Tribute to Art Lazarus. LCT Trustee and Director of Land Stewardship

Art Lazarus, LCT Trustee and Director of Land Stewardship, passed away on July 22nd, 2017. Information on calling hours and memorial service are available in a prior article. Art meant a lot to Littleton, conservation in Littleton, his fellow LCT Trustees and the many people he directly and indirectly benefitted through leading walks, publishing the trail guide, building trails, identifying land and forest features and coordinating stewardship.

Image of a stained glass cardinal created by Art
One of Art’s favorite self-crafted stained-glass art works.
Art actively volunteered many hours as a hands-on conservationist during his 33 year Littleton residency from 1984 to 2017. Parlaying his past experience as a Conservation Commissioner for the town of Raynham, professional abilities as a geologist and environmental consultant, and developing interest in forestry, Art served as Director of Stewardship. In that capacity, Art coordinated the town-wide land stewardship program, recruiting and training other volunteers as monitors for the town’s publicly accessible conservation properties, and compiling land management plans for each parcel. Privately, Art would engage in rock collecting along with building a stone wall exhibiting unusual rock specimens and crafting stained-glass window hangings focusing on nature.

Art played major roles in characterizing the Oak Hill Conservation Land and geologic history, laying out trails on Long Lake Conservation Land, and managing the Cobb Land after the family donated portions to LCT and the town Conservation Commission for public conservation purposes. Art coordinated the cleanup of the debris remaining from the former Cobb Chicken Farm and constructed trails throughout. On this and other conservation parcels, Art would use his geologic expertise to identify notable features, such as evidence of historic quarry works and unusual mineral deposits. Additionally, Art became a Forest Steward for the Prouty Woods Community Forest, owned by New England Forestry Foundation (NEFF) with overlaid Conservation Restriction held by the town Conservation Commission.

Art compiled the town’s conservation land and trail maps into a comprehensive Guide to Littleton Conservation Lands, annotated with descriptions and helpful details. This guide, available both in print and online, has been revised several times by Art. As a geologist, Art also compiled a comprehensive “Natural Resources Inventory for Oak Hill – Tophet Chasm”, an unusual geologic plunge hole feature resulting from the sudden and forceful drainage of glacial Lake Nashoba.

Art’s other local publications include a compilation of forestry resource materials and anecdotes into “Forest Tours: Edible, Medicinal, Poisonous Characteristics, and Historical Uses of Selected Trees and Shrubs” for the Prouty Woods Community Forest, and subsequent condensed brochure “A Self-guided Tour of the Wide Variety of Trees at Prouty Community Forest”. As Art and his wife Jan addressed progressive medical challenges in later life, Art also issued the booklet “Walking for Recovery: A Guide for Easy Off-Road Walking in Littleton, MA” highlighting easy strolls on some of the town’s less challenging conservation lands.

Art performed considerable volunteer conservation land work for the benefit of the Littleton community; inspired and recruited other volunteers; and collaborated locally with many others – other LCT trustees, conservation land stewards, town Conservation Commissioners and agent, and land owners. His presence, energy, and determination will be missed by many. His beneficial impact to the community will be forever present.

Art requested donations be made to the Congregational Church or Littleton Conservation Trust. Donations to LCT in Art’s memory can be made with the Memorial tab on the donation page. Please type Art’s name into the “In memory of” field. We will take care of notifying Art’s family so there’s no need to fill out the name to notify or contact information. Please include your personal message or memory in the memorial message field.