Land Stewardship

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.

Purpose
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 to the public for walking, hiking, picnicking, nature study, and other forms of non-disruptive, passive recreation.

How to Become a Land Steward
Any resident of Littleton, or any nearby 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, please contact the Littleton Conservation Trust or Littleton Conservation Commission. If you are interested in becoming a Land Steward on a specific property, please contact Jim O’Neil, Director of Land Stewardship, at jfoneil63@verizon.net or 978-486-3642, and indicate the property that interests you.

You should be physically able to walk in woodlands, on and off trails, and 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.

Basic Responsibilities of Littleton Land Stewards

  • 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 including widening and deadfall removal. Most work can be accomplished with loppers and hand saws. If chainsaw work is necessary, you should have another person present due to safety concerns. If the task is too difficult, please notify the Director of Land Stewardship, or you may fill out a trail issue report on the LCT website. Please note that you are not required to use a chainsaw to be a steward. — 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. If alarming activity is discovered or any changes from the
    previous inspection are noticed, document the incident in writing and with photos. Notify the Director of Land Stewardship or any LCT Trustee as soon as possible.
  • Monitor and report on concerns including invasive species, trash dumping, road problems and illegal recreational use.
  • Keep a log of your site visits. Include information about any project underway or completed. (Include date, amount of time spent on visit, work performed and anything that you deem relevant to the visit.)
  • On an annual basis, usually in December, you will fill out and submit a short annual report which will be provided by the Trust. This report will be utilized by the LCT staff to enhance our baseline conservation restriction monitoring.
  • 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 a 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 (under the direction of Jim O’Neil and other volunteers) takes care of heavier duty projects on a regular basis at most conservation areas.

Suggested Optional Tasks

  • 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 signing, prepare a map or sketch with ideas. Contact the Director of Land Stewardship for approval of the project. Arrange for additional volunteers from the Littleton Trail Crew 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.

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.