council, Conservation Commission, Community Preservation Committee, and other area land trusts and conservation groups. We make recommendations to the BBC Board regarding financial contributions toward land purchases or easements. We work with other conservation groups to hold workshops on issues of land stewardship and land preservation for both landowners and land trust volunteers.
The responsibilities of the Stewardship Committee encompass the control and removal of invasive plants throughout the FLCA, periodic analysis of water quality in the Broad Brook, Fitzgerald Lake and the adjacent marsh, the planting and care of fruit-bearing shrubs in Cooke’s Pasture, maintenance of the Fitzgerald Lake outflow drain, and mowing of Cooke’s and South Pasture.
The FCLA Trails committee is responsible for the maintenance of the trails, bog bridges, and the dock leading to the lake, pursuant to the goals and objectives set forth in the “Management Plan for the Fitzgerald Lake Conservation Area”.
Trails committee’s duties include:
- Remove trees and branches that have fallen across trails because of storms, or from natural causes.
- Repair and maintain bog bridges and build new ones to provide passage over wetlands.
- Maintain trail signs including repair, or replacement.
- Re-blazing trails.
- Maintain the dock, including repair of loose boards and cutting back foliage overhanging the dock during the spring and summer to allow passage of people and boats.
- Keep the parking areas at North Farms Road and Cooke Avenue clear of debris and litter.
- Maintain the Mutt Mitt dispensers at the North Farms Road and Cooke Avenue parking areas.
All of the above tasks are achieved by regular maintenance activities and volunteer workdays.
BBC Walks and Talks Program Committee
One of the goals of the Management Plan for the Fitzgerald Lake Conservation Area (FLCA) is to “Increase Education and Outreach,” and an objective is to, “Promote Walks and Talks”. These educational programs help to acquaint the public with the natural history and ecology of the FLCA. BBC is organized for charitable, educational and scientific purposes, and the Walks and Talks programs serve to fulfill those objectives.
Skilled naturalists, often experts in their fields, generously offer their time and expertise to BBC members and our entire community. Birding, Habitats, Wild Edibles, Fall Foliage, Vernal Pools, Damselflies and Dragonflies, Beavers, Aquatic Insects, Water Color Sketching, Winter Tracking, and a series on mushrooms have been some of our recent programs. Dozens of programs, lasting 2-4 hours each and taking many hours to organize by our Board and naturalists in the community, also help to involve the community in our management projects, to gain new members and to promote an interest in land preservation and conservation issues. Please join us for one of these opportunities.
(For the latest Walks and Talks visit our Events page.)