Published on May 20, 2020

What's Happening in the Sanctuary's Fields?

Bobolink icon for South Shore Sanctuaries

Over the next few months, you’ll notice a lot of activity in the Daniel Webster fields including soil augmentation, plowing, and reseeding.

The important grassland habitat has been deteriorating in past years. Invasive plants have been encroaching, and the mix of hay, native grasses, and woody plants has become unbalanced—making it difficult to mow and reducing the desirability for nesting birds.

While we've maintained the grasslands through annual mowing and addressed other challenges on an “as needed” basis, this is the first large-scale effort in the past decade.

What about the Tree Swallows and Bobolinks? Won't this impact their nesting?

Yes, the nesting habitat will be decreased for this season. However, we still have habitat available and the long-term gains will provide improved nesting and feeding opportunities.

How will this impact my visit?

While all public areas of the sanctuary will still be available for visitation, the Pond Loop cross-field trail will be closed periodically during this work.

This means that you may need to plan your walk to either loop all the way to Fox Hill or enjoy a longer loop along the Secret Trail. 

When will the work be completed?

All work will be completed by early summer 2020, with the newly-seeded fields sprouting and filling in over the summer. Spring 2021 will bring lush grasslands, ready for returning grassland birds to feed and nest!

If you have additional questions, please contact North River Wildlife Sanctuary by phone (781-837-9400) or by email.