All Abuzz at Cox Reservation

Despite a rain-filled summer, the Cox Reservation beehives thrived! With diligent beekeeping care, Greenbelt had one colony survive through winter, and added a second colony to the apiary this past spring. These two hives—affectionately named Queen Elizabeth and Beeyonce—had a wonderful and productive season. Both hives participated in the "show and tell" portion of our annual spring Birds, Bees and Butterflies event, teaching Greenbelt visitors about how a hive works. By the end of summer, the hives produced over 50 pounds of delicious wildflower honey. With the weather turning cooler, the hives are adding to their stores of pollen and honey, and getting ready to bunker down for winter.

News and Happenings

Tour de Greenbelt—Shifted Gears!

With dangerous conditions predicted, we were so disappointed to cancel the 2023 Tour de Greenbelt ride planned for September 16. Instead, Greenbelt’s fantastic supporters and cyclists ever-so-agilely shifted gears and took the opportunity to ride their Tour de Greenbelt route over the following week in much more enjoyable and safer conditions. We loved seeing so many riders continue to be a part of this cherished annual event. Even when the ride couldn’t go on as planned, 200 riders still donated their registration to Greenbelt, and many continued fundraising! We are so grateful for the support.

Thank you to presenting sponsor, Institution for Savings, for their sponsorship of Tour de Greenbelt, as well as the many business sponsors and community partners who make this event possible.

Help Protect Mount Hunger and Lyasis Pond

Greenbelt has the opportunity to purchase and protect the land around Mount Hunger and Lyasis Pond, several parcels of land that make up more than 85 acres in Essex and Gloucester. Conserving these properties will expand existing conserved land in the area and ensure continued access to its popular trail network, protect important wildlife habitat, and preserve the upstream freshwater reaches of Ebben Creek, a tributary to the Great Marsh. Greenbelt has secured a portion of funding through grants and foundations, but seeks an additional $156,000 through private fundraising to make this project a success. Please consider a gift to conserve these local lands forever.

Helping Osprey Thrive: Volunteers and Supporters Celebrate with Greenbelt

Early this month, nearly 40 of Greenbelt’s dedicated volunteer Osprey nest monitors and supporters gathered in the Studio Barn at Cox Reservation to be recognized and celebrated for their commitment to the Osprey Program.

Dave Rimmer, Osprey Program Director and Director of Stewardship, thanked everyone and provided a summary of the 2023 Osprey season. Over 2,000 online reports were submitted this season by 70 volunteers! Data showed that for the sixth consecutive year the number of nesting pairs increased to 80 pairs in 2023. Data also showed a slight decrease in productivity (chicks fledged per pair) compared to years past, possibly due to decreased availability of fish. Overall, Osprey are thriving in our region.

The Osprey Program relies on volunteers to gather this important data and other extensive information about Osprey in the region, and donors to the program provide the funding for new platforms, equipment, the webcam, and other program expenses. Thank you all for your participation!

Make a Difference, Close to Home

Understanding the connections between land and water is an integral part of our work at Greenbelt. One of our highest priorities is conserving land that protects water resources—land that safeguards drinking water, reduces flood risk, fortifies marshes and coastlines, and protects groundwater to keep rivers flowing. Contributions to the Annual Fund allow us to successfully continue this critical work, right here in Essex County.

Please show your commitment to local land conservation, and to keeping Essex County resilient, healthy and beautiful with a gift to the Annual Fund.

Thank you, Maggie!

We are sending our best wishes with Maggie Brown as she moves forward with her career after working with Greenbelt for more than a decade. Maggie’s time at Greenbelt included working as a GIS Intern with the Conservation Department, as an AmeriCorps Service Member with the Stewardship Department, and as a Project Manager with our Conservation team following completion of her graduate degree at Tufts University. In addition to all of this, Maggie has been lead beekeeper of the hives at Greenbelt, too! We will miss Maggie’s dedication and fabulous sense of humor, and appreciate all she has accomplished for local land conservation with Greenbelt. Good luck, Maggie!

There's always a lot going on at Greenbelt! If you're interested in learning about volunteer opportunities, join our monthly Volunteer E-Newsletter list.

Essex County Greenbelt Association

82 Eastern Avenue, PO Box 1026, Essex, MA 01929
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