The Littleton Conservation Land Stewardship Program is for properties of the Littleton Conservation Trust and town-owned properties administered by The Littleton Conservation Commission and the Board of Selectmen.
The overall purpose of this program is to uniformly and regularly monitor, maintain, and enhance Littleton conservation lands for the preservation of open space, natural and unique features, wildlife habitat, water resources, and ecological diversity. Equally important is the availability of the properties for town residents for walking, hiking, picnicking, nature study, and other forms of non-disruptive, passive recreation.
How to Become a Land Steward
Any resident of the Town is eligible to volunteer to be a Land Steward of one or more properties. Children are invited to assist a Land Steward. More than one person can be a Land Steward for a property. If you are interested in volunteering, you need to contact the Littleton Conservation Trust or Littleton Conservation Commission. If you are interested in becoming a Land Steward on a specific property, please contact Erin Jade, Director of Land Stewardship, at email@example.com, and indicate the property that interests you.
You should be physically able to walk in woodlands (on and off trails), be able to do light to medium work (for example: clear brush and cut small trees). Knowledge of wildlife, vegetation, and terrain features is helpful.
Important Note: Prior to being assigned as a Land Steward or Trail Crew member, all persons who perform duties on Littleton conservation land are required to submit a Volunteer Consent and Release Form to the Littleton Conservation Commission. The form may be completed online at https://www.littletonma.org/conservation/webforms/volunteer-consent-and-release-form .
Duties of Land Stewards
Here is a list of the basic duties for a Land Steward in Littleton:
- Walk the property (trails, paths, roads, parking areas) at least once every two months.
- Perform routine maintenance which includes, but is not limited to:
— Trail maintenance (widening, deadfall removal)
— Litter removal
— Repair and replace trail markers
- Walk around the boundaries at least once a year to check for illegal encroachment of neighboring property owners.
- Keep a log of your site visits. Include information about any project underway or completed.
- On an annual basis (usually in January) fill out and submit a one-page annual report summarizing your stewardship activity for the previous year. (form to be provided by the Trust).
- As a Land Steward, you do not have authority to police, exclude, or discipline people on the property. If you observe someone violating the Rules and Regulations for the conservation property, you should report them to the Director of Land Stewardship. For criminal activity, immediately notify the Police Department. For fires, immediately notify the Fire Department.
- Help people enjoy being on the property and try to make them aware of the land usage rules. As Land Steward, you should have a helpful, friendly attitude.
- If, for any reason, you are no longer able to continue as an active Land Steward, please notify the Director of Land Stewardship.
Note: The Littleton Trail Crew takes care of heavier duty projects on a regular basis at most conservation areas. To volunteer as a member of the Trail Crew, contact Jim O’Neil at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Suggested Additional Opportunities
- Become involved by requesting training in the following areas:
- 1. Learn how to identify native pollinator plants and help control the spread of invasive plant species.
- 2. Learn how to monitor Conservation Restrictions on certain properties.
- 3. Learn how to certify vernal pools.
- Offer to lead, or co-lead, along with other Land Stewards or Trust members, a public tour or guided walk for residents.
- If the property needs new or renovated trails, observation points, or signage, prepare a map or sketch with ideas. Contact the Director of Land Stewardship for approval of the project. Arrange for additional volunteers to help with the project. Funds are available for purchase of materials and some heavy equipment rental and labor needs, but you must first get approval of such expenditures.
- The Director of Land Stewardship will provide you with existing maps, brochures, and property information, as well as a description of the rules and regulations governing land use. You are expected to maintain a property file.
- Land Stewardship is an opportunity for you to enjoy our beautiful forests and trails while at the same time playing a part in protecting our environment and enhancing the enjoyment of others to explore their natural surroundings.